Part V of the ZGram series on "Another World War Two Mystery" below:
The anti-German incitement in the media became virulent. Long-disproved atrocity reports from World War One were rehashed, and new variations were invented. The voices of reason and level-headedness were drowned out by inflamed patriotism and war fever. Even Charles Lindbergh had to go against his better instincts and better knowledge and take the side of his fighting homeland.
Japan did not hesitate to continue its tactics of aggression. Nine hours after Pearl Harbor it managed to surprise MacArthur's entire air force in the Philippines and to eradicate it almost entirely. From a strategic point of view, the destruction of this half of the USA's heavy bomber planes was greater than the damage that had been inflicted on the marines in Pearl Harbor. On January 1, 1942, the then 26 nations involved in the war against the Axis powers had to agree, in the Treaty of Washington, not to conclude any separate peace.
Yet, the Axis powers achieved their greatest victories in the following six to eight months:
In December 1941, Japan managed an alliance with Thailand, followed by the capture of Hong Kong, of Singapore in February 1942, of Rangoon in March 1942, and of Mandalay in May 1942; further, during the attack on the Philippines, Manila was taken on January 2, in Dutch India Celebes was occupied in January and Java in March, on the Pacific Islands the landing in New Guinea and on the Solomon Islands took place in January-March, and that on the Aleutians in June.
Germany, together with Italy, had advanced in Northern Africa, under the skillful leadership of General Rommel, the Desert Fox, all the way to El Alamein.
Along the eastern front, an alliance with Finland allowed the recapture of the Carelian territories that had been lost in 1940; but the Russian Resistance in the north, allied with their Siberian armies, thwarted a large-scale offensive.
In the south, on the other hand, a large-scale break-through was successful in summer 1942. It brought the capture of the sea-fortress Sevastopol and the advance to the Caucasus, where the Reich's naval ensign was hoisted on Mt. Elbrus. To the north, the vital oil fields of Maikop and Pjatigorsk were occupied in reasonably good condition. With that, the German front reached the point of its greatest expansion.
At this point it seems appropriate to recall the war aims of the Reich, which had been set prior to the beginning of the Russian Campaign and now seemed to be within reach.
*** The war in the east was a preventative war against the forces of Soviet Bolshevism, which had stood ready to attack; it was a war for the protection of Germany and, ultimately, Europe. ***
Germany's plans - following a victorious conclusion - were the Reconstitution of an Ukrainian empire, of a Baltic League of Nations; of a Byelorussian State and a larger nation of Finland. (Source: L Gruchmann, "NS-Großraum-Ordoung," Stuttgart 1962 [F Becker in Huttenbriefe April 1999])
But Germany's enemies had decided that this crusade against Bolshevism - in which French, Flemish, Walloon, Norwegian, Rumanian, Croatian and other units from the various European nations participated - was to fail at all costs.
On November 17, 1941 General Ernst Udet, General of the Air Force and holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, committed suicide; his successor was Erhard Milch, Field Marshal General and General Inspector of the German Luftwaffe - or so we are told. But what are we to think when we read in the 1968 book "Horrido!" by Trevor J. Constable and Col. Raymond F. Toliver, p. 267, about a jovial conversation in the officers' mess (as was usual in those days prior to the imprisonment of a captured enemy flier) in the course of which a young British pilot claimed to Wilhelm Balthasar, Commander of Fighter Squadron 2, that Ernst Udet had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. This conversation took place in late June 1941, in other words almost five months before the event actually took place. It was difficult to make the young man understand that he was talking nonsense and that Udet was alive and well.
The state funeral for Ernst Udet was slated for November 22, Adolf Galland and five other well-known German pilots made up the guard of honor.
Werner Molders " the first German soldier ever to be decorated with the Diamonds, promoted early to the rank of Colonel, named Inspector of the Fighter Pilots after his 115th victorious air battle, and withdrawn from active duty " was also supposed to be flown to Berlin to Ernst Udet's state funeral. He booked a passenger flight on a He 11l, which crashed near Breslau; Molders was killed.
This is not nearly the end of the tragic coincidences, all of which aimed at doing Germany harm, thwarting her efforts towards a quick and victorious end to the war, and at the same time to demoralize her " leadership and people alike.
Prof. Dr. Ing. Fritz Todt was one of the most able men of the time; he was Reich Minister and General Inspector of the German roads system (construction of the Autobahn), later the official Chief of German Construction, appointed as Reich Minister for Arms and Ammunition in March 1940 and as General Inspector for Water and Energy in July 1941. On February 8, 1942 he was returning from a conference at the Führer's headquarters when his plane crashed near Restenburg, and he died. He was posthumously awarded the first-ever Great Cross of the German Order. He was an irreplaceable loss.
On May 27, 1942, exactly 8 months after Reinhard Herdrich had been appointed Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, two Czech agents who were flown into Prague from England attempted to assassinate the Chief of the Reich Security Council, Heydrich, who was severely injured and succumbed to his injuries on June 4, 1942. He had been able to bring about peace and order and a good relationship with the civilian population in just a short time. He too was posthumously awarded the German Order. The assassins' trail led to Lidice, a village consisting of 95 houses and 446 inhabitants. Since the assassins did not surrender, a reprisal was taken: the 172 male inhabitants of Lidice were shot by the Czech police, on German orders.
On June 23, 1944 General Eduard Dietl died in a plane crash in Styria. He had become famous for his defense of Narvik, which he and his mountain soldiers had defended for two months against a foe that outnumbered them many times over; he was decorated with the Oak Leaves and Knight's Cross. Since 1942 he had been Commander-in-Chief of the Lapland army in Finland and was a beloved military leader on the Eastern Front.
On November 8, 1944 Major Walter Nowatny died when his plane crashed in Osnabruck due to turbine drive failure. With 258 downed enemy planes he was one of the most successful fighter pilots. Decorated with the Diamonds, he had set up a unit in France in July 1944 for testing the Me 262, the world's first jet-propelled fighter plane.
Were all these events simply tragic coincidences, or should we consider them in the light of Roosevelt's words: "If it happens, then you can bet that it was planned that way."?
A photo shows the Wannsee Villa, the Berlin headquarters of Interpol, where conventions of high-ranking politicians and officials were held at irregular intervals. The following encyclopedias do not make any mention of it: The (Columbia Viking Desk (1953), Bertelsmann Volkslexikon (1956), Knaurs Lexikon (1965).
Two conferences were held there regarding the "solution of the Jewish Question." As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on April 29, 1941, all Jewish leaders of the provinces and administrative regions of the Reich were invited to the first conference, where Reinhard Heydrich informed them of the government's plans to resettle the Jews to Madagascar.
The Journal of the Institute of Jewish Affairs (New York, November 1941 ) reported that at a meeting held the previous fall, France apparently agreed to provide its colony, Madagascar, as the new home for the European Jews.
Madagascar, the fourth-largest island in the world, with an area of approximately 600,000 square km, has a pleasant climate, fertile soil (coffee cultivation), and coal, ore and mineral deposits. As early as 1880 prominent British personalities had suggested it as Jewish settlement area. In 1937 the Polish government, acting with Jewish participation, dispatched a three-man commission to Madagascar, and as of 1938 the German government also considered this plan, which was repeatedly brought up for discussion until 1942. The subsequent British occupation of the island, and Britain's concomitant refusal to cooperate, meant the end of the Madagascar Plan.
Regarding the second Wannsee Conference, which took place on January 20, 1942, Adolf Eichmann drew up a record of the proceedings; this protocol exists in several contradictory and therefore unbelievable versions.
In 'The Barnes Review of Nov./Dec. 1998, Ralph Grandinette writes in a well-documented article that Reinhard Heydrich explained at this conference why the Madagascar Plan had to be temporarily shelved. He noted that an evacuation to the East was being considered, and that the Jewish labor potential was to be used in support of the war effort. Regarding the "Jewish question", we quote a few sentences from the book Zwischen zwei Völkern (Between Two People) (1975), by Dr. Erwin Goldmann, a loyal German Jew, and a combatant in World War One.
P. 179; not to forget "that even before 1914, particularly the Jewish side had demanded that steps be taken against the Jews immigrating from Russia and Poland."
P. 129/31: in 1938 Goldmann heard from Gestapo officers that "in Berlin a certain Director Georg Kareski, a passionate Zionist, had repeatedly urged the offices in charge to introduce a Jewish Star of David, to be worn by Jews... On October 1939 it was ordered (by Chief of Defense Canaris) that this measure, co-suggested by Kareski, should be introduced in the General Government, and on September 15, 1941 it was ordered for the entire Reich."
P. 130/131: Dr. Goldmann also learned from Kareski that the special regulations for Jewish front-line soldiers were withdrawn "...on the request of Jewish interest groups."
Thought For The Day:
"Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you."
-- Nikita Kruschev
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