Drunk English nazis arrested


This video from Britain is called EDL nazis.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Racist EDL supporters arrested during demo

Monday 25th May 2015

SIX supporters of the racist English Defence League were arrested in Halifax in West Yorkshire on Saturday during a demonstration.

Around 150 racists marched in a tightly packed bunch with a close police escort surrounding them.

The racists were reported to have drunk heavily in local pubs before the march, culminating in a demonstration outside Halifax town hall.

The arrests involved offences for breach of the peace, racially aggravated public disorder and indecent exposure.

Chants by the racists included “Muslim paedos off our streets.”

In addition to tight police protection for the EDL, dozens of police were deployed around Halifax town centre.

The EDL has made Halifax a regular target for its provocations.

The Calderdale district, of which Halifax is the main town, was the first Yorkshire community to see the election of a British National Party (BNP) councillor in 2003.

The electorate has now cleansed the council of the BNP.

Hitler’s mass murder of Dutch Jews


Memorial at the Westerbork Museum for the deported prisoners by Nina Baanders-Kessler

By Josh Varlin:

75 years since the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands

The Westerbork transit camp and the destruction of Dutch Jewry

11 May 2015

May 10, 2015 marked the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. After the week-long Battle of the Netherlands concluded, the occupying forces began implementing their plans to integrate the Netherlands directly into the German Reich, including the deportation and extermination of Dutch Jews. Over the next five years, tens of thousands of Jews were deported from the Westerbork transit camp to Auschwitz and other camps.

The Dutch government hoped to remain neutral during the World War II, as it had during World War I, but both the Allied and Axis powers considered plans to violate the neutrality of the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg). Hitler ultimately made the decision to invade the Netherlands to secure potential airfield spots in the flat countryside, guarantee troop movement to northern France, and prevent the Allies from gaining these strategic advantages.

The Battle of the Netherlands began May 10, 1940, with attacks by German paratroops airdropped outside Rotterdam, a cross-border assault, and widespread bombing. The Dutch army was unprepared for the war, in part because of the Dutch ruling class’ concentration on “defending” its prize colony, the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

On May 15, 1940, after less than a week of resistance, the Dutch armed forces capitulated and a formal surrender was signed. Fighting continued in the southern province of Zeeland (Zealand) for a few more weeks with the support of French troops, with the last parts of the province occupied by May 27.

The next five years—until the surrender of occupying Nazi forces on May 5, 1945—saw the near-total destruction of Dutch Jewry, with over 70 percent systematically killed by German imperialism.

Anti-Semitic measures began almost immediately after the occupation began. The Nazi-installed civil government banned Jews from many public positions, including at universities. Physical violence was employed against Jews by fascist thugs, and street fights became common. One supporter of the Nationalist Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) died from injuries sustained in a fight on February 11, 1941. The Nazi government responded by “ghettoizing” Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter and engaging in ruthless pogroms to round up Jews.

In 1942, the occupying government took over the Westerbork refugee camp, which had been established in 1939 by the Dutch government to house German-Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Over the next three years (1942-1944), approximately 107,000 Jews were sent to Westerbork, almost all of whom were eventually sent east on the 97 trains that left the camp. The first left for Auschwitz-Birkenau—the most common destination—on July 15, 1942. Over 60,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz from Westerbork, many of whom were gassed on arrival.

Many other trains went to Sobibór—some 34,000 people were deported there, with only 19 survivors. Nine trains went to either Bergen-Belsen or Theresienstadt.

Approximately 102,000 Dutch Jews died in the Holocaust, with only 5,000 liberated in the camps—almost 1,000 of these survivors were freed from Westerbork, which is located nine kilometers south of Assen near the German border. Notable prisoners at Westerbork included cabaret director Max Ehrlich, figure skater Ellen Burka and diarist Anne Frank; only Burka survived the war.

Among the Sinti and Roma victims of the Holocaust in the Netherlands was Settela Steinbach, a 9-year-old Dutch Sinti girl who was deported on May 19, 1944 to Auschwitz, where she was gassed. The deportation was captured on film.

This video shows the deportation from Westerbork of Settela Steinbach and others.

Footage of the child’s face looking out from the cattle car became emblematic of the Holocaust.

Resistance fighters and any detainees who disobeyed were sent to the prison section of Westerbork. In addition to the resistance members sent east, 48 were executed and cremated at Westerbork, along with 4 Jews. Ten additional resistance members were executed elsewhere and cremated at Westerbork.

On April 12, 1945, Canadian troops liberated Westerbork and the remaining 876 prisoners. Westerbork then became an internment camp for members of the NSB or Waffen SS and other Dutchmen accused of collaborating with the Nazis.

National Westerbork Memorial (1970) by Ralph Prins, a survivor of the camp

The internment camp closed December 1, 1948 and was subsequently used as a training ground for soldiers before they were sent to fight for Dutch control of the Dutch East Indies during the Indonesian War of Independence, and, in the 1960s, as a temporary home for “Moluccan separatists,” the remnants of a Dutch proxy army that had aimed at crippling independent Indonesia.

The camp was gradually demolished, and its isolation—which was an important factor in its construction and eventual use as a transit camp—made it the ideal site for radio telescopes. The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, finished in 1970, now contributes to mankind’s understanding of the cosmos through infrared imaging of galaxies. Thus modern technology has been used twice in the same area for wildly different purposes—near-annihilation of an entire people during the Second World War and exploring the universe today.

The Westerbork Museum opened in 1983, with some barracks at the camp partially reconstructed. For each Westerbork inmate that died in the Nazi extermination camps there is a small stone. The 102,000 Jewish victims are indicated with a Star of David, whereas the 245 Sinti and Roma victims are represented by 213 stones topped by a flame. One hundred stones have no emblem and represent the resistance fighters who were imprisoned at Westerbork before being sent east.

Memorial stones at Westerbork

The experience of Word War II and the Holocaust in the Netherlands offer lessons for today’s workers and youth. Neutrality and living in a minor imperialist power did not save the Dutch population, particularly Dutch Jews, during the Second World War. Nor will a nuclear Third World War spare civilians. The horrors of World War II point urgently at the need to avert a third through the working class waging war on war.

The author also recommends:

Seventy years since the defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich
[9 May 2015]

Seventy years since the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army
[16 February 2015]

Imperialism and the political economy of the Holocaust
[12 May 2010]

Wernher von Braun, Hitler’s rocket engineer


This video from the USA says about itself:

Wernher von Braun: From Nazis to NASA

16 December 2014

The American space program wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the contributions of a scientist who was also a former Nazi. Learn about the life and work of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.

Hosted by: Hank Green

By Peter Frost in Britain:

The Nazi who got away with it

Monday 11th May 2015

Peter Frost has found memories in Germany, France and the US of a fascist rocket man and mass murderer who simply escaped justice

THE date: May 2 1945. The Location: Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps, where the cream of Germany’s rocket engineers are under the protection of the SS.

Allied troops are advancing across Germany. Wernher von Braun, the leader of the scientists, is determined to organise his surrender to US troops. He sends his brother Magnus out on his bicycle to find the US 44th Infantry.

Magnus approaches a soldier, calling out in broken English: “My name is Magnus von Braun. My brother invented the V-2. We want to surrender.”

Wernher von Braun was a nazi war criminal. Unlike some of his compatriots he never had to hide out in South America. His prompt action in Oberammergau meant that he would live a well-paid long public life in the US.

Don’t believe all the US post-war propaganda about him being a talented but non-political rocket scientist. He joined the Nazi Party in 1937 after bullying his way to the top position in German rocket research. He joined the SS and was promoted every year. He sported a swastika lapel badge and was photographed in full SS uniform with Himmler, his boss.

Strangely I’ve been coming across memories of Braun on a number of visits all over the world. His is a fascinating story of how, if you have the right skills, experience and political allies, you can get away with mass murder.

I first became interested in the man and his story when I visited his office, drawing office and workshop at Peenemunde on eastern Germany’s Baltic Coast some years ago.

It was here that Braun first developed the V-1 buzz-bombs that terrified Londoners and also the V-2 rockets that were so fast and so silent that Londoners didn’t have time to be terrified and were killed in their hundreds.

Today in reunified Germany those offices and workshops have been swept away along with, the authorities hope, all memories of Braun and his nazi plans for world domination by rocket.

On another later holiday I visited Cape Canaveral, now renamed Cape Kennedy, the US’s main rocket base on the east coast of Florida, where Braun was set up directly after the war, not as a war criminal but feted, given US citizenship, a good government salary and equipped with an office, drawing office and workshop built as an exact copy of the ones he had used in Peenemunde.

Braun’s V2 terror weapon — V for vergeltung, the German word for revenge — would become the basis for US space rockets, military intercontinental ballistic missiles and eventually the Apollo moon landing.

Today it’s hard to believe the US embarrassment at the Soviet Union’s early space achievements. The USSR launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, in 1957. The first dog to fly in space, Laika took off the same year.

In 1959 a Soviet probe hit the moon. The first man in space was Yuri Gagarin, who flew in 1961. In 1965 the first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. That year too cosmonaut Alexei Leonov was the first to walk in space outside a space craft.

A recent survey by a US magazine showed that the vast majority of US citizens believed that their country achieved all those notable space firsts.

The US, it seemed, would forgive Braun and his nazi rocket team anything if they could get the US back into the space race and develop more deadly weapons.

Last summer in France we visited a wonderful museum just outside St Omer on the road from Calais. La Coupole is a huge man-made dome hidden in the French countryside. It’s been secret and unseen since 1943 until just a year or two ago.

It was dug on the orders of Braun, by 500 Soviet slave prisoners working in horrific conditions, as an assembly factory and launching spot for V-1 and V-2 rockets.

Only recently open to the public, the museum is also a tribute to the French resistance fighters — many of them French communists who played such an important part in the eventual defeat of the Nazis.

Unlike most of his nazi co-criminals who were hung at Nuremburg, Braun died in 1977 — a rich and famous man much admired in the US.

I think we should simply remember him as the Nazi war criminal who tried to rain death, destruction and mass murder on London, but never crushed our spirit.

This music video from the USA says about itself:

Tom Lehrer – Wernher von Braun – with intro

The song Wernher von Braun, written well before 1964 and recorded to Ampex video in 1967, was originally published on The Tom Lehrer Wisdom Channel in July of 2007. The original 4:3-version is still on YouTube. This converted version is just an experiment, but if you watch this copy, you will get to hear Tom Lehrer’s spoken intro.

Try to click under the video window for higher playback quality or add &fmt=18 to the url to manually alter the playback resolution. It will not change too much though, because of the test conversion to wide screen.

To make this song even more spot on, Lehrer used eight bars from the well-known German national anthem “Das Lied der Deutschen” as a song intro :-)

French National Front complicity in Charlie Hebdo, kosher supermarket murders


French neo-nazi arms dealer Claude Hermant

By Anthony Torres in France:

Police, far right linked to attack on kosher grocery during Charlie Hebdo shooting

9 May 2015

The arrest of an arms dealer linked to the neo-fascist National Front (FN) and the French police points to the possible role of the state and the far right in the terrorist attacks carried out in January in Paris by Amedy Coulibaly on the Hypercacher kosher supermarket, and by the Kouachi brothers on Charlie Hebdo magazine.

In late January, Claude Hermant, his partner, and another man were arrested for having repaired “many” decommissioned weapons from Eastern European countries. According to La Voix du Nord, the local paper near Lille, where Hermant lives, these weapons “were then delivered to criminal gangs, and not only those in Lille.”

Hermant reportedly sold Coulibaly, directly or through third persons, the weapons which he used to carry out the Hypercacher killings, according to the same newspaper: “It’s a very serious lead, which we hope to confirm soon.” The trail points to Belgium, where “Hermant apparently had ties in the context of his broader network. Let us recall that Coulibaly obtained his weapons at Charleroi,” in Belgium, the newspaper said.

La Voix du Nord published some extracts of emails sent between Hermant and police in November 2014. In one email, the policeman writes: “Hi Claude, we discussed things with our superiors. … We are OK with the two subjects you raised with us (weapons, Charleroi).”

These emails strongly suggest that Hermant could have received the support of intelligence services or of police to deliver weapons to Coulibaly or other Islamists. The newspaper continues, “Suppose that you found such messages (a dozen in all) that a policeman sent to Hermant, on November 21, 2014, at 8:47 a.m. Suppose that a close associate of the accused certified, ‘Claude Hermant has covered his bases’.”

Police officials were thus aware that Hermant was trafficking weapons and who he was selling them to. This again raises, very directly, the question of the role of the state in the deadly attacks of January 2015 in Paris.

It is already documented that Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers were known to the intelligence services and to police. The Kouachi brothers were under intelligence surveillance from November 2011 to June 2014; they were also placed on British and US surveillance lists. From 2011 to 2013, one of the brothers repeatedly traveled to Islamist training camps in Yemen.

As for Coulibaly, he was convicted for having plotted the jailbreak of an Islamist activist. He met Cherif Kouachi in prison.

The French state is complicit in the arming of the Islamist networks that are active in this social layer in France, and which Paris is using as part of its proxy war to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In an interview with Le Monde, President François Hollande even insisted that France had been arming Syrian Islamist forces as far back as the spring of 2013. Such forces, when deployed in Syria, can rely on training and operational assistance from French soldiers and CIA agents.

These Islamist groups are used to foment terrorist attacks and wage a neo-colonial war aimed at installing a pro-imperialist regime in Syria.

The reports of Hermant’s weapons-dealing activities raise the most serious questions: did sections of the state with ties to the far right encourage or at least tolerate the preparation of the January attacks for political reasons? Hollande exploited the attacks to shift the political atmosphere, place 10,000 soldiers in the streets, accelerate attacks on democratic rights and promote the FN as indispensable to mainstream politics. After the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher, Hollande invited FN leader Marine Le Pen to the Elysée presidential palace.

Hermant’s comments suggest that he believed he was acting on behalf of the state. The weapons trafficker and police informant insists that he “will not be the next Marc Fievet,” referring to a former customs inspector tasked with infiltrating organized crime circles, but arrested by Canadian authorities and abandoned by his superiors.

Hermant’s ties with the police point to the growing integration of the FN in the security forces, who emerged politically strengthened from the attacks carried out by the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly. Since then, the Socialist Party (PS) government has voted new intelligence law and boosted the defense budget, while the FN is continuing its normalization in mainstream bourgeois politics.

These events constitute a warning to the working class. A reactionary milieu tied to the security services, involving both far-right operatives and Islamist terrorists, is being brought forward as shock troops to attack the working class.

Hermant was trained as a paratrooper in the 1980s and reportedly went on to fight in Croatia. In the 1990s, he joined the FN’s security service, the Department of Protection and Security (DPS), a paramilitary group modeled on the special forces. It was led by Bernard Courcelle, the former captain of a parachute regiment and informer for military intelligence. The DPS was reportedly financed by weapons sales, according to Libération, including to Chechen forces through Croatia.

The gun dealer was thus connected to paramilitary organizations composed of former soldiers carrying out missions involving critical interests of the French state, both at home and internationally.

Hermant reportedly infiltrated activist groups such as SOS-Racism, and led punitive actions in impoverished French suburbs. He left for Congo-Brazzaville in 1999, tasked with a mission by the Congolese government of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who is closely tied to French interests. Hermant was incarcerated there before being released by a presidential pardon and leaving the DPS.

He led the Flemish House at Lambersart, a far-right association that was shut down in 2012. He reportedly now works in a restaurant in the Lille metropolitan area.

This is a 2012 video from Lille in France about that ‘Flemish House’ (Maison Flamande) in Lambersart. The video says the Maison Flamande will not close down, but change its name.

British election defeats for xenophobic Ukip, nazi BNP


This video from England says about itself:

Meet Sieg Heiling BNP member, Nazi skinhead and BNP activist Tommy Williams from Sheffield. Tommy is a convicted drug dealer and a personal friend of the BNP chairman Nick Griffin. Tommy’s BNP membership was confirmed by the leaked BNP members list, and he was also photographed providing “security” for the BNP Red White and Blue Festival in Derbyshire as recently as 2008. Tommy also runs the “Covert Undercover Nuisance Tactics” blog (really, the name says it all) which openly supports the Nazi skinhead group Blood and Honour, who take their name from the motto of the Hitler Youth, as well as running a pro-B&H channel HowlingWolves14 on You Tube.

Predictably Tommy Williams also appeared (using his “sneakygits@hotmail.co.uk” identity) in the leaked list of the Blood and Honour website, alongside other confirmed BNP members like Clive McElhinney from Tonbridge, Andrew Nixon from Chester, Janette Brunning from Farnborough and Karl Powell from Merseyside, among others.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

BNP demise cemented with complete vote collapse

Saturday 9th May 2015

THE DEMISE of the BNP was cemented yesterday after minority socialist and anti-austerity groups overshadowed the far-right party in poll results.

A total of 1,667 people voted for the BNP, but nearly every other smaller party, such as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) and National Health Action, overtook them.

The Tories’ disdain for unions and the appalling strangulation of the NHS in their hands — with more punishing cuts to come — led to Tusc and NHA gaining traction.

TUSC’s vote doubled to 36,327 from the last general election.

NHA, a group set up three years ago to fight the dismantling and privatisation of the health service, followed with 20,210 votes.

A total of 514,819 people voted for the BNP in 2010 but it failed to return an MP under former leader Nick Griffin.

He was booted out in October for trying to “destabilise the party.”

This year, only eight candidates stood — down from 330. The sharp drop suggests that the end is nigh for the extreme right-wing group.

Matthew Collins, of Hope Not Hate — whose campaign contributed to the collapse of the BNP, said that the party was “always going to fall short” as its membership was lower than 20 years ago.

“It’s no surprise that the party is severely doomed. It is dead,” he added.

The group Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol (CISTA) also beat the BNP, with 8,419 ballots cast in its favour. It was founded this year to campaign for drug law reform.

Only anarchist group Class War fared worse than BNP, attracting 526 votes shared between seven candidates.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

A little to smile about as Farage fails in sixth MP bid

Saturday 9th May 2015

PADDY McGUFFIN ponders Farage’s loss and Ukip’s failure to make parliamentary gains

THERE was precious little to smile about yesterday for those of us on the left.

But you would have needed a heart of stone not to guffaw when Nigel Farage failed to become an MP for the sixth time.

After half a dozen failed attempts, you’d think he would have got the message by now. And maybe he finally has, although I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Ukip supremo — now ex-supremo — looked like someone had handed him a soft drink instead of a pint when the result finally emerged shortly before lunchtime yesterday.

Having promised an earthquake, Farage was quickly waking up to the realisation that it had been nothing more than a tawdry knee-trembler bitterly regretted in the cold light of day.

The result, in Thanet South, saw Farage comfortably beaten by his Tory rival, with Labour coming a distant third in the poll.

As the count was read out and the result became clear, the venue rang out with mocking cries of “Bye bye, Nigel!”

Farage’s grandiose predictions that his party would be kingmakers fizzled out like a damp squib.

The significant political gains he had confidently predicted signally failed to materialise — rather like the millions of Bulgarians he claimed were going to swamp the country.

Ukip even lost one of the two seats they’d pilfered from the Tories earlier this year through defections, when Mark Reckless failed to retain Rochester and Strood and the constituency reverted to the Conservatives.

In his resignation speech, Farage attempted to put a positive gloss on the steaming canine excrement of the Ukip campaign.

“I have seen a shift in our vote,” he said, in possibly the understatement of the year. “I saw it yesterday in Broadstairs. I saw people saying: ‘Nigel, we’re going to vote for you in the local elections, we love what you stand for, we agree with you, we can’t afford to have a Labour-SNP coalition.’”

For the last time, Nigel, the voices in your head are NOT real people.

He said he would “take stock” after the electoral drubbing. Well, that should take all of five minutes — make sure you’ve still got all your MEP’s expenses squirrelled away and bugger off.

The first thing on his agenda however, he said, was a holiday.

I’d avoid Europe if I were him.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Lack of Ukip breakthough is ‘enormous victory’

Saturday 9th May 2015

THE Stand Up To Ukip campaign group hailed the far-right party’s failure to make a breakthrough as an “enormous victory” yesterday.

Despite predictions of major gains from party leader Nigel Farage, Ukip was left with only one seat after the election and Mr Farage was forced to stand down after failing to win in Thanet South.

Stand Up To Ukip joint convenor Jo Cardwell said: “Farage came to South Thanet thinking that he could divide working-class people by using racist scapegoating.

“But what Farage did not envisage was the level of resistance to both his Thatcherite politics and attempts to divide us,” Ms Cardwell said, while adding: “Neverthless, it is now crucial we are not complacent.

“Ukip have scored some high votes nationally off the back of the disgusting scapegoating of migrants that mainstream parties and the media have also been engaged in.

“It is essential now we continue to build a broad campaign to challenge Ukip’s racism, bigotry and anti-working class agenda so that legitimate anger around the effects of austerity is not misguidedly aimed at migrant and minority communities.”

NIGEL FARAGE’S ramshackle stewardship of the right-wing UK Independence Party was in doubt yet again last night as senior party figures turned on each other in spectacular fashion: here.

German nazi murder plotters arrested


Logo of the German neonazi Oldschool Society

This is the logo of the German extreme right Oldschool Society. Apparently, with ‘Oldschool’ they mean the ‘old school’ of Adolf Hitler; as the skull and rune symbols indicate.

German Oldschool Society logo

This is another Oldschool Society logo. The abbreviation ‘A.H.’ stands for Adolf Hitler.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Germany: Police hold far-right four over mosque bomb plot

Thursday 7th May 2015

Leading members of extremist Oldschool Society ‘had procured explosives’

by Our Foreign Desk

GERMAN police arrested yesterday four members of a far-right group allegedly plotting to bomb mosques and refugee centres and kill prominent Muslims.

In raids on homes in the states of Bavaria, Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, police detained three men and a woman and seized explosives.

Federal prosecutors said the four, identified only as Andreas H, Markus W, Denise Vanessa G and Olaf O were founders of the far-right Oldschool Society.

They were charged with terrorism offences and illegally procuring explosives.

Andreas H is named as Oldschool Society president and Markus W as its vice-president.

“According to current investigations, it was the group’s goal to conduct attacks in smaller groups inside Germany on well-known Salafists, mosques and asylum-seeker centres,” the prosecutors said in a statement.

“For this purpose the four arrested procured explosives for possible terror attacks by the group.”

But the authorities were uncertain whether the group had made definite plans for attacks.

The arrests came as German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere released new statistics showing that anti-semitic offences rose by 25 per cent last year to 1,596 after falling in 2013. Crimes against foreign nationals were up by 22 per cent to 3,945.

While Mr De Maiziere claimed the rise was partially due to new reporting methods that more closely tracked the motivation of perpetrators, he admitted: “This development is worrying and must be stopped.”

He said there was no one political solution to the scourge of bigotry, but that the “whole of society is needed.”

The group’s Facebook page was taken down at 2pm yesterday.

In recent years, Germany has seen a rise in far-right violence. Neonazi group the National Socialist Underground (NSU) was recently accused of murdering eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek and a German police officer between 2000 and 2007.

The NSU is also believed to be responsible for two bombings and 15 bank robberies. The group’s only surviving member Beate Zschaepe is currently on trial in Munich along with four alleged supporters.

Its existence emerged in 2011 when members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt killed themselves following a botched bank robbery.

See also here. And here.

Nazi homophobic doctor helped by Britain to escape justice


This video from Britain says about itself:

My hunt for anti-gay Nazi Doctor, Carl VaernetLGBT History Month, 14 February 2015

By Peter Tatchell in Britain:

The Nazi doctor who experimented on gay people – and Britain helped to escape justice

The Danish authorities have still not explained why Carl Værnet, who escaped to Argentina with British collusion, was shielded from prosecution

‘Carl Værnet had been a member of the Danish Nazi party from the late 1930s. As a doctor, he specialised in hormone research; including treatments to “cure” homosexuality.’

Tuesday 5 May 2015 11.42 BST

Today is the 70th anniversary of Denmark’s liberation from Nazi rule by British troops. The Danes are rightly proud of their anti-Nazi resistance and their heroism in saving the lives of almost all their Jewish citizens. But Denmark also had a dirty little secret that remained hidden for many decades.

A Danish Nazi, SS Dr Carl Værnet, conducted medical experiments on gay concentration camp prisoners. Unlike most other Nazi doctors, he was never put on trial at Nuremburg. Instead, with Danish and British collusion, he was able to escape to Argentina, where he lived openly and continued his research into methods for the eradication of homosexuality.

Værnet was a Copenhagen doctor who, realising the opportunities offered by the homophobic policies of the Third Reich, joined the Nazi party and enlisted in the SS to pursue his research to “cure” gay men.

This research was conducted on the personal authority of Heinrich Himmler. The Gestapo chief demanded the “extermination of abnormal existence … the homosexual must be entirely eliminated”.

The campaign to expose Værnet only took off in 1998, when I wrote to the then Danish prime minister, Poul Rasmussen, calling for an inquiry into Værnet’s wartime activities. Media coverage of this letter triggered a public outcry in Denmark, where most people had been unaware of Værnet’s war crimes and the high-level measures taken to shield him from prosecution.

Rasmussen passed the buck to the ministry of justice, and it passed the buck to the National Archives of Denmark.

Refusing to launch an inquiry into Værnet’s crimes and his escape from prosecution, the ministry of justice advised me to conduct the criminal investigation. They referred me to the Danish National Archives to secure the necessary evidence. But the archives told me the files on Værnet were classified and closed until 2025.

Faced with mounting public, media and parliamentary pressure, the Danish government eventually relented. Access was given to the previously top secret files. They revealed Værnet’s medical Nazism, his protection by the postwar Danish state and inaction by Allied war crime prosecutors.

Værnet had been a member of the Danish Nazi party from the late 1930s. As a doctor, he specialised in hormone research; including treatments to “cure” homosexuality.

After Denmark was occupied by the Nazis, few patients visited Værnet’s clinic because of his pro-Hitler sympathies. This prompted him to approach the Nazis, who were well known for their hatred of gay people and their bid to “eliminate the perverted world of the homosexual”. Værnet met the chief Nazi doctor, Reichsarzt-SS Ernst Grawitz, who proposed that he research the treatment of homosexuality on behalf of the SS.

This led to Værnet operating on gay prisoners in Buchenwald concentration camp, inserting artificial hormone glands in their groins. Two of these men died from infections caused by the insanitary conditions.

When Denmark was liberated on 5 May 1945, Værnet was arrested and detained at Alsgade Skole prisoner-of-war camp in Copenhagen. It was run jointly by the British military and the Danish police. The head of the camp was a British major, Ronald F Hemingway, who declared Værnet “undoubtedly will be sentenced as a war criminal”.

Despite this prediction, Værnet appears to have convinced the British and Danish authorities that his hormone treatments to turn gay men heterosexual were important, worthy scientific research.

In November 1945, in response to Værnet’s claim that he was suffering from a serious heart condition, Hemingway authorised his transfer to a Copenhagen hospital. In fact, the medical records show that Værnet’s heart tests were normal and that he received no treatment during his hospital stay.

In August 1946 a medical colleague of Værnet’s informed the Danish public prosecutor that his deteriorating health required urgent vitamin E treatment that was only available in Sweden. Astonishingly, Værnet was given a permit to go to Sweden and was even paid a state stipend to support himself.

Letters written by Værnet in this period don’t mention his declining health. Instead, they state “everything is ready in Argentina” and “the money is ready in Sweden”.

The Danish police were informed in 1947 that Værnet had settled in Buenos Aires. He was living there under his own name and had resumed his hormone research with funding from the Argentinian ministry of health. Despite calls for this prosecution, the Danish government decided against extradition proceedings.

Værnet remained in Argentina until he died in 1965, living there with the full knowledge of the Danish and Allied authorities. They made no attempt to prosecute him for war crimes, possibly because they regarded his research to “cure” homosexuality as legitimate, even commendable.

The Danish authorities have still not explained why Værnet and his Danish protectors were shielded from prosecution and why it took my public challenge to force them to open the Værnet files. I’m still waiting for an answer.

Nazi occupation and resistance in Denmark: here.