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The Whitewashing of the Nazis

Christopher C. Black

I was going to write about Iraq and the American control of that tragic nation that has been, like many others, destroyed by the American war machine, but it is difficult to find out any real facts about anything in Iraq. All the news and reports are controlled, events are unexplained, the politics unclear, the American influence hidden in the dark shadows of their crimes, so I decided to write about the whitewashing of Nazis.

For while pondering what to write I watched a film on Netflix, a film that exposes just what the NATO countries are, the roots of their present foreign policies and treatment of their peoples.

It’s a film that really excuses the barbarity of the US and NATO war machine, and their objective of revisiting World War II, which never ended for them and their Nazi friends, but was transformed into the Cold War, and the new Operation Barbarossa they are preparing against Russia, as the American withdrawal from the intermediate nuclear missile control treaty proves to be their intent.

The film bears the title, “My Honour Was Loyalty”

It sounds like it could be the title of any war film, but it has a special meaning because that phrase was the motto of the Waffen SS unit, Der LiebstandarteSS-Adolf Hitler Panzergrenadier Division, the elite unit of the Waffen SS, the military formation of the Nazi Party of Germany and fascists from across Europe. It was this unit that was Hitler’s personal bodyguard.

So, is this film an expose of the many war crimes committed by that unit in World War Two? Does it show what they did in Russia, in Italy, in France?

No. Instead, it is a portrayal designed to raise our sympathies, to see these criminals as heroes fighting for “home and hearth,” lost souls ultimately betrayed by their leaders, whose crimes are no worse than the crimes of other armies. Vivid battle scenes are connected by sad reflections of the SS men about their lives, their wives, their hopes, their fears. Hitler would have loved every second of it.

But what is the truth about this unit that the Italian director, Alessandro Pepe, now living in the USA, has turned into a group of lovable heroes? What did he erase from history?

The truth begins with the formation of the unit as Hitler’s personal bodyguard in the 1920s.

In 1933, on the tenth anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch, in which Hitler tried to seize power in a coup that failed, the men of the unit swore a personal oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler and were made into a military formation. On swearing allegiance to Hitler the unit received the name Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler, or, personal bodyguard of Hitler.

A year later the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, added the initials SS to the name of the unit to make it clear it was not part of the regular army or the still existing SA. Under its commander, Sepp Dietrich, it vaunted itself as a Nazi unit and then, in its first action, declared what it was going to be from then on, an organised gang of thugs and murderers.

On June 30 1934, Hitler ordered the unit to arrest the members of the SA organisation, led by Ernst Rohm, that was vying for power with him in the overall Nazi organisation. The arrests were carried out in Munich and that night men of the unit murdered several leaders of the SA including five generals and a colonel. Others were shot in Berlin. On July 1, 1934 on what is known as the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler ordered the unit to act as a death squad and its men murdered well over a hundred other people connected to the SA.

Having proved that it was willing to commit murder on his behalf, the unit was then expanded in size and became the honour guard at many of Hitler rallies and took part in the seizure of a number of lands Hitler desired, including the Saarland, and Sudetenland. In the invasion of Poland in 1939, the unit became famous for burning whole villages to terrorise the population, for murdering 50 Jews in the town of Blonie, for machine-gunning over 200 men, women and children at Zloczew, and for committing atrocities in a number of other towns.

During the operations in France in May 1940, in the fighting around Dunkirk, the unit murdered 80 prisoners of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and some French soldiers in a barn at Wormhoudt.

In April 1941 they were the lead German unit in the invasion and occupation of Greece, then were transferred to join other units for the invasion of the USSR, in Operation Barbarossa. According to reports of its staff journalist, the unit murdered 4,000 Soviet prisoners of war on August 18, 1941. During the fighting around and in Kharkov in March 1943 it became notorious for murdering wounded Soviet soldiers found in a military hospital. Several hundred Soviet wounded were killed in that hospital and other prisoners were routinely executed during its operations.

On February 17, 1943 its men burned down the two villages of Yefremovka and Semyonovka, killing 872 men, women and children, with 240 of those burned alive in a church at Yefremovka. The battalion that committed this atrocity was given the name the “Blowtorch Battalion.” During this same period it and its reserve units in Germany rounded up Jews and took their property.

Transferred to Italy in September, 1943 the unit murdered 49 Jewish refugees near Lake Maggiore and killed 34 civilians in the village of Bove. Some victims at the lake were thrown into the water with their hands and feet tied. Then transferred to France in 1944 they murdered French civilians in the villages of Tavaux and Plomion. During the Ardennes fighting near Malmedy, the unit executed 84 American prisoners. They also captured eleven black US soldiers of the 333rd Artillery Battalion in another engagement. When their bodies were found, their fingers had been cut off and legs broken.

This is the unit that Alessandro Pepe wants us to connect with. The film references the Jews being massacred in the death camps, but the stories are dismissed by the men as unbelievable; quite a distortion since we know these men massacred Jews in Russia and Germany.

Shooting of prisoners is excused because, well the Americans were worse and the Soviets deserved it. The killing of civilians is never mentioned. Instead we watch as these young men walk through beautiful fields in Ukraine and comment on how war scars the beauty of nature, or in Italy sigh at the beauty of the Tuscan landscape and in France the French countryside, rhapsodising like poets.

But in Russia, what do we see? The Red Army soldiers are “Bolshevik scum” and prisoners are savagely beaten to death with rifle butts.

This is a film that makes heroes out of murderers, poets out of Nazis, a film designed to distort history, in fact to erase history and recreate it so that Nazis are lovable and even desirable to have around. Yet, in Germany and Austria it is illegal to use the motto of this unit and to use it to promote Nazism, But that is what Pepe does, what Netflix does.

But how is it possible that such a film could be financed and produced today and then shown on a major network? Because the governments of the NATO countries are composed of people who share the beliefs of the Nazis; anti-communist, anti-worker, anti-Semitic, despite their pretending otherwise so long as Israel does their bidding, sharing the same lust for world domination as Hitler, willing to use the same barbarism to terrorise and dominate the world.

We have seen the savagery of the Nazis, the same propaganda in the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia, on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China; the same savagery, the same contempt for law and civilised behaviour. And for the same objectives, to make money by stealing and murdering.

The NATO countries installed and support a regime in Ukraine that is heavily infected with Nazis. Canada has a foreign minister who denies that her grandfather was a Nazi collaborator who helped the SS round up Jews in Ukraine. Nazi sympathisers are routinely discovered in Nato army units. Far right parties, fascist parties are gaining influence all over Europe.

In Britain, France and the USA, right wing parties have been in control for a long time. And though there are fake expressions of dismay at this, these same governments encourage the rise of the far right by suppressing left parties, pushing people to essentially right wing social democratic parties, putting out false histories of socialism in those countries, and making sure the far right gets lots of media coverage that the left parties are denied.

They ban and slander communist parties and their leaders, and all the while foster hatred against foreigners, telling the people that their enemies are the Jews, the Muslims, the Russians, the Chinese and to instil fear in the people tell them that ever tighter surveillance and security are needed to protect them from the “enemy,” and if that does not convince them, there is always a bombing or two or a mass shooting to make the point, along with the constant drone of “you are being watched,” repeated over and over again, to try to keep us in line.

Watched is not the right word; more like gloated over, as the far right leaders, masquerading as liberals, watch us drift into despair at our conditions, knowing that people are seeking any answer, but are told not to look to the left, but to look to the far right to find. We see the black shirts in action again in Hong Kong, supported by the black shirts of the right in the west who hold power over us.

The British and Canadian prime ministers stated on the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 that the Soviet Union was the aggressor against Poland when German armies invaded, that Poland was caught between “two tyrannies,” the big lie since the British, French and Americans refused Soviet requests to form an alliance against Hitler since they were encouraging Hitler to attack the Soviet Union.

The USSR was forced to protect itself against the fascists, to protect the revolution that raised the workers and peasants of Russia out of poverty into a new life, a struggle so vividly described in Ilya Ehrenburg’s account of the resistance of the Soviet peoples to the Nazi invasion described so well in his novel, The Storm.

Yet all across eastern Europe, monuments to the men and women of the Red Army who died fighting the Nazi armies are desecrated or demolished while statues to Nazi thugs are raised. And never are the people told that the Nazis were capitalists on a rampage, that they were and are the face of capitalism with the gloves off. No, there is no monument to the crimes of the capitalists. And so now we have films praising the SS shown to millions of people and not a word said, until now.

We thought the Red Army defeated fascism in 1945. It looks like we are going to have fight them again.

Originally published by NEO
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
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Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson

The other side of the same coin, so to speak.

Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson

Here is an interesting link to what the Soviets did when they invaded their portion of Poland.
https://allthatsinteresting.com/katyn-massacre

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

Not: LiebstandarteSS

But Leibstandarte SS

Heard a lot about the war and the Nazis, and so forth when I was young in West Berlin. We did not lose our land through them.

When freedom and democracy broke out after 1989 during the Kohl-Regime, that’s when we lost it, Frenchies fattening themselves, Prenzlauer Promenade 191. Kohl learned from the Nazis and used the muscle from the US. People like Kohl were recruited through the de-nazification process as sleepers then kowtow to the Americans and join their lawless activities. They are all a lawless gaggle of pr1cks.

vexarb
vexarb

Igor Bundy #301002 BTL SyrPer posted link to OffG and clip from this article headed:

The Whitewashing of Nato crimes.

Joe
Joe

What a load of demented Bs!

padre
padre

Why?I suppose you have some other arguments, than “demented Bs”. Actually I don’t know what is “demented” supposed to stand for, is this your way of expressing your disagreement with author’s point of view?In that case it is very lame!

kevin morris
kevin morris

‘Yet all across eastern Europe, monuments to the men and women of the Red Army who died fighting the Nazi armies are desecrated’ This is a popular modern trope but those who claim it demonstrate a slim grasp on the history of the times they pontificate on.

WHilst the Soviet Union has effectively been written out of the victory over Nazism, nobody seems to wish to remember either that whilst Roosevelt and to a lesser extent Churchill agreed to the extension of a Soviet sphere of interest throughout central and eastern Europe, Stalin, ably aided by the NKVD acted with great brutality in much of the territory the Soviet Union came to control. Those who know of the sacrifices of the Soviets who lost 27 million in World War 2 should know too of all those Polish officers and intellectuals brutally murdered not by the Nazis but by the NKVD and buried in shallow graves in the Katyn Forest. Nor should we forget that when the people of Warsaw rose up against Nazism in 1944, the Soviet Army although nearby did nothing. Nor should we forget those nascent democracies which following the defeat of Nazism were subverted, their politicians murdered so as to allow communist states to stand in their stead.

Those who actually make a point of studying history know that it is still regarded as a mark of shame that those Cossacks who had been grievously treated under Stalin, after being captured fighting for the Nazis were handed back by the allies to face certain death at the hands of the NKVD. Nor should we forget the Hungarian uprising nor the Czech one. I know that many East Germans have nostalgia for what used to be called, without the least sense of irony, The German Democratic Republic, but I know too that many of them were shocked at just how much of what they believed to be their private lives had been recorded by the Stazi.

Knowing both sides, I can still praise the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazism, but I refuse to criticise those states who fail to wish to remember Communism with any fondness. Nor do I criticise those who from just about every country in Europe including Britain who signed up for the SS believing that they could help defeat the atheistic Communists. For the truth is that neither Communism nor Nazism did much to endear themselves to many in their satellite countries. We were not there and unless we are willing to judge all equally, we have no right to judge.

TOby McCrossin
TOby McCrossin

The Nazis were indeed responsible for Katyn despite the Russian admission of guilt. (Having said that the Russians did kill some Polish officers in retaliation for Polish war crimes). Other countries have also admitted to crimes for which they were not responsible. Libya for example claimed responsibility for the Pan Am bombing when it was actually carried out by the Iranians in retaliation for the US shooting down of one of their passenger planes.

https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/furr_katyn_2013.pdf

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10688067/Lockerbie-bombing-was-work-of-Iran-not-Libya-says-former-spy.html

Antonym
Antonym

Those Germans are correctly labeled Nazis; than also label those Russians as Soviets.

Roberto
Roberto

No need to confuse the issue with misdirection about Libya and Pan Am (although I AM in agreement with the findings).

The relevant document regarding Katyn (per P Sudoplatov, USSR foreign intelligence and later director of Special Tasks, including the assassination of Trotsky and the acquisition of the Atomic Bomb plans from Britain and the U.S.A.) is:
Translated RFE/RI, Research Report, vol.2, no. 4, p.22, is addressed to Comrade Stalin, from L Beria, dated 5 March 1940, and endorsed for action by Stalin, Voroshilov,Molotov, and Mikoyan. Further endorsed in the margin with “Kalinin, in favor, and Kaganovich, in favor”:
“1:To instruct the USSR NKVD that it should try before special tribunals:
1.1: the cases of the 14,700 former Polish officers; government official, [et al] … being kept in prisoner of war camps.
1.2: and also the cases of 11,000 members of counterrevolutionary organizations of spies and saboteurs, former landowners, factory owners, former Polish officers, …
and apply to them the supreme penalty: shooting”.

” … Examination of the cases is to be carried out without summoning those detained and without bringing charges; …”
s: “Beria”

Copies of all relevant documents were presented to the Polish government in 1992, authorized by B Yeltsin, in the interest of reconciliation with the recently independent Polish government.

And the Nazis did indeed find the mass graves in April 1943, and exhumed and forensically examined the corpses in the presence of Red Cross officials, and documented their findings with autopsy, photographic, and documentary information – IDs, etc.
The evidence was not allowed to be introduced, or discussed at the Nuremberg trials.
I offer this not because of any sympathy for Nazis; similarly, the new Russia objectively exposed these documents to view despite the casting of a negative light on their previous incarnation known as the USSR and their present emotions concerning the Great Patriotic War and the loss of some 27 million of their citizens.

TOby McCrossin
TOby McCrossin

The authenticity of the document you refer to is in dispute with a small number of researchers claiming it to be a forgery. The author of the article I linked to shares this view and lays out his reasons for believing so in one of his books. When combined with the author’s further research, which blows large holes in the official narrative, it would appear the attribution of guilt to the USSR is far from certain. This from the article linked to above…

“In October 2010 a credible case was made that the “smoking gun” documents are forgeries. This had been the position of many Russian communists and Left Russian nationalists since the publication of Mukhin’s 1995 book. The materials adduced by Duma member Viktor Iliukhin in October 2010 constitute the strongest evidence so far that these documents may well be forgeries. (For more information
about these documents see my “Katyn Forest Whodunnit”)”

Roberto
Roberto

Well the communists, and a small number of researchers would say that, wouldn’t they?

Toby McCrosin
Toby McCrosin

Is that supposed to be an argument? If so, it’s not a very good one.

TOby McCrossin
TOby McCrossin

It is not confusing the issue by mentioning Libya. The Russian government admitted responsibility for Katyn. That admission appears to make any questioning of the official narrative absurd. Only when one considers that governments will sometimes admit guilt to crimes for which they are innocent does questioning the official narrative make any sense.

Roberto
Roberto

It depends on what the ‘official narrative’ was. In 1943 a forensic examination of the remains was conducted by competent professionals in the presence of members of the International Red Cross. Photographic evidence was recorded. The victims were clothed and possessed personal documents and identification. The results of the investigation were made available and publicly presented.
For 49 years the Soviet government vehemently denied they were responsible, and they were supported by the Western governments, i.e. the Allies, albeit while holding their collective noses. This was then the official narrative.
Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation produced signed documents and admitted culpability of its predecessor government, presented in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. Then the official narrative became the inverse of what the previous official narrative was, except for a certain small class of researchers who could be cynically described as ideologically motivated.
In appraising logically the possibility of the government faking documents to gratuitously recognize culpability by the nation of Soviet Russia/Russia, one may ask: Why? To discredit communism, which by its very existence and actions discredited itself such that it needs no further disparagement? Why bother? The country affected had been asking for the truth for years and had been stonewalled; why do a volte-face now?
The difficulty for most humans is to view facts and possibilities objectively.
Reality and facts are not companions of ideology and the molding of public perceptions of history, which tend to evolve according to contemporary and later trends – and ‘history’ also begins yesterday, not just ages ago. Certainly this is evident in today’s ‘news’, and is the theme and raison d’être of the Off-Guardian and their evaluation of the offerings of its nemesis in particular, and of course, by extension, much of the world’s media.

TOby McCrossin
TOby McCrossin

“It depends on what the ‘official narrative’ was.”

I’m talking about the official narrative now. That is, that the Soviets were responsible for the massacre.

“The victims were clothed and possessed personal documents and identification.”

Yes, they were. And that is the problem with the official narrative. It’s contradicted by the facts. As the historian cited above makes clear, identified bodies were found in places they just could not have been had the Soviets been responsible for the massacre.

“For 49 years the Soviet government vehemently denied they were responsible”

Perhaps because what they were saying is true.

“Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation produced signed documents and admitted culpability of its predecessor government”

I know this which was why I made mention of Libya in my original post. Governments will sometimes admit culpability for crimes for which they are not responsible.

“Why? To discredit communism, which by its very existence and actions discredited itself such that it needs no further disparagement? Why bother?”

So, you can’t understand why the government may have lied so therefore they didn’t? That’s called an argument from incredulity, and it’s a logical fallacy.

Moreover, your casual dismissal of communism as being worthy of condemnation and seemingly without achievement displays an ideological bent that you later appear to condemn.

George Mc
George Mc

“neither Communism nor Nazism did much to endear themselves to many in their satellite countries.”

Endear themselves? To what extent are people anywhere in a position to choose? We – living here and now- cannot choose capitalism. We’ve got it whether we like it or not. And it certainly isn’t “endearing”.

“….unless we are willing to judge all equally, we have no right to judge.”

Doesn’t that kind of negate the whole point of judging?

kevin morris
kevin morris

We all of us judge but since we most of us have feet of clay, I would argue that there is far too much jodging and very little of it does anything other than feed our own predjudices. As for whether or not we can choose capitalism, I tend to be a glass half full, rather than a glass half empty person. Capitalism is appalling except when compared to its alternatives which have generally been shown to be far worse.

George Mc
George Mc

First of all, when judging other systems you must always be aware that you have to look at them through the prism of your own country’s propaganda. One of the most fascinating programmes I ever saw was a two part documentary on the art of Nazi Germany. Fascinating because for once it showed what Nazi Germany looked like from the inside i.e. the kind of propaganda they used. And the big surprise is that this propaganda wasn’t that strange. It was based on that very familiar longing that most have for the image of a past time that was supposedly simpler and more honest. And as a contrast to this “Golden Age” the image of a degraded “modernity” was held up where the scapegoats were “the intellectuals” who were linked with cosmopolitanism and – of course – the Jews. The basic engine for this was the assertion that your own country was somehow pure and good but had been infected from the outside. This is becoming an increasingly familiar trope everywhere nowadays.

Also, this notion that capitalism is “the worst system barring all the others”, is only palatable for as long as we can have the illusion of a “fair” capitalism or capitalism “with a human face”. This has been possible for those like us who were fortunate enough to be born in the West at a very opportune moment. I grew up thinking we had reached the best of all possible worlds and that there was much to be said for that stuff about communism being inhuman and repressive etc. But the last few decades have shown this to be completely wrong. Our favourable position was due to a set of unrepeatable circumstances, among which was the genuine fear among the ruling class that there could be a revolution (the examples of Russia and China being fresh in the memory). So they were willing to grant a few concessions – or, to be more precise, bribes. First and foremost being the formation of the welfare state. But then again – this was only manageable because the West was in an economically favourable position with regard to the rest of the world (most of which was, and still is, in dire poverty).

But the conditions have changed – and with a vengeance. We no longer have the economic advantage and the ruling class no longer has the fear of organised opposition. Communism has collapsed – and the fact that the Soviet Union is no longer there and yet we are still teetering on the brink of nuclear annihilation, certainly changes our view of “the Cold War” and the “communist menace”. Capitalism has now come to dominate everywhere and, as John McMurtry noted, it acts like a cancer. When the cancer infects everything, it kills the host body and eventually even itself.

vexarb
vexarb

@GeorgeMc: “When the cancer infects everything, it kills the host body and eventually even itself.”

True of bodily cancers as well. A small mistake in some fundamental growth mechanism in one part of the body causes that part of the body to grow insatiably until it kills the body on which the cancer depends for its own feeding. A bodily cancer is “malignant” but not in the normal sense of the word. The cancer does not bear any ” ill will” nor “spite” toward its host: simply, one of its control mechanisms has gone wrong.

The same may have happened to the Capitalist cancer which has invaded the world: it may simply be a failure in some control mechanisms. But since even Capitalists are human there is also room for “malignancy” in the human sense of that word: an unusually high proportion of Capitalist cancers are driven by people who show “ill will” or “spite” toward Muslims, and they tend to invade alleged “existential enemies of Israel”.

Roberto
Roberto

There are still a few countries of opportunity for those wishing to flee capitalism, although they do have black markets, which is capitalism in its harshest, but necessary-under-the- circumstances, form.

George Mc
George Mc

“countries of opportunity for those wishing to flee capitalism”

This is a mysterious formulation. The word “opportunity” is usually linked with money making. However, I can only assume that those wishing to “flee capitalism” are not looking for “money opportunities”. Then what? “Communist opportunities”? I’m not sure what that it supposed to mean.

The original idea behind communism is that it would lead to a world revolution. When this didn’t happen, there was talk of “socialism in one country”. But this could never happen. The outside world remained capitalist and so every country ultimately had to compete economically. The Americans – during the Cold War – always spoke of communism as a totalitarian system that wanted world domination. The irony is that capitalism is the same.

It is certainly true that capitalism has now spread everywhere. You seem to acknowledge that even those countries to which non-capitalists can flee have black markets which amount to “capitalism in its harshest, but necessary-under-the- circumstances, form”. Necessary under the circumstances? Are you saying that those countries that are resisting capitalism are being introduced to capitalism in the most brutal way?

I can make very little sense of your statements. The situation is this: we in the West have been fortunate to have been born into a time of affluence and compromise. But that was due to certain historic circumstances which can never be repeated. (And one of those circumstances is that the world was not completely “capitalised”) All this has changed now. Capitalism is expanding to encompass the entire world. And as Ellen Meiksins Wood has pointed out,

“… this is the moment when Marx should and can come fully into his own for the first time—not excluding the historical moment when he actually lived. I’m making this claim for one simple reason: we’re living in a moment when, for the first time, capitalism has become a truly universal system.”

What she means is that the ideas of Marx are more applicable now than ever before because now capitalism, having spread everywhere, can no longer feed off anything outside itself.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

Kevin, you make some good points but I have a few reservations. Recently, a statue was erected to the SS in Latvia. That makes me think the whole memorial issue is a highly politicised set of symbols related to the new cold war. I was under the impression that there has been disputes been between nationalist elements and pro Russian elements concerning these memorials, are you saying this is not the case ? That would seem to refute ” popular modern trope ” I may have been misinformed, so feel free to correct me.
Whilst it is true that Polish forces serving under Russian command waited over the Vistula, in a still unexplained hiatus, I think it worth remembering that in 1939, the British government signed an agreement with the Polish government giving an unprecedented guarentee of military assistance under every condition if there was war with Germany. This is the only time Britain has ever given such a stern promise. After signing this and war breaking out, they did absolutely nothing. So Warsaw was the second time the Poles were abandoned. The sound of these tragic betrayals still echo today.
I think it is none of my business, what these countries do with these monuments. Would never hold bad feeling towards them for this decision as long as the resolution was peaceful – but I would not go to Latvia on holiday. Cheers

kevin morris
kevin morris

No,I’m saying that given the way Stalin’s USSR treated its satellites in central and eastern Europe, it is at least understandable that those countries now do not wish to remember their connections with the USSR. I find it disingenuous of leftists who criticise citizens of former Warsaw Pact countries for not expressing gratitude to their liberators, especially when those liberators were ussually quickly followed by the NKVD.

Your point regarding Britain is well made although I would have difficulty explaining what Britain could have done apart from declaring war on Germany and the arms drops they made in support of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Many have observed that despite Britain’s actions, Poland endured occupation by Nazis and then by Warsaw Pact countries until 1989.

As for statues to the SS in Latvia, the truth is there were many Latvian volunteers for the SS and whilst I have no desire to go into it in depth, we know what sort of aid Latvians gave to the German occupiers.

The issue of SS membership in the countries Germny invaded is a difficult one. A good friend of mine was shocked to discover a photograph of his father in SS uniform, but at the time I suggested he not judge him harshly. We have little comprehension of the sufferings faced in central and eastern Europe during world war 2 and many saw the Nazis as liberators, at least initially. I have no desire to judge and find that those who do are often guilty of the grossest forms of dog whistle politics.

mark
mark

Courage is courage is courage is courage, throughout the ages.
Whatever the colour of the uniform.
The SS displayed superhuman courage and endurance.
As did the defenders of Stalingrad.
Or the Japanese defenders of remote Pacific islands.
It is not surprising that their record should attract the interest and attention of contemporary people whose everyday lives do not call for such a level of commitment and sacrifice.

They all fought for systems which were flawed and far from ideal, to put it charitably.

And all committed horrific atrocities.
We all know of Axis atrocities, some of which are given here.
Less attention is given to Allied atrocities of a similar character on a comparable scale.
Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo and Hiroshima make the point adequately.
At the very end of the war, and for some time after the end of hostilities, 2 million German civilians were massacred, in horrific circumstances. 2 million German women were gang raped. 15 million were expelled from their homes.

No one atrocity justifies another.
But you could make the same point about every war and battle in history.
The Bayeux Tapestry depicts Normans pillaging in England, looting and setting fire to a house. A young woman seizes her child and flees, something that has been repeated hundreds of millions of times throughout history.

Many people admire the historic last stand of Leonidas and his Spartans at Thermopylae.
But they represented a nightmare repressive society based on the most brutal helot slavery.
All the men who died would have spent much of their lives terrorising and murdering helots.

Similar comments about General Lee and his Confederates could be made.

Or the Roman legions who slaughtered, enslaved and exterminated their way across three continents over a period of many centuries.

This is all in the nature of armies, and the wars they wage for the systems which create and maintain them.

The same considerations apply to more recent conflicts, and the courage and endurance displayed by all sides. Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East. Ongoing wars in Yemen and Syria. Millions dead and immiserated.

There is a continuity to all this. Ideally none of these wars should ever have been fought. Cannibalism and incest were once regarded as normal and acceptable, but now provoke revulsion. If killing had similarly fallen out of fashion, we would all now be in a much better place. But it never has, and probably never will do. Unfortunately.

kevin morris
kevin morris

Agreed. War brings out the greatest humanity but sadly also the greatest barbarity. No one side has a monopoly on either.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

mark , I agree with most of this but is not fairer to describe the waffen SS ( the armed military wing of that organisation ) as displaying ” fanatical ” courage and endurance. It is a small point, I know, but one has to careful in applying positive adjectives to the waffen SS.
It is by this route that that the various german commanders tried to whitewash their activities in the east, in a string of self serving auto-biographies ( Guderian – Panzer Leader, von Mellinthen – Panzer Battles etc ) . The Waffen SS were an elite, volunteer , military formation until late in the war, when manpower shortages informally introduced forced conscription ( Gunter Grass et al ).The only time I might use positive adjectives, myself , to describe them is purely in the field of military affairs – were indeed they often performed to a very high standard. In the wider moral world their ” performance ” was reprehensible. Consistently, everywhere. Cheers

kevin morris
kevin morris

So basically, while the waffen SS displayed ‘fanatical’ courage, the Royal Marines or the Green Berets display esprit de corps? I would argue that in the heat of battle they would often be difficult to distinguish, whilst in war, atrocities are never limited to one side. Certain groupings such as the SS Dirlewanger Brigade and Kaminsky Brigades were capable of such abominations that hardened SS combat troops insisted from their removal from Warsaw in 1944, but just as barbarity can never be limited to one side in war, neither can courage and self sacrifice.

Jen
Jen

Mark: Whatever motivated these armies and army units to fight as long and as hard as they could surely counts as well. Quite often (and maybe more often than they and we are prepared to admit), either self-preservation or determining to take down as many of the enemy as possible in a battle they knew they had already lost is a significant motivator.

The Siege of Szigetvar (fought in mid-1566 between Hungary and the Ottoman empire, during which Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent died from old age while leading the Ottoman forces) is an example of the latter in which some 2,300 men, fighting a force of at least 100,000 while defending Szigetvar Castle, nevertheless were able to take down at least 20,000 fighters with them as they ended up being wiped out.

George Mc
George Mc

Good article but I don’t agree with this bit:

“But how is it possible that such a film could be financed and produced today and then shown on a major network? Because the governments of the NATO countries are composed of people who share the beliefs of the Nazis; anti-communist, anti-worker, anti-Semitic, despite their pretending otherwise so long as Israel does their bidding, sharing the same lust for world domination as Hitler, willing to use the same barbarism to terrorise and dominate the world.”

Granted that there are many around – and within government too – who “share the beliefs of the Nazis”. But the real reason this crappy film can now be financed and produced is that the uppermost levels are deliberately using fascism and Nazism as tools to protect themselves against any rising opposition. It isn’t that the ones bankrolling all this actually ARE racists, xenophobes etc. They simply know that these feelings can be used to protect themselves. And the fact that they are now using such tools is an indication of an increasingly desperate situation where the old clichés about tolerance, balance, collective bargaining, the “lest worst system”, the “rising tide that raises all boats” etc. are no longer effective at quelling unrest.

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man

Fostering racism is a key divide-and-rule tactic deployed by a ruling class when the economic disadvantage of the majority raises the threat of united action against that ruling class.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

Ah,the sweet sight of cesspoilation around the ruling class!

mark
mark

“so long as Israel does their bidding.”
Israel does not do their bidding, or the bidding of anyone.
They are owned by the Zionist Folk, lock, stock and barrel.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

And by way of contrast

Jen
Jen

A Holocaust-period film featuring father-daughter incest, a paedophilic priest, a kid being buried up to his neck to be pecked at by crows and then later thrown into a manure pit … based on a work of fiction that plagiarises various Polish-language novels and written by a fellow who forged papers to get out of Communist Poland and escape to the US, and who didn’t exactly discourage the people who helped him in the US from believing that he had suffered horrifically during WWII, and that the novel was his autobiography, when the truth was that he had been sheltered by a Polish Catholic family.

Not sure I’d want to see pornography masquerading as a Holocaust film.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“Not sure I’d want to see pornography masquerading as a Holocaust film.”

The meaning behind the film’s title becomes clear early on when a painted starling is pecked to death by its flock simply because it looks different to them.
–Derek Opie, Sight and Sound

Should read “…different from them” you reckon?

Welcome On-Guardianista!

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

There are legitimate questions about art dealing with human catastrophe’s.
Some people baulked at ‘Son of Saul’, for example, so yes, this genre is not everybody’s cup of tea.

But don’t forget the vast majority of those responsible, I mean those carried out the beatings, torture, starvation and murder would have been deemed ‘ordinary’ prior to what actually unfolded in Europe, especially eastern Europe .

“This was a particularly spectacular example of the German campaign to gather forced labor in the East, which had begun with the Poles of the General Government, and spread to Ukraine before reaching this bloody climax in Belarus. By the end of the war, some eight million foreigners from the East, most of them Slavs, were working in the Reich. It was a rather perverse result, even by the standards of Nazi racism: German men went abroad and killed millions of “subhumans,” only to import millions of other “subhumans” to do the work in Germany that the German men would have been doing themselves – had they not been abroad killing “subhumans.” The net effect, setting aside the mass killing abroad, was that Germany became more of a Slavic land than it had ever been in history. (The perversity would reach its extreme in the first months of 1945, when surviving Jews were sent to labor camps in Germany itself. Having killed 5.4 million Jews as racial enemies, the Germans then brought Jewish survivors home to do the work that the killers might have been doing themselves had they not been abroad killing.)

pp. 244-246”
― Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Jen
Jen

I have seen “Son of Saul” and among other films I’ve also seen Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom” and Ruggiero Deodato’s “Cannibal Holocaust”, so I am certainly familiar with seeing gory films verging on torture-porn.

At least “Salo …” dealt with the effects of fascism on society and “Cannibal Holocaust”, for all its lowbrow sensationalism, is a satire criticising the ways in which Western mass media and society in general project Western fantasies about violence onto other cultures (in the film’s case, indigenous Amazon cultures). “Son of Saul” is based on research done on Holocaust survivor accounts .

“The Painted Bird” on the other hand, for all its technical qualities that appear to have movie critics genuflecting repeatedly before it, is based on a work of fiction that apparently cobbles together actual Holocaust survivor accounts without acknowledging them, and which for a time was passed off as an actual autobiography before it was exposed for plagiarism. I am not sure that a film based on a novel with such a controversial history should have been made; surely a book exploiting actual Holocaust survivor accounts, and which could give grist to the mill of Holocaust denial, should not have been considered material for a historical drama film, and the ethics of those involved in its making must be questioned.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

Thank You for this important article. It arrives not one moment too soon. The whitewashing of the National Socialists, or Nazis in short, must be seen in the light of the fact that the West traditionally did not have a problem with fascism. The opposite is true. The glorified capitalism that rules it, is nothing else but fascism by any other name. Mussolini called it corporatism and for Hitler, the industrialists were part of his rearmament efforts. When you look at the names of the German industrialists, there was not one that stuck out by having fought against the power grab of the Nazis. There are documents that reveal the collaboration of the industry and finance to get German fascism going.

When the Americans ‘defeated the Nazis’, they did so only to receive backing by their population – American soldiers were fighting the Nazis! They were not. They fought the Wehrmacht and the Wehrmacht was not the Nazis. The German military had a history itself. One of valor and honor and service to the population. The Prussian junckers where more of a match to the officers of the Wehrmacht, with a number of them also having been in the Nazi party voluntarily.

It is important to understand that the U.S. went to the crumbling third Reich for a ‘talent search’ – looking for the chief bureaucrats and ideologues of the Nazi party. And while the troops still combatted the Wehrmacht, important Nazis were secured and shipped to the U.S. – to apply their knowledge in the fight against the Bolshevics, or ‘Commies’, the Nazis were unsuccessful in defeating.

Back to the present, where I had a very disturbing experience at ‘Truthdig’ today. Chris Hedges had written an article titled ‘The Capitalists Are Afraid” and the comment section was very busy. At least 500 comments in, all over sudden this influx of fascists happens. Should I have known that Truthdig is a hangout place for hardcore fascists? What I do know is, that it lives off AP articles, which are the majority of the offerings and reflect that as well.

But fascists? Here is the first response in question to Hedges piece:

Capitalists seek to maximize profits and reduce the cost of labor.
The American version is heavily dependent on Usury and Dept. It is time for Fascism. Not the kind of Fascism narrated by left leaning Historians but the kind that actually worked in Italy and Germany. Fascism is coming back in Europe.

Needless to say that I had to respond to “the kind that actually worked in Italy and Germany”. Of course it was futile to argue with someone who promotes fascism as ‘having worked in Italy and Germany’. What would you respond, if at all? Is a country left in utter ruins with millions of dead people a success story? What kind of derangement syndrom is at work here? Did that person watch the Netflix series? It appears that similar to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 that witnessed a renaissance of Nazism in former East Germany, people are now encouraged to come out of their holes to wave the Swastika.

For someone whose familiy has not only lost life and limbs during the glorious Nazi reign, but also all of its business, it is shameful beyond words that people like this person are outright promoting fascism to take over the U.S. – ironically it has escaped its meager mental abilities, that the U.S. has already left the station towards this glorious model of governance.

How did the poem by Pastor Niemöller go? “First they came for the…”

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

I’m guessing that Hedges was aiming for “operated-at-large”,( esp. at first )or something like that.Bringing in ” the trains ran on time” theme.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“The glorified capitalism that rules [the West], is nothing else but fascism by any other name. Mussolini called it corporatism and for Hitler, the industrialists were part of his rearmament efforts.”

Mussolini called it fascism: Partito Nazionale Fascista.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

I agree with you. Your view is supported in various books I have read. I’m particularly thinking of Norman Mailer’s ” All the Naked and the Dead “, which was the first time I came across this theory. I’m sure the theory is older than this. Mailer’s opinion was when you win a war, you start a process which ends in the victors polity morphing into the defeated nation polity – an increasingly powerful transformation which results in a mirroring of political, administrative and military structures. Cheers!

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

One things for sure – right wing fanaticism has always been warmly embraced by Uncle Sam.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym

“If we could learn to look instead of gawking,
We’d see the horror in the heart of farce,
If only we could act instead of talking,
We wouldn’t always end up on our arse.
This was the thing that nearly had us mastered;
Don’t yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!
Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
The bitch that bore him is in heat again.”
― Bertolt Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

George
George

I think that the West has always had an ambivalent attitude to Adolf. Of course he is excoriated as the ultimate political demon. But for that very reason, he is infinitely useful. So it’s always good to keep his image alive and try to have as many nuts adore him.

As one example, it’s interesting how those zealous Zionists are so eager to sniff out the merest whiff of anti-Semitism everywhere and yet the biggest anti-Semitic tract of them all i.e. “Mein Kampf” is freely published everywhere.

In the end, Mr Hitler has proved indispensable to our eagerly imperialist governments. He is the perfect Great Satan to erect whenever the call goes up to Bomb The Bastards!”

Per/Norway
Per/Norway

Havaara transfer.
Try to learn why the zionists and nsdap always were good friends, the real history is online😉 ALL it takes is a little effort.

Portonchok
Portonchok

I had Polish and Ukrainian grandparents, and a dollop of Jewish in the mix. The Polish were eliminated by their Ukrainian neighbours, and extremely cruelly, thanks to Mr Bander and his mob.

What was inflicted upon the ethnic Polish people in western Ukraine 7 decades ago is now being repeated by the same Nazis, this time in the east of the country, but against ethnic Russians.

The Polish and Russians have not got on famously well over the centuries, however, we are eternally bound as brothers and victims of the Ukrainian Nazi / Bandera evil scum.

Steve Hayes

In the coup controlled Ukraine Stepan Bandera is idolised as a hero. And the leaders of NATO countries salute the illegal regime with the OUN greeting Salva Ukraini Heroyam Salva.

Mucho
Mucho

Here ultra right winger Bibi makes a deliberate mockery of Bojo and the UK, showing his arrogance and contempt for the nation.

Netanyahu mistakenly calls Boris Johnson ‘Boris Yeltsin’

wardropper
wardropper

Surely not “mistakenly”…?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin

I understand that at the end of the war many were evacuated with their families to far off places where they lived happily and prospered – away from any who would know them.

The cover stories on the nazi diaspora tend to place them in the equatorial jungles of South America instead of the temperate climates that they would have demanded and got. Places like Canada or Australasia…

Yes they are being brought back like some nazgul as the ancients feel fear at loss of their empire last won in 1945.

DomesticExtremi
DomesticExtremi

When the centrists can no longer hold things together, then inevitably it falls to a choice between right or left.
If the left wins, then the elites lose their money and power.
If the right wins then at least some of the elites get to retain their wealth and possibly some power.
Thus we are always pushed to the right and away from the left.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin

Left and right is a creation of the top against the bottom – squeezing a 3d pyramid into a one dimensional line.
People are forced to identify slong that line and fight each other!

And voila the ancient class rule is protected.

Instead of punching up at the despots we are turned into stooges slaping each other – what a hoot!

Refuse the left-right lie. Focus on the rich- poor dimension.

SharonM
SharonM

The whole “left/right is a lie” is wrong. The left is against imperialism, and for socialism. Therefore the rich/poor “dimension” is already covered in the left–by being against wars and for the people. In the U.S., right wingers call other right wingers “the left”, out of ignorance or just plain lying.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin

I had to point out to a poster that ‘spiked’ magazine and its history – which ranges from the old marxist communists to the reactionary right – their job is to populate and perpetrate the false left right with such nonsense – all it does is obscure rich/poor and sets all humans versus nation states.
(Like eu/brexit:-))

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Correct. There is no right vs. left; there is only top vs. bottom.

Igor
Igor

Marx pitted the Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie, leaving the Aristocrats to party on. Divide and Distract.
Left/Right is a fake dichotomy as is Capitalism/Communism.
The ultra wealthy stay ultra wealthy and are the hidden hand in the vests of the governors.
In USA, whether Democrat or Republican, the wars continue, the rich get richer, Business as Usual.
False binary choices, every time.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“Marx pitted the Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie, leaving the Aristocrats to party on. Divide and Distract.
Left/Right is a fake dichotomy as is Capitalism/Communism.”

You need to read (more?) Marx. Not prejudiced, ignorant opinions of Marx, not CliffsNotes about Marx, not op-eds on Marx, but the actual writing of Marx (and his best political buddy Engels*) himself/themselves.

Marx did not pit anybody against anybody and was about as far from the presentation of binary choices as it’s possible to get. In his “middle period” he was a painstakingly detailed and inclusive analyst of the economics of capitalism and the derivation of “wealth” within it. In that, he proposed a basic differentiator: in various ways the rich acquired almost sole posession of the material generators of wealth–the means of production: i.e. factories, machinery, land, etc.–and the poor were left possessing only the value of their labour to sell to the rich in the use of those generators. The dichotomy was rich and poor and the division into classes–aristocracy, bourgeoise, proletariat and lumpenproletariat–were only broad categories within those two divisions (which, even so, you don’t begin to get right). In the terms of Marx’s Labour Theory of Value, the aristocracy are just another category of the rich, those who had a monopoly on the agricultural means of production (land) rather than on the machinery and minerals of the industrial rich:

In speaking of the bourgeoisie I include the so-called aristocracy, for this is a privileged class, an aristocracy, only in contrast with the bourgeoisie, not in contrast with the proletariat. The proletarian sees in both only the property-holder – i.e., the bourgeois. Before the privilege of property all other privileges vanish. The sole difference is this, that the bourgeois proper stands in active relations with the manufacturing, and, in a measure, with the mining proletarians, and, as farmer, with the agricultural labourers, whereas the so-called aristocrat comes into contact with the agricultural labourer only. [Emphasis added]

–Friedrich Engels, Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845

There are tenable (though some, perhaps, not ultimately valid) contradictions of Marx’s hypotheses, but your offering here cannot be included amongst them, either in your uninformed positing of intercategory “pitting” or in your complete miscategorization of the aristocracy in that postulated pitting.

Were you being distracted by your favourite social medium? Perhaps there was there some excessive crosstalk on his or her channels to Karl Marx on the one hand and Ena Sharples (a.k.a. Violet Carson) on the other hand? Maybe you should consider consulting an amputee for any future consultations?

Brian Steere

I just wrote the post into another topic but as it goes to the idea OF mind manipulation and control is has relevance to the developments of corporately fed and directed fascism through whatever faces or fronts are set up as if in opposition – of negatively polarised identity…

The ‘Big Lie’ idea is to repeat a very limited statement over and over – from the power or leverage of the ability to do so – is media and key opinion leaders.
Eventually the mass of people are acculturated and acclimatised to take this as IF it were authoritatively proven or a consensus reality.
Very very few choose to give witness to their integrity when critical of those in power, (positions of leadership and trust), and dissonant to the beliefs and reactions of peer pressured consensus conformity.

Perhaps this developed from ‘fronting out’ an otherwise invalidating exposure by assertive and aggressive denials that were found to ‘work’. This is now normal for politics and pervasive for society. A society of such entanglement in deceits as to suggest a reenactment of the story of the tower of Babel. Communication itself breaks down.

However, this is only the result of the intent and attempt to use communication as a weapon as if to ‘Make Reality’ and enforce it upon the mind (self and others) – or force the mind to conform and comply…

When the mind is used to mask or hide or deny a true communication of the nature of our being, it generates a negatively reinforcing and destructive identification. A lie believed true, must seek its own sustainability by deceit so as to frame your life in ITS terms so as to maintain allegiance of funding and belief. This is exemplified in the ‘bankers’ ability to repackage toxic debt in complex instruments of financially attractive investments. Ingenuity is hired, trained and tooled to serve a ‘dalek’s eye view’ as a merit of technical achievement finding reward.

No debate or discussion will be allowed unless as some sort of show trial. This presentation of ‘communication’ is unworthy of engaging with as communication – but more for what it reveals of the intent to deny it. I understand that everyone seeks to evade pain of loss – but not by exporting our own rightful consequence onto others via the manipulation of their fears and sympathies.

However, the responsibility for what we accept true by then acting as if it is true, remains with us as our own freedom of choice and experience. No one knows freedom under a tyrannous frame of compulsion. Questioning and evaluating any experience of reality is our natural inherence. Mind as a robotic obedience under fear’s dictate is the loss of the integrative will to live. And so it is a ‘death wish’ running as a negative economy and NOT the willingness to embrace and cherish Life on Earth.

Releasing baggage is the idea of no longer carrying or attempting to justify that which does not truly belong. In any case the body as we know it does not ‘survive’ – being a world of constant change. But surviving is also not an end in itself to which everything else must forever be subjugated and sacrificed to. The mind of fear is the means of the sustainability of fear, at cost of a truly felt or connected and integrative awareness.

Panaceas invite every form of ill or evil to align within their wish. The eradication of evil is an ancient reflex that makes a wishful evasion, escape or separation by its attempt. A true resolution zooms out or rises to a more inclusive perspective in which we are no longer framed, besieged or victim to subjugation and suffering – even if our willingness to let go the false security of ‘controlled chaos’ is found one step at a time.