If this subject interests you, consider my book Mein Kampf - An analysis also. Thanks
Hitler and His Secret Partners
Written by James Pool (1933-1945)
By Richard E. Noble
“... looting and plunder were the primary motives of Hitler and the pro-Nazi industrialists and generals who were his secret partners. It made little difference to them if they had to kill, make war, and exterminate to get the wealth and natural resources they wanted. Hitler, Nazi bosses, and pro-Nazi industrialist grew rich off robbing Jews and using them as slave labor ... the financial motives of Hitler and his partners have never been examined ... In Nazi Germany those who financed Hitler were well rewarded with enormous war profits, confiscated Jewish property, loot from the conquered countries, and most important, power ... After the war, Hitler’s supporters in business and the army tried to minimize the role they had played in the Nazi government. But this book will prove they ruled Germany along with Hitler as almost equal partners, and even though they remained behind the scenes, they were equally responsible for the crimes of the Third Reich ... The King of England did more than any other single individual to help Hitler rearm Germany.”
And so we begin Mr. Pool’s second adventure into Hitler’s financial backing.
Adolf was not a poor little boy from the ghetto. He was from a fairly comfortable middle class home. He dropped out of high school when he was sixteen. His father had died when he was fourteen and his Mother had no control on the boy. He was, like both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, a “mama’s boy.”
He nursed his mother in her last days as she died from breast cancer and not long after that he joined the ranks of the homeless. “He got a job on a construction project, but when he refused to join a socialist labor union some of the other workers who were Marxists beat him up and kicked him off the job.” Since the Marxists were the leaders of the Social Democratic Party the author suggests that this is what might have started Adolf on his road to anti-Semitism.
“Hitler won the Iron Cross second class in 1914. He was wounded in the leg in 1916. In August of 1918, he won the Iron Cross first class, Germany’s highest honor, which was rarely given to enlisted men ... Hitler never rose above the rank of corporal ... he was a patriot to the last ... The war had a decisive effect on Hitler’s character ... It gave him a sense of discipline and self-confidence the violence and carnage he saw all around him brutalized him. His regiment had one of the highest causality rates in the German Army. World War I educated him in violence.”
Clearly we never think of Adolf Hitler as being Audie Murphy-like - a hero to his people as a brave and courageous soldier. We have been trained to view Hitler as a mad man; not a brave, courageous war veteran and charismatic leader who may have eventually gone mad.
In 1918 there was a general strike throughout all of Germany. Munitions workers in Berlin walked off their jobs demanding peace. “The soldier is expected to fight for victory and the homeland goes on strike against it!” To Hitler this was “the greatest villainy of the war.”
To my way of thinking this is the Vietnam Soldier Syndrome. We still have Vietnam veterans today who feel that they were stabbed in the back by the American war protesters back on the “home front” - even after more than fifteen unsuccessful years of war, millions of dead Vietnamese, ten of thousands of dead young Americans and billions and billions of taxpayers dollars. And I can’t help thinking that this is the psychological syndrome of every soldier who has ever been on the losing side of any war.
Hitler was then blinded by a chlorine gas attack in 1918 in Ypres, Belgium. Hitler had fears that he might never be able to paint again. While he was recuperating, the anti-war movement was spreading across Germany. The German navy at the port of Kiel mutinied. The rebelling sailors ran up the red flag of revolution. The Kaiser abdicated and Friedrich Ebert became chancellor.
The Communists called themselves Spartacists and they attacked the Ebert government. Ebert organized the “Free Corps” to challenge the Communist Revolutionaries. Important Communist leaders like Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were captured and shot and Rioting broke out all over Germany. Kurt Eisner the left wing leader of the Bavarian government was then assassinated. The Communists were no more than an unorganized mob who terrorized the general public. The German upper classes were terrified by these events. “The Communist revolution in Germany in 1918 played an important part in the rise of German anti-Semitism - Eisner, Liebknecht and Luxemburg had all been Jews. The Communist uprising and revolution was key to the counter patriot revolution and its anti-Semitism of the future.”
By 1933 Hitler had been appointed chancellor of Germany by elected president Hindenburg.
“The aristocrats and the gentleman of the Right who made up the majority of Hitler’s cabinet hated the concept of democracy even more than the Nazi’s did. These men belonged to the old ruling class of the Kaiser’s Germany. They wanted to regain their old position of supremacy, lost in 1918. They wanted to restore the Monarchy, suppress the socialist unions, avenge the loss of World War I and make Germany the dominant power in Europe. It was obvious why such reactionary nationalists helped put Hitler in power: their goals and his were very similar.”
The army and the generals were the power behind all power during the Weimar government. General von Schleicher, of the army, provided Hitler with over ten million marks. An emergency decree gave the Nazi the right to prohibit public meetings and suppress newspapers if they incited civil disobedience. Hitler’s right-hand man Herman Goering was instrumental in the use of violence and control. “Goering auxiliary police used their nightsticks to help their Nazi comrades ‘give the Reds a good beating’. Also, they often intimidated the general public by marching into restaurants and trying to force the frightened patrons to buy photographs of Hitler or Goering at exorbitant prices.”
Hitler spoke to the powerful industrialist’s passions; “An impossible situation is created when one section of a people favors private property while another denies it. A struggle of that sort tears a people apart and the fight continues until one section emerges victorious ... It is not by accident that one man produces more than another; the concept of private property is rooted in this fact ... human beings are anything but equal. As far as the economy is concerned, I have but one desire, namely, that it may enter upon a peaceful future. There will however, not be a domestic peace unless Marxism has been exterminated.”
Hitler was expecting a civil war. His immediate enemy and biggest political rival was the Communists and the German Communist party.
The Reichstag Fire - this was a major event; like the explosion of the Maine in Havana, the Alamo in Texas, the sinking of the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the burning of Rome while Nero fiddled or today’s catastrophe of 9/11. Just as there is a historical controversy behind all of these events, the Reichstag fire is no less controversial.
Marinus van der Lubbe, a twenty-four year old eccentric, Communist from Holland - considered a half-wit fanatic by many - was arrested, tried convicted and eventually beheaded. But rumor and many historians alike have put the blame of the Reichstag Fire on Hitler or Georing or the Nazis in general.
Van der Lubbe even confessed that he did it as a protest. He was captured not twenty minutes after the fire began standing outside the burning building watching it blaze. But the theory is that he was but an accident to the real event that was sponsored by the Nazis themselves in order to turn the circumstance of the event into political propaganda against the Communists and set the German people into a panic. Whatever the true events behind the Reichstag fire, it became the perfect propaganda weapon for Hitler and his Nazis.
At the very scene of the fire Hitler screamed to the British reporter Sefton Delmer; “God grant that this is the work of the Communists. You are witnessing the beginning of a great new epoch in German history. This fire is the beginning ... You see this building, you see how it is aflame? If the Communists got hold of Europe and had control of it for ... two months, the whole continent would be aflame like this building ... Now we will show them! Anyone who stands in our way will be mowed down! The German people have been soft too long. Every Communist official must be shot. All Communist deputies must be hanged this very night. All friends of the Communists must be locked up, and that goes for the Social Democrats as well.” Hitler then proposed an emergency decree “The decree called for the suspension of all civil liberties: the right of freedom of speech, free press, freedom of assembly. The Weimar constitution, which had granted the rights of a democratic society to Germans since 1919, was to be wiped out in one blow.”
Though the German people believed the Hitler’s Communist conspiracy story, the rest of the world had its doubts. “Soon there was a growing sentiment that the Nazis had burned the Reichstag themselves as a pretext for suppressing the Communist party. In order to quiet the international uproar, Hitler agreed to a public trial for van der Lubbe and three other Communists accused of being conspirators. Fortunately for Hitler the trial would not begin until after the elections.”
Georing also spoke out, “My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. I won’t have to worry about justice, my mission is only to destroy and exterminate [Marxism]. We won’t forget them. We are building concentration camps now ... You must not be shocked by what some people call excesses. Flogging, general cruelty, even deaths ... these are the inevitable in a forceful sweeping, young revolution.”
In the next election the Nazis won with 44% of the electorate - the Communist, the Social Democrats and the Nationalist parties shared the majority.
“… princes and aristocrats were now contributing large sums to the Nazis, not as large as the industrialists, but significant sums nevertheless.”
While the Nazis pushed for an Enabling Act which would give them power over the legislature and the budget “Hitler’s agents had been negotiating with papal representatives ... Pope Pius the XI was adamantly anti-Communist and pro-Fascist. He was pleased with Mussolini’s Fascist government in Italy.” The Pope abandoned the German Catholic Center party. With the support of the Pope and the destabilizing of the Catholic Center party Hitler then went to the legislature and threatened - they could either give him the power to rule with the Enabling Act or he would use force to get it. “The hatred with which the Nazis fought, pummeled, and persecuted their own opponents contained all the bitterness and savage brutality of an abused underling who finally rises to the top and is determined to avenge himself.” [There is evidence that Hitler’s father may have been abusive. I’ve read one account that claimed that a youth Hitler was hospitalized from one beating from his father. I don’t know if this beating account is historically accurate.]
The Nazis won. “Hitler ... would no longer be restrained by the Richstag and democracy ... The Enabling Act seemed to be a milestone for Krupp. The day after the passage of the Enabling Act he wrote a formal letter to Hitler stating that he and the other industrialists of the Ruhr agreed that Germany finally had “the basis for a stable government” ... Krupp agreed to become Hitler’s chief fund-raiser, and Hitler in turn promised to appoint Krupp the fuehrer of German industry ... Over the years Gustav Krupp contributed six million marks of his own money to the Adolf Hitler Fund ... Many German industrialists, particularly weapons manufacturers like Krupp, were not advocates of the free enterprise system. Industry had traditionally sought political favors and regarded the government as an ally. They were actually eager for an authoritarian regime, especially one that would abolish Marxist trade unions. The more government contracts a company could get, the greater its profits.”
Shortly after declaring May Day a national Holiday; “S.A. Brownshirts and police seized and occupied all labor union officers, newspapers, cooperative centers, and lodging houses. Eighty-eight union leaders were arrested. Special units under the direction of Dr. Ley (Hitler’s Labor Minister) seized the labor union banks, files, and bank accounts. Total union assets seized amounted to over 184,000,000 marks. It would be enough money to support the Nazi party for over a year. It was over sixty times the amount of money the industrialists had given the Nazis for the March elections, and it was over six times the thirty million Gustav Krupp had raised for Hitler. Hitler’s true labor policy became very clear less than a month later when he issued a decree ending collective bargaining ... disputes would be settled by Nazi “labor trustees”. Ley further promised ‘to restore absolute leadership to the natural leader of the factory - that is the employer - only the employer can decide.’ By the summer of 1933, Hitler had made great strides on the road to dictatorship. He had firmly established Nazi control throughout Germany by controlling the police. The Communists had been suppressed. He had abolished democracy with the Enabling Act. He had taken over the labor unions and seized their great wealth. Finally he had outlawed all opposition political parties by using the powers granted to him in the Enabling Act ... He had come to power on a coalition of three forces - mass popular support, financial support from certain business interests, and support from a powerful group of pro-Nazi officers in the army.”
Now comes the Roehm affair. This is a major event in the Hitler career.
In one week-end a series of assassinations and outrageous Godfather type murders transpire. I have read several different accounts. They all differ in the details but certain facts appear consistent. The S.A. under the leadership of Roehm was being led or encouraged to what was described as a Second Revolution. They were taking over factory and public places and conducting firing squads.
The S.A. whose ranks had swelled to over 4 million were a rag-tag paramilitary army of ex-soldiers, unemployed, poor, lower class and under-class. Although they had fought bitterly and bloodily against the workingman-Communists, the S.A.’s brand of political Socialism was not that much different from the Communist’s objectives. They wanted jobs, they wanted businesses and banks and whatever taken over by the government.
They liked the street fighting and the fear and power that their lawlessness had gained them. They felt that they were responsible for Hitler’s success and that he was cow-towing to the capitalist and rich and powerful of every type.
Hitler had been convinced by his close advisers that Roehm was fomenting a coup. So it seems that Hitler, Goering, Gobbels, Himmler, Ley and the gang decided to nip this situation in the bud. Hitler was also pressured by Hindenberg the most powerful leader in the nation. Hindenberg supported the conventional national military and not this paramilitary gang of S. A. style street thugs. At 4 million the S.A. out numbered the national military and the police put together. Hindenberg demanded that Hitler bring this group under control or lose his support and the support of the conventional army.
Thus followed all the assassinations - anywhere from 80 to 1000 depending on the source - Roehm included.
After the old general - Hindenberg died; “Hitler decided to call a plebiscite to prove that a majority of the German people approved of his assumption of Hindenberg’s office as head of state. On August 19, over forty-five million Germans went to the polls; thirty-eight million voted “yes’ in favor of Hitler’s assumption to supreme power.”
Germany had been secretly rearming against the treaty of Versailles since the War had ended - this continued to be the case under Hitler. The economy was steadily improving and Hitler got bolder and bolder. He had ended reparations, left the League of Nations, started conscription and ended demilitarization of the Rhineland, and had the support of the King of England - Edward VIII. It does seem today to be an historical fact that the King and his American bride, Wallace Simpson, were supporters of Hitler and Nazism if not engaged in out right treason to Britain.
Financial Hitler Supporters were lining up.
Hitler then began his campaign of state confiscation of the wealth of the German Jews. “On the night of November 9, [Kristallnacht - 1938] the worst pogrom in modern German history took place. This orgy of violence and destruction was set off by the death in Paris, that afternoon, of Ernst von Rath, the third secretary at the German Embassy. Rath was shot by Herschel Grynszpan, a seventeen year old Polish Jew who was enraged because his parents had been expelled from Germany...”
Hitler’s personal wealth was enhanced by his collecting of paintings and from his book Mein Kampf “It had sold reasonably well when it was initially published ... When Hitler became chancellor in 1933 sales of Mein Kampf reached a total of one million copies, making Hitler a millionaire for the first time ... With the Nazi power Mein Kampf, became compulsory reading in schools and was given at government expense, to all newlyweds at their weddings ... By 1940, Mein Kampf had sold over six million copies.”
The Adolf Hitler Fund became Hitler personal trust fund and was administered by Martin Bormann. “Whenever Hitler wanted money for anything Bormann paid.” Gustav Krupp, chairman of the fund said the purpose of the fund was “to represent a token of gratitude to the leader of the nation.’ It seems that Hitler also owned Eher Publishing, which had been made exempt from taxation, as was Hitler himself.
Hitler spent huge amounts on building public buildings - which also made friends and associates who received the contracts very wealthy.
“In four years Germany must be wholly independent of foreign imports if the same materials can be produced in Germany … Seventy-five percent of the money spent on the Four Year Plan was to go to I G. Farben for the development of synthetic gasoline and rubber ... Historians have been unable to determine exactly why Hitler decided to move against Austria in early 1938 ... the simple fact was Germany did not have enough raw materials to continue rearmament. There were serious shortages of strategic metals, oil, rubber, cotton, and fats. From 1933 to 1937 Germany had been able to purchase some of the needed raw materials on world markets, but by 1938 she had run out of money to buy imports ... Hitler was trapped. He had spent Germany into insolvency. There was only one way out - march into central Europe where there were some of the natural resources Germany needed, including an adequate food supply ... Once Austria was taken, Czechoslovakia would be at a strategic disadvantage because it would be surrounded on three sides ... annexation of Austria would temporarily solve many of Germany’s economic problems.”
Both France and Britain had refused to commit any military support to Austria and when Hitler needed more financing he invaded Czechoslovakia.
“In Chamberlain’s mind, the Nazis, when compared to the Communists, were the lesser of two evils ... Chamberlain saw Hitler as a bulwark against Communism ... He was trying to talk Hitler out of war and show that Britain would help him get what he wanted by peaceful means.” Mr. Pool is of the opinion that it was Chamberlain’s goal to maintain the balance of power in Europe and not necessarily “appeasement” ... Hitler got just what he wanted. Chamberlain saved Hitler from the secret coup among the German generals that was in the making. Hitler got the Skoda Munitions Works, the Czech Sudeten bunkers and fortifications and one of the best equipped armies in Europe - including 1,582 airplanes; 2,175 pieces of field artillery; 469 tanks; 500 antiaircraft guns; 43,000 machine guns; 1,090,000 rifles; 14,000 revolvers; a billion rounds of ammunition and 3 million artillery shells.”
While Chamberlain and Daladier of France got cheers Churchill proclaimed Munich to be a “total and unmitigated defeat”.
“On the night of August 31, 1939, artillery, and several hundred thousand German soldiers quickly moved to the Polish border ... The richest prize Hitler won in Poland was the Province of Upper Silesia, which was abundant in natural resources, especially coal, iron and zinc. It produced almost as much iron as the Ruhr, 90 percent of Germany’s zinc needs and eighty million tons of coal a year. Upper Silesia had been German territory before 1818 and would be essential to the German war economy Germany’s war objectives in World War II were not the result of Hitler’s megalonmaniacal ambitions, they were the very same war aims Germany had in World War I. Hitler the loyal soldier of the old Imperial army, was just championing these objectives anew. In World War I Germany wanted the annexation of French Lorraine, the isolation of Britain, and recognition of German hegemony on the Continent. In the east Germany sought the annexation of much of Poland and the Baltic States, to make economic satellite states of Romania, the Ukraine, the Crimea, and a permanently weakened Russia ... There was nothing particularly Nazi about Hitler’s war aim. Hitler’s partners - the Nazi business tycoons and the militarists - all endorsed his aim.” According to Mr. Pool for the German industrialist World War II was business as usual.
In England Chamberlain was finally forced to resign and Winston Churchill was his replacement. After the near slaughter at Dunkirk, the Germans headed towards Paris via Belgium. With the French surrender or capitulation, Hitler established a Versailles type armistice on the French and in the same railroad car where Germany had surrendered in 1918. “France had to pay 400 million franks a day, which amounted to 60 percent of the French government income ... (They) were forced to deliver 3 million tons of wheat, two million tons of oats, 700,000 tons of potatoes, 75,000 tons of butter, 50,000 tons of cheese, half the wine production, 87 million bottles of champagne. The Nazi also took 73 percent of French iron production, approximately 80 percent of copper and nickel output, and 55 percent of aluminum output. The French were allowed to keep 30 percent of their wool production, 16 percent of their cotton, and 13 percent of their linen production.” Hitler then decided to launch an air attack against Britain - the mighty Luftwaffe against the R.A.F. It was called the Battle of Britain and was supposed to be an easy victory for the much lauded Goering Airforce. Churchill ended up calling it Britain Finest Hour. The Germans were turned back. They decided to go east.
Back at the Palace we had Kennedy, Lindbergh, the Windsors, Chamberlain, the Cliveden Set and an expensive array of the rich, wealthy, and powerful. Joe Kennedy was an avid supporter of Chamberlain, Hitler, and Franco. He spoke out against both Communists and Jews. Kennedy recommended sending European Jews to Africa “and other uninhabited places in the British Empire".
There was the Kennedy-Chamberlain Plan for the Jews and the Himmler Madagascar plan ... “Which proposed settling Germany’s Jews on the remote island of Madagascar off the African coast. Nevertheless there was a catch; the world Jewish community would have to raise over $600 million to pay the costs of transporting and settling the refugees ... In 1939 ... Kennedy met with James D. Moody, the head of General Motors in Germany. Together they concocted a plan for a massive American and British gold loan for Hitler.”
Even after the British declared war on Germany, Kennedy fought to keep the U.S. neutral. “There is no place in this fight for us ... no reason - economic, financial or social - to justify the United States entering the war.” Kennedy was eventually forced to resign his post as U.S. Ambassador to Britain.
“By 1941 Lindbergh was the leading figure in the America First Committee, an isolationist group organized to keep America out of the war ... He said there were three groups trying to drag America into the war; the British, the Jews, and the Roosevelt administration ... Their (the Jews) greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion picture, our press, our radio and our Government.” Lindbergh was taking up where his good friend and employer, Henry Ford, had left off with his publication in the 1920s of the “International Jew”.
Mr. Pool then highlights the Treasonous accusations against Edward VIII and his American bride Wallace Simpson and the “real” reasons behind the Kings abdication of his throne.
Then came Pearl Harbor and the Japanese followed by operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia. “Many historians consider Hitler’s attack on Russia as his greatest mistake, caused by an uncontrollable megalomania and a Napoleonic complex. Germany had always tried to avoid a two front war. Why did Germany now start another war with Russia before he defeated England? Actually if he wanted to survive the war with Britain, Hitler had little choice but to attack Russia. Germany was slowly being strangled by the British naval blockade, but since Hitler had decided an invasion of England was too risky, his only hope was to conquer Russia, where he would get enough natural resources to outlast Britain. Hitler had been worried for some time about Germany’s inability to feed it own population. ‘In the case of foods, autarchy (self-sufficiency is definitely impossible ... To deal with the problem of food shortages by permanently lowering the standard of living or by rationing is impossible.’ By 1941, in addition to Germany’s serious food shortages there was also a critical lack of oil, which presented an immediate military danger. Germany was cut off from oil imports from the United States, South America, and Iran. The only way Hitler could continue the war was by purchasing oil from Russia. Stalin could, however, cut off Germany’s oil at any time, so Hitler decided to strike first.”
Mr. Pool then describes the battle for the spoils of Russia. “Alfried Krupp, the head of the Krupp steel firm, probably profited more from Hitler’s Russian empire than any other industrialist … After the fall of Dnepropetrovsk, Krupp’s agents took over the huge Molotov Works, one of the largest steel mills in Europe. Krupp also took over two of the most modern machine factories in the world, the Azova Plant and the Iiyitch works, both located in the Ukraine.”
But the tide turned, with the rain and then the cold winter. “Stalingrad was the worst defeat the German Army had suffered in over a hundred years. Militarily it marked the turning of the tide for Hitler. It also marked the beginning of the end of the Nazi coalition.”
If Hitler couldn’t beat the English and now couldn’t beat the Russians and establish the Aryan race as supreme the least he could do in terms of his personal goals was exterminate the Jews - and make a lot of people rich while he was at it. “Contrary to the opinion of most historians, Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jews were not based solely on racial hatred. When Hitler and the Nazis decided to wipe out the Jewish people, they were motivated at least in part by the thought that it would be profitable ... Hitler did not approach the problem of extermination of the Jews haphazardly. He had carefully studied some of the most prominent examples of mass murder in history. His four principal inspirations were the slaughter of the American Indians, the killings of the Armenians by the Turks, the Red Terror during the Communist revolution in Russia, and the Japanese butchery at Nanking in 1937 ... He was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government’s forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation land was a deliberate policy of extermination.”
If Hitler was going to lose, he would make sure that the Jews would lose also. “If the international Jewish financiers succeed in plunging the nations of Europe into another world war, then the result will be not the Bolshevization of the world and thereby the victory of Jewry - but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”
The Jews could not be deported or exported - the non-German world had refused to take them. Consequently they would either be worked to death as slave laborers for the government and the S.S. and the industrialists or exterminated. “When it came to the mistreatment of slave laborers, Alfried Krupp, the steel and munitions manufacturer, was one of the worst violators ... Speer and Sauckel were unable to supply enough slave laborers to satisfy Alfried Krupp. To get more slaves Krupp decided to organize slave raiding expeditions of his own ... One of Krupp’s executives was placed in charge of “labor procurement” and traveled from country to country to round up slave laborers. If they offered any resistance, they were sent back to Essen in leg irons.”
The selective bombing of German industry is another interesting point. “The German synthetic oil plants had been able to increase production to such an extent because they had suffered very little from Allied air raids. It has remained one of the great mysteries of the war why the Allies did not bomb the German synthetic oil factories sooner. The Allied commanders were certainly aware of their locations and their strategic significance. Perhaps the answer to this mystery was given by Heinrich Buetefisch, one of the directors of I.G. Farben, when he said:
‘There was a gentlemen’s agreement between heavy industry in Germany and abroad that I. G.’s synthetic gasoline plants would not be bombed.”
[Mr. Pool finds this a mystery and so did William Manchester, the historian, in his book the Arms of Krupp - but it does not seem so mysterious to me. In my personal readings I have found that I. G. Farben had considerable International backing and investment. A few that come to mind are: Sullivan and Cromwell, Allen and John Foster Duties, A. Harimen, Prescott Bush, and Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of England. I’m sure there were many, many more.]
“The looting of valuable artworks began as soon as the Germans conquered France ... Hitler’s art dealer, Haberstock, came to Paris, he arrived in style and stayed at the Ritz Hotel.” While Hitler, Goering and other Nazi notable were gathering up wealth with both hands Krupp, I. G. Farben and others were working Jew and other minorities to death. “The Nazis concluded that the Jewish workers could live on body fat for three months.” Then at Belzec, Auschwitz, Chelmno and other such notorious “institutes” the overworked, now useless Jews were being exterminated. “The Nazis decided to set up a vast industrial empire based on the slave labor of concentration camp inmates. Pro-Nazi private industrialists were to set up factories at the concentration camps or just outside the camp gates. Other money-making enterprises were to be operated by the S.S. themselves. The center of the Nazi slave labor empire was to be the concentration camp at Auschwitz … Auschwitz became a vast institution as large as a modern city. At the peak of its size in 1944 it imprisoned over 100,000 men and women, not including the approximately 12,000 people killed every day ... Auschwitz was primarily the industrial center with factories of Farben, Krupp and others. Birkenau was the killing center with gas chambers and ovens ... I.G. Farben was the largest private industry at Auschwitz. They invested heavily in the two factories they built at the camp ... With less profit motive the enthusiasm for shipping Jews hundreds of miles to kill them would not have been as great ... The first real concentration camp factory was the porcelain factory at Dachau ... At Auschwitz, Oranienburg, Neuengamme, Stuttof and Treblinka the S. S. operated large brick factories .. The S.S. also operated an agency as a business that hired out skilled craftsmen to private industry ... The average S. S. man regarded looting as a bonus he was entitled to for participating in such operations ... Stangl later said that he believed the primary motive behind the entire extermination program was plunder … There were also German companies that actually profited from the ghoulish work of extermination itself. Two firms in the heating equipment business sold ovens ... other companies made mattresses from human hair, fertilizer from bones, and one Danzig company made soap from human fat ... Jews would continue to work and die as slave laborers for the Nazis up until the last day of the war.”
As the war turned against Hitler so did many industrialists and military generals. There were plots to kill Hitler and to overthrow the Nazis - they failed and when discovered the plotters were killed or tortured or put into concentration camps.
“In March of 1945 Speer attended a secret meeting of industrialists in the Ruhr to discuss the strategy for the postwar recovery of German industry ... the Ruhr barons were trying to extricate themselves from the last phase of the war with as little loss as possible.”
Hitler’s reaction to the survival notions of the Generals and Industrialists was interesting: “If the war is lost the people will also perish. This fate is inevitable. There is no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people would need to continue a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it would be wiser to destroy even these things ourselves, because this nation has proved to be the weaker one and the future belongs solely to the stronger Eastern Nation. Besides, those who remain after the battle are only the inferior ones; for the good ones have all already fallen.”
Well, one certainly can’t say that Hitler was inconsistent in his philosophy. His Social Darwinism is strong to the finish. If you are a loser, you should be destroyed. “May it, at some future time, become part of the code of honor of the German officer that the surrender of a district or of a town is impossible, and that above all the leaders must march ahead as shining examples, faithfully doing their duty unto death ... I have decided therefore to remain in Berlin and there of my own free will to choose death at the moment when I believe the position of the Fuehrer and the Chancellor itself can no longer be held. I die with a happy heart, aware of the immeasurable deeds and achievements of our soldiers at the front.”
“Hitler was launched on his political career by a wealthy and powerful secret society ... (He) got some of his biggest contributions by first discovering the corrupt dealings between certain big industrialists and prominent ... politicians and then blackmailing the industrialists with threats of exposure ... One of the most important discoveries of this study is the importance of foreign financing in bringing Hitler to power ... most of it came from prominent foreign citizens ... Henry Ford, Mussolini, Grand Duchess Victoria of Russia, Sir Henri Deterding ... Those who financed Hitler, both Germans and the foreigners, are just as responsible for his coming to power as the active Nazis who spread anti-Semitic propaganda or fought in the streets. Yet because of their influence and the power of money, few of them were prosecuted at Nuremberg.”
The above comes from the preface of this book. This is Mr. Pool’s first book on this subject and it deals only with the period from 1919 to 1933. His second book, “Hitler and His Secret Partners” covers the period from 1933 to 1945.
After reading both of these books, I felt that these books should be required reading for every World War II veteran - possibly all veterans. And now I would expand that recommendation to all who have ever fought in any war and to those who may be forced to do so in the future.
Reading such books will help to get through a lot of the “who harr” and hoopla of what most everybody “thinks” war is all about. “Where’s the Money and Follow the Money” are always good questions - and invariably eye-opening.
The introduction gives a brief biography of Hitler’s childhood.
His authoritarian father died when he was fourteen and his much beloved mother a few years later when he was a teenager. He had been a high school dropout and pursued a career as an artist in Vienna. He joins the ranks of the homeless after his mother’s death and returns home to enlist in the German Army with the outbreak of World War I. He resents the Communists, the Jews and the Labor movement - considering them all to be unpatriotic and anti-German and Jew inspired and controlled.
He serves bravely and honorably during World War I - receiving several prestigious medals and awards.
After the loss of the War he resents greatly the Socialist Democratic and Communist takeover of the government. He joins and actively supports the Nationalist/Patriot cause against all Jews, Social Democrats, Labor Unions, and other agents of what he considers Moscow inspired Russian Communism.
Mr. Pool closes his introduction as follows: “If it had not been for the Communist uprisings in Germany, Hitler would probably never have found a receptive audience for the anti-Semitic garbage he had learned in Vienna. Moreover he would not have found so many industrialists, aristocrats, and officers willing to contribute to his cause.”
I interpret this as saying: Communism precipitated an anti-Communist movement which then became the financial support and backing for Hitler and his Nazism.
Hitler while still a full-time paid member of the German army is instructed by his superiors to join the German Workers Party which was started by Anton Drexler, a thirty-five year old railway locksmith. Karl Harrer, a journalist and Thule member is encouraged to lend his support to Drexler to tie in the secret Thule Society to a common laborer and proletarian group, says Pool. This Thule Society connection Hitler neglected to mention in his Mein Kampf, injects Pool.
“Behind the German Workers Party stood its protector and financial sponsor: The Thule society, the most powerful secret organization in Germany.” A footnote continues that the Thule Society is an offshoot of the German Orden who had branches patterned on the Masonic Lodges. “Its name was taken from the mythological land of the north, the ancient Ultima Thule, believed to be the original home of the Germanic race. The Munich branch had been founded during the war by a Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorif, a shadowy individual ... Among the groups members were lawyers, judges, university professors, police officers, aristocrats, physicians, scientists, as well as rich businessmen
Only those who could prove their racial purity for at least three generations were admitted ... the symbol of the Thule society was the swastika ... the society espoused German racial superiority, anti-Semitism, and violent anti-Communism.”
Captain Ernst Roehm leader of a roughneck group of ex-officers and soldiers called “the Iron Fist”, meets Hitler and then also joins the German Workers Party. Roehm was important in adding money arms and men to this struggling group of “patriots”.
The group’s next influential member was Dietrich Eckart - a well-to-do eccentric and writer. He took a crude Adolf under his wing and polished the “lump of coal” and introduced him to more influential people, and social elite.
Next from the old Thule Society came the Russian emigre, Alfred Rosenberg. He was a well educated anti-Communist, anti-Semite and White Russian supporter. He brought money and friends who had been ousted from Russia because of the Communist Revolution.
Next Hitler met and charmed some of the woman of the more socially acceptable. First came Frau Carola Hofman, an elderly woman with influence and money. And then Frau Helene Bechstein, the wife of a piano manufacturer. “With Frau Bechstein’s patronage Hitler would eventually be accepted socially in the highest circles. More important, Helene Bechstein was soon to give him sizable contributions and urge her friends to do likewise.”
On December 18 of 1920 the National Socialist Party acquired it own newspaper the Volkischer Boebachter. The Hitler group had received a large contribution from a General von Epp “... who had access to secret military funds.” He got the balance from several wealthy businessmen. “The major stockholders of the Volkiseher Boebachter had been members of the Thule society.”
Max Amann, a sergeant-major in Hitler’s old regiment ran the newpaper as the Hitler group’s new business manager and Deitrick Eckart took over as editor - both were members of the Thule Society.
By the summer of 1921 the membership of the National Socialist Party had reached three thousand. Hitler then met Admiral Schroeder. The Admiral was Hitler’s first supporter in top military circles. Hitler then experienced some democratic termoil in the rank and file of his party. The party was then reorganized under his leadership and control.
By 1923 Hitler has the funds to purchase a large stockpile of weapons. “In order to purchase a stockpile of weapons and to be able to negotiate a deal with the commanding General of the Army in Bavaria, Hitler must have had the backing and support of powerful wealthy men. Who were they?”
Hitler was growing and so were his storm troopers (S.A.). Who paid for the S.A.? “One of the principal sources ... was the secret paramilitary funds originally set up to finance Free Corps units ... most of the aid was given to Hitler on the initiative of one officer, Captain Ernst Roehm, without the knowledge or approval of his superiors.”
With inflation soaring Nazism was flourishing and along comes Ernst (Putzi) Hanfstaengl ... son of a wealthy cultivated, family that owned an art publishing business in Munich. Hanfstaengl was an anti-Communist. He and Adolf became buddies. “Putzi Hanfstaengl’s ... upper-class home was the first house of its kind in Munich to open its doors to Hitler.” Then came the Ruhr Valley uprising along with escalating inflation. “In reality, however, inflation was the method chosen by the German government to push off the burden onto the middle class ... Big business found the inflation extremely profitable; mortgages were paid off, bonds retired, and debts wiped out with inflated marks worth only a fraction of their former real value. Hitler was one of the few politicians who correctly assessed inflation as a deliberate campaign to defraud the middle class of their savings.”
During this inflationary catastrophe comes Max Erwin von Scheubner Richter. “According to a note in the official file, he succeeded in raising “enormous sums of money” for the Nazi Party. By 1923 his influence over Hitler was considerable and the party was dependent on him for most of its contacts in high society.” Scheubner-Richter was a wealthy man himself and had connections with big businessmen, bankers and aristocrats. He was also a personal friend of General Ludendorif. He was influential among the White Russians and Russian industrialist in general. The White Russians (somewhat comparable to today’s right wing Cuban refugees “hoped to be able to reconquer Russia if only they could get German help.”
Another influential White Russian was General Vasili Biskupsky. Ex-Russian General Biskupsky was a supporter of Grand Duke Cyril - first cousin to Czar Nicholas II and rightful heir to the crown. Cyril’s wife was Grand Duchess Victoria, granddaughter of Queen Victoria and sister of Queen Marie of Romania. “Once Hitler’s cause was taken up by the Russian grand dukes, counts, and generals he automatically became more acceptable in the eyes of the upper class Germans.
Frau Elisa Bruckman, born princess Cantacuzene of Romania “had a great deal of money and said she made it her mission in life to introduce Hitler to leading industrialists.”
In the putsch of 1922 Hitler found himself and his Free Corps buddies sold out by the aristocrats under the leadership of Dr. Pittinger. Pool claims that this incident changed Hitler’s attitude toward the rich and the famous.
As Hitler had predicted inflation was bankrupting the German middle class - and the nation’s economic standing in the eyes of the world. But the Nazi Party grew and grew as the inflation backed bankruptcy flourished.
Hermann Goering the war hero, commander of the Richthofen Squadron, and German flying ace attended a Hitler lecture and immediately joined Hitler and the Nazi Party. Goering was influential in getting General Ludendorif to back Hitler.
In 1923 Fritz Thyssen came on board. Fritz was chairman of the board of the United Steel Works, the greatest German steel combine. Fritz had been taken prisoner by the Communists in the revolution of 1918-1919. It scared the life out of him.
Up until 1923 “Most of Hitler’s donations came from individuals who were nationalists or anti-Semites and contributed because of ideological motivation. Then came the great American industrialist Henry Ford. “That Henry Ford, the famous automobile manufacturer, gave money to the National Socialists, directly or indirectly has never been disputed,” said Konrad Heiden, one of the first biographers of Hitler ... In the 1920s, Henry Ford financed the circulation of more anti-Semitic propaganda than Hitler.”
Ford said that he had learned of the Jewish Banking conspiracy which was behind World War I on board the Peace ship that he financed to go to Europe and end that conflict. When that failed he returned home and bought the Dearborn Independent. Ford contended that the Jews were behind a conspiracy to bring on War for profit.
Thomas Edison, also a well known anti-Semite is said to have encouraged and possibly inspired Ford’s anti-Semitism. Ford eventually published a book of his anti-Jewish notions entitled “The International Jew” which he paid to have distributed all over the world and in several different languages - including Arabic. This book has been labeled as the Bible of anti-Semitism and the Nazi philosophy.
Hitler was known to be an admirer of Henry Ford, had a large picture of Ford in his headquarters and gave out free copies of Ford’s book.
Der Hammer, the anti-Semitic publishing house, and its owner Theodore Fritsch, eventually produced 29 printings of the International Jew. “Every school child in Germany came into contact with it many times during his education ... Ford was
frightened by the Russian Revolution and the rapid spread of communism through other countries. If Marxism established itself in America he would obviously be one of the first to suffer. The Communist threat was one of the first topics he discussed in his autobiography ... the most modern weapon in the Jewish arsenal was communism. ‘In Russian bolshevism,’ said Hitler, ‘we must see Jewry’s twentieth-century effort to take world domination unto itself’ ... According to The International Jew, the Russian Revolution was financed in New York by Jewish bankers ... The Germans ... thought the real powers in America, the industrialists, like Ford, secretly approved of their policies.”
The author goes on for one complete chapter making his case that Henry Ford was a Hitler supporter and backer. A much longer and more documented case for Ford’s complicity in the rise of Nazism is found in the book “The American Axis” by Max Wallace.
In 1923 Hitler went to jail as a result of a putsch but “Hitler’s original faithful supporters remained true to him ... He received a continuous profuse supply of gifts from women admirers: flowers, chocolates, cakes and books. After visiting Hitler, Hanfstaengl said: ‘The place looks like a delicatessen ... You could have opened up a flower and fruit and wine shop with all the stuff stacked there. People were sending presents from all over Germany and Hitler had grown visibly fatter on the proceeds.”
[So much for the female insight to the “kinder, gentler” side of the human species.]The German economy was improving - 1924 to 1928 are referred to by historians as a German period of prosperity. “Despite the party’s financial difficulties, it should not be thought that Hitler was living in poverty. His personal income after 1925 was said to have come primarily form the royalties he received on his book and the fees from articles he wrote for the party press. The first volume of Mein Kampf was published in June 1925. It cost (sold for) twelve marks, double the price of the average German book, but despite the high price, Max Amann, the director of the Nazi party publishing house, claimed to have sold 23,000 copies the first year.”
Hitler was getting other moneys but much of it was hidden.
By 1929 Fritz Thyssen was into Hitler big time. Thyssen was one of Germany’s richest men. Thysen feared for his wealth, his factories and his life from the communist agitators in Germany. Thyssen his father and several other industrialists had actually been taken prisoners in 1918 and nearly executed by the Communists. Thyssen was motivated by the Red Threat and his sense of patriotism. He was also arrested by the French at one of his factories in the Rohr Valley. He was charged with inciting the workers to riot. He is quoted as saying: “I am a German and I refuse to obey French orders on German soil.” Thyssen has also written his own book on how he financed Adolf Hitler.
Hitler is most remembered today for his anti-Semitism, authoritarianism, and his militarism but what most middle-class Germans and businessmen of the time respected was his anti-Communism and his fight to overcome the perceived injustice of the Treaty of Versailles. “In retrospect it is clear that the Versailles Treaty was one of the primary causes of the failure of the German democracy.” Hitler was supported by the wealthy also because of his populist appeal and the hope that he could win the working class from the Communists.
Then came the husband of Burtha Krupp - Gustav Krupp von bohlen und Halback - the “Krupp” was added to keep the family name in the business. Krupp was an arms manufacturer - Germany’s biggest and most powerful. “The leaders of the German business community decided it was best to deal with the problem of Versailles in two ways: they would give fill support to Chancellor Stresemann’s attempts to negotiate with the allies for reasonable reform, but at the same time, in case the allies refused to see reason, they could carry out a secret program of rearmament.”
The secret rearmament program became the plan of action. Krupp and German business even cut a deal with the Russians. They helped the Russians with their industries, including arms in exchange for secret training, planning and manufacturing areas on Russian soil. In relation to Versailles it is interesting to note Winston Churchill’s criticism that after the war the United States actually punished the allies by demanding repayments of war debts and restrictive trade practices while it rewarded Germany with exorbitant loans - loans that were great enough for the Germans to pay their war debts and fines while still having enough left over to reinvest in their industries and infrastructure. But even this stopped with the stock market crash of 1929.
Now the Germans had an “occupying” government and a failed economy. They were desperate. The Nazis fought for the little guy - the farmers, the workers and the middle class land and small business owners. Many of the population considered the Nazis as Germany’s last hope.
The Nazi party was heroic in Germany during the Depression. They fought against the banks and the rich and the powerful on behalf of the farmers and small land owners. They went to farm and land auctions bid against the profiteers and returned the deeds to the rightful owners. If they didn’t have the money they promoted discord and fighting. They were the champion of the “little guy”.
“Germany suffered far more heavily from the world economic crisis than the other advanced industrialized nations. Her industrial production dropped by approximately half ... When the crash came and the creditors began to demand repayment of their loans, Germany had nothing to fall back on and thus quickly found the situation becoming catastrophic.”
The government cut wages and prices. Mills closed and industries shut down. Tent colonies began to flourish and people lost jobs and their ability to pay rent. In Germany at this time they already had unemployment compensation - but soon the checks ran out. Hitler and his Nazi S.A. joined at Thyssen’s encouragement and influence the established Staheim - a powerful, monarchist right wing military organization. Hitler then stepped further to the right. “Democracy has laid the world to ruins,” commented Hitler in opposition to the socialist Strasser, “and nevertheless you want to extend it to the economic sphere. It would be the end of the German economy ... the capitalist have worked their way to the top through their capacity, and on the basis of this selection, which again only proves their higher race, they have the right to lead. Now you want an incapable Government Council or Workers’ Council which has no notion of anything, to have a say: no leader in economic life would tolerate it ... Socialism does not mean that factories must be socialized, only that they may be when they act contrary to the interests of the nation ... What counts is the will and if our will is strong enough we can do anything. We must renew the old German virtues of discipline and self-reliance ... It is not your fault that Germany was defeated in the war and has suffered so much since. You were betrayed in 1918 by Marxists, international Jewish bankers, and corrupt politicians, and these same forces have exploited you ever since, prospering on Germany’s misery. All we need to do is clear out the old gang in Berlin.”
But where did all the money for all this campaigning come from?
“A considerable portion of the campaign funds were produced by the party treasurer, Franz Xavier Schwarz, a skilled accountant.” Schwartz juggled the books, extended assets, mortgaged and delayed legitimate payments. He was betting on Nazi victory at the polls. The Nazi’s won seats and power and legitimacy in the 1930 election. “A strong communist party terrified the upper class, and Hitler presented himself as the only man capable of saving Germany from Bolshevism.” Schwartz’s books and records have never been found.
The first Reich was the Holy Roman Empire established in the year 962 A.D.; the second Reich was founded in 1871 by Bismarck and died with the end of World War I in 1918. Now Hitler began talking of a third Reich that would last for a thousand years.
Believe it or not Hitler seemed to present a certain fascination for the women “Many of the Nazi Party’s most important contributors were women who had been personally won over by Hitler.”
While Hitler worked the women, Roehm worked the army and Goering worked the industrialists and aristocrats and the worse the economy got for the common man the better it was for the Nazis. Thyssen brought Walther Funk on board. “Later when he was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg by the Allies, Funk admitted that he became a contact man between Hitler and a number of important men in big business ... Funk and his industrialist sponsors wanted what they called “organized capitalism’. In fact, the German economy was ready to be taken over by a strong man. Under the Weimar Republic, prices of raw materials were controlled; government loans were made to owners of the great Prussian estates; key public utilities, the railroads, telephone, telegraph, gas and water supplies were government owned; agriculture was supported by subsides and tariffs; and government funds were made available to private banks that had no capital left after the 1923 inflation. The big banks and large corporations controlled much of the German private industry through the great vertical trusts and 2,500 cartels. Most all businessmen looked to the state to revive the economy during the depression.”
Kurt Ledecke became a sort of ambassador at large soliciting funds wherever possible. He started in Italy with Mussolini and the fascist and then went visiting Henry Ford in the U.S. The majority of American Germans were not sympathetic to the Nazi cause or Hitler, says Pool.
Montague Norman, governor of the Bank of England, was a powerful money man and intensely pro-German. “It is quit certain that Norman did all that he could to assist Hitlerism to gain and maintain political power, operating on the financial plane form his stronghold in Threadneedle Street.”
Lord Beaverbrook the owner of the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, and the Evening Standard was pro-Nazi and opposed to the Versailles Treaty.
Viscount Rothermere, wealthy English newspaper magnate; “Although he was not the only one with an obsession about the dangers of communism, he was one of the few who devoted so much money to the anti-Communist cause. In England, he was a well known backer of the British Union of Fascists, whose members wore black shirts ... Hitler was known to have many sympathizers in British high society, but there was one individual whose importance stood far above the others. This was the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII ... Legend has it that Edward was compelled to abdicate in 1936 due to his refusal to give up “the woman he loved”. However, this issue was used as a facade to conceal the more critical objection - namely his pro-Nazi attitude.”
Henri Deterding, who was he?
He was one of the wealthiest men in the world. He became the director of Royal Dutch-Shell oil company. By 1913 Deterding possessed the controlling interest in the oil fields of Romania, Russia, California, Trinidad, the Dutch Indies, and Mexico. He was pumping oil out of Mesopotamia and Persia ... Deterding aimed to destroy bolshevism ... Deterding had much to gain by financing the Nazis. They were a strong anti-Communist party that was planning to eventually attack Russia and throw out the Bolsheviks ... Italy, America, England, and France were not the only countries from which money was given to the Nazi party ... contributions also flowed from Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland, and Czechoslovakia.” Queen Marie of Romania, and King Ferdinand of Bulgaria were also known to be “admirers”.
Otto Dietrich was influential with money and industrial supporters, claims Pool. “At first Dietrich ... was disturbed by Nazi slogans about eliminating ‘unearned income’ and ‘smashing the bondage of interest.” Dietrich was reassured later. “Hitler accepted private property and the role of capital in modern economic life because he recognized these as the economic foundations of our culture.” He opposed only the abuse of capitalism but not capitalism in principle.
On January 27 in Dusseldorf Hitler spoke to wary German Industrialists about his position and goals. “Bolshevism today is not merely a mob storming about in some of our streets in Germany, but it is a conception of the world which is in the act of subjecting to itself the entire Asiatic continent, and which today in the form of a state (Russia) stretches almost from our eastern frontier to Vladivostok ... Bolshevism, if its advance is not interrupted, will transform the world as completely as in times past did Christianity ... Today, we stand at the turning point of Germany’s destiny. If the present course continues Germany will one day land in Bolshevist chaos.”
Communism was the Industrialists and the wealthy’s biggest fear. Much more frightening than War itself “The man must have something,” said Fritz Thyssen. “As a result of the address, which created a deep impression, a number of larger contributions from heavy-industry sources flowed into the treasury of the Nazi Party.” One third of the German population in 1932 was on public assistance. “This degree of poverty, which existed in the most highly industrialized country in Europe, was unparalleled in history.”
Hindenburg, the German general war hero, was Hitler’s opponent for the presidency in 1932. He was labeled as a “deserter” by the Nazis in a vicious political campaign.
Who paid the bills for Hitler’s presidential campaign?
Thyssen and others in the German industrialist community “supplied a significant portion of the money for the Nazi election campaigns.”
You have heard about “a chicken in every pot”, well Hitler went one better. “In the Third Reich, every German girl will find a husband.”
Hindenburg won the election and almost immediately declared that the S.A., S.S. and the Hitler Youth be banned throughout Germany. They disbanded publicly but went underground. Hitler had only begun to fight. “In the Nazi party there was a price tag on everything - admission fees to meetings, membership dues, pamphlets, books, newspapers, flags, uniforms, and insignias of rank. By the early 1930s the quartermaster department of the S. A. had become a big business, selling clothing, equipment and even insurance to thousands of men.” The economist Peter Druker observed in 1939 “The really decisive backing came from sections of the lower middle classes, the farmers, and working class, who were hardest hit ... As far as the Nazi Party is concerned there is good reason to believe that at least three quarters of its funds, even after 1930, came from the weekly dues ... and from the entrance fees to the mass meetings from which members of the upper classes were always conspicuously absent.”
Horace Greeley Hjalmar Schacht began to take an interest in Hitler after the 1932 Prussian elections. “Schacht became president of the Reichsbank in 1923 at the age of forty-six ... and was primarily responsible for devising the method of stopping the runaway inflation by a new currency backed with foreign loans.”
Papen was chancellor under president Hindenburg. Papen opposed Hitler but ... “Afraid that the Nazis might become more belligerent Papen finally lifted the ban against the S.A. on June 15 a state of virtual anarchy now prevailed in the streets of Germany Brownshirts were everywhere ... Their weapons were clubs,
brass knuckles, knives and revolvers.” Riots broke out and gun battles ensued. “At Altona ... the Nazis marched through the working-class neighborhoods of the town and were greeted by (gun) shots from rooftops and windows. They immediately returned fire. Nineteen people were killed and 285 wounded on that day alone.” Papen declared martial law in Berlin and the army moved in with a few armored cars and a handful of men to make the necessary arrests. Now with riots and armed violence and a raging depression the masses were ripe for revolution against the imposed democracy and the failing capitalism. The Nazi proceeded with a Campaign of nationalism.
In the July election the National Socialists (Nazis) took 230 seats in the Reichstag. They were now the most powerful party in the country. “Many nobles and aristocratic land owners would not have supported Hitler if he had not been favored by Kaiser Wilhelm. The Kaiser had given one of his younger sons, Prince August Wilhelm, permission to join the National Socialists party and the S.A. The son-in-law of the Kaiser, the duke of Brunswick, was also a “regular donor” to Hitler.”
Frau Viktoria von Dirksen was a supporter of Crown Prince Wilhelm who was considered an “unprincipled opportunist”. She hoped to see Wilhelm installed as Monarch by Hitler. To the many who wished to see the monarchy restored, Hitler presented himself “as merely the peacemaker of the monarchy. But now von Papen and the Nazis were in a battle for power over the people - at the expense of the “democracy”. Papen was an obvious military dictator and not popular with the Nazis or the Communists. His stern actions were not seen positively by the population. Hitler, on the other hand was very popular in the streets.
In a back room political coup Hitler was appointed chancellor by President Hindenburg and Papen was out. Hitler was now the leader of the most powerful party in Germany and the second most powerful political leader in Germany. “Nazi storm troopers in brown shirts marched past the chancellery in a massive torchlight parade to celebrate Hitler’s triumph ... tens of thousands of disciplined columns.” My Personal Conclusions:
Fear of Communism or anti-Communism was the chief motivational concept behind the rise of Nazism and Adolf Hitler. From the man in the street to the captains of industry and the nobles and aristocrats the hatred, fear, and spirit of anti-Communism was common.
Patriotism and nationalism were the second strongest motivational characteristics of Hitler contributors inside Germany.
Industrialists, aristocrats, white Russian refugees and wealthy advocates of the capitalist system all around the world found cause in Hitler’s anti-Communism.
The secret Thule Society is for me a new discovery. I had never before read of this group.
The Aryan and the anti-Jewish attitudes seem to be a whole other study. This book would suggest to me that anti-Communism was a bigger motivation for the monetary support of Nazism or Hitlerism.
I suppose that it would sound bigoted of me, if I were to say that Teddy was a little, rich boy, but Teddy WAS a little, rich boy. And, it seems, like all little, rich boys, he was in search of an achievement. It is claimed that Teddy was very bright and had a photographic memory - which is very advantageous depending on what it is that you chose to photograph with your photographic memory. Teddy went to Harvard. His dad was a Republican who supported Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, but his mother - Martha “Mittie” Bulloch - was a southern belle who often complained of the inconveniences brought to her by the loss of her personal slaves. She had two brothers who served in the Confederate Navy and she sent food and clothing, via agents in New York, to support the Confederate cause. When his Dad died Teddy inherited $125,000 from his estate. And when his mother died on the same day as young Teddy’s first wife - Alice Hathaway Lee who died from Bright’s disease and was only 22 years old - Teddy inherited another $62,500. Apparently these inheritances were considered substantial in those days. Not long after Mittie’s passing Teddy married a good friend of his younger sister and an early childhood sweetheart of his. Her name was Edith Kermit Carow and she was the daughter of a prominent merchant. Teddy was a third cousin twice removed of president Martin Van Buren, a fifth cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt, and a great uncle of Joseph Alsop and Stewart Alsop, both well know journalists of their time. Teddy’s daughter Alice married in the East Room of the White House. She lived to the age of 96 and was considered by Society folks to be Washington’s other Monument. Ethel, Teddy’s other daughter married a Doctor and during WWI she served as a nurse to her husband in the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris. Teddy oldest boy, Teddy Jr., became a soldier and eventually a Brigadier General. He received a Purple Heart, the U.S. Distinguished Service medal and eventually in WWII the Congressional Medal of Honor. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Harding; he was appointed governor of Puerto Rico and then governor-general of the Philippines by Coolidge; and he ran for Governor of New York against Al Smith but lost. Kermit, Teddy’s second son was also a soldier. He ended up dying of natural causes while on duty in the U.S. Army in Alaska. Archibald was also a soldier. He was severely wounded in WWI and discharged as disabled. He joined up again and was severely wounded once again. And he was again discharged as disabled. Quentin became an Army Air Corps pilot and was shot down and killed by German fighter planes during WWI. Teddy, himself, served as a member of the New York National Guard. He commanded the U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, known as The Rough Riders and is famous for charging up Kettle Hill, in the San Juan Hills in Cuba. As a child little Teddy was rather sickly suffering from asthma. Teddy was so sickly he had to be tutored at home. When he wasn’t sick or bedridden he was hyperactive and mischievous. He was kind of a nerd. He liked bugs and held aspirations of becoming a zoologist. Being small, nerdy, and needing glasses other kids had a tendency to beat him up. His dad bought him a gym and Teddy became a physical fitness fanatic and a boxing expert. Teddy was somewhat religious but didn’t really seem to favor any one particular Church over another. He attended the: Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Grace Reformed, Christ Church etc. He didn’t care much for many of the teachings of Lutherans or Calvinists or even Roman Catholics. But with all this religion he was nevertheless a firm believer in the separation of Church and State. He campaigned against the idea and practice of stamping “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins. His reasoning was interesting. He felt that stamping the name of God on money was insulting to God. He considered it sacrilegious. Teddy was obviously one of those wealthy people who didn’t necessarily believe that his wealth was a direct inheritance from God and therefore worthy of worshipping. He chose to worship God directly and not money or those who thought they possessed it at His discretion. This is one of the reasons that many wealthy people considered Teddy a traitor to his class. At first Teddy thought he would pursue law, but then on second thought, he felt more could be attained if he were to become one of the “ruling class”. So he got into politics and the New York political machine. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, Teddy was somewhat of a problem and an embarrassment to his “class”. He kept trying to reform everything. He kept calling rich people “criminals” and making reference to the “tyranny of wealth” but then the war with Spain came along, and Teddy was thrilled. He ordered a uniform appropriate from Brooks Brothers, and was off to San Juan Hill (Kettle Hill) with his own personal army of Rough Riders. Some historian’s praise his effort as a heroic action while others claim it to be a rather foolhardy and misguided endeavor of unnecessary gallantry. In any case, he got his picture in the papers and then before you knew it, he was Governor of New York. He liked being Governor of New York, but the New York political machine bosses did not like Teddy. Senator Thomas Platt, one of the big boys, was pretty upset with little Teddy. He is quoted as saying; “I want to get rid of the bastard. I don’t want him raising hell in my state any longer.” Teddy kept talking about things like the “tyranny of wealth” and the “criminal rich”. So the big boys in New York thought that the best thing for Teddy, the very popular war hero and man of the people, would be a nice safe place under a rock somewhere. They couldn’t find a big enough rock, so what greater position of obscurity and anonymity in government could there be than the Vice Presidency. So they got him drafted and then nominated as Vice President under their stalwart friend of big business and champion of the rich and powerful, Mister McKinley. McKinley was not very happy with the choice and Mark Hanna, McKinley’s finance and campaign manager, warned the big boys that there was now only one life between the White House and a mad man. After McKinley’s assassination, Hanna cried; “Now look, that damn cowboy is President of the United States.” Once President, Teddy was hard to get rid of; everybody liked him. He kept bad-mouthing and harassing the big money boys. He became the friend of “Teddy” bear cubs and tree huggers and did his best to make enemies of the railroads, and the giant trusts. But whatever he was doing, he was doing it right because even Morgan, Harriman, Rockefeller, Frick and Gould backed him for a second term. He put thousands of acres aside for National Parks and monuments; sent the U.S. Navy around the world; bought the first airplane from the Wright brothers to start the U. S. Air Force; dug the Panama Canal - which he claimed to have stolen fair and square; he invited a Negro to eat at the White House, Booker T. Washington; and negotiating a treaty between the Russians and the Japanese (Russo-Japanese War 1904-5) won him the Nobel Peace Prize. He was not exactly thrilled receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and he did let it be known that he thought that war was good and proper - it built character. But Teddy did think that war should be periodically interrupted by short intervals of peace. I would suppose he thought that to be necessary to give the nations of the world time to re-arm. Once Teddy got rolling there was no stopping him. After loosing the Republican nomination to Taft, but feeling as fit as a “bull moose” he ran for President, nominated by the Progressive Party. While he was about to give a speech in Milwaukee a would-be assassin ran up to him and put a bullet into his chest. The bullet went through his written speech which he had in his pocket; then through his metal eyeglass case; and then sunk four inches into his chest. He coughed into his hand to see if there was blood in his lung, and then went on to speak before the crowd for fifty minutes. He didn’t win. He split the Republican ticket, stopped Taft from getting a second term, and got a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, elected. Teddy was also an author. He wrote numerous history and true life adventure books. He wrote many newspaper and magazine articles and was quite a popular and interesting writer in his times. Teddy was as you might have expected active up until the very last moments of his exciting and involved life. His active and daring life may have contributed to his somewhat early demise in 1919 at age sixty-one. He suffered from recurrences of malaria and a leg infection gained roaming with his boy Kermit in the jungles of Brazil. He was writing and even criticizing President Wilson the very day before he died. His last words were not very prophetic, exciting or philosophical. He told his valet James Amos to “please turn out the light” as he left his bedroom. Teddy died quietly and peacefully in his sleep.
[“Witness to a Century” by George Seldes: “Edward Marshall who operated his newspaper syndicate out of the offices of the Chicago Tribune … was an admirer of Theodore Roosevelt; nevertheless he was an honest enough journalist to tell us that the famous ‘charge up San Juan Hill’ which eventually put T.R. in the White House, never took place. Marshall told me: Theodore Roosevelt did not ‘charge’ up San Juan Hill. Nobody ‘charged’. How can you charge if you have no horses? Our regiment of cavalry had no horses at that time, the horses were still on the mainland, in Florida. We walked. It is true there was still some firing ... Do you know who greeted Roosevelt when we reached the top of San Juan Hill – walking? A company of Negro cavalrymen – dismounted of course. They had got there first. But no one ever gave Negroes any credit in those days.”]
We called Sallie’s Cat our Yard Guard or our little Yellow Marine. He showed up one day about twelve years ago at my neighbor Sallie’s house. Sallie wouldn’t adopt the cat so we got stuck with him. We named the cat Sallie’s Cat so that our neighbor Sallie would forever feel guilty about her decision. I don’t know if it worked but it always makes me feel good – especially when I go out onto the porch and call Sallie’s Cat each evening. All of us cat lovers know that every cat has a personality. Well, Sallie’s Cat was a born Marine. He was up at the crack of dawn every morning and screamed and rattled the garbage can until we let him out. When we let him out, he immediately went on duty guarding the yard and patrolling the perimeter of our “compound”. If there were any other cats out there attempting to encroach on our territory Sallie’s Cat would confront him nose to nose. He would give any enemy the Marine treatment - ears back, nose forward, very bad look and that Drill Instructor screech. He was able to dissuade most encroachers but then there was that occasional other Marine who was looking for a fight also. Sallie’s Cat, as far as I know, always won but he nevertheless took some licks in the process. We developed a tough love policy towards Sallie’s Cat. We figured that if he wanted to fight all the time then he would just have to lick his own wounds. Oh, we nursed him and did what we could for him but we didn’t take him to the vet except as a last resort - a very last resort. The vet is a hundred bucks a throw. I have a rule for all my cats - they get no better treatment than my wife. As you can imagine it is not easy being a cat in my house - ask my wife. We said; He’s a stray cat; we didn’t bring him here; he wants to be a Marine; he’ll have to deal with the consequences. Sallie’s Cat had any number of serious episodes. He had pieces of his ears nearly bit off; he had infected bites on his paws and legs and shoulders; he had broken teeth and a continuously scrapped up, freckled nose - but he lived. He is still here after twelve or more years. My wife and I have really softened to the old boy after all these years. I have personally gained a great respect for him and his belligerent ways. First, I’ve come to the conclusion over all these years that he is not a bully - he is just doing what he was born to do. He loves guarding the yard and patrolling the perimeter. He takes no crap from anybody but he loves people so much that on the rare occasion that we take him to the vet he purrs so loud that the vet can’t even hear his heart beat with his stethoscope. He will sit in my lap at night and just purr and purr and purr. He is a real lovable, tough, little Marine. I’m real glad that he is on my side of the fence. But time has been passing and my little yellow Marine is getting older and older. He still goes outside and patrols the yard; and he is still able to scare off most of the regular army but that other occasional Marine is a problem. I’ve actually had to run outside and rescue my old buddy on one occasion or another. It feels funny having to protect my little Marine after all these years of him protecting me and the wife and all his house mates. I try not to embarrass him. I know how he must feel. I talk to him. I say; You’re doing a good job old buddy. You’re still the toughest guy on the block and don’t you be ashamed to call for me every once in a while. I’ve got some responsibility here too. You can’t do it all by yourself all your life and I don’t expect you to. I think that works. I don’t think that he is developing a complex or anything or feeling any less of a cat. Just recently I’ve noticed that he is getting a little deaf I think he knows that he has got a problem. He stays pretty much up on the porch and he’s always keeping a watch over his shoulder. A few months back he started losing weight - I mean really losing weight. We had to take him to the vet. He had some kind of a disease that required radiation therapy. He didn’t get it. It cost between two and three thousand dollars. The vet gave us some pills and scheduled us to some blood tests - for the cat, not me or my wife. The pills cost forty dollars a month and the last blood test was over a hundred bucks. If you count the visit and the basic maintenance the vet bill was over two hundred dollars. The vet cost more than my real doctor, my human blood tests and the medication is more than the same pill would cost for a human being. This breaks my fundamental rule. My wife doesn’t mind taking second place to a cat, she loves the cat too. But as Decider and Chief in this household, I have to draw the line somewhere. I can’t afford to spend this much money on a cat. Something has to be done. Recently I have been thinking of shooting Sallie’s Cat. But I am torn. I love the cat and doesn’t he deserve some kind of a veteran’s pension for all of these years that he has spent out in the trenches? Do I spend the thousand to fifteen hundred dollars a year to keep Sallie’s Cat alive and tell my wife that she will have to do without her cataract operation? For myself I try not to go to the Doctor at all - if I die I die. But, unfortunately, I am the “Decider” in this household. I haven’t decided whether to kill Sallie’s Cat or not yet. To be honest I would much rather shoot the vet. I can replace the vet but I can’t replace Sallie’s Cat. Maybe I could find another vet without shooting the present one but, the way our system works, all the vets are probably about the same. So I can shoot this one or shoot the next one - what difference does it make?
[Attention all Government authorities and Security Police. The above piece is considered to be humor (satire); it is a joke. The author has no intention of killing his cat or his Vet. He has had this cat for 14 yrs. and the same Vet for over 25 yrs. Yes it is true that he loves the cat more than the Vet but the Vet is ugly and has a wart on his nose and why should the author have to pay for his sports car and three divorces? The cat is pretty and has freckles on his nose and many more appealing qualities. I don’t even have a gun.]
Feminism has a philosophy. I think it is most intellectually expressed in the book “The Second Sex” by Jean Paul Sartre’s girlfriend or mistress or second wife or whatever - what’s her name - you know, she’s French ... Marie or Daphne or something like that. The whole book is about how women have been diminished and left out of everything and treated insignificantly by men. It is the claim of feminism that women have been relatively insignificant and obscured throughout history - no women philosophers or great thinkers, or presidents etc. - not because they aren’t all that smart but because they have been forced into ignorance and a lack of great achievement by “males”. Men have also been forcing them to have all of those babies. Funny, almost all the men that I have known didn’t want any babies. I only knew one guy in my whole life who actually wanted to have a child - but he wanted a boy and he got two girls instead. Most men want sex - not babies. Unfortunately when women have sex they often end up having babies. That is because they are women and not men. Men don’t have babies. One would think that if women didn’t really want to have babies, they would look into their natural situation more thoroughly before engaging in sex. I really didn’t know that the older fellow who sat in our living room for the early years of my life drinking beer, smoking his pipe and farting was actually my father until his funeral. At his funeral everybody kept coming in and saying, “I’m so sorry about your Dad.” And I said; Well I’ll be! That’s who he was - go figure. So it is us guys that have been keeping the girls down all these centuries. I suppose; but no more. It is the “Age of the Female”. And the idea is that women are going to rule - they are going to make the world a better place. And they have already started and I must say things are already getting better. Now we have doilies and huggie bears in our armored tanks; we have little daisies painted on the walls down in the holes of aircraft carriers and the toilet seats must be left down in any and all military facilities. Ah yes, the old “foxhole” is getting fox-ier by the minute. We have women prizefighters; complete with pug noses and cauliflower ears. And women wrestlers complete with muscles and tattoos. It is really liberating to see a group of women sitting at a large table over in a corner of a busy restaurant smoking cigars and telling dirty jokes to the disturbance of all other patrons – they giggle instead of guffaw. I have even heard that women now have bachelor parties where they watch sexually explicit movies of ‘men” placed in embarrassing and humiliating poses. That’s great; I love it! I’m so happy for the girls. Now at long last, they can be as crude, rude and obnoxious as the men that they so secretly admire. I presume that they must admire these men or why would they be so intent on emulating them? So already we have war getting a lot cuter than it used to be. In fact, almost everything is getting cuter - even men. We even have an all female talk show. And all the girls on the show are so excited about it that none of the participants can stop talking long enough to listen to any of the others. When men do that it usually breaks out into a fist fight, but that hasn’t happened yet on “Boobs with a View” - I think that’s the name of the show. I like it - real, honest to goodness - boob-ism. Now for the first time in all of modern history we can watch the “boob-tube” and hear “boobism” by individuals who actually have boobs themselves - it is truly “boob-erating”. But I like it. I wonder if they have jockey short raids at Harvard and Yale these days? Feminism seems to me to be fem-MEN-ism. It’s Freudian “penis envy” all over again. I was really looking forward to the feminist world. It was clear to me that men had made a mess of it. But unfortunately it looks like the new female world is going to be the same old men’s world - only in drag.
The immediate cause of the Pullman strike was the firing of three workers who lived in the town of Pullman. The town of Pullman was built and operated by Mr. Pullman to house and service the many workers of his Pullman Palace Train Car Company. A committee of residents had come to Mr. Pullman to discuss the possibility of lowering the rents within the town due to his recent layoffs and salary reductions at the factory. In response to a depressed economy and poor business profits, Pullman had laid off more than fifty percent of the factory workers and cut the pay of the remaining workers by 25%. Pullman told the residents that paying their rents had nothing to do with the conditions at the factory. He refused to negotiate or discuss the issue and ended the meeting by firing three of the members of the renter’s committee. The three men who were fired were members of the newly established American Railway Union. A thirty-eight year old ex-railroad fireman by the name of Eugene V. Debs had established the union in 1893. The A.R.U. was an “industrial” union established in opposition to the idea of the “craft” union. The A.R.U. was a union operating for all the workers of “white” parentage and not just “white craftsmen”. The A.R.U. called for a strike of the Pullman factory. Pullman who wasn’t making much money at the factory at that moment anyway, simply closed down the factory entirely. The A.R.U. then called on its 150,000 members to boycott Pullman cars throughout the system. This did not improve Mr. Pullman’s attitude or temperament. He demanded that troops be brought in. Many local militias were called out, but many of the members of these groups were friends and relatives of the strikers. They felt that they were there to keep the peace, not take a side in a business dispute. In Winnemucca, Nevada the militia stood by idly as many Pullman cars were relieved of some of their oranges and coal by the ranks of the unemployed. Pullman then contacted his friends at the General Managers Association. This was a semi-secret organization of about twenty-four railroad owners operating in or through Chicago. They called Richard Olney, the Attorney General to President Grover Cleveland. Olney asked Cleveland to send in Federal troops. Cleveland demurred on the grounds that nothing of a Federal nature was going on. Olney was a railroad attorney before he became attorney General and he was on the board of several railroads. He protested the president’s charge. He argued that the railroads were, in effect, interstate highways. Disrupting service on an interstate highway was a “public nuisance”. He further charged that 150,000 workers acting jointly in several different states to obstruct a man’s business was against the Sherman Anti-trust Act. It was a “conspiracy” acting in restraint of trade. Considering that the Sherman Anti-trust Act was established in 1890 to act as a brake on big business and its tendencies to monopolization, this was a daring, new twist on the interpretation of the law. So far this Sherman Anti-trust Act had not dared to be used against a single big business. He further charged that since railroads carried federal mail, to obstruct a railroad was to interfere in the operations of the federal government, and a misdemeanor. Olney got Pullman an “injunction” against the obstruction of the federal mail. A Federal Marshal went to a disturbance site and read the injunction to the strikers. The strikers didn’t take the news well. In fact, they ignored the injunction and Marshal Arnold and others. This slight to Marshal Arnold’s authority encouraged him to exaggerate his report. He dispatched back to Olney the notion that chaos had ensued, trains were being shoved off the track and mail was being destroyed. Observers at the scene and the results of an investigation after the Pullman strike had ended, substantiated Marshal Arnold’s fabrication and his exaggeration of the conditions at the time. President Cleveland ordered troops from Fort Sheridan to the area. In the mean time Pullman added 2600 to 3000 emergency Deputy Marshals to the ranks. Chicago Superintendent of police said when questioned by the after-the-fact federal investigating committee, that these new “deputies” were nothing more than thieves, thugs and ex-convicts. Governor Altgeld was extremely upset with the arrival of federal troops in his state. He challenged the constitutionality of President Cleveland’s decision. The Federal troop’s presence alone had caused several disturbances. Governor Altgeld dispatched 5000 state militia to quell the riots and keep the peace that had been upset by the Federal troops. The strikers attacked one of the Illinois regiments and a battle ensued. Twenty to thirty were killed that first day and the fighting went on with similar results for a few more days. Hundred of trains and buildings were burnt. Many people were killed and injured. More and more troops were sent in by both the State and the Federal Government. Very shortly there were a minimum of fourteen thousand troops in the area. Olney had seven hundred union leaders arrested. Debs was arrested twice; once on conspiracy, and the second time for contempt of court. The conspiracy charge was eventually dropped, but the contempt trial became famous. In effect, when the union did not comply with the injunction, it was in contempt of the court order. Clarence Darrow defended Debs on the contempt charge. He lost. Debs went to prison. The case went all the way to the supreme court, “in re Debs”. It was decided by the supreme court that an injunction could be used against a union; that a union could be held responsible as conspirators acting in restraint of trade; that the Federal Government could use troops in protecting interstate trade and obstruction of U. S. mail. Mark Hanna, famous power broker, presidential advisor to McKinley, and wealthy businessman, called George Pullman “a damned idiot”. To folks who were sympathetic to Pullman and suggested that his goals at the town of Pullman were philanthropic, Hanna suggested that they should go and live in Pullman and compare how the rent, gas, water and grocery bills compared to everywhere else. After the violence had erupted and all the federal and state troops had arrived, Debs called on Samuel Gompers to intercede on behalf of the strikers with the General Managers Association. Gompers refused and made a blanket statement criticizing all parties involved. This put the final nail in the Pullman strike coffin.*
*Works used in this essay: “Attorney for the Damned”, Clarence Darrow in the courtroom, Arthur Weinberg; “The Rise of Industrial America”, Page Smith; “American Economic History” Harold Underwood Faulkner; “A History of American Labor”, Joseph G. Rayback; “Leading Cases on the Constitution”, Bartholomew; “Roughneck”, The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, Peter Carlson.
There is no shortage of books written about Vietnam. Unfortunately, most folks haven’t read any of them. I’ve gone to my library and picked out one book. It contains only two chapters on Vietnam but it deals with the appropriate issues and reflects on our present day political and social debate. It is entitled, “The First Casualty”. The title is taken from a quote by a Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917 - “The first casualty when war comes - is truth.” This book is written by Phillip Knightley. My reason for doing this is our current historical understanding of this issue and our present situation. I wanted to refresh my memory on why such a great and patriotic nation as the United States of America had ever decided to abandon South Vietnam, in its time of need. Young people today also seem to be having a problem understanding it. I do remember that at one point in that fifteen year war, a wide majority (70%-80%) of Americans wanted the war stopped and an immediate withdrawal. Why? What follows is just a part of the answer to that question. The majority of what is to follow will be quoted directly from Mister Knightley’s book: Our involvement began with a man named Ngo Dinh Diem. “Battered and shunted about by the war,” wrote Leo Cherne in Look magazine on January 25, 1955, the South Vietnamese “are too weary to resist the Reds without us..." Diem, later to be recognized as one of the most corrupt leaders in Asia, was hailed by Newsweek as one of Asia ablest leaders and by Time as doughty little Diem . . . this deception on the American public was necessary, that the Communists had to be stopped, that the United States had put all its chips on Diem, and to appeal to the correspondents’ patriotism not to damage the national interest. While American newspapers were describing “Operation Sunrise” as a trial resettlement programme, Bruce Rothwell of the Daily Mail wrote that whole villages were being burnt down and thousands of peasants forcibly resettled in camps, which had a minimum of barbed wire, to avoid a concentration camp atmosphere. . . In The Times of London, John White explained one reason why the American army was not averse to further involvement in Vietnam: South Vietnam is the only part of the world where the Pentagon’s training manuals can be put to the test under conditions of real warfare. In this tropical Salisbury Plain [British army training area] new techniques are being developed of counter- insurgency. “American correspondents wrote stories like these at their own risk. Francois Sully wrote and article for Newsweek on August 22, 1962, headed; Vietnam: The Unpleasant Truth. It said that the war was a losing proposition. . . Sully had to leave Vietnam. It became a war like no other, a war with no front line, no easily identifiable enemy, no simply explained cause, no clearly designated villain on whom to focus the nations hate, no menace to the homeland, no need for general sacrifice, and, therefore, no nation-wide fervor of patriotism . . . the whole awesome range of American military technology - short only of nuclear strike or the sowing of the biological plague - was steadily brought to bear on an Asian peasant nation. the unimaginable scale of corruption in Vietnam. As Murray Sayle in 1967 - the correspondent for the Sunday Times of London - wrote: Saigon is a vast brothel; between the Americans who are trying more or less sincerely to promote a copy of their society on Vietnamese soil, and the mass of the population who are to be reconstructed, stand the fat cats of Saigon. . . the full story of the pilfering, theft, hijacking, bribery, smuggling, extortion, and black-market dealings finally emerged - mainly through the United States Senate hearings in Washington. “John Hughes . . . the Christian Science Monitor - the facts were staggering. In one South Vietnam black market, at Qui Nhon, thousands of cases of army C rations, liquor, clothing, television sets, washing machines and weapons and ammunition worth an unbelievable $11 million changed hands each month. Vietnamese dealers offered to supply anything from a heavy-duty truck or an armored personnel carrier to a helicopter. One American sub-contractor lost through pilfering, over a one year period, $118 million worth of goods. In 1967, half a million tons of imported American rice simply disappeared. Black-market currency was estimated to run to some $360 million a year. The Central Intelligence Agency allowed Laotian generals to use its private airline, Air America, to smuggle opium. The United States Army’s own police force, the Criminal Investigation Division, accused its senior officer, Major-General Carl C. Turner, of refusing to permit it to investigate the dealings of a network of sergeants who personally profited from their operation of clubs for servicemen at army bases. And finally, in the three fiscal years 1968-70, $1.7 billion authorized for the Saigon government pacification programme was, according to the General Accounting Office, lost without trace. “All governments realize that to wage war successfully their troops must learn to dehumanize the enemy. The simplest way to do this is to inflame nationalistic or racist feelings . . . In Vietnam racism became a patriotic virtue. All Vietnamese became dinks, slopes, slants, or gooks and the only good one was a dead one. “Philip Jones Griffiths a British free-lance photographer went out with a platoon from the First Cavalry; “The Americans mutilated bodies. One colonel wanted the hearts cut out of dead Vietcong to feed to his dog. Heads were cut off, arranged in rows, and a lighted cigarette pushed into each mouth. Ears were strung together like beads. Parts of Vietnamese bodies were kept as trophies; skulls were a favorite, and the then Colonel George Patton III - I like to see the arms and legs fly - carried one about at his farewell party. The Americans photographed dead Vietnamese as if they were game trophies - a smiling marine with his foot on the chest of the nearest corpse, or holding a severed ear or two - or in the case of a dead Vietcong girl without her pyjama pants and with her legs raised stiffly in the air. “It was the racist nature of the fighting, the treating of the Vietnamese like animals that led inevitably to My Lai. What happened at My Lai is now well known. C Company, First Battalion, Twentieth Infantry, Eleventh Brigade, Americal Division entered the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968 and killed between 90 and 130 men, women and children. Acting, the men said later, under orders from the platoon commander, Lieutenant William L. Calley, Jr., they gathered the villagers into groups and wasted them with automatic weapon fire. Anyone who survived was then picked off. (Griffiths) ‘A really tiny kid - he had only a shirt on - nothing else. . . came over to the people and held the hand of one of the dead. One of the GIs behind me dropped into a kneeling position thirty meters from this kid and killed him with a single shot.’ “Lieutenant Calley was charged with the murder of 109 Oriental human beings . . . This fact was made public in a small item, of fewer than a hundred words. . . The story appeared to die. A free-lance reporter named Seymour Hersh got the story publicity. Ronald L. Haeberle, who had been with Calley and C Company, had photographs . . . One showed a boy about seven lying on a pathway with protective arms around a smaller boy, who had been shot but was still alive. Then, according to Haeberle, the GIs had moved in and shot both of them dead.” The story gained attention . . . “Suddenly, nearly every war correspondent who had been to Vietnam had an atrocity story to tell ... My Lai . . . was an unusually pure example of the nature of the war in Vietnam and departed little - if at all - from common American practice. There were events equally horrifying before My Lai and massacres on a larger scale occurred afterwards. “My Lai removed inhibitions on talking about the nature of the Vietnam War. Ex-soldiers appeared on television to confess to having shot children. In hearings conducted by the National Committee for a Citizens Commission of Inquiry on United States War Crimes in Vietnam, told of rape, the machine-gunning of women and children in fields, torture and murder. Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Herbert, the most decorated soldier of the Korean War, a battalion commander of the elite 173rd Airborne Brigade, claimed he had reported seeing a United States lieutenant allow a South Vietnamese soldier to slit a woman’s throat while her child clung screaming to her leg. Colonel Herbert alleged that when he made his report, his superiors told him to mind his own business. “The writer Norman Poirier used the files of the judge-advocate-general of the navy, in Washington, to compile a story of how a squad of nine Marines gang-raped a young Vietnamese mother at Xuan Ngoc on the night of Sept 23, 1966 and gunned down her entire family - herself, her husband, her two children, and her sister. When the marines returned in the morning to make the carnage look like an engagement with the Vietcong, they found that one of the children, a five year old girl, was still alive, and so one of the marines stood over the child, ‘and with his M14 rifle bashed its brains in.’ They were exposed by the recovery of the mother, who had been left for dead, were arrested and tried, and six of them were convicted. Poirier’s account of the incident appeared in Esquire in August 1969 - three months before the story of My Lai broke. “Daniel Lang, in his book Casualties of War which was based on court files, tells of a patrol of five United States soldiers, operating in the Central Highlands, who abducted a young Vietnamese girl. Four of them raped her, and then ripped her belly open and blew her head off. The fifth soldier reported the incident, and proceedings were initiated against the others, who, after some reluctance on the part of the army, were brought to trial, then retired, and sentenced to rather light terms of imprisonment.” Newsweek reviewed Lang’s book. “The brutal killing of a Vietnamese civilian . . . should not in itself surprise us . . . after all, no one seriously informed about the war in Vietnam believes that U.S. body counts have not included a number of civilians all along.” Phillip Jones Griffths ²- “If I had gone back to Saigon and into one of the agencies and had said, ‘I’ve got a story about Americans Killing Vietnamese civilians’ they would have said, ‘So what’s new?’ It was horrible, but certainly not exceptional, and it just wasn’t news.’ “So the My Lai massacre was revealed because it was written, not by a war correspondent on the spot (who were all de-sensitized to atrocity), but by a reporter back in the United States who was capable of being shocked by it. “A Gallup poll in mid-1967 revealed that half of all Americans had no idea what the war in Vietnam was all about.” Officers’ attitudes - “My Marines are winning this war and you people are losing it for us in your papers.” “Edward Jay Epstein’s survey and his book News from Nowhere. An opinion commonly expressed was that people saw exactly what they wanted to in the news reports and that television only served to reinforce existing views.” “… from 1969 on. . . Nixon policy. . . withdraw troops - pass ground war over to the Vietnamese. . . remaining GIs fight as little as possible and switch the weight of the American attack to the air. “The military authorities did not want reported the sad state of the United States Army, and they wanted to encourage public apathy about the war by keeping as secret as possible the escalation of the bombing. They were not successful on the first count. The year 1971 saw a series of stories revealing the massive heroin problem among the United States troops (about one in ten was addicted), the fraging, or blowing up by grenades, of unpopular officers (forty-five killed, 318 wounded in 1971), the staggering desertion rate, the number of combat refusals, and the growing tendency to regard an order simply as a basis of discussion. The Washington Post - Army in Anguish. GIs (in Vietnam) were photographed carrying peace symbols, a picture appeared in Newsweek of a helicopter with a sign on the side saying, My God! How’d we get into this mess, and CBS ran a film of GIs smoking pot from a gun barrel. “… the intensified bombings of North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia - Newsweek: The most systematic military cover-up in the history of America’s role in the Indo-Chinese War. - the United States over a period of fourteen months in 1969-70, had conducted a clandestine bombing campaign against Cambodia, whose neutrality Washington then professed to respect . . . During the whole of the Second World War, less than 80,000 tons of bombs fell on Britian. In Indo-China, the United States dropped more than four million tons - fifty times as much. Or, put another way, the United States used explosives cumulatively equal to hundreds of the nuclear weapons used at Hiroshima. - So that’s what one book says. I have others, written by veterans, historians, journalists etc. - they all have similar stories to tell. Some people today discount all the atrocities as the inevitability of war. That is hard to accept when it was the United States who orchestrated the Nuremberg Trials where thousands of German officers and soldiers were stood up against walls all over Germany and executed for Crimes Against Humanity. We made up the language - Crimes Against Humanity. At Nuremberg we also agreed, for the first time in four thousand years of Civilization, that wars of aggression were illegal and that the aggressor is the one who strikes first, with intent and premeditation. If you think that atrocities committed by your own are acceptable or that you have the right to attack another nation because that nation freightens you - then you are not a Republican or a Democrat - you are a Fascist or a Nazi and you certainly do not understand what this country, and freedom, and equality, and courage are all about. If you think that sending last year’s paperboy or Girl Scout over to some place with a target on their back so that you can safely attend the PTA or ride the subway or visit with grandma, is security then you’ve got security mixed up with cowardice. If a million or ten million of us must die, then let’s do it; but please, let’s not throw our babies at them. Let’s remember those New York firefighters and those citizens on those airplanes. Please don’t ask me, an American citizen, to act like a coward, so that our government can promote bomb and bullet factories abroad. That reasoning, even coming from a General, is a little too much for me to take. I may be old, weak and useless, but please give me the right to die with a little dignity. Some claim that these books, like the one that I have been quoting from, are all lies. They may be. History may be all bunk, as Henry Ford once claimed; but there are records; there are testimonies; there are pictures, films and photographs; there are eye witness reports; in many cases there are the confessions of the perpetrators of these atrocities. If we put any credibility to any history - the history of the U.S. in Vietnam is there, and it is not pretty. In Japan today there are people who are still denying that the Rape of Nan King, or the Bataan Death March ever happened. In Germany, many Germans deny that there was ever any such thing as the Holocaust. There are a good many Russians who still think that Uncle Joe Stalin was really a pretty nice guy. The Roman Catholic Church just recently apologized for the Inquisition. The United States of America would like to forget what happened in Vietnam. It would like to forget about what happened in the Philippines during the Spanish American War - the executions, the slaughter and the mass graves. It would like to forget Slavery and the attempted Native Indian extermination. When we honor our veterans we don’t honor everything that each and every veteran has ever done during a time of war. Some act honorably and with courage; others do not. Those that do not are often imprisoned, disgraced, or - if they are on the side who lost the war - executed. But we try to honor all those who go to any war, nevertheless, because we know that they went there because we asked them to go. Whatever happened to them while they were over there, psychologically or physically, is partially - some may even say entirely - our fault. In the case of Vietnam, millions did not even receive the dignity of being asked; they were forced to go; they were ordered - if they refused they went to prison. Even under these arbitrary circumstances, they were expected to act honorably - because they were Americans. For a time, those young men who went to Vietnam or who were forced to go, (8 million volunteered; over 2 million were drafted) were considered by many, around the world and at home, to be a disgrace to their nation and, possibly, the human race. They came home; they were spat upon and often they hung their heads in shame. During the war many soldiers who were serving on bases at home, carried their uniforms to work in brown paper bags or in the trunks of their cars. There were more American flags being burnt in the streets here and around the world than there were waving proudly anywhere. They can say what they want today, but soldiers and civilians alike were ashamed. Today the pendulum has swung the other way and now anyone who has gone to any war is automatically considered a hero. We have almost come around, once again, to the belief that war, itself, is heroic - as we did in the days of Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt. The truth is, as always, somewhere in-between. George Bush was certainly not a Vietnam hero - no matter how you look at the war. He admits that. But he was not alone. There were 16 million other young men who took one type of “evasive” action or another, just as George did. Over two million were forced to go via the draft and over 200 thousand refused military service altogether and took their chances of going to prison. Whatever you think of John Kerry - politically; he is an American hero. He was from a wealthy family. He could have done as George Bush and 16 million other Americans, but he volunteered for service in Vietnam. He was wounded and received medals for his courage. Today there are some who are saying that he didn’t bleed enough blood or that the blood that he shed was only red - and not red, white and blue. When John Kerry got back from the war, he signed up to fight in another war - the domestic war that was going on here at home. He acted with equal courage here on the home front. He stood up for conscience, national pride and honor. He stood up against a war that had gone sour. Whatever you think of the war in Vietnam, no amount of rationalization or revisionist writing will turn it into anything but an ugly and gruesome scar on the history of the American people and nation. Our government failed us; our leaders in Washington and the Pentagon faltered; our soldiers did what they were told to do. They followed the policy and obeyed their commanders. What happen on the ground in Vietnam is what has happened in all wars. This is all the more reason that we should all, always, be wary of any war. Believe it or not, in the opinion of the world, it is the character of the American people in standing up against their government to end a war that was considered immoral and unjust that is probably most impressive. I don’t know of any other people, throughout all of history, who can brag that it was through the bold and courageous actions of their citizenry that a war was finally stopped. No nation “beat” America. We did not surrender to an overpowering enemy. We had enough power to wipe the whole of Vietnam, North and South, from the face of the earth. But, the American people, through their collective moral conscience, stood boldly against their own leaders and defeated what most of the world considered, at best, a misguided tragedy. The world may not respect our leaders or our government, at any particular time, but they respect us - the people of the United States of America. They appeal to us, the people of the United States, for moral conscience. And we have always led the way - sometimes kicking, screaming and biting - but nevertheless, there have always been those among us who were willing, no matter what the personal cost, to stand up against abusive power - whether that abusive power was foreign or domestic. John Kerry should receive a medal for serving in the war at home also. In many ways that war took even more courage than the one in Vietnam. In the war at home, he risked his dignity, his respect, and possibly his future - his political future also. He could have just stood on the sideline as did George W. Bush and 16 million other young American men, but he chose, once again, to throw himself into the fray. You can argue all you want about his politics, but you certainly cannot deny that he is a man of principle and courage. That is one thing that is very clear. To those veterans who are playing politics with one of their own; put your old uniforms back into those paper bags or the trunks of your cars, and hang your heads in shame once again - you’ve come around full circle. My last employer was a Vietnam veteran. He was a college Professor and officer in the Navy. He was given - shortly before he died - a 100% disability because of his exposure to Agent Orange. He died from a number of things which were not genetically connected to his family history - for whatever that is worth. He wasn’t over in Vietnam shooting - he was doing research. His research project at the time was a study (sponsored I presume by the U.S. Military) of the social prejudices of the American soldiers towards the indigenous native Vietnamese population. When I suggested to him that such a project seemed rather ridiculous to me - he looked at me and smiled. I was left with the clear impression that he thought my remark to be grossly naive. He was fiercely patriotic and always in support of the American Military whatever the mission but at the same time he was a journalist and somewhat of a radical. It was rather strange working for him from my point of view. I never really knew what he would consider acceptable to print and what was not acceptable. Finally I decided just to write it the way I saw it and let him reject or approve it as he saw fit. I was constantly amazed that he could be such a “patriot” and military veteran and at the same time a “journalist”. Was it not the “journalists” who had lost the war in Vietnam? One day as I was driving him to the “big city” to get one of his three weekly kidney dialysis treatments, I brought up this apparent contradiction. I wondered how he could be such an avid and dedicated journalist and a patriot from - of all wars - Vietnam. Certainly he must believe as all Vietnam veterans seemed to believe that it was the journalists and the “press”, domestic and foreign, that lost the Vietnam War for America and its brave soldiers. “The press didn’t lose the Vietnam War,” he said. “Really?” I said with considerable amazement and almost total disbelief “Are you trying to tell me that it was not the press who turned the minds and hearts of the American public against that war?” “The press did exactly what it was supposed to do - it reported what was happening.” “Then, what in your opinion turned the American people against that war?” “It was the soldiers themselves. When the soldiers returned year, after year, after year and their numbers increased by the tens and hundreds of thousands and they told their friends and families what was happening over there; what they had seen and in some cases what they had done, the American people became appalled and turned against the whole business. It was word of mouth - one human being to another. The press was mostly after the fact and, as always, a day late and a dollar short. It wasn’t the press.” I still don’t know if I believe that explanation myself - but that is what “the boss” told me. I had another friend who had been a marine and went to three tours of duty in Vietnam. We were having a discussion about war in general and not discussing Vietnam. I purposely never brought up the subject. But in the middle of our conversation he said, “Listen, in my heart I have to believe that the war in Vietnam was justified. If I let myself believe that it wasn’t, then how in the hell am I going to be able to live with what I saw and did over there? I have no choice.” He was that type of ex-soldier and veteran who was very much opposed to new American involvements in foreign countries. Today, whenever I hear a veteran defend any war, I see my buddy and I hear those words. What choice do they have? In any case and in conclusion we have learned from the Vietnam experience not to blame the soldiers - that is good. But it doesn’t seem that we have learned much else. Of the soldier it is said; “Theirs is not to reason why; theirs is but to do or die.” It seems to me that the journalist, writers and historians, have exactly the opposite mandate; “Theirs is to live on and forever cry - why god . . why, why, why?” And just like the soldier maybe we should consider that those who are the record keepers and the modern day scribes of the events of our times are also not to be blamed - they are just doing their job and just like the soldier - often a rather dirty and thankless job at that.(3)
1 This paragraph is paraphrased, but from the book cited. 2 Jones Griffiths: Vietnam war photographer, published a book of photographs entitled - Vietnam Inc. 3 First Casualty” Phillip Knightley, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York and London 1975.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
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