German secret service and neo-nazis


This video says about itself:

22 August 2014

Thuringia’s special state parliamentary investigative committee on the ten murders committed by the NSU neonazi terrorist cell from 200[0] to 2007 is harshly critical of the role of the state’s agency for the protection of the constitution, and says the murders could have been prevented.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

Further evidence of ties between German neo-Nazi group and domestic intelligence agency

25 May 2016

The trial against the National Socialist Underground (NSU) at Munich’s district court is in the closing stages. For three years, the court and its chair, Judge Manfred Götzl, have looked at thousands of pieces of information. The main question has always remained: How could 10 murders, bomb attacks and a series of bank robberies take place under the noses of the police and intelligence agencies? Who held, and is holding, a protective hand over the right-wing terrorists?

Over recent weeks and months, further evidence has come to light demonstrating close connections between the domestic intelligence agency, police and NSU.

Research by Welt editor Stefan Aust and filmmaker Dirk Laabs recently revealed that Ralf Marschner, who worked for the intelligence agency (BfV) for a decade as agent Primus, most likely employed the three NSU terrorists, Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, after they went underground in 1998. Both men worked in his construction firm, Mundlos as a foreman under the name Max Florian Burkhardt, while Zschäpe helped out in one of his businesses.

Aust and Laabs then reported earlier this month that in 2001, Marschner was involved in an attack on a pub in Zwickau together with Susann Eminger, Zschäpe’s best friend. At this point, Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had already lived in the city for a year. Eminger visited Zschäpe in the apartment throughout the entire period of their illegality. Eminger’s boyfriend at the time, André, and her husband since 2005, is charged in the Munich trial with aiding the NSU.

On April 21, 2001, Marschner, Eminger and other skinheads burst into the bar and assaulted guests. According to witness statements from the owner, Marschner was the leader of the group. A political motive was later ruled out by the relevant investigators.

The state prosecutor in Zwickau laid charges of grievous bodily harm against Marschner and Eminger. However, these charges were not included in the Munich proceedings. These charges was kept under wraps by the federal prosecutor’s office as part of its so-called investigation into support structures. “Further investigations on the part of the federal criminal office (BKA) to clarify the extent of relations between Eminger and the agent Marschner remain unknown, even though they would have been required due to the trial over the bar brawl,” wrote Die Welt.

Proceedings against Marschner for the bar assaults were “temporarily suspended” two years later, while Eminger had to perform 20 hours’ community service. Agent Marschner has apparently enjoyed protection from the judiciary for decades. In Saxony alone, several dozen legal proceedings have been led against him since 1990 by the judiciary. The intelligence informant has never been sentenced to prison.

Even when Marschner was accused of killing a 17-year-old on the “Day of German unity” in 1990, he emerged innocent from the proceedings. The files on Marschner and the murder investigation were allegedly destroyed during the flooding in Chemnitz in 2010, authorities announced last week.

A petition by a representative of the joint plaintiffs in the NSU trial to order Marschner, who now lives in Switzerland, to appear as a witness was rejected by Judge Götzl, following consultation with the federal prosecutor. Even if the agent knew and employed Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe after they went underground, this was not of immediate relevance in determining the questions of the acts committed and guilt of the defendants, the court said by way of justification.

The inviting of another witness, who was present at a meeting in 1998 between the Brandenburg interior ministry and agents from Thuringia and Saxony, was also rejected by the court. This meeting decided not to provide information to the police about an agent who had supplied the underground trio with a weapon. While a representative of a joint plaintiff concluded from this that the Interior Ministry had “made possible the series of murders by the NSU,” the court declared that it did not draw the conclusion that “joint responsibility of the state existed in the acts of the defendants.”

But this is precisely what is becoming ever clearer. Marschner’s handler at the intelligence service, code-name “Richard Kaldrack,” was at the same time managing agent Thomas Richter, code-name “Corelli.” Richter was also active around the NSU terrorists and was possibly in contact with them. He worked for the intelligence agency for 18 years and received €300,000 for his services.

Among other things, he made available electronic storage space for a neo-Nazi magazine, which published a greeting to the NSU as early as 2002. He was a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan in Baden-Württemberg, which also included two colleagues of police officer Michèle Kiesewetter, who was murdered by the NSU in 2007. A CD containing data with the title “NSDAP/NSU,” which he handed over to the intelligence service in 2005, only emerged years later. In 2014, shortly before he could be questioned about this, the 39-year-old died suddenly of a diabetes illness that apparently nobody was aware of.

Now, a telephone from Richter, “Corelli,” has also appeared. Corelli allegedly used it in 2012 and handed it over to the BfV in autumn 2012. There it was concealed in an armoured cupboard. It was then discovered in a fifth search in the summer of 2015, the intelligence agency now declares. Intelligence agency experts, who were until April this year working on it, have found a series of pictures and names from the radical right-wing scene. It has now been passed to the BKA for further evaluation of the available data.

Journalist Thomas Moser, who has been working on the NSU story for years, told Teleopolis last Tuesday about “overlaps” between the intelligence agency and the NSU.

He cited from protocol notes from a situational briefing in the police directorate (PD) in Gotha from November 5 and 6, 2011, found by the parliamentary NSU committee. As part of its area of responsibility, the bodies of Mundlos and Böhnhardt had been found in a burnt-out caravan the previous day.

In the protocol, among other things, the following statements are cited: “Efforts to locate the trio were abandoned in 2002. It was known that the state domestic intelligence agency (LfV) was concealing the target persons.” “The PD head intended to do everything to locate Ms. Zschäpe before she was withdrawn by the LfV.” And: “At least one member of the trio was allegedly working for the intelligence service until 2003. … The trio or part of it was closely tied to the intelligence agency, or the state intelligence agency had something to do with them, something like that.”

The police in Thuringia therefore assumed that the NSU trio was being protected by the intelligence agency. The situation briefing was led by Michael Menzel, who had led the police directorate in Gotha since 2009 and since 2015 has worked as criminal director in the Thuringia Interior Ministry. Menzel was also on location when the bodies were discovered and could have tampered with evidence. He was invited as a witness by the Munich trial, as well as by a number of parliamentary investigations, but always responded in vague terms.

Menzel, who began his police career in the GDR, is tied by several threads to the NSU. Among his colleagues in Saalfeld, where he headed the criminal police from 1998 to 2001, was Mike Wenzel, who as an intelligence officer dealt with the Thuringia Home Protection (THS), a right-wing organisation out of which the NSU emerged. Wenzel’s niece, Kiesewetter, was believed to be the NSU’s last victim in 2007. Her service weapon was later found in Mundlos and Böhnhardt’s burnt-out caravan. Even though nothing was publicly known about the NSU at that time, Wenzel immediately drew a connection between the so-called “döner murders” and the death of his niece.

It has long been known that over 20 agents of the intelligence service were operating around the NSU. A handler for agents in Hesse, Andreas Temme, was even present when Halit Yozgat was murdered in Kassel in April 2006. Any boundaries between the intelligence services and the NSU terror gang are virtually undetectable.

Whether the intelligence service is jointly responsible for the NSU murders, or whether one of the NSU members collaborated with intelligence, remains unclear, largely thanks to the joint efforts of the interior ministry, intelligence agencies, police authorities, federal prosecutor and the Munich District Court.

This video from Germany says about itself:

2/10/1980 MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN THE NEO-NAZI OKTOBERFEST BOMB

All 6 neo-Nazis, arrested in connection with the bomb attack at the Munich Beer Festival, have been released after questioning.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

1980 Oktoberfest bombing: German government and secret service still withholding information

25 May 2016

On September 26 1980, 12 innocent bystanders and the perpetrator, Gundolf Köhler, were killed in the most serious right-wing attack in post-war German history. Over 200 were injured, some seriously.

At the time, the investigators and secret service drew a veil over the background to the attacks and those responsible. Although evidence and witnesses pointed to the involvement of state bodies and neo-Nazi terrorist groups, the authorities soon settled on a narrative that Köhler was the sole perpetrator. The state attorney halted any investigations two years after the attack.

It was only thanks to the initiative of journalist Ulrich Chaussy and the victims’ attorney Werner Dietrich that the attorney general was forced to take up the case again at the end of 2014. In February 2015, they demanded the Secret Service and Foreign Intelligence Agency (BND) look through their files covering the Oktoberfest bombing and the right-wing scene at the time and make the relevant files available.

The state attorney in Karslruhe sent the two agencies a long list, which included the following search terms, among others: Karl-Heinz Hoffmann (the paramilitary group the culprit Gundolf Köhler trained in) and Heinz Lembke (the neo-Nazi who was suspected of providing the explosives for the attack).

But the prosecutors are still waiting. The BND has since provided a few files; however, they are redacted. The Secret Service, which possesses far more files regarding the Oktoberfest attack, the culprit’s background and the neo-Nazi organisations of the time, is keeping these under lock and key.

This was revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question lodged by Left Party deputy Martina Renner. The Karlsruhe state attorney has been waiting for 15 months. The Secret Service has justified the long wait by saying that it involved “a very extensive trawl through the evidence.” However, the Secret Service and the government were close to completion of their review, it was said.

Given the previous practice and methods of the Secret Service, it is to be suspected that the time is being used in order to “clean” the files, or even to destroy them. For example, following the uncovering of the far-right terrorist group Nation Socialist Underground (NSU), numerous files were shredded.

There are numerous clues pointing to the links between the Secret Service, Köhler and the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann” paramilitary group. In his updated book, Oktoberfest—the attack: How the cover up of right-wing terror began, Ulrich Chaussy describes how the authorities were not willing to carry out investigations into the right-wing scene after the assassination and even sabotaged such efforts. The penetration of the right-wing terrorist groups of that time, especially the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann,” by the secret service agencies is still being kept secret. In his book, Chaussy draws several parallels to the murders carried out by the NSU.

For example, the authorities dismissed confessions by two members of Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann. The statement “that was us,” by Walter Ulrich Behle, an undercover agent for the North Rhine-Westphalia state secret service, was described as “alcohol-induced bragging.” And the statement of Stefan Wagner, who said while on the run from the police, “I was part of the action against the Oktoberfest,” was supposed to have been false. The state attorney claims Wagner had had an ironclad alibi for the day of the attack, while in his book, Chaussy cites a high-ranking Federal Criminal Agency officer saying, “Stefan Wagner’s alibi was never checked out on tactical grounds.”

Heinz Lembke, a right-wing radical who had accumulated huge caches of secret weapons and explosives, and was suspected of having supplied the explosives for the attack, was never examined in more detail as part of the investigation into the Oktoberfest bombing. He was arrested only a year after the attack, when one of his weapons caches was discovered accidentally. In early November 1981, a day before he was to testify before the public prosecutor, he was found hanged in his cell. His file contains the restrictive notice: “only partially admissible in court,” which suggests the activities of an undercover operative.

Given the close relations between the secret services and the neo-Nazi scene in Germany, the federal government and intelligence agencies have withheld background information about the Oktoberfest bombing for decades. The government has repeatedly refused to answer questions in parliament from the Greens and the Left Party. Real names are generally kept secret.

On April 7, 2015, the parliamentary justice secretary, Christian Lange, said on behalf of Justice Minister Heiko Maas (both from the Social Democratic Party), in response to an inquiry by the Greens, that the government had again come to the conclusion that “questions about the operation of undercover sources and agents—the function of people—even if it concerns long-past operations, cannot be answered to protect the operation of the intelligence services.”

Parliament’s right to information finds its limits “in the best interests of the nation or a federal state, which could be compromised by the disclosure of confidential information.” In this way, the Justice Ministry places the interests of the state and its intelligence agencies higher than the rights of parliament and the public interest.

Both the Green and Left Party parliamentary groups lodged a constitutional challenge to the Supreme Court, submitted in May 2015, to force the government to answer their questions. A decision is still pending.

Holocaust jewelry discovery in Auschwitz


Auschwitz coffee mug and hidden jewelry, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hidden jewelry discovered in Auschwitz Museum

Today, 11:49

In a museum piece at the Auschwitz Museum in Poland jewelry has been found hidden in the Second World War by Jewish prisoners of the concentration camp. It is a ring and a necklace that had been hidden under the false bottom of a coffee mug.

Curators found the jewelry when they were doing maintenance work on the utensils. The mug’s double bottom was rusting, leading to the discovery of the hiding place.

Under the mug were a woman’s gold ring and a necklace wrapped in canvas. Research has shown that the jewels were made in Poland between 1921 and 1931.

Many Jews hid valuables in their luggage as they were deported. According to museum director Piotr Cywinski because they were cheated by the Nazis. The deported Jews had been told that they would be housed elsewhere and that they were allowed to take a small amount of luggage. In reality, the Nazis were after their valuables.

The museum in Poland has about 12,000 cups, pots, bowls, kettles and jugs taken away by the Nazis during the war.

No traces

The probability that the legal owners of the jewelry will be found is very small according to the museum. In the mug there are no traces which might help to identify them. The jewelry will be documented in any case and will be stored in a safe place.

In Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp in Poland during WWII 1.1 million Jews and 100,000 other inmates were killed.

Ring found in Auschwitz Museum coffee mug

One should hope that this heart-breaking discovery will give pause to present day politicians in Denmark, Germany and elsewhere who want to steal the jewelry of refugees fleeing NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ wars.

History of British fascism and anti-Semitism


This 2011 video from Britain is called The Brits Who Fought For Hitler.

By John Green in Britain:

Fascinating overview of the activities of the British far-right

Tuesday 17th May 2016

Haters, Baiters and Would-Be Dictators: Anti-Semitism and the UK Far Right

by Nick Toczek (Routledge, £20.99)

ANYONE with even a slight historical knowledge of Britain in the 1930s will have heard of Oswald Mosley and his fascist Blackshirts.

But who knows about Henry Hamilton Beamish and his movement The Britons or Arnold White and the British Brothers League?

In their preoccupation with Hitler and the German nazis, our historians and journalists have invariably overlooked our own home-grown fascists.

Anti-semitism has a long tradition in Britain and various anti-semitic and fascist organisations have arisen, disappeared and then resurfaced in different guises over the decades.

Their leaders have often included members of the aristocracy and military elite as well as assorted racist oddballs.

Over the years, Nick Toczek has amassed a mass of material about right-wing individuals and organisations and this book is the result.

His main focus is on Beamish, who devoted his life to a crusade against the Jews based on the notorious forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

Born in London in 1873, his antecedents came from the military, clerical or political elite and Beamish went on to serve in the army and spent considerable time in South Africa where his racist ideas were honed.

He went on to produce a range of magazines and other publications in which he disseminated his racism and nationalist fervour and laid the basis for many fascist organisations that followed.

Although such organisations have invariably been marginal to the mainstream political narrative, they have nevertheless often been granted active or tacit support by establishment figures.

Toczek provides a detailed and fascinating overview of the development and activities of the extreme right wing in Britain throughout the 20th century and for anyone wishing to know more about these shady and dangerous organisations his book is a mine of information.

He also attaches a very useful appendix of publications and key figures.

In his conclusion, he perceptively notes: “We’re all guilty of prejudice of some kind, although we usually deny it, and seldom understand the distorted logic behind it.” This book helps shed light on that distorted logic.

Nazi era crimes and post-1945 West Germany, film review


This video says about itself:

THE PEOPLE VS FRITZ BAUER Trailer

8 August 2015

Top German actors Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon) and Ronald Zehrfeld (Barbara, Phoenix) star in this riveting historical thriller, which chronicles the herculean efforts of German district attorney Fritz Bauer to bring Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann to justice.

Today, I saw the film The People vs. Fritz Bauer.

Here is a review by Joanne Laurier from the USA; with, as usually, links and remarks added by me:

THE PEOPLE vs. FRITZ BAUER

In Germany, fewer than 500 individuals were punished for their participation in the liquidation of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust. Only one hundred defendants out of a total of 4,500 who stood trial between 1945 and 1949 for Nazi crimes were accused of murder-related offences.

Fritz Bauer (1903-1968), a Social Democratic lawyer and, later, judge, had been forced to flee Nazi Germany because of his politics and Jewish origins. Upon his return from exile in Denmark and once more taking positions in the justice system, his unrelenting attempts to prosecute the crimes of the Third Reich encountered fierce resistance from the officials in the Konrad Adenauer government (1949-63). The first postwar West German administration harbored many former high-ranking Nazis. In a well-known comment, Bauer stated: “When I leave my office I am entering an enemy, foreign country.”

Bauer is the subject of Italian-born, German filmmaker Lars Kraume’s engrossing film, THE PEOPLE vs. FRITZ BAUER. The movie opens in 1957. Famed Attorney General Fritz Bauer (the remarkable Burghart Klaussner) is found lying unconscious in his bathtub. Near him are a glass of wine and sleeping pills. Federal Office of Criminal Investigation officer Paul Gebhardt (Jörg Schüttauf) wants the incident to be classified as an attempted suicide. He intends to claim Bauer, a thorn in the side of the authorities, is unstable and should be dismissed. The attorney general is feared for his dogged efforts to bring to justice former Nazis and their defenders.

Bauer succeeds in quashing rumors about his supposed attempted suicide, all the while receiving death threats. Soon after his release from hospital, he gets a tip that Adolf Eichmann, one of the most pivotal figures in the deportation of European Jews to the concentration camps and known as the “architect of the Holocaust,” is living under an assumed name in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A chain-smoker with a razor-sharp mind and disheveled attire, Bauer wants to try Eichmann in a German court. He has dedicated his life to tracking down major Nazis like Eichmann, Martin Bormann (who, in fact, had died in 1945) and Josef Mengele, hoping to help rehabilitate the post-war German state. However, as he is fully aware, the country’s investigative agencies are peppered with Nazis. In addition, no help is forthcoming from Interpol, a thoroughly reactionary and dubious body, which claims it has no jurisdiction over “political crimes.”

In fact, the film suggests that that not only the BND (German Federal Intelligence) but the CIA as well were involved in shielding high-ranking Nazis,

Eg, in the Eichmann case, they both knew where Eichmann was, but did nothing about that.

and depicts the constant attempts to derail Bauer’s investigation. Eventually, Bauer turns to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, risking prison for committing treason.

As his colleagues scheme to undermine him, Bauer’s only ally is a young public prosecutor, Karl Angermann (Ronald Zehrfeld), who is prosecuting a man arrested for prostitution. At Bauer’s suggestion and in defiance of a code against homosexuality made more onerous by the Nazis, Angermann demands only a small fine. Angermann is married, but, like Bauer, he is a homosexual. He and Bauer are obliged to keep their sexuality a secret. Eventually, the naïve Angermann gets entrapped by Bauer’s enemies, who force him to choose between going to prison or fingering Bauer as a traitor.

As the noose tightens around Angermann’s neck, Bauer, trying to get his foes off his back, covertly creates the conditions for Eichmann’s capture by Mossad. Bauer’s plan is to put Eichmann on trial in West Germany, but he underestimates the extent to which the Adenauer government, backed by the United States, is hostile to the possibility of a show trial that might name names.

The film ends as Eichmann faces trial in Jerusalem in 1961. Bauer initiated the famous Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt that began in December 1963 and were the largest criminal proceedings in postwar Germany against former members of the Nazi Party.

According to the filmmakers, Bauer’s influence was far-reaching. In the movie’s production notes, the director states that Bauer was “convinced that the German postwar generation [had] the opportunity to build a new society. In reality he opened a completely new perspective for the youth in the Adenauer era, because he dared to lift the veil and break the bleak silence. And so he became an important source of inspiration later on for the student revolts.”

Despite a few rough edges, Kraume’s film is driven by a powerful commitment—and extraordinary lead actors—to dramatize Fritz Bauer’s historic contribution. It is inspired by Bauer’s determination to put “everything that was inhumane here on trial.”

Anti-fascism in London, England, 1936-2016


This video from Britain says about itself:

The Battle Of Cable Street, Sunday 4th October 1936

Short documentary on the East End of London‘s militant anti-fascist action against Mosley‘s British Union Of Fascists on Sunday 4th October 1936

The anti-fascist groups built roadblocks in an attempt to prevent the march from taking place. The barricades were constructed near the junction with Christian Street, towards the west end of this long street. An estimated 300,000 anti-fascist demonstrators turned out Over 10,000 police, including 4,000 on horseback, attempted to clear the road to permit the march to proceed.

The demonstrators fought back with sticks, rocks, chair legs and other improvised weapons. Rubbish, rotten vegetables and the contents of chamber pots were thrown at the police by women in houses along the street. After a series of running battles, Mosley agreed to abandon the march to prevent bloodshed. The BUF marchers were dispersed towards Hyde Park instead while the anti-fascists rioted with police. 150 demonstrators were arrested, although some escaped with the help of other demonstrators. … Around 175 people were injured including police, women and children.

By Phil Katz in England:

Cable Street: an incredible show of unity

Saturday 30th April 2016

DAVID ROSENBERG, whose family fought at Cable Street, discusses its significance and calls on the anti-racist and anti-fascist movement to commemorate the 80th anniversary later this year.

• Why would we march to commemorate the Battle of Cable Street?

Because it was an incredible people’s victory that still has the power to inspire us in our present day struggles.

We should celebrate the unity across communities, and the collective courage and determination shown by women, men and young people that stopped Mosley’s fascists then, but we have to recognise that racism and fascism are still alive and kicking today in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

In the East End a group called Britain First — who borrowed their name from the standfirst on Mosley’s Blackshirt newspaper — have recently been intimidating the local Bengali and Somali Muslim communities in ways reminiscent of how Mosley’s BUF intimidated the Jews.

• Cable Street seems to be knitted into the fabric of our East End history — what is its special meaning?

This was the largest mobilisation in Britain against the fascists throughout the 1930s. Contemporary reports estimate that anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 were on the streets that day.

It is no accident that this happened in the East End, which was the cradle of so many struggles for better lives from the 1880s to the 1930s — where matchwomen, dockers, gasworkers and Jewish immigrant tailors had led strikes for better working conditions, Suffragettes fought for equality and political rights, and rebel Labour councillors went to prison for standing up for the interests of the poorest people. Everything they had gained was threatened by the advance of the fascists, and people understood that.

• How decisive was the Battle of Cable Street in turning the tide against fascism in Britain?

It was a very serious and unexpected blow to the fascists, who had been telling themselves that, like their counterparts in Europe, they would go from victory to victory, that the streets belonged to them, that the Jews would be too fearful to fight back.

They — and the police who protected and facilitated them — got much more than they bargained for on October 4.

The following Friday, the fascists’ own weekly newspaper admitted they had been “humiliated.” And while they continued, temporarily, to recruit young thugs up for a fight, there was turmoil among Mosley’s inner circle that filtered down.

Its key ideologues started blaming each other for the debacle at Cable Street, and a few months after the Battle of Cable Street the organiser of their powerful Shoreditch branch left and defected to the anti-fascists. He did excellent work in the late 1930s exposing Mosley’s party and their anti-semitism.

• And did it have an internationalist significance?

More than 200 anti-fascists from the East End went to fight in the International Brigades in Spain. An active Aid Spain movement had already started organising in the East End by the beginning of October 1936, but many who actually went to fight against Franco have stated in interviews that what inspired them to go was their participation in the great victory at Cable Street.

• What role do you think was played by police commissioner Sir Philip Game?

His sympathies were shifting. The orders to facilitate Mosley came from higher up and, on the day, it was eventually Sir Philip who called a halt and advised Mosley to march in the opposite direction and disperse.

Sir Philip later wrote an internal memo supporting a ban on the fascists while explicitly not calling for the same treatment of the organisations who were opposing them.

That said, there was rampant anti-semitism throughout the police in the same way we have institutionalised racism today, and there were frequent complaints by the beleaguered Jewish communities of the East End that the local police showed partiality towards the fascists.

Several veterans I knew recounted to me the anti-semitic abuse they received and heard at Leman Street Police Station after they had been arrested on the day.

• Do you feel the participants readily and quickly understood the significance?

Absolutely. Phil Piratin made a powerful statement about the immediate effect in his book Our Flag Stays Red, where he wrote: “The people were changed. Their heads seemed to be held higher, and their shoulders were squarer … The people knew that fascism could be defeated if they organised themselves to do so.”

The anti-fascists received a massive confidence boost, and the Jewish community saw that many of their Irish Catholic neighbours, who Mosley had tried to recruit, were truly on their side.

Also a local coalition — the Jewish People’s Council Against Fascism and Antisemitism (JPC) — had been created in late July 1936, partly in response to the complacency and conservatism of more established Jewish organisations in the West End who were telling Jews to keep their heads down.

The JPC were one of the key mobilisers for October 4, alongside the Communist Party, the Independent Labour Party, the Labour League of Youth and local trade unions.

They mobilised a petition signed by nearly 100,000 local Jews and non-Jews calling on the home secretary to ban Mosley’s march.

And when he ignored it they published thousands of leaflets addressed to “Citizens of London,” stating: “THIS MARCH MUST NOT TAKE PLACE,” and urging popular resistance. The stature of the JPC in the local and wider Jewish community rose enormously with the street victory over the fascists.

• Have you read Granite and Honey: The Story of Phil Piratin, Communist MP published by Manifesto Press? To me that book comes closest to answering how Mosley was defeated: local community organising and non-sectarian organising. Do you agree?

Yes. Piratin understood that fascism, rather than people temporarily drawn to the fascist flag, was the enemy.

He believed that is was possible to detach those who had accepted part of Mosley’s hyper-nationalist and anti-semitic narrative, from the hard core who accepted it totally.

He knew that fascism would not be defeated by one big demonstration or through an accumulation of physical skirmishes.

The key to defeating it was exposing it to its own supporters and building a real unity between the communities that Mosley wanted to divide against each other.

The work that the Communist Party did, together with local campaigners such as Father Groser, in the Stepney Tenants Defence League up to 1939, was crucial in cementing the victory at Cable Street.

The Communist Party should be very proud of its role in these events, but we should celebrate too the role of other local forces.

We need to recognise that the people who blockaded Gardiner’s Corner, making it impossible for anyone to get through, and those who stood behind barricades at Cable Street, far exceeded the members and supporters of the organised political groups in the area. It was truly a people’s victory.

• David Rosenberg is the secretary of Cable Street 80 and is active in the Jewish Socialists’ Group. He is the author of Battle for the East End (2011) and Rebel Footprints (2015). He conducts walking tours of London’s social and political history, including one called Anti-Fascist Footprints. The next walk takes place on Sunday May 22. Details and online booking at www.eastendwalks.com.

• Phil Katz is a designer and author of Freedom From Tyranny: The Fight Against Fascism and the Falsification of History (Manifesto Books 2010) and a member of the Communist Party.

On Sunday October 9 there will be a march assembling at noon at Altab Ali Park, London E1, which will go to the Cable Street Mural in St George’s Gardens, for a rally with national and local speakers including Jeremy Corbyn.

Ask your union branch to support it. Bring banners.

From September 26 there will be a month-long exhibition about the Battle of Cable Street in the Idea Store at Watney Market E1, and a series of cultural events there relating to anti-fascist themes during that month.

Phil Katz recounts the working class’s firm stand at Cable Street in 1936. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, which took place on Sunday October 4 1936. At the Battle of Cable Street, the people of London’s East End rose to the challenge of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), which was planning to invade the communities either side of Gardiner’s Corner: here.

Dutch video on World War II anti-nazi resistance


This Dutch amateur video was made in June 1943, in the Evertsbos forest near Anloo village in Drenthe province in the Netherlands. Resistance fighters against the German nazi occupation then built a hut there to hide from the occupiers.

In September 1944, German occupation soldiers discovered the hide. Five of eight anti-nazis present there managed to escape; three people were caught and executed.

In April 2016, just before the liberation of Drenthe, the nazis killed ten resistance fighters at the hide.

This Dutch video is about that history.

Colonia Dignidad, Pinochet’s nazi cult torture camp, on film


This video says about itself:

Emma Watson and the stars of Colonia talk the film’s historical background

15 April 2016

In theaters and on iTunes now.

Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nvyquist, and director Florian Gallenberger talk the history of Colonia Dignidad, the real Chilean Nazi camp the film is based upon.

See it in theaters: here.

A young woman’s (Emma Watson) desperate search for her abducted boyfriend (Daniel Brühl) draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, an ex-Nazi cult from which no one has ever escaped.

Starring: Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nvyquist.

Directed by Academy Award winner Florian Gallenberger.

By David Walsh in the USA:

Colonia: Under Pinochet, a disposal center for enemies of the state

16 April 2016

Directed by Florian Gallenberger; co-written by Gallenberger and Torsten Wenzel

The article is based on coverage of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

German director Florian Gallenberger’s political thriller Colonia opens this weekend in the US. This is a disturbing film that deserves an audience.

Colonia takes place during and after the US-backed Chilean military coup in September 1973. Lufthansa flight attendant Lena (Emma Watson) is in Santiago to visit her boyfriend, Daniel (Daniel Brühl), a militant supporter of Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government. When Allende is overthrown, General Augusto Pinochet’s forces round up thousands of people. Daniel and Lena, who are caught taking photos of the brutal sweep, are among those picked up.

In the national stadium filled with political opponents of the dictatorship (40,000 people were held there), Daniel is identified by a hooded informer as a poster-maker for the Allende camp. While Lena is released, Daniel is taken to a compound in the south of the country, called Colonia Dignidad (“Colony of Dignity”). It is home to an evangelical cult run by psychopath, pedophile and pro-fascist Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist), which uses the cult followers as slave labor in the production of poison gas and weapons for the Pinochet regime. The compound also serves as a disposal center for enemies of the state.

Colonia’s underground tunnels and chambers are used to interrogate and torture dissidents like Daniel, who is brutalized and then handed over to Schäfer. Pretending to be brain damaged, Daniel is under less scrutiny and therefore able to figure out how to escape. Unbeknownst to him, Lena has traveled to Colonia and joined the cult in order to rescue him. For some 130 days, Daniel and Lena, who finally meet up, must endure the tyranny and perversions of Schäfer. Even if an escape is possible from the electric fenced-in, dog-guarded Colonia, there are vested interests, from Pinochet to the Germany embassy, determined to prevent Schäfer’s hellhole from being exposed.

A fictionalized version of actual events, Colonia brings to light the appalling story of Schäfer, who was born in Germany in 1921 and eventually joined the Hitler youth movement (and reportedly attempted to volunteer for the SS). After the war, he set up a religious-based orphanage until he was charged with molesting two children. He fled Germany in 1959 and ultimately emigrated to Chile with a group of his supporters, where he set up the Colonia. After the end of the Pinochet era, his crimes were gradually revealed. Schäfer was jailed for child sexual abuse in 2006 and died four years later.

A lengthy September 2008 article, by Bruce Falconer, in the American Scholar, “The Torture Colony,” provides many grisly and revealing details. Falconer first notes that in the months following the September 1973 coup in Chile, some 45,000 people were arrested and taken to detention centers for interrogation. At least 1,500 were summarily executed.

In June 1974 Pinochet created the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), a secret police force, “designed to hunt down and eliminate his political enemies. DINA agents routinely kidnapped regime opponents and delivered them to secret torture and execution centers located throughout Chile—including Colonia Dignidad.”

According to Falconer, Schäfer’s principal contribution to Pinochet’s operations “came in the instruction of DINA agents in the science of torture.” One survivor, Luis Peebles, described Schäfer’s participation in and supervision of his agonizing torture by electric wires attached to every part of his body. Based on the testimony of Peebles and other survivors, Amnesty International produced a 60-page report in 1977, “Colonia Dignidad: A German Community in Chile––A Torture Camp for the DINA.” Schäfer’s legal efforts managed to block the release of the report until 1997.

Falconer explains: “Contract torturing was not the worst of Schaefer’s collusion with the Pinochet regime: executions, perhaps of entire groups of prisoners, were sometimes carried out. … In truth, no one knows how many people were killed inside Colonia Dignidad. One former colono recently told Chilean government investigators that, on Schaefer’s orders, he once drove a busload of 35 political prisoners up into the Colonia’s wooded hills and left them in an isolated spot by the side of a dirt road. As he drove back down alone, he heard machine gun fire echoing through the forest. No bodies were ever recovered. … All that seems certain is that many of the prisoners who went into Colonia Dignidad were never seen again.”

Of note is the fact that Michael Townley, a professional assassin who was the primary liaison between Colonia Dignidad and the Pinochet regime, was an American CIA agent, who also served as a member of DINA, and assisted in the military coup that ousted Allende. Townley designed the torture chamber at Colonia Dignidad and participated in biological experiments on prisoners there. In 1976, he was convicted of the murder of Orlando Letelier, former Chilean ambassador to the US.

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist as Schäfer is chilling in Gallenberger’s well-made, heart-pounding piece. The movie offers an up-close look at the torture chambers and human filth like Schäfer, who began with the Nazis and ended up a creature of the CIA.

Regarding the overthrow of the Allende regime, Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State at the time, infamously remarked that “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” Instead, he helped give them torture and brain-washing factories run by lunatics.