United States racism influenced nazi Germany

This video from the USA says about itself:

American Racism Inspired Nazi Nuremberg Laws

1 April. 2017

The first half of our interview with James Whitman, Professor at Yale Law School and author of the book “Hitler’s American Model,” who joins David to discuss American influence on Nazi Nuremberg laws, and similarities and differences between pre-World War II Germany and America today.

This video is the sequel.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

The Nazis as students of America’s worst racial atrocities

By Jeff Guo, May 19

Jeff Guo is a journalist in Washington, D.C.

When Adolf Hitler seized control of Germany in 1933, one of his priorities was to create a legal framework for his vision of an anti-Semitic state. Thus began a meticulous Nazi research project on race-based lawmaking aimed at erasing the rights of Germany’s Jews.

One foreign country in particular grabbed the Nazis’ interest because of its advanced and innovative system of legal racism.

The object of Nazi fascination? America.

“In the early twentieth century the United States was not just a country with racism,” writes Yale law professor James Whitman in his book “Hitler’s American Model.” “It was the leading racist jurisdiction — so much so that even Nazi Germany looked to America for inspiration.”

In his startling new history, Whitman traces the substantial influence of American race laws on the Third Reich. The book, in effect, is a portrait of the United States assembled from the admiring notes of Nazi lawmakers, who routinely referenced American policies in the design of their own racist regime.

As they drafted their own laws to exclude German Jews from public and civic life, Nazi lawyers carefully studied how the United States suppressed nonwhite immigrants and consigned minorities to second-class citizenship. In private hearings, they discussed how the U.S. model for white supremacy in the Jim Crow South could be transposed to Germany and inflicted on the Jews.

The Nazis were keenly influenced by America’s laws forbidding interracial marriage. Dozens of states not only banned black-white unions but subjected violators to lengthy jail sentences. The harsh criminalization of mixed-race marriages in America set an example for the Nazis as they created their Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which forbade German Jews from marrying non-Jews, invalidated existing mixed marriages and sent offenders to prison labor camps.

Whitman’s book contributes to a growing recognition of American influences on Nazi thought. Other historians have shown, for instance, that the vigorous U.S. eugenics movement emboldened the Nazis, who copied America’s forced-sterilization programs and took cover in the pseudoscientific theories of American eugenicists.

Biographer John Toland has noted that Hitler admired the American conquest of the West, particularly the decimation of the Native American population. The Nazi concentration camps may have been based, in part, Toland argued, on the Native American reservation system.

The Nazi atrocities held a dark mirror to some of America’s most shameful impulses. On some level, Americans understood this. After World War II, eugenics fell out of favor, and the United States gradually rolled back some of its racist laws. Jim Crow was dismantled, at least on paper, by the efforts of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. And the last anti-miscegenation laws were struck down in 1967. This was slow progress, but it probably would have been slower if the Nazi regime hadn’t horrified the world with its racial intolerance.

Two United States racists who influenced nazism were car factory boss Henry Ford, with his propaganda for the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; and pseudo-scientist Lothrop Stoddard, who coined the word ‘subhuman’ (Untermensch in nazi Germany).

Conscription back into German nazi-infiltrated army?

This video says about itself:

7 May 2017

Inspections have been ordered at every military barracks in Germany, after Nazi-era memorabilia were found at two of them.

The defence ministry said the command came from the inspector general of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s armed forces).

All barracks will be searched for material linked to the Wehrmacht, the army which served Adolf Hitler.

The move follows a growing scandal over far-right extremism within the German army.

In late April, an army lieutenant who had expressed far-right views was arrested after allegedly plotting to carry out a gun attack disguised as a Syrian refugee.

Prosecutors in Frankfurt said the 28-year-old suspect had a “xenophobic background”.

Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen cancelled a planned trip to the US and travelled to his garrison in Illkirch, northeastern France.

Officials found Wehrmacht memorabilia openly displayed there in the common room, despite a ban on Nazi symbols.

A second barracks, Fuerstenberg in Donaueschingen, southwest Germany, was then sucked into the scandal on Saturday after a display cabinet was found containing Nazi-era helmets.

Spiegel online reported that pictures of Wehrmacht soldiers were found on a wall, along with Nazi pistols, more helmets and military decorations.

A Defence Ministry spokesman told Reuters the items found in Donaueschingen did not include Nazi objects punishable under German law, such as swastikas.

However, Ms Von der Leyen said last Wednesday that she would not tolerate the veneration of the Wehrmacht in today’s army.

She said the latest scandals were no longer isolated cases, adding that “a misunderstood esprit de corps” had led senior officers to “look the other way”.

The minister later apologised for the tone of her criticism, after political opponents accused her of smearing the whole army.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Germany resurrects conscription

13 May 2017

German politicians and the media have responded to the exposure of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell in the army (Bundeswehr) by calling for a reintroduction of military conscription.

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) parliamentary deputy Patrick Sensburg told the newspapers of the Funke media group Thursday that the citizen in uniform was “a reliable early warning system for the recognition of extremism from both left and right.” The reintroduction of conscription was therefore not only necessary due to security grounds, but the civilian population is “also the immune system against hostility to democracy.”

Historian Michael Wolffsohn declared at the beginning of May in an interview with Tagesspiegel that the main cause of the scandal in the army was “the abolition of general conscription.” This political decision was “responsible for the army now lacking the very normal citizens.” It had “opened the gates for the inflow of extremist personnel, who want to gain easy access to weapons and military training. Poets don’t join the army voluntarily.”

The arguments from Sensburg and Wolffsohn, both of whom have close ties to the military, are cynical and wrong. German history shows that conscription has absolutely nothing to do with the struggle for democracy and against extremism. On the contrary, the reintroduction of conscription prior to World War II in the law on the construction of the Wehrmacht adopted on March 16, 1935, marked a turning point in the rearming of German imperialism under Hitler.

A comment in the weekly magazine Stern headlined “Reintroduce conscription” shows that the ruling class is pursuing the same goals now as then. What is involved is the massive rearmament of the army and the recruiting of cannon fodder for new and major wars.

“But we cannot trust our security to a force which must take those who come forward and cannot rely on those who they really need,” Stern wrote. “Germany’s security doctrine is currently changing radically, not least because Putin’s Russia is pursuing an aggressive great power policy. The defence budget is being increased, army units are being expanded once again, tank units and artillery, which for some time were considered obsolete, have to be rebuilt. This cannot be achieved with a fully voluntary force.”

The attempt to celebrate conscription as an instrument for democracy or a way to guarantee the cleaning out of neo-Nazis from the army was a lie from the outset. At its founding on November 12, 1955, the Bundeswehr was called “New Wehrmacht” (it was officially renamed Bundeswehr only in 1956), and its original name, in spite of conscription, was its programme from the beginning.

Here are some facts and figures. The 44 generals and admirals appointed prior to 1957 were all drawn from Hitler’s Wehrmacht, overwhelmingly from the army’s general staff. In the officers corps in 1959, 12,350 former Wehrmacht officers were to be found among the 14,900 professional soldiers, 300 of whom came from the leading bodies of the SS.

Historian Wolfram Wette wrote in a study titled “Militarism in Germany: History of a warrior culture,” “This continuity of personnel represented a severe burden for the army’s internal life.” Wette added, “For a long time within the officer corps of the army of the Federal Republic, the predominant, if not pervasive, tendency was to orient towards the pre-1945 traditions.”

With Germany’s reunification 25 years ago, this “predominant tendency” was further strengthened. The systematic restructuring of the army into an intervention force capable of waging war, which would defend German imperialist interests around the world, necessitated the revival of the old militarist traditions from the Reichswehr, the army under the Kaiser, and Wehrmacht in the Bundeswehr.

As early as 1991, prior to the first foreign intervention by the army, a general stated, “Everything must be directed towards ensuring the army’s capability for war, training, equipment and structure. Ethos, education and motivation must be included.”

In 2004, prior to assuming the position of inspector of the army, Lieutenant General Hans-Otto Budde appealed for a new, or more accurately old, type of soldier, “The citizen in uniform has served his time … we need the archaic fighter, and those who can wage hi-tech war.”

Since former German President Joachim Gauck and the government officially announced the return of German militarism at the Munich Security Conference in 2014, contributions regularly appear in official volumes on German foreign policy calling for war and violence in the typical tradition of the Wehrmacht.

In a volume titled “Germany’s new responsibility,” which contained articles from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD), Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen (both CDU), and leading Green and Left Party politicians, it was noted with frustration that in Germany “the neurotic desire to remain ‘morally clean’” pervades almost all debates on domestic and foreign policy.

“Whoever goes to war must in general be responsible for the deaths of people. That includes the deaths of non-participants and innocents,” it stated. Precisely “in times of new strategic uncertainty,” it was necessary “to emphasise [again] the military, not only because it demands such stern tests of societies, but because it ultimately remains the most consequential, and therefore the most demanding, perhaps even the crowning discipline of foreign policy.”

It went on to note that in the years to come, Germany would “have to offer significantly more politically and militarily” and confront “foreign and security policy questions … of which the country has not even yet dared to dream. Perhaps even not in its nightmares.”

With the neo-Nazi conspiracy in the army and the call for the return of military service, these “nightmares” are taking on a threatening form. They can only be banished by the construction of an international anti-war movement.

Guns, weapons and drugs have been seized from a network of right-wing extremists operating paramilitary training camps in German forests amid fears of a potential attack: here.

Neonazi terrorist German army scandal update

This video says about itself:

11 May 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen‘s plans to reform the German Armed Forces at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (German): “I think we have made the necessary decisions. And in order to continue, we should make the according reforms, which the Defence Minister [Ursula von der Leyen] has suggested. What the Armed Forces of Germany need is predictability of its development in order to help those who are serving well continue their service. I support the necessary reforms the defence minister has suggested.”

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General (English): “We are currently reviewing our training mission in Afghanistan and we will take decisions on its future scope, including on troop numbers, within weeks. …”

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General (English): “If NATO joins the coalition it will not change the role of NATO, because NATO will continue to provide support, we will continue to focus on training. … So, no one has asked for a NATO role in the combat operations, neither in Syria, nor in Iraq. But what NATO has started to do is to provide some support for the coalition with our AWACS surveillance planes, and also to do some training in Iraq.”

By Christoph Vandreier in Germany:

Defence Minister Von der Leyen downplays size of right-wing terrorist cell in German army

12 May 2017

After more information was made public Tuesday about the existence of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell in the German army (Bundeswehr), the parliamentary defence committee met Wednesday for an emergency session with Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen.

After the meeting of the committee, which conducts its business in secret, Von der Leyen announced a few cosmetic reforms aimed at downplaying the affair. She intended to ensure the political education of the soldiers, she stated, and make the chain of reporting incidents in the army quicker and more efficient. In addition, she intends to add an explicit distancing from the Wehrmacht, the German army under the Nazi regime, to the Bundeswehr’s 1982 Tradition Directive.

The Social Democrats (SPD) [junior coalition government party] also took great pains to downplay the scale of the events. SPD defence policy spokesman Rainer Arnold even attacked the Defence Minister from the right. He accused her of creating a climate of uncertainty and mistrust of the troops because she is raising the suspicion of the existence of a far-right terrorist network in the army without any concrete evidence.

Neither the SPD nor the opposition Greens or Left Party called for the resignation of the minister, who has led the defence ministry for three-and-a-half years and bears full responsibility for the army as its supreme commander.

Given the scale of the events that have taken place, Von der Leyen’s proposal to respond with an educational programme and a revision of the tradition directive is bizarre. It has now been confirmed that a right-wing terrorist cell existed in the army which was preparing attacks on high-ranking politicians and representatives of the state, Jewish and Muslim organisations, and left-wing activists.

Two officers and one student have been arrested thus far for hoarding weapons and munitions, preparing lists of potential targets and undertaking complex arrangements to blame the attacks on refugees. First Lieutenant Franco A., who was the first to be arrested, registered with a false identity as a Syrian refugee with the assistance of First Lieutenant Maximilian T., who is now also in custody.

One only needs to imagine what the response would have been if comparable plans for attacks by Islamist organisations had been discovered. The country would be placed under a state of emergency.

It remains entirely unclear how large the terrorist cell in the army is, whether Franco A. and Maximilian T. had other co-conspirators or accomplices, or even if they acted under the guidance of others. What is beyond doubt is that their neo-Nazi ideas had been known about for a long time and were systematically covered up by their superiors and the Military Surveillance Service (MAD). Investigations against them were frequently suspended or dragged out.

The latest information to come to light was that a superior of Franco A. requested a security check on him in February 2016 because he was being employed in a new “security sensitive activity.” No notice was taken of the fact that A. only provided the required declaration of understanding in November, after he had been active in his post for some time. A defence ministry spokesperson told Stern that the proceedings were “not yet fully investigated.”

In light of the frequency of cases in which suspected right-wing terrorists were concealed, it is no longer possible to speak of “mishaps,” as many media reports now do. In reality, it is becoming ever clearer that the army intelligence service, which is responsible for surveillance of soldiers, is a hotbed for right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis.

Recently a MAD officer, who is also a city councillor for the right-wing extremist Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Cologne city council, was reported to the Cologne state prosecutor because he tweeted the banned SA (Nazi paramilitary) slogan “Germany awake!” This occurred in January, but has not resulted in any consequences until now. The Twitter account concerned has been deleted in the meantime.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the terrorist cell was able to thrive in the army on the basis of widespread right-wing extremist networks which reach into the highest levels of the army command.

WDR conducted an interview with Christian Weißgerber, who was active in the right-wing scene as part of the autonomous nationalists, and joined the army in 2008. He explained that the army was heavily populated with “national conservative, racist persons.” In his group of 12 recruits, there were at least three who identified as right-wing extremists.

Weißgerber reported in detail about right-wing extremist tendencies in the officer ranks. He discussed with an officer about the Freemasons, Illuminati and other secret groupings steeped in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. And this was not the only incident with one of his superiors.

“I had a black, white and red towel, which was also seen,” stated Weißgerber. “But the superior simply said, ‘Hang that up again tomorrow when the colleague takes over the barrack room. He’ll be happy about that.’ I did it and he was actually happy.” Black, white and red were the colours of the Kaiser’s regime and the Nazis, and are used by right-wing extremist groups.

The internet portal bento interviewed a soldier named Dominik, who was in the army from 2004 to 2013 and studied at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. In his master’s thesis, he researched the political ideas of army officers. In essence, all of the interviews he conducted as part of his work had the same outcome, “Those questioned see themselves as part of an elite, as heroes, who will go into combat and, if necessary, sacrifice their lives.”

A majority of officers had an extremely conservative outlook and could easily identify with nationalist ideas, particularly in their view of history. “The Blitzkrieg on Poland during World War II was praised by many of my colleagues as a great military achievement,” said Dominik.

According to its own statistics, the MAD is currently reviewing 275 cases under the category of right-wing extremism. These are only those cases where the authorities could not avoid launching formal investigations. Franco A.’s neo-Nazi graduation paper in 2013, which was known to his superiors and the military disciplinary official, for example, was not included in this figure.

In 2016, the research of the MAD uncovered only three instances in which it determined right-wing extremists were involved.

Questions tabled by the Left Party parliamentary group to the government in the Bundestag (parliament) during the past week revealed that several soldiers were allowed to remain in service and had access to weapons after being investigated by the MAD for shouting “Sieg heil!” or performing the Nazi salute.

The strengthening of right-wing extremist elements in the army is closely linked to the politics of militarism and rearmament, which have been pursued determinedly by the defence minister.

The army is to be massively rearmed in the coming years, according to the provisional outlines of the concept of the army’s future capability profile drawn up by her ministry. It is to be capable of operating fully on land, at sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace.

The army’s seven brigades are to be increased to three divisions with eight to 10 brigades. Just within the past week, a contract with arms company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann was signed for the modernisation of 104 Leopard II tanks. Over the coming six years, the total number of tanks is to rise from 244 to 328.

The air force is to have the capacity to lead a multi-national force capable of conducting up to 350 reconnaissance and combat sorties per day. To this end, Tornado fighter jets and CH53 transport helicopters will be replaced with newer aircraft. In addition, drones, C130 Hercules transport aircraft, additional A400M transport planes and heavy transportation helicopters will be purchased. New ships will also be bought for the navy.

The expansion of the Bundeswehr into an army capable of fighting and killing around the world necessarily brings with it the revival of the Wehrmacht’s traditions and creates ideal conditions for neo-Nazi structures.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which has long led the militarist propaganda, made this unmistakably clear. For the FAZ, even the measures proposed by Von der Leyen to cover up the affair go too far. In a comment on Tuesday, the paper described “the search of all service locations for symbols which allegedly violate the constitution” as an “embarrassing exorcism, which will clean up the commander-in-chief, but tarnish the soldiers.”

The army, according to the FAZ, “was constructed by Wehrmacht officers who used and further developed its weaponry and training maxims for decades.” It openly called on the generals to resist their civilian commanders: “If resistance is to be the only creator of tradition–why are the generals going along with this nonsense?”

The neo-Nazi terrorist cell in the German army (Bundeswehr) is much larger than previously thought. This conclusion is based on a detailed article in the latest edition of Der Spiegel: here.

Another German army officer arrested in neonazi terror scandal

This 2012 German ARD TV video is about neonazism in the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Second German soldier arrested over ‘false flag’ plot to assassinate left-wing politicians in terror attack

Prosecutors say Maximilian T covered for friend as he posed as Syrian refugee

Lizzie Dearden

Tuesday 9 May 2017 16:25 BST

A second soldier has been arrested for allegedly planning a “false flag” terror attack to be blamed on refugees in Germany amid fears of a wider neo-Nazi network within the army.

The plot was exposed with the arrest of a German lieutenant, Franco A, who was found to be posing as a Syrian refugee in order to carry out a shooting attack targeting left-wing politicians.

One of his friends at Illkirch-Graffenstaden barracks in France has now been detained for allegedly covering for the soldier’s absences as he periodically returned to Bavaria to continue the ruse.

Maximilian T, a 27-year-old German national, was also a member of Jägerbataillon 291 and was arrested on Tuesday after being questioned by military intelligence officers.

Like Franco A, Maximilian T is a first lieutenant. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily, Maximilian T already had been investigated for right-wing extremism in 2015. However, that investigation had stopped without consequences.

He had joined his friend on a trip to Vienna in January – supposedly for an officers’ ball – where Franco A stashed an unregistered gun to be used in the attack at the city’s main airport.

Maximilian T was also part of an online messaging group where he, Franco A and other members exchanged far-right posts, photos and audio files, Der Spiegel reported.

He is assumed to be “number three” in the plot, following Franco A and Mathias F, a friend from his hometown who was also arrested in April.

“They were willing, or at least claimed to be, to kill for their cause,” an investigator said.

As well as the loaded 7.65mm pistol stashed in a toilet at Vienna International Airport, around 1,000 rounds of ammunition were found at Mathias F’s home in Offenbach – mostly stolen from the German army.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the three suspects were suspected of planning to attack senior politicians and public figures “who are committed to an immigration and refugee policy which has failed in the view of the defendants”.

The names of the former German President, Joachim Gauck, and left-wing justice minister Heiko Maas (SPD) were on a list of potential targets, said spokesperson Frauke Köhler.

She told a press conference Franco A planned to frame Islamist militants for the attack, which would have been linked to his fake identity as a Syrian refugee.

“The three suspects wanted to direct suspicion at asylum seekers living in Germany after the attack,” she added.

“The planned attack was intended to be interpreted by the population as a radical Islamist terrorist attack by a recognised refugee.

“Especially with regard to the ongoing public discussion over immigration and refugee policy, an alleged terrorist attack by a registered asylum seeker would have attracted particular attention and contributed to the sense of threat.”

Franco A had created a fake persona under the name David Benjamin, telling immigration officials he was a Damascus fruit seller …

No doubts appear to have been raised over the credibility of the 28-year-old’s background, despite him speaking mainly French with a smattering of Arabic from a language course.

The lieutenant registered in Giessen, Hesse, on 30 December 2015 – as Germany was overwhelmed by the arrival of almost a million asylum seekers – then submitted an asylum application at Zirndorf in Bavaria in January last year.

Despite having to return to Germany to collect monthly welfare payments, Franco A continued his army post in France until the day of his arrest because his friend covered for him, prosecutors said.

“Maximilian T is strongly suspected of planning a serious act of violence against the state out of a right-wing extremist conviction,” a spokesperson added.

“The resulting absences were at least partly covered up by Maximilian T, who had excused Franco A to his superiors.”

Officials said he obtained a Second World War era Unique Model 17 pistol for the attack, which he hid in a disabled toilet in Vienna International Airport while passing through in January.

Franco A’s double life was only discovered when he was arrested after returning to retrieve the gun in February.

A fingerprint check revealed his fake identity as a Syrian refugee, but when “David Benjamin” failed to answer a court summons in Austria, a wider investigation was triggered and the plot unravelled.

The soldier had not raised alarm over extremism in the army, despite writing a master’s thesis on ”political change and subversion strategy“ at a French university in 2014 that was found to contain far-right thinking.

An assault rifle case carved with a swastika was found in his barracks room, where the letters HH [Heil Hitler] were inscribed on the wall and a Nazi-era pamphlet depicting a Wehrmacht soldier was discovered.

The unprecedented plot has shocked Germany, prompting investigations within the army and interior ministry over how Franco A was able to lead a double life for more than a year.

The defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, has come under fire for her handling of the case after attacking “weak leadership” following the discovery of 275 suspected right-wing extremists within Germany’s military.

She has since apologised for her blanket criticism, following scandals including sexual abuse and hazing at another military base.

See also here.

This video from 2007 says about itself:

This video showing a German army instructor telling one of his soldiers to envision African-Americans in the Bronx while firing his machine gun was broadcast Saturday.

The video, coming after scandals involving photos of German soldiers posing with skulls in Afghanistan and the abuse of recruits by instructors, seemed likely to raise more questions about training practices in Germany’s conscript army.

In 2007, it was still a conscript army. Now, it is a professional army. Some German militarists want to bring conscription back.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

Nazi traditions of Germany’s Armed Forces come to the fore

9 May 2017

Last Thursday, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen apologized to Germany’s generals for reproaching the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) with having an “attitude problem” and a “wrongly understood esprit de corps.” Since then systematic attempts are being made to hide the full extent of the right-wing conspiracy in the military.

After the arrest of 28-year-old First Lieutenant Franco A, who is accused of preparing terrorist attacks while falsely pretending to be a refugee, it soon emerged that his neo-Nazi sympathies had long been known and tolerated by his superiors, and that such views are widespread in the Bundeswehr. Now suspicions are growing that Franco A is part of a larger network reaching into the leadership structures of the Bundeswehr.

In the Fürstenberg Barracks in Donau-Eschingen, a meeting room decorated with memorabilia from the Wehrmacht (Hitler’s army) was discovered. The hurried attempts at a cover-up and an order from General Inspector Volker Wieker, the Bundeswehr’s highest-ranking general, to search all barracks and Bundeswehr buildings for such commemorative Wehrmacht items cannot hide the fact that the preservation of Wehrmacht traditions and the toleration of neo-Nazi views in the Bundeswehr are not individual lapses, but a widespread, systemic phenomenon.

In some barracks, no search is necessary to recognize the continuity of Hitler’s Wehrmacht. A look at the name of the barracks is enough.

Two barracks are named after Hitler’s most famous military commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Three bear the names of fighter pilots awarded hero status under the Nazis—Hans-Joachim Marseille, Helmut Lent and Hermann von der Lieth-Thomsen—and two bear the names of tank commanders who were prominent in the war of extermination against the Soviet Union—Dirk Lilienthal and Adelbert Schulz. Another one is named after Paul von Hindenburg, a key figure in the First World War, who, as German president, appointed Hitler as Reich chancellor in 1933.

In the Leclerc Barracks in the French town of Illkirch, where Franco A served in an infantry battalion, the traditions of the Wehrmacht and the Nazis were obviously a matter of course. According to Spiegel Online, investigators find “more and more signs of a far-right fellowship in the barracks around Franco A.”

Although German soldiers have been stationed there only since 2010, the wall of the recreation room, the so-called “bunker,” was painted with Wehrmacht soldiers. The base commander admitted he had visited the bunker, but said the large-scale depictions of the Wehrmacht soldiers were not evident to him.

Already in 2012, there was a scandal at the Leclerc barracks when soldiers spread a four-meter-wide swastika on the ground during an international football match. This case was reported to superiors and the Ministry of Defence, in contrast to the neo-Nazi attitudes of Franco A. However, except for minor fines for three soldiers, it did not have any consequences.

Militaristic propaganda by politicians, the media and historians also plays an important role in the promotion of Wehrmacht traditions. Three years ago, leading politicians, including von der Leyen, announced that Germany must once again play a global political and military role appropriate to its economic clout. Bundeswehr soldiers have been sent to Afghanistan, Mali and other countries and are now accustomed to fighting and killing. This inevitably boosts the glorification of the Wehrmacht.

An important ideological step in the rehabilitation of the Wehrmacht was already made in 1999, when, after a fierce public debate, the travelling exhibition “The Crimes of the Wehrmacht—War of Annihilation 1941-44,” which had attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors over four years, was cancelled and its director Hannes Heer dismissed.

At the time, the WSWS commented, “All those who have an interest in preserving the myth of the Wehrmacht, from the nationalist German historians and magazine columnists to the parties in the SPD-Green government coalition and the ‘tradition-conscious’ Bundeswehr generals, to the right-wing extremist skinheads on the streets—all felt encouraged by the dismissal of Heer.” This has now been confirmed.

First Lieutenant Franco A’s Infantry Battalion 291 is directly involved in the international war efforts of the Bundeswehr. “This battalion stationed in France is no ordinary unit, but a kind of pioneer organization for special tasks,” reports the website NachDenkSeiten. “The battalion is present where it is geopolitically precarious, such as in Lithuania or Mali. It is also involved in politically explosive maneuvers like Operation ‘Sabre Strike’ 2015 in Poland, which was commanded not by NATO but by the US Army.”

According to Der Spiegel, Franco A was a member of the staff responsible for planning “international exercises and maneuvers.” His superior, the battalion commander Colonel Marc-Ulrich Cropp, has excellent international and political connections. He participated in training missions in the US several times; from 2008 to 2010 he completed elite training with the US Marine Corps. He then headed the planning department for operations of the Bundeswehr special forces in the German Ministry of Defence.

In the Ministry of Defence, Cropp worked closely with high-ranking politicians, according to NachDenkSeiten. This included the head of the planning staff, Ulrich Schlie, a member of the Atlantik-Brücke, which describes itself as “private, non-profit, nonpartisan association with the goal of building a bridge between Germany and the United States.” Membership is by invitation only. Schlie began his career working with Wolfgang Schäuble and as a foreign policy advisor to Roland Koch (both leading Christian Democratic politicians). Cropp also worked with Schlie’s successor Géza Andreas von Geyr, who also came from Schäuble’s circle and was vice president of the secret service BND from 2010 to 2014.

Franco A also seems to have maintained international contacts. In January 2017, he attended the elite “Officers’ Ball” at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. According to the organizers, the annual social event is “a meeting place not only for officers of the Austrian Armed Forces and Viennese society, but also for European politics and business.” Its sponsors included the major international armaments companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, BAE Systems and General Dynamics.

Franco A’s visit to the Officer’s Ball became known because afterwards he hid a gun in a toilet at Vienna airport, which was discovered by maintenance staff. At the beginning of February, Franco A fell into a trap laid by the Austrian police as he sought to pick up the gun from its hiding place.

Franco A’s neo-Nazi views, their cover-up by his superiors, the prominent status and international connections of his battalion, and many unresolved questions indicate that he was a cog in a wider conspiracy. The great effort being undertaken by the law enforcement authorities certainly suggests this. Following his arrest, which took place only three months after he went to recover the gun in Vienna, 90 police officers searched 16 buildings in Germany, Austria and France.

However, the public has been informed only about two accomplices so far. One was found to be in possession of 1,000 rounds of ammunition and other material from Bundeswehr bases. The other is said to have drawn up a list of possible targets of a terror attack, which includes left-wing activists and Bundestag (parliamentary) deputies, former President Gauck, Justice Minister Heiko Maas, and Jewish and Muslim associations.

While the media report extensively about every newly discovered piece of Wehrmacht memorabilia, the background and possible links of this sinister network are veiled in silence.

German army covers up neo-nazi scandal

This video says about itself:

3 May 2017

Chancellor Angela Merkel has given full support to Germany’s embattled defence minister over her handling of a scandal about far-right sympathisers in the army.

It follows the arrest of an officer suspected of planning a racially motivated attack.

According to press reports, a comrade of the 28-year-old lieutenant knew of his alleged plan.

Identified only as Franco A, it is claimed he planned to strike in the guise of a Syrian refugee, having falsely registered.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has angered the armed forces and some politicians by lambasting “weak leadership” across the military.

“His behaviour, his thinking which he clearly laid on the table, is intolerable,” she said.

“Alarm bells should have been heard earlier so that he could not have climbed the career ladder in the German army.”

The minister said it was unacceptable that the racism evident in a master’s thesis written by the suspect had not triggered disciplinary action by his superiors.

And highlighting the gravity of the scandal, she has cancelled a trip to the United States and summoned Germany’s 100 top generals and admirals to discuss this case and separate incidents of bullying, harassment and sexual assault in the military.

Germany is sensitive to any signs of far-right extremism in its armed forces because of its Nazi past but recent figures indicate it is a significant problem.

A spokesman for the defence ministry has said that between 2012 and 2016, 18 members of the military had been suspended from duty because they held rightist views. He also said that over a longer period of time, there had been around 280 suspected cases of right-wing extremists.

By Christoph Vandreier in Germany:

How the German Army covers up for neo-Nazi terrorist networks

6 May 2017

One week after the arrest of the right-wing First Lieutenant Franco A., evidence is mounting that the terror suspect was part of a substantial neo-Nazi network whose existence had been covered up by German authorities.

The 28-year-old was arrested last week after being caught by the Austrian police in February when he sought to pick up a gun from Vienna Airport, which he had previously hidden there. It was then established that he had registered as a Syrian refugee in Bavaria and had apparently planned terrorist attacks against politicians and left-wing activists using a false identity.

In the last few days, new details have come to light that leave no doubt as to his racist and fascist attitudes, and terrorist intentions. His right-wing extremist opinions had long been known to his superiors and were at least covered up, if not encouraged.

Franco A. had been transferred to the German staff group in Fontainebleau in France in September 2009, where he began studying social and political sciences at the Saint-Cyr French military academy. In December 2013, he delivered a master’s thesis entitled “Political Change and Subversion Strategy.” The work was so openly nationalist and right-wing that the French school commander, Antoine Windeck, marked it as “not successful” and told his German colleagues, “If he were a French participant in the course we would replace him.”

Franco A.’s superiors then commissioned an independent historian to examine the work. This evaluation fell into the hands of the daily Die Welt, which cited the following overall assessment, “The text, in its method and content is demonstrably not an academic qualification work, but a radical nationalist, racist appeal, which the author seeks, with some effort, to underpin in a pseudo-scientific manner.”

“In some parts, the text reads like an instruction manual for racist propaganda,” it says. Franco A. utilizes “the well-known racist interpretation of genes” and “crude environmental determinism.” In some places in his master’s thesis, Franco A. also warned against an “intermixing of the races” or “intermarriage.” The majority of society cannot have any interest in the spread of human rights, he says, describing their “infectious character.” Only minorities, he said, were interested in human rights.

In the emancipation of women, Franco A. sees “a threat to the family and thus also a deliberate weakening of the people (Volk),” the expert records. In conclusion, the historian notes that the work is a call “to bring about a political change that adapts the given situation to the supposed natural law of racial purity.”

This unambiguous opinion was completely rejected by the responsible military disciplinary attorney, a sort of army prosecutor, following a conversation with Franco A. “Because of the personality profile acquired, doubts about the necessary attitude towards the set of [social] values are not only not verifiable but can be excluded,” wrote the attorney, and enthused about the “intellectual ability” of the student. For this reason, the preliminary disciplinary proceedings were “discontinued.” Neither the military disciplinary attorney nor Franco A.’s superior reported the incident to the Military Intelligence Service (MAD). Franco A. was able to prepare a new master’s thesis, passed the examination and continued his officer’s career.

In view of the openly fascist content of the master’s thesis, the behaviour of his superiors can only be understood as providing support and encouragement to radical right-wing positions. This is also underlined by the fact that Franco A. wrote to the same disciplinary attorney when he was arrested by the Austrian police in February.

“First Lieutenant A. wrote me an email in which he recalled our meeting at that time, in which I insisted that he should write to me if he was in trouble,” the attorney said in a letter sent Friday to his superior, Lieutenant-General Martin Schelleis. In it, he summarizes email exchanges between himself and Franco A. and declares that the emails have been irretrievably deleted.

The fact that Franco A.’s superiors knew about his right-wing views is also evident from the Wehrmacht (Nazi-era German army) memorabilia and Nazi symbols that were found in his possession. In an open area of the barracks where Franco A. last served, the so-called bunker, there were large murals glorifying Hitler’s Wehrmacht. Clearly, Franco A. did not have to hide his radical right-wing attitudes on the base.

On the contrary, it seems that he was regularly recruiting for his far-right terrorist group in his infantry battalion, which was stationed at Illkirch. According to media reports, the investigating public prosecutor’s office now assumes Franco A. had a number of accomplices. Die Zeit reports another first lieutenant, Maximilian T., from the battalion, who had drawn up a list of possible targets for terrorist attacks found in Franco A.’s possession.

The list includes high-ranking politicians, such as former German President Joachim Gauck, Justice Minister Heiko Maas, and Thuringia state Premier Bodo Ramelow, left-wing activists such as Philipp Ruch from the Centre for Political Beauty, but also institutions such as the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

According to Die Welt, a notebook found in Franco A.’s apartment revealed key points regarding concrete actions. Amongst others, there is a proposal to commit an attack in the guise of a refugee: “Group Antifa: asylum seeker throwing grenade, film it.” The officer also mentions the 88-year-old Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck. “If Mrs. Haverbeck goes to prison, then liberation action,” the notes read.

On Thursday, the Defence Ministry informed the Bundestag (federal parliament) that about 1,000 rounds of ammunition, including for pistols and rifles, had been found in the possession of a presumed accomplice of Franco A. This followed earlier reports of irregularities in the documentation of the dispensing of ammunition at the barracks. The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, and broadcasters WDR and NDR also reported the statement of a soldier who knew of a group of soldiers who had stashed weapons and ammunition to fight on the “right” side in a civil war.

It is not the first time that fascist terrorist groups have emerged within the Bundeswehr (German army) and have been covered up by their superiors. Uwe Mundlos, who, together with other right-wing extremists, later formed the National Socialist Underground (NSU) and killed at least 10 people, had come to notice as a radical right-winger during his military service in the Bundeswehr.

During Mundlos’ military service between 1994 and 1995, he was arrested by the police for possessing a Hitler portrait and illegal right-wing propaganda material, and was later sentenced by a civil court. However, a decision by his captain to order seven days’ disciplinary detention was quashed by the South District Military Court of Appeals. Mundlos, in spite of his obviously right-wing views, was even promoted to corporal. Like Mundlos, it now appears that Franco A also enjoyed official protection.

It was not until later that it was revealed that attempts had been made during this time to recruit Mundlos as an operative for Military Intelligence. The recruitment attempt was followed by a long series of initiatives by various police authorities and secret service agencies to protect Mundlos and the NSU from prosecution, thus enabling their terrorism. According to different estimates, there were up to 150 members or sympathizers of the NSU. The fascist network which has now appeared at Franco A.’s barracks in Illkirch could be similar or even larger.

On Thursday, German Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen apologized to army generals after having mildly criticised top officials for turning a blind eye to the operation of right-wing extremists in its ranks. The incident demonstrates the growing power of the country’s general staff amid the resurgence of German militarism: here.

Nazi paraphernalia in German army barracks

This video, recorded in France, says about itself:

3 May 2017

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen visited an army barracks outside Strasbourg, Wednesday, where the German soldier named ‘Lieutenant Franco A.’ served before his arrest. The lieutenant was charged with plotting an attack which he reportedly planned to blame on refugees.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Nazi paraphernalia found in German barracks

Today, 12:54

Nazi paraphernalia have been found in a barracks in central Germany. Inspectors of the army had investigated there after a tip.

In a recreation room in the barracks in Fürstenberg there was a display of steel helmets of the Wehrmacht [Adolf Hitler’s armed forces]. The attached text “denazified” is thought to be ironic. There were also pistols and machine guns from the German armed forces of the Second World War. On the wall was a painting of a Wehrmacht soldier with a gun over his shoulder.

Franco A.

The discovery was immediately reported to Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. She spoke yesterday about the scandal of Lieutenant Franco A. She takes into account that more incidents in the army with a right-extremist background will come to light. In the barracks of Lieutenant Franco A. there were also found things which glorify the Wehrmacht.

The lieutenant had posed as a Syrian refugee, but is now suspected of preparing a terrorist attack as a member of an extreme right-wing network [aiming to blame the terrorism on refugees].

Following the case of the lieutenant, Von der Leyen was strongly critical of the leadership of the Bundeswehr. Yesterday she retracted that criticism partly.

Neo-nazi network in German armed forces

This Associated Press video says about itself:

Thousands of neo-Nazi protestors took to the streets of Munich on Saturday, protesting over a controversial exhibition which claims ordinary German soldiers were involved in war time atrocities.

On show at a museum in the German city the display called the ‘War of Extermination, Wehrmacht Crimes from 1941-1944’, documents how the regular German army took part in Holocaust crimes.

Several hundred left-wing supporters assembled in another part of the city to stage a counter protest.

Police were out in force to keep the two sides apart.

Dressed in paratrooper boots and bomber jackets, over two thousand neo-Nazis, skinheads and right wing supporters stamped through Munich, while Left-wing activists jeered from the sidelines.

The right-wing extremists descended upon Bavaria’s capital from across Germany in buses to protest a World War Two exhibit that documents involvement by Hitler’s regular armed forces in the Holocaust and other atrocities.

They believe the exhibits are too blatant and once again point the finger of blame at the German’s when other nations whose behaviour during the war should also be examined.

As they marched through the streets of Munich they chanted “Our grandfathers were no criminals and we are proud of them!”

Thousands of left wing supporters had also gathered in the city to protest against the presence of right-wing extremists and show their support for the exhibition.

Jeering and shouting insults they had to be held back by police in riot gear as the skinheads, neo-Nazis and right wing supporters marched past.

Scuffles broke out in some areas as the police struggled to keep the two opposing groups apart from each other.

The police arrested around 25 people, 21 of whom were right wing extremists, who were wearing a Nazi cross.

Over a thousand were drafted in to keep the city under control.

The ruling party the Christian Social Union has been strongly criticised by the other parties for allowing the demonstration.

And one of the political opposition leaders spoke out.


“That’s the sad point about it all, that the CSU (Christian Social Union) doesn’t differentiate itself from the NPD (National Party of Germany) and from the Nazis. I always thought there were liberal representatives in the CSU who would stand up to the right-leaning majority. It’s sad that even the Bavarian president refuses to give his point of view or comment from Gauweiler (very conservative CSU party member) who speaks of a defamation campaign and also the fact that the state head Theo Waigel, refuses to comment. This is a sad chapter.”

SUPER CAPTION: Hep Monatzeder, Green Party Mayor

The rallies were called by several parties to voice their opposition to the neo-Nazi march and also show their backing for the exhibition.

This exhibition challenges the notion that ordinary German soldiers had nothing to do with Nazi crimes during World War Two.

The exhibition uses photographs and letters from soldiers themselves to back up its premise that the regular army participated in mass killings of Jews and other atrocities, as well as the SS units usually blamed for war crimes.

Hannes Heer, exhibit organiser and historian said the Wehrmacht had been the second pillar of Hitler’s violent regime.

He claims these soldiers were responsible for millions of deaths, although that did not mean that every ordinary soldier was a criminal.

Across the city the Social Democratic Party marched alongside the German Workers Trade Union, while the Green Party teamed up with the young Socialists.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

Dangerous developments in Germany

Neo-Nazi network in German army exposed

4 May 2017

The arrest of a German army officer suspected of plotting the assassination of leftist politicians and high-ranking state officials has exposed the operations of neo-Nazi forces at the highest levels of the German military (Bundeswehr).

The information that has emerged thus far indicates that the suspected officer-terrorist was part of a broader network of fascists within the Bundeswehr, and that his activities were known to his superiors and covered up by them.

Most astonishing is the official reaction to these alarming revelations. They have prompted an outpouring of anger in the German media and from the establishment parties directed not at the existence of this network and evidence of its toleration by high-level state forces, but at mild criticisms of the military by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Given the historic crimes of German imperialism in the 20th century and the current revival of militarism in Germany, it is remarkable how little attention has been paid to these developments in the American and international press.

Lieutenant Franco A., 28, was arrested last week after coming to the attention of Austrian police when he sought to retrieve a weapon hidden at the airport in Vienna. It quickly emerged that the officer had been leading a double life. In addition to his activities in the Bundeswehr, Franco A, who does not speak a word of Arabic, had registered as a Syrian refugee and been recognized as such.

He apparently intended to carry out a terror attack under a false flag. A police search of his home uncovered a list of possible targets, which included, together with leftist politicians and activists, Justice Minister Heiko Maas and former German President Joachim Gauck.

Franco A. did not operate alone. The police have recovered shells and handguns from a 24-year-old accomplice, who was also arrested. The Defence Ministry has informed the parliamentary defence committee that the arrested officer may be part of an ultra-right network within the Bundeswehr.

The reaction of the military leadership suggests that this network is far more extensive and reaches much higher than has thus far been revealed. Defence Minister von der Leyen cancelled a planned trip to the US and invited 100 high-ranking military officers to Berlin on Thursday “to discuss the implications and consequences of the accumulated cases in the Bundeswehr.”

It is now clear that, for some time, Franco A.’s superiors were aware of his fascistic views and shielded him. As far back as 2014, his graduate thesis at the French military university Saint-Cyr was rejected on the grounds that it was not a scholarly work, but rather “a radical nationalist, racist appeal,” calling for “existing conditions to be adapted to the alleged natural law of racial purity.” The responsible French general advised Franco A.’s German superiors to sack him, but the latter concluded that he was not a racist. They hushed up the case and promoted his military career.

The neo-Nazi views of the first lieutenant were an open secret in the French town of Illkirch, where he served in a Franco-German unit. Investigators from the Bundeswehr have found “indications of right-wing and racist ideas” in his room. In addition to a swastika carved on an assault rifle, they discovered pictures glorifying Hitler’s army, the Wehrmacht.

Racist and authoritarian views and the glorification of violence are not only widespread in the Bundeswehr, they are actively encouraged by its leaders. The military intelligence service is currently investigating 275 extreme right-wing suspects. These investigations are exercises in damage control. Charges were dropped against one soldier who placed a photo of a machine gun on the Internet with the caption: “The fastest German asylum procedure: rejects up to 1,400 requests per minute.”

The tradition of Hitler’s Wehrmacht continues to be officially cultivated in the Bundeswehr. Many barracks bear the names of military officers who were implicated in the Nazis’ genocidal racial and war policies.

The universities of the Bundeswehr in Munich and Hamburg have repeatedly generated headlines by promoting right-wing extremism. In Munich, there was a controversy in 2011 surrounding the student magazine Campus when three of its editors expressed their support for the Conservative Revolutionary movement, one of the leading ideological forbears of the Nazis.

In Hamburg, the book Armee im Aufbruch (Army on the Move) was published in 2014 with contributions from sixteen officers who studied at the Bundeswehr University there and had combat experience in Afghanistan. The book is full of language typical of Nazi literature glorifying war.

The officers consider themselves to be an elite, opposed to a “hedonistic and individualistic” society focused on “self-gratification, consumption, pacifism and egoism,” a society that has no appreciation for the “striving for honour through great sacrifice,” for a “patriotic attitude to the people (Volk) and Fatherland” and for “courage, loyalty and honour.”

There was no protest against the book within the German political establishment. The right-wing, dictatorial standpoint it expressed is shared across the political spectrum.

When Defence Minister von der Leyen, a member of the ruling Christian Democratic Union, responded to the exposure of the Franco A. case by warning that “the German army has an attitude problem and it apparently has weak leadership at different levels,” she provoked a storm of protest. She may well lose her post, not because terror attacks on the former president and current ministers and members of parliament were planned from within the ranks of the Bundeswehr, but because she spoke out too sharply against it!

The Green Party defence expert Tobias Lindner declared, “It is not the Bundeswehr’s fault if it is increasingly attractive to right-wing extremists.” …

These developments reveal the enormity of the swing to the right by the entire German ruling class and the advanced state of its campaign to again make Germany the hegemon of Europe and a world military as well as economic power. The deepening crisis of world capitalism and rising economic and geo-political tensions are tearing Europe apart and fracturing the Atlantic alliance, increasingly pitting Germany against the United States.

Under these conditions, German imperialism must seek to sanitize its criminal past and rewrite its history to rehabilitate fascism, as it transforms the Bundeswehr into a lethal force of professional killers, capable of waging war all over the world.

Claims that the German ruling class learned its lesson from the Holocaust and the crimes of the Nazis, and that the military had purged itself, are exposed as myths.

In a commentary on Tuesday, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung co-editor Berthold Kohler derided the “fantasy image” of the Bundeswehr “as a kind of missionary military that spreads the gospel of the German constitution so that the German spirit shall heal the world.” He wrote: “Whoever sends soldiers into crises and wars must prepare themselves and the soldiers for the harshness and cruelty that awaits them.” Because the Bundeswehr has to teach its recruits “to fight and kill… it must be able to go to the limits of what is permissible in terms of hardship in training its fighting units.”

The spread of militarism into all spheres of society is an international phenomenon. In the US, Donald Trump, the most right-wing president in American history, has appointed generals to all the main security-related ministries, as American imperialism spearheads the drive to World War III. In France, heavily armed soldiers routinely patrol the streets since the imposition of a state of emergency a year-and-a-half ago.

The general silence to date of the international media on the growth of fascistic forces within the German military is itself an expression of the turn by the ruling classes of the world toward war and dictatorship.