German novelist Hans Fallada’s nazi prison diary


This video about nazi Germany is called EVERY MAN DIES ALONE, by Hans Fallada.

By Sue Turner in Britain:

A tortured soul in the face of terror

Thursday 16th October 2014

The 1944 prison diary of German novelist Hans Fallada reveals a man torn between his conscience and the diktats of the nazi regime, says SUE TURNER, and he paid a heavy price for it

IN SEPTEMBER 1944 the novelist Hans Fallada finds himself, not for the first time, inside a German psychiatric prison.

Believing that the war is entering its final disastrous phase, with the nazis increasing their reign of terror at home and the Allies closing in on all fronts, he feels compelled to reflect on the nazi years and so begins to write his prison diary.

“I know I am crazy,” he states. “I’m risking not only my own life, but the lives of many people I’m writing about.”

In just two weeks, at breakneck speed, he tries to write himself free of the horrors of the previous 11 years.

Under the eyes of the guards he unburdens his resentment and hatred of the nazis. He writes about friends and colleagues, those who suffered under the regime and those who collaborated.

Using a tiny script, he turns the paper around, writing between the lines in different directions. He uses abbreviations to disguise the content and finally smuggles the manuscript out on a home visit. It is now published in Britain for the first time as A Stranger in My Own Country.

Fallada (1893-1947) became addicted to painkillers as an adolescent after he was run over by a cart and kicked in the face by the horse. He survived a bungled suicide pact in 1911, although he shot his friend dead.

By the time he became an adult he was an alcoholic, a drug addict, an embezzler, a depressive and a suicide risk. He also became a best-selling author.

His novels document the lives of ordinary people as they struggle with life in a Germany hit by unemployment, inflation and the rise of fascism.

Little Man, What Now?, published in 1932 when four out of 10 German workers were unemployed, tells the story of a young couple fighting to keep their heads above water.

Fallada gives a voice to these half-hidden victims of a society that kept them on the edge of starvation. Rather than making the context of the novel explicit, he concentrates on the detail of their daily lives, leaving the reader to connect this with the wider political picture.

Fifty provincial newspapers serialised the book and it was made into a Hollywood film by Jewish producers, thus bringing Fallada to the attention of the nazis.

In 1935 he was declared an “undesirable author.”

As opponents of nazism made plans to flee abroad, Fallada made the fateful decision to remain in Germany, explaining that: “I could never write in another language, nor live in any other place than Germany.”

He felt he should defend his homeland from violent nationalism from within, rather than “slink away to a life of ease in comfortable exile” like Thomas Mann and Bertholt Brecht. The former’s attitude to the notion of Fallada’s internal exile was scathing. “Books published in Germany between 1933 and 1945 are less than worthless. The smell of blood and infamy clings to them,” he wrote.

Inevitably, Fallada found himself compromising with the regime in the shape of the nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and he spent time in and out of psychiatric units as a result of the stress.

After the war he settled in the eastern sector of Berlin and the Soviet administration appointed him interim mayor of Feldberg.

He was given the Gestapo files of a working-class Berlin couple, the Hampels, who were beheaded in 1943 for distributing postcards denouncing the nazis. In 1947 Fallada used their story as a basis for Alone in Berlin, the novel that redeemed him.

His fictional couple the Quangels follow the same course as the Hampels — individual resistance which is brave and dogged yet ultimately doomed. Primo Levi called it “the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the nazis.”

That same year, weakened by drink and drugs, Fallada died of a heart attack. He was 53.

His prison diary is a heartfelt diatribe against the nazis, revealing a highly compromised man riddled with contradictions and ambiguity. In reading it, the high price Fallada paid for living out the war in his homeland is all too clear.

A Stranger in My Own Country: The 1944 Prison Diary by Hans Fallada is published by Polity, price £20.

Anti-fascism in Britain, 1936-2014


This video from Britain says about itself:

26 September 2012

The magnificent mural in Cable Street in East London, depicts the 1936 battle of Cable Street, when East end residents stopped Oswald Mosley and his fascist followers marching through their streets. In this powerful dissection of what happened, the real battle we learn was three way, between the police, the fascists and local people. Interwoven with eye witness testimony from Bill Fishman, Alan Hudson provides a riveting account of the events, the context and many hidden truths. The official labour movement tried to stop the anti-fascist protests and organised an alternative rally in Trafalgar Square. Lessons for today come thick and fast and we are left to contemplate the mural’s contemporary meaning.

By Gerry Gable in Britain:

They still shall not pass

Saturday 4th October 2014

Gerry Gable reports on the state of Britain’s extreme right 78 years after the Battle of Cable Street

In October 1936 the nature of fascism and national socialism was far clearer to the people of Britain.

In Spain a democratically elected socialist government was under attack by Spanish fascist generals supported by Moorish troops under General Franco’s command and armed and supported by Hitler’s Luftwaffe and Mussolini’s fascist volunteers.

While thousands of anti-fascists ranging from Communists to even the odd Conservative from a multitude of countries rallied to the defence of the Spanish republic behind the slogan: “They shall not pass”, at home their counterparts, Mosley’s jackbooted, black-shirted private army with its wealthy and influential backers, and the barking mad Arnold Leese’s Imperial Fascist League, which had advocated the mass gassing of Jews since 1928, were out in the open, and the people reacted in the most appropriate way — by confronting them on the streets.

Move forward to today and the enemy, who in the main have hardly shifted in their warped ideology, now come in multiple forms and sizes.

The past five years have witnessed the collapse of the British National Party, the first British nazi party to make a breakthrough at the ballot box with, at one stage, more than 60 elected local councillors and another 40 or so on parish and town councils, many elected unopposed, as well as two MEPs.

In terms of membership, the BNP never reached the size of Britain’s largest post-war fascist movement, the National Front, which similarly underwent a rapid collapse after its heyday in the 1970s.

The BNP never had more than 15,000 members and at the end of 2013 officially had 4,220 members and falling.

Since then the party has lost its two MEPs as well as its leader, Nick Griffin, who resigned from the chairmanship in July and was booted out of the party this week, is now keener to spend time in Russia and Syria, and with leaders of the murderous Golden Dawn in Greece and Forza Nuova in Italy.

In Britain Griffin, who had been appointed BNP president, had been undermining his successor Adam Walker, resulting in his expulsion from the party on October 1.

Various split-offs from the BNP have gone nowhere. Those slightly less thuggish nazis around the former BNP MEP Andrew Brons, founder of the British Democratic Party, are rarely heard of. Britain First has barged its way into the headlines with its green-uniformed mosque invasions, but has lost its financial backer James Dowson and its leader Paul Golding is awaiting trial for harassment and wearing a political uniform. And the rump of the National Front has split yet again.

So where does the danger come from? The English Defence League certainly presented a problem, with its marches of thousands of drunken racists around the streets of our major cities giving rise to community tension and disruption.

They have been joined by some well-organised and violent Polish nazis living in Britain who boast at private nazi meetings about carrying out violent attacks on black, Muslim and Jewish people.

Searchlight predicted that the anti-fascist movement would be tested by having to defend communities country-wide nearly every weekend.

Investigations of the EDL uncovered the fact that it was initiated by a group of wealthy businesspeople, who were pulling the strings. However on the streets the organisation, which has no formal membership, was badly led by a pair of low-level convicted criminals. The greater problem would come, we said, when the EDL splintered into small but violent factions.

The EDL have tried three times to mount major marches into the area around Cable Street. On each occasion they have been repulsed by a united front of thousands of people drawn from the local community and further afield. They still have not passed.

Hungarian nazis have also tried to organise in London but were beaten off by large numbers of anti-fascists led by UAF.

But Britain’s fascists are best organised outside the media spotlight. There are three centres for their operations. One is the Traditional Britain Group (TBG), a follow-on from the far-right Monday Club and Western Goals of the 1960s and 1970s.

The TBG organises closed meetings and conferences, bringing into the country well-known overseas extremists, and has links to several millionaires who finance websites and publications internationally.

The TBG also acts as a bridge between fascists and a number of ultra-Tory groups, where one finds Conservatives sitting down with former senior nazi activists such as the infamous former NF organiser Martin Webster.

The second is the Iona London Forum, which also brings in overseas nazis to address its private meetings. These include Germans, Italians, Poles, Spaniards, Swedes, Russians and Americans, including last weekend the key US nazi Mark Webber.

Some have hate-crime convictions in their own countries, but have no trouble entering Britain. Among Iona’s speakers are Holocaust denier David Irving and disgraced fascist bishop Richard Williamson.

The most worrying development is the arrival on the far-right scene of Generation Identity. This group first surfaced in Sweden at a secret meeting attended by Russian fascists such as Alexandr Dugin and the French extremist philosopher Alain de Benoist.

GI believe the “white race” has been brought down by two calamities — the defeat of nazi Germany and what they term the Marxist cultural revolution of 1968, when young people in the West stood up in a left-oriented revolt.

GI are close to the TBG and Iona and are not boneheads or sub-working class but middle and upper-class young people at university or recently graduated. They tell their followers they are prepared to die for their beliefs.

This weekend they were to have gathered in Budapest for a very important conference. For some months Searchlight has exposed their plans and last weekend the Hungarian government banned the conference.

Since last October a series of nazi conferences have taken place in London, Vienna, Crimea, Stockholm and several mainly young far-right extremists, as well as Griffin, have visited Syria for meetings with the Syrian fascist party, founded in 1936 in support of fascist Italy and still approved of by President Assad today.

Readers may wonder why this article does not mention Ukip — well that would need another article.

Searchlight, since its creation 50 years ago, has always been intelligence-led and we are very proud of the work of our volunteers working inside the extreme right in Britain and abroad. From the outset we have worked on the basis that, in the battle to defend democracy against its enemies, we can never win unless we know our enemies’ plans, make a sound analysis and use it to best effect against them.

Gerry Gable is editor and publisher of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight.

Ukrainian soldier wears Hitler’s SS symbols


Ukrainian soldier with SS symbols

The Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine blog in Britain comments in October 2014 on these photos:

Ukrainian National Guard soldier wearing nazi SS insignia

Two pictures distributed by Associated Press show a Ukrainian National Guard soldier wearing insignia of the nazi military organisation Waffen SS on his hat and arm while being reviewed by Prime Minister Yatseniuk.

Ukrainian soldier's SS symbols

The AP description of the pictures says:

A Ukrainian volunteer soldier with emblems of WWII SS Galician division that had fought against the Soviet Army, waits to be sent to the country’s east in a military base in the village of Novi Petrivtsi near Kiev Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukasky)

The blog post continues:

The picture was taken on September 30 at the National Guard training camp in Novi Petrivtsi. The reason the photographer was there was that the National Guard soldiers were being reviewed by the Prime Minister Yatseniuk before being sent to the front, as can be seen in the AP pictures following these two ones:

Yatseniuk reviews Ukrainian soldiers

The SS Galician division of Nazi troops (14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS) was set up in 1943 and was composed of Ukrainian volunteers.

On April 27 this year, a march was organised in Lviv, Western Ukraine, to commemorate the founding of this Nazi military organisation. The march was organised by organisations of veterans and the regional branch of the far right party Svoboda, which at the time was part of the ruling coalition in Kyiv:

Commemoration of the founding of the SS Galicia Division in Lviv, April 27, 2014

This comes after the scandal of Ukrainian soldiers of the Azov Battalion with nazi symbols on their helmets being shown on German TV news.

British ex-National Front nazi now in UKIP


This video from England says about itself:

UKIP AND THE EX-NF CANDIDATE

17 April 2013

A THANET WATCH REPORT. Campaigning for UKIP in Ramsgate for the Kent County council elections, Trevor Shonk answers questions about the ex-chair of Thanet UKIP party, Martyn Heale, who was in the past an organiser for the National Front. UKIP has a rule not to allow membership to people who have been members of far right parties such as the National Front and the British National Party.

Apparently, having such a rule is one thing. Applying it is another thing.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

UKIP OFFICIAL DEFENDS RACIST NATIONAL FRONT

Wednesday 8th october 2014

Heale accused of rewriting history over NF claims

SENIOR Ukip official Martyn Heale was accused yesterday of “rewriting history” after claiming that the National Front (NF) was not a far-right organisation.

Mr Heale, party leader Nigel Farage’s campaign manager in the Kent constituency of South Thanet, had previously said that his membership of the NF in the late 1970s was “a bad decision” that he “sincerely” regretted.

But in an about-turn, Mr Heale has now leapt to the defence of the organisation.

In today’s issue of the London Review of Books, Mr Heale is quoted as saying: “There’s been an attempt by many people to associate the National Front with the far right. But that’s not fair, that’s not true.

“It was a bit of a social club,” he told the journal. “Initially the National Front was just a group of retired people and soldiers.”

Mr Heale was a branch organiser for the National Front in Hammersmith, west London.

He held his position at a time when the racist NF was blamed for encouraging a huge escalation in far-right violence in the city.

His neonazi links were first exposed last year when he ran successfully for a seat on Kent County Council.

Hope Not Hate organiser Simon Creasy told the Morning Star: “Maybe he’s trying to rewrite history and whitewash over his far-right past.

“Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that the National Front was a far-right organisation and still is.

“For him to try to deflect from questions about his history in this way is just laughable. It was always a far-right party.”

Mr Heale’s claims were published as the anti-immigrant party launched a shocking defence of one of its MEPs after she tweeted a link to an anti-semitic website.

Last week Jane Collins tweeted a link to an article drawing links between Labour leader Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange, which incorrectly referred to Ms Harman as a “Jewess.”

But a Ukip spokesman told Jewish News yesterday that the term was “(no) more insulting than saying that Ms Collins is a Yorkshirewoman, it is merely descriptive not pejorative.”

Last year Mr Farage said he would not join an alliance with the French far-right Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, because of the “prejudice and anti-semitism” in the party.

Mr Heale’s comments are quoted in a 8,000-word polemic in the London Review of Books by author and journalist James Meek.

“In view of Ukip’s insistence that it isn’t a racist party, I thought Heale might be defensive, or embarrassed, about being a member of the NF in 1978,” Mr Meek writes. “To my surprise, he came to its defence.”

A Ukip spokesman said the party disputed the quote and claimed that when Mr Heale joined the NF he felt it was a left-of-centre community-oriented organisation with a national focus.

Party leader Mr Farage was adopted as Ukip candidate in South Thanet this summer.

When Heale joined the National Front, its founder and party leader was John Tyndall, ex-deputy leader of the National Socialist Movement and a lifelong nazi.

Talking about the British National Front; about their French sister party:

France’s far-right National Front (FN) party has boycotted a vote to dedicate a square in the southern city of Toulon to Nelson Mandela, saying the anti-apartheid icon was a “terrorist” in the past.

ONE of Ukip’s rising stars has been left red-faced after social media messages emerged showing he criticised Nigel Farage’s party at the last election. Blair Smillie had hurriedly deleted posts and made his social media profiles private yesterday, after Labour revealed the embarrassing posts: here.

Ukip leader says he is ‘not going to pretend to reach out to female voters or voters of all different denominations': here.

Nazi death squad members identified


This video is called Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades, Part 1.

And this video is the sequel.

From Associated Press:

Wiesenthal Center pushes Germany for new probe of Nazi mobile death squad members

By DAVID RISING

October 01, 2014 – 5:01 am EDT

BERLIN — The Simon Wiesenthal Center has identified dozens of former members of Nazi mobile death squads who might still be alive, and is pushing the German government for an investigation, The Associated Press has learned.

The Wiesenthal Center’s top Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, told the AP on Wednesday that in September he sent the German justice and interior ministries a list of 76 men and four women who served in the so-called Einsatzgruppen.

The Einsatzgruppen, made up of primarily SS and police personnel, followed Nazi Germany’s troops as they battled their way eastward in the early years of the war, rounding up and shooting Jews in the opening salvo of the Holocaust before the death camp system was up and running.

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, they had killed more than a million Soviet Jews and tens of thousands of others by spring 1943.

“In the death camps the actual act of murder was carried out by a very small number of people — the people who put the gas into the gas chambers — but the actual act of murder in the Einsatzgruppen was carried out individually,” Zuroff said. “Almost every person in the Einsatzgruppen was a murderer, a hands-on murderer.”

Zuroff narrowed down the list of possible suspects by choosing the youngest from a list of some 1,100 with dates of birth known to his organization, from the estimated 3,000 members of the death squads.

All 80 would be very old if still alive, born between 1920 and 1924, Zuroff said.

“Time is running out,” he said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem. “Something has to be done.”

Because of Germany’s strict privacy laws, the Wiesenthal Center has been unable to confirm where the suspects live, but Zuroff said that task, and determining if they’re still alive, should be relatively easy for police or prosecutors.

Meantime, he said, his office is willing to assist in any way possible in coming up with evidence or other details.

“The hope is that as many as possible will be alive, but there’s no guarantee obviously,” he said. “But every person alive today is a victory of sorts.”

Germany’s Interior Ministry had no immediate comment but the Justice Ministry said it had passed the details of the letter to the special federal prosecutors’ office that investigates Nazi-era crimes.

The head of that office, Kurt Schrimm, told the AP he hasn’t yet received the new information.

A handful of Einsatzgruppen members were tried and convicted after the war but most have gone unpunished.

Schrimm has said, however, they could now be prosecuted under new German legal theory that service in a Nazi unit whose sole purpose was murder is enough to convict someone of accessory to murder — even without evidence of participation in a specific crime as had previously been required.