Hitler’s ‘most beautiful Aryan baby’ was Jewish

This video is called Jewish Survivor Hessy Taft on being the “Aryan poster child.”

By Scott Kaufman in the USA:

Winner of Nazi 1935 ‘most beautiful Aryan baby’ contest revealed to be Jewish

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:40 EDT

The winner of a contest in Nazi Germany to find the most beautiful Aryan baby was recently revealed to have been Jewish, the Telegraph reported today.

Last weekend, Hessy Taft presented the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel with copies of the Nazi family magazine Sonne ins Hause that featured an image of her as an infant on the cover.

The image was allegedly selected by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels himself, after it had been submitted by a well-known Berlin photographer, Hans Ballin.

Taft said that her parents, Jacob and Pauline Levinsons, had ordered the portrait in 1935, as anti-Semitic tensions in the city rose. Her father had been an opera singer, but had to work as a traveling salesman after the Nazis came to power.

Her mother was terrified when she discovered her daughter’s face on the cover of the Nazi family magazine. When she approached Ballin, the photographer told her that he knew the family was Jewish, and that he had submitted the photograph because of that fact.

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer told Taft’s mother.

The photograph appeared not only on the cover of Sonne ins Hause, but on postcards used throughout the Third Reich as well. The Nazis never discovered the true identity of their poster child, but they did arrest Taft’s father in 1938.

With the help of a friend, he was released shortly thereafter, then embarked on a path out of Nazi Germany that eventually landed the family in the United States in 1949.

When she presented the portrait to Yad Vashem, Taft acknowledged that “I feel a little revenge — something like satisfaction.”

Pro-peace views illegal in Germany?

This video is about a Japanese government politician, Taro Aso, who said Japan should follow Nazi Germany’s example to revive militarism.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

German politicians, media seek to criminalize opponents of war

30 June 2014

In recent months, President Joachim Gauck has been calling quite openly for a more robust German military presence in the world. This attempted revival of German militarism has been decisively rejected by a majority of the population. Politicians, the media and the public prosecution department are now organizing a campaign against opponents of war and preparing to launch criminal proceedings against them.

In line with this, the Facebook posting of a hitherto largely unknown Left Party politician has recently come under attack. Last Monday, 28-year-old Brandenburg state parliament deputy Norbert Müller referred to criticism of Gauck’s war policies made by a number of church pastors, and wrote on his Facebook page: “Some remain true [to their faith]. Others become federal presidents and obnoxious warmongers.”

The posting was seized upon by numerous media outlets and condemned for “defaming the president”. Such a denigration is a criminal offence in Germany, which—under Section 90 of the Criminal Code and on authorization of the federal president—can be punished with imprisonment for a term of between three months and five years. A spokesman for the Potsdam public prosecutor told Spiegel Online that the authorities were reviewing the case. On Wednesday, Gauck then sent word that he had not authorised the prosecutor to initiate proceedings.

On the same day, deputies of the Christian Democratic Union [CDU], Christian Social Union [CSU] and Social Democratic Party [SPD] tabled the Facebook posting as a topic for general debate in the Bundestag [federal parliament]. They also called on Left Party faction leader Gregor Gysi to state his position on the matter.

The faction leader of the SPD, Thomas Oppermann, called Müller’s remark an “incredibly abusive piece of criticism” and accused Gysi of being personally responsible. His “incredible blunder” arose from his “demagogic twisting of the president’s words”, according to Oppermann, and he concluded by associating the Left Party with the National Socialists. The SPD was taking Müller’s criticism seriously, “because that was the strategy the Nazis used against President Ebert in the Weimar Republic”, Oppermann said.

Gysi responded by distancing himself from Müller. Müller had “expressed himself incorrectly”, he said, and Gauck was not an “obnoxious warmonger”. “No party can be responsible for what every one of its members ever says,” Gysi declared. Left Party leader Bernd Riexinger also distanced himself from Müller, declaring that the current debate on war missions had to “be conducted completely objectively and with due respect for the dignity of the [president’s] office.”

The threats against Müller are instead being used to intimidate and criminalize all genuine opponents of war. It is an irrefutable fact that the president has for months been systematically promoting more vigorous international commitment on the part of Germany, explicitly including the use of military power.

Having calculated the probable media response, Gauck had expressed a similar view on the Day of German Unity in 2013 and at the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of the year. He declared in Munich that Germany was regarded internationally as a “shirker”, and it therefore had to be prepared to take more risks. Both speeches had been carefully prepared and coordinated with the federal government.

In the last 15 years, Germany has been involved in the wars against Serbia and Afghanistan, and it also provided the US with logistical support in the war against Iraq. The federal government co-sponsored the coup d’état in Ukraine, which was crucially supported by the brutality of the Svoboda and Right Sector fascists. Both the Serbian and Iraq wars were pursued without the legitimacy of the United Nations and were therefore in breach of international law, according to current legal norms. One would therefore have to ask whether Gauck, who is advocating more robust military engagement, is himself breaking the law.

The idea of exploiting the legal clause proscribing “defamation of the federal president”, in order to persecute opponents of war, continues established traditions in Germany.

The law of lèse majesté (insulting majesty) was used during the Wilhelmine Empire to intimidate opponents of rearmament. Between 1896 and 1907 alone, the Vorwärts social democratic newspaper documented 907 convictions under this law. A prominent example was the socialist and anti-war activist, Rosa Luxemburg, who was imprisoned in 1904 for accusing the emperor of incompetence.

After 1908, the clause on lèse majesté faded into the background. However, similar clauses relating to personal convictions were used to incarcerate pacifists and anti-war protesters. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Luxemburg was again imprisoned. This time she was charged with “incitement to disobey laws and ordinances of the authorities”. She had called for the exercise of conscientious objection.

With the revolution of 1918, the legislation limiting rights to contentious personal views was initially abolished. However, when Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau was assassinated by the far right in June 1922, the SPD, Independent Social Democratic Party [USPD], Catholic Centre Party and German People’s Party [DVP] passed the Law for the Defence of the Republic, which made denigration of the Republic, and its president, a punishable offence.

But this law was not applied against the extreme right. Instead, it was used as a political weapon against the Communist Party [KPD] and other left-wing groups. In 1924, two-thirds of convictions relating to the Law for the Defence of the Republic were handed out to Communists; in 1925 and 1926, all such convictions were. In 1925 alone, as many as 269 Communists were sentenced under this act.

When social contradictions intensified and rearmament was stepped up, the sentences meted out by the political justice system became even more savage. One well-known victim was the pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who in 1931 was sentenced to 18 months in prison because he had written an article exposing the illegal rearmament of the Reichswehr [armed forces of the Weimar Republic]. Not long after his release, which came shortly before Hitler came to power, the Nazis threw Ossietzky into a concentration camp. He died as a result of the abuse he suffered there.

After the war, Section 90 of the Criminal Code, which makes “defamation of the federal president” a punishable offence, was adopted as one of the superseding clauses of the Law for the Defence of the Republic. Presidents Theodor Heuss and Heinrich Lübke used it primarily to combat critics who tried to expose their role in the Third Reich. In the last 20 years, the clause has hardly ever been used.

Whenever German imperialism returns to preparation for war, legislation limiting the right to personal political views also makes a return. The fact that the prosecution of opponents of war is being openly discussed in parliament and the media is a serious warning for the population.

‘Gestapo back in Germany’

This video says about itself:

Gestapo, Hitler’s Secret Police

3 November 2013

The Geheime Staatspolizei (German for Secret State Police, abbreviated “Gestapo”) was the secret police of Nazi Germany, and its main tool of oppression and destruction, which persecuted Germans, opponents of the regime, and Jews. It later played a central role in helping carry out the Nazi’s “Final Solution.”

The Gestapo was formally organized after the Nazis seized power in 1933. Hermann Göring, the Prussian minister of the interior, detached the espionage and political units of the Prussian police and proceeded to staff them with thousands of Nazis. On April 26, 1933, Göring became the commander of this new force that was given power to shadow, arrest, interrogate, and intern any “enemies” of the state. At the same time that Goring was organzing the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler was directing the SS (Schutzstaffel, German for “Protective Echelon“), Hitler’s elite paramilitary corps. In April 1936, he was given command of the Gestapo as well, integrating all of Germany’s police units under Himmler.

By Ulrich Rippert in Germany:

The return of the state secret police in Germany

27 June 2014

Last week’s edition of Der Spiegel published over 50 NSA documents that had been handed to the media by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden last year. These top secret documents make clear the extent of the close collaboration between the US intelligence agency and the German foreign intelligence service (BND) and domestic intelligence agency (BfV).

They contradict the claims by leading officials in the security apparatus and the interior ministry that they were surprised and shocked over the extent of the NSA’s activities in Germany. The Spiegel documents reveal that the BND and BfV, as well as ministerial representatives, were well informed about the capabilities and activities of the NSA.

Germany’s intelligence agencies apparently even pressed for closer cooperation with the NSA. The BND and BfV used the NSA’s spying activities on German territory to vastly expand their own operations and create a security apparatus that forms a state within the state and is free from any democratic control.

Der Spiegel wrote, “The documents paint a picture of an omnipotent American agency, which has developed increasingly close ties to German agencies over the past 13 years and at the same time massively expanded its presence.” In the Federal Republic, there was “a secret NSA surveillance apparatus like in no other country in Europe”, which was concerned “not only with the desire for security, but also the striving for total control.” The NSA reported having a dozen active collection points in Germany in 2007.

In the opinion of Der Spiegel’s editors, the documents suggest that the intelligence gathered in Germany is used for the arrest or killing of alleged terrorists. “Does Germany therefore serve as a bridgehead for America’s deadly operations against suspected terrorists?” the editors ask. “Do the CIA and American military use data collected by the NSA in Germany for their drone operations?” The NSA did not respond to questions from Der Spiegel, but the sole conclusion suggested by the facts is that the answer is “yes”.

The NSA’s activities exposed in the secret reports are illegal under German law. “Is it conceivable that the German government knew nothing about these NSA activities on German territory?” Der Spiegel went on to ask, before answering, “hardly imaginable”. The NSA had not only been active in Germany for decades, but it works in close consultation with the BND, which has its supervisory body in the chancellor’s office.

In a document with the title “NSA’s intelligence relationship with Germany”, from January 17, 2013, the NSA describes the long-term collaboration with the BND, BfV and the federal office for IT Security (BSI). According to the document, the collaboration with the BND began as early as 1962 with “extensive analytical, operational and technical exchanges.”

The document states, “NSA welcomed BND President [Gerhard] Schindler’s eagerness to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation.” The German agencies had proven their own initiative and self-determination in the task of supporting America’s requirements, to improve their own SIGINT capabilities and to increase the exchange of information.

SIGINT is the abbreviation for signals intelligence, meaning the securing of information through the interception of electronic data, such as the interception of satellite signals or the wiretapping of communication cables.

Die Zeit also reported in detail about the document, writing, “In it there are multi-clause sentences like ‘NSA also has held several multilateral technical meetings with BND/BfV/NSA/CIA to introduce SIGDEV methodology and tradecraft to improve the BfV’s ability to exploit, filter, and process domestic data accesses and potentially develop larger collection access points that could benefit both Germany and the US’.”

The cooperation between US and German intelligence agencies went so far that the BND pressured the German government to loosen data protection in order that it could work more closely with the NSA, at least according to the American intelligence agency. The document states, “The German government modified its interpretation of the G-10 Privacy Law, protecting the communications of German citizens, to afford the BND more flexibility in sharing protected information with foreign partners.”

Under the “key issues” in the document, it states, “In May 2012, NSA turned over full responsibility of the FORNSAT collection mission to the BND, allowing NSA’s representational team to cultivate new cooperative opportunities with Germany.” FORNSAT stands for foreign satellite collection, i.e., surveillance.

In a secret report from 2007, the NSA wrote that the installation and integration of German systems had significantly improved the collection and development of high priority targets. The new or improved capabilities were, according to the document, automatic surveillance systems, meta-data collection, the processing of voiceover IPs, and metadata collections from mobile phone networks. To achieve this, NSA workers had taught their BND colleagues the theory and practice to improve their capabilities in network analysis.

In addition, the document referred to the DISHFIRE databank where the NSA holds data intercepted from SMS messages. The Joint SIGINT Activity (JSA), the NSA and BND’s joint technical intelligence operation, based in Bad Aibling, had opened up new data streams for the NSA’s databank. JSA sends 330,000 pieces of data from SMS messages daily to DISHFIRE.

The NSA’s illegal practices were therefore not only known to Germany’s security agencies. They were also directly involved in these surveillance operations. The BND, BSI, the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) and BfV exchange countless quantities of data on a daily basis with their US allies. Neither the US nor the German government has any interest in limiting this cooperation in any way. The new German government has done everything it can thus far to prevent the exposure of the NSA affair.

Nonetheless, they were forced to agree to the establishment of the NSA parliamentary investigative committee, and at the beginning of June general state prosecutor Harald Range was compelled to announce an investigation in to the wiretapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

The publication of the NSA documents, which have been in the possession of Der Spiegel for some time, comes in this context. In the media, business circles and sections of the political establishment, demands for more independence from the US and self-determination for the intelligence agencies have emerged.

This is not connected with stronger parliamentary control or a restriction of the surveillance apparatus. On the contrary, the criticism of NSA surveillance is linked with the call for a “strengthening of German defence” (Die Zeit editor Josef Joffe).

This demand is symbolised by the transfer of the BND’s agents to a new centre in central Berlin this summer. In the largest office block in Europe, more than 4,000 agents will be tasked with spying on the world’s population in close collaboration with other intelligence agencies.

The strengthening of the BND and other intelligence agencies is connected with a wide-ranging restructuring of the entire security apparatus. Under the pretext of combating terrorism, the powers of the police and intelligence services have been vastly expanded over the past decade. In 2004, the joint centre for defence against terrorism (GTAZ) was established, which brought representatives of all Germany’s intelligence agencies under one roof.

In a specially erected building in Berlin Treptow, the BfV, BND, the federal criminal agency (BKA), the federal police, the MAD, the customs regulatory agency, the federal prosecutor, the federal office for immigration and refugees, as well as all 16 state surveillance agencies and criminal agencies cooperate closely. All of the authorities involved have access to the BKA’s “anti-terrorism database”.

The separation of police and intelligence services established in the German constitution, a key lesson drawn from the crimes committed during the Nazi dictatorship, has practically been eliminated. The structures of a police state, which views every citizen as a potential enemy of the state and spies on them, are becoming ever more visible.

This is apparent above all on the question of war. The German population has responded with overwhelming hostility to the announcement from President Joachim Gauck, Social Democrat Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen that Germany’s era of military restraint was over and that it would intervene independently and with self-confidence in crisis regions.

The government has not only responded to this opposition with a comprehensive propaganda campaign, but also by strengthening the security apparatus and building up state structures. The return of German militarism thus goes hand in hand with the construction of a police state with powers increasingly reminiscent of those possessed by the Gestapo under the Nazis.

Auschwitz nazi crimes suspect arrested in Philadelphia, USA

This video from the USA is called 89 Year Old Johann Breyer May Be Prosecuted as a Nazi War Criminal.

From the Daily Mail in Britain, 18 June 2014:

The Philadelphia Nazi: Retired toolmaker, 89, arrested for role as Auschwitz guard and helping kill 216,000 Jews

German arrest warrant unsealed today alleges that Johann ‘Hans’ Breyer aided and abetted in the deaths of the men, women and children while a guard at the Auschwitz death camp

Each of the 158 counts of complicity in the commission of murder against him represents a trainload of Nazi prisoners from Hungary, Germany and Czechoslovakia

Breyer’s attorney argued his client is too inform [sic; infirm] to be detained pending an extradition hearing

Stag beetles become electronic tag beetles

This video is called Stag beetle fight.

Daily De Gelderlander in the Netherlands reports, on 10 June 2014, that about twenty stag beetles of Sint-Jansberg nature reserve in Dutch Limburg province, and Reichswald forest in Germany bordering on it, will be provided with electronic tags.

The tags don’t harm the insects. After fourteen days, they will fall off, providing biologists with data about these beetles‘ lives.

Probably because of the mild spring weather, stag beetles in this area are active now about a week earlier than usually.

See also here.