Secret Cold War chapter: 40,000 Nazis planned for war against communists

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Albert SchnezAlbert Schnez, a Nazi colonel during World War II, was the organizer of the shadow army, recruiting men and soliciting donations. He would later serve in West Germany’s reestablished military. Photo courtesy of Der Spiegel.

It sounds like the plot of a Cold War spy novel.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Germany was demilitarized by the Allies. But within five or six years of the Nazi surrender, 2,000 former officers of the Nazi Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS plotted to recruit a secret paramilitary force of 40,000 fighters, reports Der Spiegel. Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

1945 letter: U.S. medic tells parents about Dachau

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

HaroldPorterLetterNationalArchivesImage courtesy of the National Archives.

“There is a rumor circulating which says that the war is over,” Pfc. Harold Porter wrote 69 years ago today. “But we’re not too excited about it because we know that it does not mean too much as far as our immediate situation is concerned.”

Porter’s “situation” is evident from the letterhead he used: Waffen-SS with a Dachau address — the camp commander’s stationary.

The Army medic sat down on May 7, 1945, to try to tell his parents in Michigan — the Rev. and Mrs. D.H. Porter —  how he was doing.  Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Flashback: The unrepentant daughter of Auschwitz

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

hossEven though Brigitte Höss, now 80, has lived (not that far from here) in the hum of democracy for decades, she retains the monstrous logic of a Nazi.

But after all, her father is Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, who was responsible for the murder of 1.1 million Jews, 20,000 Roma and tens of thousands of Polish and Russian prisoners.  Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

German report on Kristallnacht exhibit strikes disturbing note

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The tone taken by a prominent German news magazine in describing an exhibit on Kristallnacht, the days of shattered glass and terror that rained down on Jews 75 years ago starting Nov. 9, should alarm and dismay readers in America and other countries whose diplomats broke the rules to warn the world and help those persecuted by the Nazis. Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If Anne Frank had lived

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
AnneFrankHouseGettyImages

Left to right: Hanneli Goslar (referred to as Lies Goosens in early editions of the Diary), Anne Frank, Dolly Citroen, Hannah Toby, Barbara Ledermann and Susanne Ledermann (standing), Amsterdam, 1937. Photo courtesy of Anne Frank House | Getty Images (Click on the photo to see a larger image).

Life magazine tracked down Anne Frank’s playmates in 1959 as the film based on her diary was opening in movie theaters, and for the first time Life.com has posted photographs that never made it into print. The images bring into bittersweet focus what Anne missed because she did not survive the Holocaust. Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The unrepentant daughter of Auschwitz

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

hossEven though Brigitte Höss, now 80, has lived (not that far from here) in the hum of democracy for decades, she retains the monstrous logic of a Nazi.

But after all, her father is Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz, who was responsible for the murder of 1.1 million Jews, 20,000 Roma and tens of thousands of Polish and Russian prisoners.  Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail