Coypu collects grass for nest, video


This video shows a coypu, collecting grass for its nest.

Ronald Aarns from the Netherlands made this video on 11 August 2014 near the De Wittsee in Germany, close to the Dutch border.

Coypus are originally from South America, but there feral animals in many European countries.

Hitler’s concentration camps, new film


This video from Britain says about itself:

Night Will Fall (2014) – André Singer (Trailer) | BFI release

3 September 2014

André Singer’s extraordinary new documentary about the filming of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps is released on 19 September 2014 at BFI Southbank and cinemas nationwide.

By Paul Mitchell:

Night Will Fall: A powerful depiction of Nazi atrocities

26 November 2014

A British Film Institute release, directed by André Singer, written by Lynette Singer and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter

Night Will Fall is a timely film, given the climate of militarism and the deliberate encouragement of right-wing reaction in the aftermath of the economic crash of 2008. It details the Nazi atrocities that were the product of the crisis of German imperialism out of which Hitler’s regime arose.

The work is a film about a lost film, “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey” (GCCFS), the official British record of the camps, which was shelved unfinished, for political reasons, at the end of the Second World War.

The survey has now been completed, 70 years later, by Imperial War Museum (IWM) experts sifting through some 100 reels of unedited footage shot by specially trained ex-combat soldiers to recreate the sixth and final reel following the instructions laid down by the original production team in 1945.

The GCCFS is a remarkable work that succeeds in depicting the terrible crimes of the Holocaust in a ground-breaking and accurate manner. It begins in April 1945 with British troops approaching Belsen-Bergen concentration camp. The first indications of the horrors that awaited them was the overwhelming smell, which they discovered emanated from heaps of emaciated corpses piled between groups of starving, expressionless survivors.

Cameraman Sgt. Mike Lewis describes how, “We were there for about two weeks filming all these sights. No film I’ve seen since really conveys the feeling of despair and horror that can be done to people who were Europeans of another faith … I thought as time passed by it might leave me, to forget, but it never does leave you”.

Similar feelings were expressed by legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock, who provided advice on shooting the GCCFS, particularly ways to avoid accusations of fakery. In the 1970s, Hitchcock recounted, “At the end of the war, I made a film to show the reality of the concentration camps, you know. Horrible. It was more horrible than any fantasy horror. Then, nobody wanted to see it. It was too unbearable. But it has stayed in my mind all of these years”.

The GCCFS includes footage from July 1944, when Soviet troops advancing from the East made the first contact with the system of camps at Majdanek, where warehouses were discovered littered with boxes of human hair, teeth, children’s’ toys, spectacles and other possessions.

Footage is shown of Auschwitz, which unlike Bergen-Belsen and Majdanek was a slave labour and extermination camp. More than a million people died in the gas chambers, their fates decided within minutes of arrival.

One of the few survivors, Eva Mozes, describes how, “The cattle car doors slid open. Thousands of people poured out of the cattle car. My father and two older sisters disappeared in the crowd. Never, ever did I see them again … A woman came up to my mother, took the little suitcase and asked, ‘Are these two twins?’ My mother said ‘Yes’, and the woman said, ‘Why don’t you say they are twins? It’s a good thing to have twins here”.

Eva and her sister Miriam were amongst the few sets of twins to survive from the 1,500 who underwent cruel medical experimentation at the hands of Dr Josef Mengele.

Smiling children through barbed wire

Amongst the unrelenting horror and despair, there are still signs of humanity. One sequence shows smiling children, glad at being rescued and another reveals how quickly the starving inmates could recover physically once they received food, medicines and attention.

The GCCFS was commissioned in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) under the command of US General Dwight D. Eisenhower for use as evidence in war crime trials and the “re-education” of the “vanquished Germans”. It shows local inhabitants being marched into the camps to watch former SS officers burying the dead in mass graves. The smiles and good humour of the onlookers rapidly disappear.

Sidney Bernstein, who headed the film section at Britain’s Ministry of Information was appointed as producer and assembled a small team including the “best known editor in London”, Stewart McAllister. Richard Crossman, the Assistant Chief of SHAEF’s Psychological Warfare Division, an offshoot of the intelligence organisation, the Special Operations Executive, was employed as scriptwriter. Crossman became a Labour Party MP in 1945, cabinet minister in the Harold Wilson government and editor of the New Statesman.

According to Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the IWM in charge of the restoration and completion of the GCCFS, the project confronted difficulties from the start. Some British officials wanted to censor the material, while others were opposed to showing it all—concerned about public reaction to the atrocities, especially the close-ups of dead women and children.

Haggith indicates there was “fierce rivalry” between Britain and the US over the direction the film should take. Bernstein wanted his meticulous “systematic record” to be educational and “to improve the world”, but US officials wanted “a hard-hitting film—and they wanted it immediately”.

The US withdrew its support from the GCCFS in July 1945, instead appointing filmmaker Billy Wilder to make a shorter film, Death Mills, from the same material, which was shown in the American sector.

Night Will Fall also discusses other pressures preventing the completion of the GCCFS. Bernstein later revealed, “The military command, our Foreign Office and the US State Department, decided that the Germans were in a state of apathy and had to be stimulated to get the machine of Germany working again. They didn’t want to rub their noses in the atrocities”.

The US and Britain were also embroiled in a controversy over what to do with Jewish refugees. Both governments wanted to prevent or limit the numbers travelling to their countries and Palestine and were concerned about the sympathy the documentary would arouse about their plight.

The development of the Cold War was a major factor. The uncompleted sixth reel intended to show the liberation of the camps in the East by the Soviet army, but their revelations about the atrocities were dismissed by the US and Britain as propaganda.

While Night Will Fall acknowledges that the beginning of the Cold War contributed to the demise of the GCCFS, it downplays the fact that thousands of Nazi war criminals became valuable assets for the US. They helped create the post-war German intelligence agency BND, or became spies, researchers and scientists for US military and intelligence agencies. At least five top associates of Holocaust organiser Adolf Eichmann were employed by the CIA after the war.

Night Will Fall ends with a plea that such terrible things not happen again. However, moral outrage cannot substitute for a historical and materialist understanding of the roots of such barbarity in the crisis of capitalism.

Historical developments meant that German imperialism had to turn to the Nazi movement in order to destroy the powerful German workers’ movement and pursue its project, started in World War I, of an empire in the East (Lebensraum). The stability of the fascist regime required the removal and extermination of the “Jew-Bolsheviks”, who were seen as a threat above all because of their profound connection with the workers ’ movement and Marxism. Moreover, as imperialist rivalry increases, Germany is once again seeking to reassert its geostrategic interests and expand to the East–in Ukraine–through the coup assisted by the fascists in Svoboda and the Right Sector.

Gorbachev warns about international conflicts


This video from Germany is called ‘World on brink of new Cold War, some say it’s already begun’ – Gorbachev in Berlin (FULL SPEECH).

From weekly The Observer in Britain today:

As Berliners watch 8,000 balloons being released into the night sky this evening, old divisions between east and west will symbolically vanish into thin air with them. Yet the runup to the festivities has already served up plenty of reminders that, 25 years after the fall of the wall that divided the city for three decades, the scars of history are hurting more than ever.

Speaking at a symposium near the Brandenburg Gate yesterday morning, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the world was “on the brink of a new cold war” and strongly criticised the west for having sown the seeds of the current crisis by mishandling the fallout from the collapse of the iron curtain.

“Instead of building new mechanisms and institutions of European security and pursuing a major demilitarisation of European politics … the west, and particularly the United States, declared victory in the cold war,” said the man behind the Soviet Union’s glasnost and perestroika reforms.

“Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of western leaders. Taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination in the world.”

The enlargement of Nato, Kosovo, missile defence plans and wars in the Middle East had led to a “collapse of trust”, said Gorbachev, now 83. “To put it metaphorically, a blister has now turned into a bloody, festering wound.”

Previously an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, Gorbachev backed the current Russian president’s stance over Ukraine, urging western leaders to “consider carefully” Putin’s recent remarks at the Valdai forum : “Despite the harshness of his criticism of the west, and of the United States in particular, I see in his speech a desire to find a way to lower tensions and ultimately to build a new basis for partnership.”

Such strong words of criticism, voiced by the man still affectionately known as “Gorbi” to many in Germany, came at the end of a week which has seen the value of the rouble tumbling dramatically as a result of western sanctions.

Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Iron Curtain fell because of Mikhail Gorbachev: here.

Seventy-five years after the beginning of World War II, which led to Germany’s war of annihilation against the Soviet Union, the German general staff is once again preparing for war with Russia. This was made clear by an article published in last Friday’s edition of Die Welt in which German NATO leader Hans Lothar Domröse expressed his views: here.

Historical anniversaries are an opportunity to look back at the past in order to draw lessons for the future. Nothing of the sort took place in the course of the official ceremonies held in the German capital Sunday to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The celebrations were organized by a government that does not dare to look reality in the face and call things by their real names: here.

German neo-nazi Islamophobic hooliganism


This German video is about the nazi demonstration in Cologne on 26 October 2014.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Neonazis‘ Cologne protest erupts into violence

Sunday 26th October 2014

A NEONAZI and football hooligan-organised rally through Cologne erupted into widely predicted violence yesterday as marchers hurled bottles and fireworks at police.

Officers responded with water cannon, baton charges and pepper spray to the rioting thugs, who had organised the demonstration in the name of the Hooligans Against Salafists (Hogesa) coalition, which boasts of bringing together “sworn enemies from various football clubs” united by a hatred for Muslims.

Those marching chanted: “National socialism now” and performed nazi salutes, immediately provoking police intervention since nazi slogans and gestures are illegal in Germany. Police had earlier made it clear they would have a “low threshold” for intervention due to fears that the nazis would come into direct conflict with planned counter-demonstrations outside Cologne’s train station and cathedral.

Police said the 2,500-strong demo had been organised by Dominik Roeseler of the far-right Pro NRW party, although promotion for the event on social media did not name a ringleader.

They believe Hogesa, whose exact make-up is unclear but is believed to unite “17 football hooligan groups” with organised neonazism, is partly the work of veteran nazi and football hooligan Siegfried Borchardt, who goes by the nickname SS

Siggi and helped found the violent right-wing Borussenfront football [hooligan] club in the 1980s.

State police union chairman Arnold Plickert said Hogesa was a “new phenomenon” which could be extremely dangerous if “previously warring hooligans develop a common structure.”