Tag: Nazis

Witold Pilecki: The Polish Spy Who Led a Resistance Against the Nazis

 

Like many of the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising, nearly no one in the Anglosphere has ever heard of Witold Pilecki, a deeply Catholic member of the Polish resistance. However, his heroism is inspiring far beyond his actions during the largest single act of Polish resistance to the Nazi regime.

When we speak of resistance against the Nazis by occupied nations, we speak almost exclusively of the French and sometimes of the Dutch. Rarely mentioned are the Poles, despite the fact that they had a functioning government in exile coordinating with an underground government on the ground with its own military arm, the Polish Home Army.

Was Henry Ford a Nazi?

 

A lot of people already think they know. Such a stark, blunt question deserves a direct answer: No, he wasn’t. Ford did not support Hitler or his ideology. He wasn’t a Nazi, officially or unofficially.  What Ford was, however, was pretty awful without ever getting near a swastika armband. He was one of the most powerful, influential anti-Semites in history, and did immense harm all over the world by lending his once-golden name to vicious lies. Ford didn’t go around quoting Hitler, but Hitler was grateful that “a great man like Ford” was sounding the alarm.

Ford’s notorious publicity campaign against the Jews began after World War I when he bought a local newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and turned it into a heavily subsidized powerhouse of anti-Jewish agitation. That campaign largely ended by the end of the Twenties, by which time he had other, more pressing problems. Hitler didn’t come to power until 1933. But the effects of Ford’s pseudo-history lingered for decades to come, for the millions of Jews he slurred, and for the reputation of Henry Ford himself.

A Famous German Scientist and His British Fans

 

Albert Einstein was one of the twentieth century’s great men, vying with Winston Churchill for the title of “Man of the Century.” In addition to relativity, he was an accomplished musician and a noted pacifist. He was an Anglophile. He was also an assassin’s target in the 1930s.

“Einstein on the Run: How Britain Saved the World’s Greatest Scientist,” by Andrew Robinson tells two tales. It explores the admiration Einstein and Great Britain mutually shared. It shows how the British offered Einstein sanctuary at the scientist’s moment of greatest peril.

The book is also a biography of Einstein, but it is a focused biography. It recounts his life in the context of his relation with Britain. It shows how British physicists, most notably Sir Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell, shaped Einstein’s scientific studies, and fostered an admiration for British scientists.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the news that Senate Democrats are running out of time – and don’t have the votes – to pass major priorities on the left. They also groan at actor John Cena’s nauseating apology to China, for simply referring to Taiwan as a country during an interview promoting his new movie. And they shake their heads as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likens a grocery store chain identifying employees who have been vaccinated to the Nazis forcing Jews to wear yellow stars.

Intrigue Seeking Stolen Nazi Art

 

On March 22, 1945 Major Max Hignite flew his last Luftwaffe mission; a flight to Switzerland in a Ju-52 loaded with artwork stolen by the Nazis. The plane crashed, sealed in a cave by a Swiss lake. Hignite, badly injured, survived. Rescued by local Swiss, he spent months near death in a hospital. By the time he recovered, the Ju-52 had disappeared. Only Hignite was aware of its contents. He decided to move on with his life.

So opens “Ghosts of the Past,” a novel by Mark H.Downer. Moving on included going to the United States after the war ended, joining family who immigrated to the US in the 1930s. In spring, 2001, Hignite is dying. He passes his final flight’s secret to his favorite grandnephew, Matt Ferguson. Matt inherits the aircraft’s manifest cargo and a map showing where it crashed.

Matt, in a well-paying but dull job, decides to recover the treasure as a one-off adventure. Since he is Max Hignite’s executor, Matt uses settling his grand-uncle’s estate as an excuse to take a leave of absence.

Member Post

 

I am a supporter of the American Society for Yad Vashem, the US branch of the Holocaust Memorial in Israel.  Bi-monthly, I receive their newsletter, Martyrdom and Resistance, and in each issue are heartwarming and horrifying stories of Jews in WWII; murdered by the Nazis in concentration camps, hidden by sympathetic Gentiles in Poland, and […]

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This Week’s Book Review: My Enemy’s Enemy

 

An Islamist attempt to detonate an atomic bomb in downtown Washington DC on Independence Day is accidentally foiled by a South Carolina sheriff. Knowledge of the attempt is suppressed. (Why let the bad guys know how close they came to success?) U.S. retribution is thorough and secret.

This is the launch pad for “My Enemy’s Enemy” a science fiction thriller by Robert Buettner. The terrorist group launching the attack has learned of a new way to strike Washington DC, a secret with its roots in Nazi Germany. And they plan to try again. The Asp — a top terrorist is sent on a solitary mission to the US.

Peter Winter is a brilliant German physicist, a student and friend of Werner Heisenberg in 1930s Germany. His wife is Jewish, and they despise Nazis despite an uncle who is one of 16 Nazis killed in the Beer Hall Putsch. Winter is drafted into a secret Nazi effort to build an atomic bomb.

ACF Critic Series #21: Katyn

 

Our own @FlaggTaylor and I talk about Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn, his 2007 film about the terrible Soviet slaughter of the Polish officer corps–some 22,000 men — as well as its aftermath. The protagonist is the wife of one of the officers and we follow her through both the Soviet and the Nazi parts of occupied — and dismembered — Poland. We get to see various characters struggling with questions of honor and prudence as the country is being destroyed. Only memory is left to give reasons for hope for future freedom. Krzysztof Penderecki’s music is also worthy of mention.

“The Man in the High Castle” Season 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh

 

The new season of “The Man in the High Castle” dropped on Friday and I finished it Tuesday night. I’d like to share my thoughts to hopefully encourage others to watch this season and the whole show if they haven’t seen it. I will stay vague to avoid spoilers but I’ll discuss themes and plot points that are shown in the trailer.

Quick primer on the series: it’s 1963 in an alternate universe where the Axis powers won WWII. America is has been divided basically along time-zone lines, where the Eastern and Central regions are controlled by the Nazis, the Pacific region is controlled by the Japanese, and the Rockies are a lawless Neutral Zone where both empires agree to not conduct operations. Our main characters are:

  • Ubergruppenfuhrer John Smith, an all-American family man and a powerful member of the American Nazi government;
  • Joe Blake, a young man of Nazi heritage;
  • Trade Minister Tagomi, one of the highest-ranking Japanese officials in San Francisco;
  • Inspector Kido, a Kempeitai agent (the Kempeitai being the Japanese equivalent of the SS);
  • Juliana Crane, a young woman living in San Francisco galvanized into joining the Resistance;
  • Frank Frink, Juliana’s fiance and a secret Jew.

At the end of season 2, John had performed a great service to the Reich, but at the same moment he was being honored, his son made a decision both in accordance with the Nazi ideology he had been taught and emotionally devastating to his parents. Trade Minister Tagomi broke some rules but averted a war. Frank set off a bomb that killed one of Inspector Kido’s loyal subordinates, and Juliana Crane had quite an emotional surprise. So with that basic scene set, here are my thoughts on the new season.

Evil Has No Expiration Date

 

The deportation of Jakiw Palij has once more raised the specter of the Nazi holocaust and whether or not those who were guards at the concentration camps should be pursued and prosecuted.

Some people are saying that Palij is 95 years old and has led a quiet life in Jackson Heights, NY and should be left alone. Most people didn’t even know about his association with the camps until it became public after the U.S. revoked his citizenship in 2003. A judge ordered his expulsion in 2005, but the German authorities didn’t want to prosecute him since his crimes took place on foreign soil; the Poles claimed he was Germany’s responsibility. Finally, our current German ambassador, Richard Grenell, persuaded the Germans to accept him, and he has finally been deported. No one has reported whether deporting him to another country was ever considered.

After these many years, some people are saying that we didn’t need to deport him: he was an old man; we didn’t know if there was proof that he had killed anyone in the Trawniki camp; and would he survive prison if he were prosecuted?

Quote of the Day: Nazis and Communists

 

Difference between Nazi and Communist is when you say how horrible Nazis have been, they don’t say “Well, real Nazism has never been tried.” – Frank J. Fleming

I heard another round of “real socialism has never been tried” over the weekend. I am tired of hearing it. Of course “real socialism” can never be tried because it is completely unworkable. And whether we are talking about national socialism or international socialism, it is still socialism.

Hyperbole at Its Finest

 

This showed up on my Facebook newsfeed this afternoon. I have probably lost a friend over my reply:

Stunning perhaps, but not accurate. In 1937, the German Jews who were detained were sent to work camps and death camps. That is the first difference. Neither of those happen to those detained by ICE. The German government turned on its own citizens. Their German citizenship counted for nothing. Every single country in the world has citizenship requirements, including Canada and Mexico—the two countries that border us.

Do we need immigration reform? Absolutely. Should have done that years ago. Would I have tried to gain entry into a better country to help my children any way possible? Certainly. That is a different question than killing, maiming, or enslaving people. As long as we are talking in hyperbole, nothing will be accomplished.

Flags, Statues, and Squirrels

 

Kevin Williams has answered one question, at least, about the sudden, bizarre fixation with pigeon-spatttered statuary: “national panics over Confederate revanchism, like New York Times crusades against homelessness, tend to coincide with Republican presidencies. That is not coincidence.” He goes on to say that “the Left’s vandalism is intended mainly to get a rise out of the Right, in the hopes of getting some Republican to wrong-foot himself over a racial question.”

By attacking statues of confederate soldiers and their less savory defenders, Williams points out, the left forces Republicans not just to defend free speech for Nazis, but also to re-hash a painful war that ended a century and a half ago. Clever.

Member Post

 

Want to know how Charlottesville happened? Read this, and ask yourself, could it happen where you live? … in his small town, he had a support network.  Friends and family that could help him out.  Someone who could watch the kids if he had to work overtime.  In Indy, it was daycare and babysitters, which […]

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Member Post

 

On Slack today, @exjon observed, “Condemning Nazis is the easiest political move in history. It costs Trump nothing.” I disagreed. There are a lot of ordinary people who fear that “Nazi”, at least these days, is chiefly a stick that elitists use to beat the proles. This fear, as many Trump voters like to put is, […]

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Member Post

 

I’m not surprised (and nor should you) that the GOP establishment–you know, the one that supposedly hates Trump–is going to be utterly useless in the effort to stop him: Fearful of counterattacks, rich conservatives and their allies are mostly holding their fire. This reminds me of a fascinating article with strong Liberal Fascism themes from […]

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Member Post

 

Mr. Goldberg is one of the most pleasant people American conservatism can now boast. He seems very humane & loves dogs. One reads his comments on American politics with a sense of ease–moral ease–this is a man who distinguishes principle from expedience & who desires to be intellectually honest, like Max Weber told educated people […]

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Nazis. I Hate Nazis.

 

Strange times we live in when American conservatives — or some of them, anyway —  think it makes perfect sense these days for Europeans to get their Nazi groove on. I’ve been hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late, so I thought I’d make what in normal times would be an excessively easy call.

Nazis. I hate Nazis. And so should you.

Obama, ISIS, and Being on the Right Side of History Between Tee Times

 

obama-vacation-1-300x211President Obama on Wednesday slightly delayed his afternoon tee time to speak about the monstrous beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS. It was an underwhelming address from the Leader of the Free World who finds the crown so heavy and bothersome that he puts it down aside the putting green.

In his address, Obama did well in the “sympathy-in-chief” role. I do believe that Obama is horrified and saddened, as all Americans are, about the tragic fate of James Foley. But Obama failed in his actual job — that of a leader who must express genuine and righteous anger about this act of barbarism against all people who cherish liberty.

Obama has displayed more passion and employed sharper rhetoric when talking about Republicans in Congress — who, last I heard, are not in the business of sawing off heads to make their point clear. Maybe we’ll get a better performance from our president if ISIS makes fun of the Obamacare website.