SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — There are no words in the lexicon of the Abdulkerimov family more terrible than “occupation” or “deportation,” two foreign terms with no precise translation in the Crimean Tatar language.
For Tatars, an ethnic group with deep roots in Crimea, the terms are strongly associated with Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Josef Stalin’s secret police, and together they evoke dark memories of war, exile, deprivation and death. They had seemed all but obsolete in recent years.
Last week’s de facto Russian takeover of the Crimean peninsula, however, brought history flooding back to many Tatars, recalling the Nazi occupation of Crimea during World War II and the subsequent Soviet deportation of the entire Tatar people, summarily accused by Stalin of being traitors.
“If somebody tells me today that another deportation is possible, I would tell him that he is an idiot and nothing of the kind can happen again,” said Jafer Abdulkerimov, a frail 81-year-old man with bright eyes, a steady voice and a sound memory. “But then again, if somebody had told me before last week that another occupation of our land by a foreign army is possible, I would have told him he was an idiot too.”
Richard Ferrer talks about why we really should never forget the evil that was carried out by the Nazi regime.
As we approach a time when there will be no more survivors, focus is intensifying on recording their stories and learning the lessons of then - for now
Last week a Conservative Party investigation found MP Aidan Burley had “caused deep offence” by organising a Nazi-themed stag party and buying an SS uniform for the groom. Members of the group reportedly chanted: “Mein Fuhrer”, “Himmler” and “Eichmann” and toasted the Third Reich.
Mr Burley, who was forced to resign as a ministerial aide, is not anti-Semitic. Nothing he has said or done before or since suggests otherwise. This was simply a stupid, badly-judged stunt. Any 10-year-old, let alone an MP, should have damn well known better.
What’s most troubling is that his idiotic behaviour says something much more worrying about wider society.
Highly creepy looking into the personal life of a monster…
Correspondence between Hitler’s right-hand man and his wife was revealed by German daily Die Welt.
The contents of some of the love letters written by Heinrich Himmler, the man who orchestrated the most heinous crime in the annals of human history, were revealed in all their gory details by the German newspaper Die Welt on Sunday.
Hundreds of love letters between Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man and his wife are finally being exhibited after spending years hidden in Tel Aviv.
The letters between Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer-SS who coordinated the activities of the Nazi killing apparatus and its network of concentration camps, and his wife, Margareth, were at first kept in a private collection belonging to an Israeli citizen and were eventually moved to a bank vault in Tel Aviv. The collection includes letters written starting in 1927 and up until Himmler’s death in 1945.
There are also photographs and recipe books.
“I’m heading to Auschwitz,” he wrote in one missive. “Sending you kisses. Your Heini.”
In one particular letter, Himmler apologizes to his wife for forgetting to call on their wedding anniversary, seeing as how he was deep in preparations for Operation Barbarossa, the Nazis’ ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union.
“I apologize that I forgot our wedding anniversary,” he wrote to her on July 7, 1941, four days after the two were to mark the big day. “A lot of things have been happening these past few days.”
As the campaign escalated in the east, Himmler shared his concern over the fate of his troops.
“The fighting is very difficult, particularly for the SS,” he wrote.
The letters also reveal a flirtatious side to Himmler, whose marriage was apparently one of flirtatious playfulness.
“I’m so lucky to have such a bad husband who loves his bad wife just like she loves him,” his wife, Marga, wrote to him teasingly.
The letters also reveal the couple’s loathing for Jews. Prior to their marriage, Margaret sold her stake in a Berlin medical clinic to her Jewish partner.
In a letter dated January 9, 1928, she wrote to her husband of her disdain for “Jewish scum.”
Writing back, Himmler said: “My poor beloved, you need to deal with those miserable Jews because of money.”
“A Jew will always remain a Jew,” he wrote. “The Jew pack has much dread of you.”
“Don’t get angry about the Jews, good woman, I can help you,” Himmler wrote.
Here is a link to the Die Welt article which is printed in German.
Ari’s double reverse Godwin gains low scores from the judges.
A former Bush White House official on Thursday made the case that Nazi Germany had adhered to the laws of war during World War II when defending the Bush administration’s decision to open the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.
Nearly 60 percent of the detainees at Guantanamo are currently on hunger strike, in what experts and their lawyers say is a protest against their indefinite incarceration there. Amid the crisis, President Obama announced this week that he will renew his administration’s efforts to close the prison.
The events sparked a debate on CNN last night, prompting former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer to defend his former boss’s decision to open Gitmo to begin with. “We have it because these people did not even follow the law of war, let alone the rule of war,” he said, adding, “These people didn’t even wear a military uniform. They engaged in battle against America as terrorists, a violation of the laws of war. That’s why Guantanamo got invented.”
But most legal experts say detention practices at Gitmo violate international law.
“This country fought Adolf Hitler. And I don’t really believe that Osama bin Laden and his group are worse or more dangerous than Adolf Hitler,” CNN legal expert Jeffery Toobin countered Fleischer, adding, “We managed to defeat Adolf Hitler by following the rule of law.”
Backed in a corner, Fleischer then went a bit off the rail:
FLEISCHER: They [the Germans] followed the law of war. They wore uniforms and they fought us on battlefields. These people are fundamentally, totally by design different. And they need to be treated in a different extrajudicial system.
A Republican state lawmaker in New Hampshire who has ties to the birther movement drew a bizarre connection between President Woodrow Wilson and Adolf Hitler during a state legislative committee Thursday.
State Rep. Stella Tremblay (R-Auburn) began by telling the state House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee that she wanted to use the last day of Black History Month to outline what she said were contributions from African Americans. She then launched into a somewhat unintelligible claim about abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass before asserting that Wilson agreed with Hitler.
“Woodrow Wilson, because he was a sympathizer and he believed in the Aryan race, he believed that Hitler was correct in the races, where our Founding Fathers believed that all men were created equal,” she said. “He went through all the educational material and wiped out all the — all anything that he could about the true history, about how the slaves were a really good integral part.”
Wilson left office in 1921 and died in 1924. Hitler was largely unknown internationally during Wilson’s lifetime.
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, which had produced Mauser firearms and anti-aircraft missiles for the Third Reich’s war machine. Among their most valuable assets at the time was a stake in car manufacturer Daimler AG. (DAI) They bought a part of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) a few years later.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Perhaps the most malicious religious hoax in history, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” is a book supposedly revealing a secret Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. It first appeared in Russia in 1905, and though the book has been completely discredited as a forgery, it is still in print and remains widely circulated. Many people have endorsed this religious hoax, including actor Mel Gibson, Adolf Hitler, and automaker Henry Ford, who in 1920 paid to have a half-million copies of the book published. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]
The Tawana Brawley Attack
In 1987 America was riveted by the tragic news story of a young black girl named Tawana Brawley, who said she had been gang-raped by six white men, including several police officers. Rev. Al Sharpton and others fanned racial tensions and accused police of a cover-up. The following year, after an extensive investigation (and revelations about contradictions in Brawley’s story), a grand jury concluded that the girl had hoaxed the incident. A New York prosecutor successfully sued both Brawley and Sharpton for defamation in a case whose racial legacy remains today.
A moving reflection from the youngest survivor of Schindler’s List, Leon Leyson, who recently passed away at the age of 83. The speech took place on May of 2008 at UCSD.
Holocaust survivor Leon Leyson reflects on his incredible luck that put him on the infamous “Schindler’s List,” sparing him from a disastrous fate in Nazi Germany.
Leon Leyson dies at 83; youngest survivor on Schindler’s List
Leyson was one of the 1,100 Jews saved from the Nazis by German industrialist Oskar Schindler. He taught school in Huntington Park for 39 years and shared his survival story with others.
By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
January 13, 2013, 8:29 p.m.
Among the 1,100 Jews saved from the Nazis by German industrialist Oskar Schindler was an emaciated 13-year-old boy named Leon Leyson, who had to stand on a box to reach the machinery in the Krakow factory where Schindler sheltered him and his family.
Leon Leyson (Bill Aron/LATimes)
The boy Schindler called “Little Leyson” survived the Holocaust to start life over in Los Angeles. He taught high school in Huntington Park for 39 years, rarely mentioning to anyone the pain and perils he experienced during the war that claimed the lives of 6 million Jews.
Then came the celebrated 1993 movie “Schindler’s List,” which ignited public interest in the stories of Holocaust survivors. Coaxed into breaking five decades of near-silence on the subject, Leyson — the youngest member of the group rescued by Schindler — embarked on a public speaking career that took him across the United States and Canada to share his story about coming of age during the Nazis’ brutal reign.
In January 1933, German conservatives, facing a political deadlock, engineered a way for Adolf Hitler, leader of Germany’s largest political party, to become chancellor, with a predominantly conservative cabinet. They thought he would be their “captive”—the first of many fatal illusions that eased Hitler’s path to power. Soon it was clear that his regime would eliminate all opposition and establish total control over what had been a politically and culturally diverse, if polarized, society. Giving their actions a deceptive veneer of legality, the Nazis enticed most of Germany’s indispensable civil servants to collaborate with them—including teachers, professors, and judges—while relying on terror and murder to intimidate and silence any who resisted. The regime won great popular support, as ceaseless propaganda cunningly exploited the Nazis’ successes at home and abroad.
To oppose such a regime was rare, and to do so in order to protect the sanctity of law and faith was rarer still. We are concerned here with two exceptional men who from the start of the Third Reich opposed the Nazi outrages: the scarcely known lawyer Hans von Dohnanyi and his brother-in-law, the well-known pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dohnanyi recorded Nazi crimes, helped victims, did his best to sabotage Nazi policies, and eventually helped plot Hitler’s removal; Bonhoeffer fought the Nazis’ efforts to control the German Protestant churches. For both men the regime’s treatment of Jews was of singular importance. Holocaust literature is vast and the literature on German resistance scant, yet the lives and deaths of the two men show us important links between them.
Dohnanyi and Bonhoeffer became close friends, especially after Dohnanyi drew his brother-in-law into active resistance against the regime. And their remarkable family deserves recognition, too, since its principled support was indispensable to their efforts. But Dohnanyi and Bonhoeffer ended in defeat: they were arrested in April 1943 and then murdered, on Hitler’s express orders, just weeks before Hitler’s suicide and Germany’s surrender.1
Moon spent time in prison in North Korea, and was an avowed anti-communist, but he later repaired his links with the Kim dynasty in the North and the Unification Church became a player in North-South links, setting up a “peace” institute and operating one of the few big hotels in the North, the Potonggang, in the capital, Pyongyang.
The Unification Church owned the Washington Times newspaper, the swish New Yorker Hotel in midtown Manhattan, and a vast seafood distribution firm.
Probably the sharpest criticism was retained for the Unification Church’s recruitment methods, which many former members said were akin to brainwashing. Ex-devotees claimed they were lied to - the practice was known by members as “heavenly deception” - as well as tortured and beaten.
Moon labelled homosexuals “dirty, dung-eating dogs” and blamed Jews for the Holocaust, saying they had handed Jesus Christ over to the Romans and earned their fate.
He was a vocal backer of disgraced US president Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal, and he cultivated links with conservative US leaders such as former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush snr.
In one bizarre episode, he pronounced himself as humanity’s saviour and said he had “saved” the spirits of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, helping them to become “reborn as new persons”. He announced this at a “coronation ceremony” attended by US politicians who subsequently had to distance themselves from the event.