Friday, December 9, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
In the popular imagination, American GIs in postwar Germany were well-liked and well-behaved. But a new book claims that US soldiers raped up to 190,000 women at the end of World War II. Is there any truth to the controversial claim?
The soldiers arrived at dusk. They forced their way into the house and tried to drag the two women upstairs. But Katherine W. and her 18-year-old daughter Charlotte were able to escape.
The soldiers didn't give up easily though. They began searching all the houses in the area and ultimately found the two women in a neighbor's closet shortly before midnight. The men pulled them out and threw them onto two beds. The crime the six soldiers ultimately committed took place in March, 1945, shortly before the end of World War II. The girl cried for help: "Mama. Mama." But none arrived.
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of German women experienced a similar fate at the time. Often, such gang rapes were blamed on Soviet troops in Germany's east. But this case was different. The rapists were soldiers from the United States of America and the crime took place in Sprendlingen, a village near the Rhine River in the west.
By the end of the war, some 1.6 million American troops had advanced deep into Germany, ultimately meeting the advancing Soviets at the Elbe River. In the US, those who freed Europe from the plague of the Nazis came to be known as the "Greatest Generation." And Germans too developed a positive image of their occupiers: cool soldiers who handed out chewing gum to the children and wowed the German fräuleins with jazz and nylons.
But is that image consistent with reality? German historian Miriam Gebhardt, well known in Germany for her book about leading feminist Alice Schwarzer and the feminist movement, has now published a new volume casting doubt on the accepted version of America's role in German postwar history.
Reports from the Catholic Archive
The work, which came out in German on Monday, takes a closer look at the rape of German women by all four victorious powers at the end of World War II. In particular, though, her views on the behavior of American GIs are likely to raise eyebrows. Gebhardt believes that members of the US military raped as many as 190,000 German women by the time West Germany regained sovereignty in 1955, with most of the assaults taking place in the months immediately following the US invasion of Nazi Germany.
The author bases her claims in large part on reports kept by Bavarian priests in the summer of 1945. The Archbishop of Munich and Freising had asked Catholic clergy to keep records on the allied advance and the Archdiocese published excerpts from its archive a few years ago.
Michael Merxmüller, a priest in the village of Ramsau near Berchtesgaden, wrote on July 20, 1945, for example: "Eight girls and women raped, some of them in front of their parents."
Father Andreas Weingand, from Haag an der Amper, a tiny village located just north of where the Munich airport is today, wrote on July 25, 1945: "The saddest event during the advance were three rapes, one on a married woman, one on a single woman and one on a spotless girl of 16-and-a-half. They were committed by heavily drunken Americans."
Father Alois Schiml from Moosburg wrote on Aug. 1, 1945: "By order of the military government, a list of all residents and their ages must be nailed to the door of each house. The results of this decree are not difficult to imagine. ... Seventeen girls or women ... were brought to the hospital, having been sexually abused once or several times."
The youngest victim mentioned in the reports is a seven-year-old child. The oldest, a woman of 69.
The reports led book author Gebhardt to compare the behavior of the US army with the violent excesses perpetrated by the Red Army in the eastern half of the country, where brutality, gang rapes and incidents of looting have dominated the public perception of the Soviet occupation. Gebhardt, however, says that the rapes committed in Upper Bavaria show that things weren't much different in postwar Germany's south and west.
The historian also believes that similar motives were at work. Just like their Red Army counterparts, the US soldiers, she believes, were horrified by the crimes committed by the Germans, embittered by their pointless and deadly efforts to defend the country to the very end, and furious at the relatively high degree of prosperity in the country. Furthermore, propaganda at the time conveyed the idea that German women were attracted to American GIs, further fueling macho fantasies.
Gebhardt's ideas are firmly rooted in the current academic mainstream. In the wake of the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib and other war crimes committed by US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, many historians are taking a more critical look at the behavior of the American military during the days immediately preceding and following the end of World War II in Germany. Studies in recent years have shed light on incidents involving GIs plundering churches, murdering Italian civilians, killing German prisoners of war and raping women, even as they advanced across France.
Despite such findings, the Americans are still considered to have been relatively disciplined compared to the Red Army and the French military -- conventional wisdom that Gebhardt is hoping to challenge. Still, all of the reports compiled by the Catholic Church in Bavaria only add up to a few hundred cases. Furthermore, the clergymen often praised the "very correct and respectable" behavior of the US troops. Their reports make it seem as though sexual abuse committed by the Americans was more the exception than the rule.
How, then, did the historian arrive at her shocking figure of 190,000 rapes?
The total is not the result of deep research in archives across the country. Rather, it is an extrapolation. Gebhardt makes the assumption that 5 percent of the "war children" born to unmarried women in West Germany and West Berlin by the mid-1950s were the product of rape. That makes for a total of 1,900 children of American fathers. Gebhardt further assumes that on average, there are 100 incidents of rape for each birth. The result she arrives at is thus 190,000 victims.
Such a total, though, hardly seems plausible. Were the number really that high, it is almost certain that there would be more reports on rape in the files of hospitals or health authorities, or that there would be more eyewitness reports. Gebhardt is unable to present such evidence in sufficient quantity.
Another estimate, stemming from US criminology professor Robert Lilly, who examined rape cases prosecuted by American military courts, arrived at a number of 11,000 serious sexual assaults committed by November, 1945 -- a disgusting number in its own right.
But Gebhardt is certainly correct on one point: For far too long, historical research has been dominated by the idea that rapes committed by GIs were implausible because German women wanted to jump into bed with them anyway.
How, though, is one to interpret the complaint filed by a hotelier in Munich on May 31, 1945? She reports that US soldiers had commandeered a few rooms and that four women were "running around completely naked" and were "exchanged several times." Was it really voluntary?
Even if it isn't likely that the Americans committed 190,000 sexual crimes, it remains true that for postwar victims of rape -- which was undeniably a mass phenomenon at the end of World War II, there is "no culture of memory, no public recognition, much less an apology" from the perpetrators, Gebhardt notes. And today, 71 years after the end of the war, it unfortunately doesn't look as though that situation will soon change.
I truly doubt that there were 190,000 sexual crimes - or anything close to that number, but there were probably several thousand - maybe even a few tens of thousands. Like the Holohoax, the actual crimes were blown way out of proportion. However this does not excuse the behaviour of American troops.
Many apologists point out that the war was long and bloody, and that Americans were drunk from celebrating their victory when they did a lot of these things. I don't see any justification for rape in that. They knew what they were doing well enough I'll wager. It's just a shame that none of the surviving soldiers who did these things (if they could be identified after all this time) will be held accountable.
After all, as Hitler himself wrote in "Mein Kampf", it's the victors who decide what's a war crime and what isn't, and who is guilty and who is not. To the authorities at that time, it was probably just a matter of "boys will be boys". I'm sure that makes the women and girls whose lives they destroyed forever feel a lot better.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Comrades, as most of you know, today is Pearl Harbor Day. It's the 75th anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base. But was it a sneak attack? Is it possible that this country's leaders knew it was coming and deliberately allowed it to happen? They most certainly did.
American Jews, both elected officials (and there are a lot of them) and private citizens were constantly putting pressure on FDR and the Congress to get the United States involved because of National Socialism's policies regarding their brethren in Germany. As Germany was an ally of Japan, ZOG knew that Hitler would be forced to take action against the United States if this country went to war with Japan.
Some people say this is far-fetched. Read the facts, and judge for yourselves. This report is very long, so it will take some time, but it is a fascinating and informative read. If you want to know the truth, then click on this link. If it's too much trouble, then you can't really care about our cause all that much. Pearl Harbor was the turning point that marked the beginning of the end of the Third Reich. Even the Germans themselves knew that as soon as the United States entered the war, it meant eventual defeat for them, unless they could complete their rocket and atomic experiments quickly enough, which of course they didn't. The V2 may have been revolutionary technology, but it came just a little too late. Here's the link:
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
AP November 18, 2016, 9:52 AM
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- The wave of far-right parties across Europe has been gathering steam from Greece to France, Austria and Germany. While most of the continent’s extreme forces have taken pains to steer clear of Nazi imagery, Slovakia’s answer to the trend celebrates it.
Kotleba - The People’s Party Our Slovakia - won almost 10 percent of the seats in Parliament in March. It openly admires the Nazi puppet state which the country was during the World War II.
Party members use Nazi salutes, blame Roma for crime in deprived areas, consider NATO a terror group and want the country out of the alliance and the European Union.
The party takes its name from its leader, Marian Kotleba, previously chairman of the banned neo-Nazi Slovak Togetherness-National Party, which organized anti-Roma rallies and admired Nazi rule in Slovakia.
Thousands have signed a petition demanding that the party be banned. Analysts say the party’s popularity could grow even further.
Its simple slogan - “With courage against the system!” - attracts young people fed up with corruption and the inability of mainstream parties to deal effectively with the post-communist country’s problems.
In contrast to most of Europe’s far-right groups, “it’s truly neo-Nazi, it advocates the legacy of the Nazi war state,” says Eduard Chmelar, a Slovak political analyst.
Miroslav Mares, an expert on extremism from the Masaryk University in the Czech city of Brno, said the party belongs to the “hard core of right-wing extremism” in Europe. He said it has only some features similar to Greece’s Golden Dawn partyand to Hungary’s Jobbik at its beginning.
What they have in common is targeting the mainstream politics.
Monday, December 5, 2016
By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 21 Nov 2016 12:16 PM
The readers of The New York Times are speaking out against the newspaper's election coverage and complaining to their offices at "five times the normal level."
"The number of complaints coming into the public editor's office is five times the normal level, and the pace has only just recently tapered off," public editor Liz Spayd wrote. "My colleague Thomas Feyer, who oversees the letters to the editor, says the influx from readers is one of the largest since Sept. 11."
"From my conversations with readers, and from the emails that have come into my office," she added, "I can tell you there is a searing level of dissatisfaction out there with many aspects of the coverage."
On Nov. 13, two of the paper's leaders addressed their election coverage in a message to their subscribers:
"We aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism," wrote the Times' executive editor Dean Paquet and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. "That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you."
"What struck me most as I spoke with readers is how much, to a person, they had something to say that was smart and reasonable," Spayd concluded. "They weren't randomly selected — I chose them from an inbox of complaints — but they had reactions that were well worth hearing.
"I found myself wishing someone from the newsroom was on the line with me, especially to hear how many of the more liberal voters wanted more balanced coverage. Not an echo chamber of liberal intellectualism, but an honest reflection of reality."
Posted by ------------------------------------- at 12:22 AM
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016
By EMILY SCHULTHEIS CBS NEWS November 10, 2016, 6:00 AM
During his presidential campaign Donald Trump repeatedly boasted that if he were to win the White House, it would be an extension of the same sentiments that led to the United Kingdom’s surprise vote to leave the European Union this June. (“It will be called Brexit-plus-plus-plus,” he said on Monday.)
Trump stunned Washington——Tuesday night when he and was . But the same sentiments and discontent that fueled his rise are at play across the world, including in several countries slated to hold elections in the coming months.
The brand of right-wing populism and economic nationalism Trump and his supporters championed is alive and well in more places than one around the world, and citizens of those countries no doubt watched Tuesday’s results roll in with interest.
With that in mind, here is a guide to where else in the world to watch for a Trump-like phenomenon at the ballot box:
Austria (Presidential election: Dec. 4, 2016)
Austria, the country of just under 9 million people in central Europe, could be just weeks away from electing the first far-right head of state in the European Union.
Norbert Hofer, head of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party, by less than one percent of the vote. However the results of that vote were annulled by a federal court—prompting the re-vote, which will take place on Dec. 4.
Hofer has campaigned on a platform of “putting Austria first,” calling for a referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union. And as Europe reels from the Syrian refugee crisis, Hofer has said Islam “has no place in Austria.”
Opinion polling in late October and early November gives Hofer a slim but consistent lead over his opponent, independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen.
In Austria, the presidency is a largely ceremonial role. But if elected, Hofer’s rise could portend similar movements across Europe—and make Austria’s neighbors, particularly Germany, nervous for their own elections in less than a year.
The Netherlands (General elections: March 15, 2017)
The Netherlands, too, is facing the possibility that a far-right party could lead its government after the country’s general elections next March: a man . (Wilders, with his helmet of blonde hair, has even drawn visual comparisons with Trump.)
Wilders, who leads the country’s Freedom Party, has risen to prominence on a platform of halting what he calls the “Islamization of the Netherlands.” He has proposed halting all construction of new mosques, banning the Quran from the country and ending Muslim immigration. Like other right-wing populist movements across Europe, Wilders’ Freedom Party is also anti-European Union.
In the Dutch general election of 2012, Wilders and his Freedom Party came in first, edging out the Labour Party to win a plurality of seats in the parliament. Recent polls in the race put the Freedom Party either slightly ahead or tied for first in the parliament next spring.
Speaking at an event in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention this summer, where he traveled to show his support for Trump, Wilders said he expects to become the next prime minister if the Freedom Party comes in first place in March.
France (Presidential Election: April 23/May 7, 2017)
It’s fairly telling that one of the first world political figures to congratulate Trump on his victory early Wednesday morning was Marine Le Pen, the leader of the .
“Today, the United States,” she tweeted. “Tomorrow, France. Bravo!”
Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the far-right leader who reached the second round of France’s 2002 presidential election (only to be solidly defeated by Jacques Chirac). And she at being one of the final two candidates in France’s 2017 presidential election.
France votes in two stages: the first round on April 23 includes all parties, then the top two vote-getters advance to the second-round election on May 7. Because current French president Francois Hollande is hugely unpopular, there is a good chance Le Pen could edge him out to become one of the two candidates in the second round of voting.
In recent polls, Le Pen consistently comes in first or second along with a Republican candidate, either Alain Juppé or former President Nicolas Sarkozy. (The Republican primary will be held this Nov. 20 and 27.)
It’s highly unlikely Le Pen could do what her father couldn’t and actually win the presidency in the second round: in one-on-one polling simulations between Le Pen and Juppé or Le Pen and Sarkozy, she loses by double digits. But she will undoubtedly be one of the biggest players in French politics next year.
Germany (Federal elections: September/October 2017)
The rise of Germany’s anti-immigrant party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is one of the best-covered right-wing populist movements in the world right now, after Brexit and Trump—and AfD is poised to win seats in the Bundestag, Germany’s national parliament, when the country votes in its federal elections next fall.
The party, which launched in 2013 as a party for Euro-skeptics, won 4.7 percent in the 2013 German federal elections—just shy of the 5 percent threshold for receiving seats in the Bundestag. But as German Chancellor Angela Merkel directed Germany to , AfD rebranded itself as an anti-immigrant party and capitalized on the growing fear and negative sentiment toward migrants.
AfD has already around Germany, most notably in Saxony-Anhalt (where it came in second with 24.2 percent of the vote), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (where it came in second with 20.8 percent) and Baden-Württemberg (where it placed third with 15.1 percent). Even in Berlin, which is a stronghold for the center-left Social Democrats, AfD won 14.2 percent of the vote in this fall’s state elections.
To be clear, it’s incredibly unlikely that AfD would ever come in first in Germany’s federal elections, slated for next September or October. Merkel’s party, the center-right Christian Democrats, has a large majority in the Bundestag; assuming Merkel chooses to run again next year, she is the favorite to win a fourth term in office. But AfD’s rise has concerned longtime politicians and party operatives in Berlin, who will likely have to contend with an AfD that has actual seats in parliament.
It's incredibly unlikely that AfD would ever come in first in Germany's federal elections? Hmmm. Isn't that what was being said about Donald Trump? I think the AfD has the same chance as Donald Trump. Merkel is nothing but an aging cow and it's time she was put out to pasture.
The people have had enough of liberal dreamers who promise prosperity and equality for all but fail to delivery - except for immigrants. Liberals are making them more proserous to the max, and the natives are the ones who are losing out.
These elections are definitely worth watching. If we win, we can save our Folk from oblivion. If we lose, well, we'll just have to wait and see how badly we lose before we can assess the damage.
BTW, note how most of these elections are held on Sundays. They do this because the greatest amount of people are off work and can't use the old, "I don't have time to vote because I have to work" as an excuse.