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The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution
The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution
by Mark Roseman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tortuous logic, 1 Jan. 2014
The contradictions that exist side-by-side in the currently accepted 'Holocaust' narrative are amply demonstrated in this book and the favourable reception it has received.
The Wannsee conference is described by Roseman as "emblematic" of that 'holocaust' and yet at the same time he is forced to admit this 'emblem' does not easily fit the the currently accepted narrative.
Wannsee is presented as proof justifying the inflexible adherence to a dogma of there having actually been a 'planned genocide' of ALL Jews, though it is simultaneously acknowledged it can't be that for a variety of reasons.

This is shown in the tortuous logic of Mark Roseman's opening explanation of the 1942 Wannsee Conference in the book's introduction. E.g. The lack of any conclusively incriminating documentary evidence for an order or plan for this Jewish genocide is justified by him claiming (as if unchallengeable fact) that all such documents were destroyed.
Q. But how does he know that? What evidence is given for that? What evidence CAN be given for such a claim?
A: "Er, well because we never found them!"
But isn't that a rather circular argument that defies logic?

I never cease to be amazed by the gullibility of intelligent people en masse to accept such blatant illogicalities.

It reminds me of the world's media spokespeople and head's of state repeating the absurdity that Saddam Hussein in 2003 should declare his non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction or they would invade, as his failure to comply and reveal something that he no longer possessed was proof of his guilt. The blatant illogicality of expecting him to prove that he didn't have something that he didn't have, seemed obvious. Apparently not.
Thus here with this explanation of Wannsee by Mr. Roseman.

Roseman admits that those assembled didn't have the authority for such a 'genocide' decision.
Roseman admits such a decision in Jan 1942 doesn't actually fit the accepted 'holocaust' timeline;
and yet the 'planned genocide' dogma is still maintained throughout his book using this 'admittedly-does-not-fit' conference.

Roseman admits that the documentary evidence doesn't exist to support this understanding of Wannsee as a meeting to plan genocide, and then quite incredibly argues that even if such a "paper trail" DID exist it still wouldn't "be enough" to explain the contradictions.

E.g.
Quote: "When the Protocol was unearthed, Kempner rushed to his boss, General Telford Taylor, to show what he had found. `Is such a thing possible?' Taylor asked. Both men knew they had discovered `perhaps the most shameful document of modern history'. There has never been a bleaker rendition of the orderly governance of murder. To this day the Wannsee Protocol remains the most emblematic and programmatic statement of the Nazi way of doing genocide. ...how was it possible, on a snowy January day in Berlin, to deliberate so calmly and carefully about genocide?

[Yet]...historians have long argued that it cannot be what it seems. For one thing, Hitler was not there, and those present were too junior to decide on genocide. Above all, the timing seems wrong. The mass murder of Soviet Jews had [allegedly] begun half a year earlier. Jews had [allegedly] been gassed at Chelmno since early December 1941. The Belzec [alleged] extermination camp was already under construction. So what then was the purpose of the gathering at Wannsee? Historians have rather struggled to deal with it.

...Perhaps the biggest point of consensus among historians until recently, therefore, was, as Eberhard Jäckel has argued, that `the most remarkable thing about the Wannsee conference is that we do not know why it took place'.

The Wannsee Protocol is emblematic of the Holocaust... It reminds us that the Holocaust is the best-documented mass murder in history. Bureaucracy was its hallmark, after all.
...Yet when it comes to understanding why and how the process was undertaken, the documentation is much less complete. Key papers have been destroyed.

...At the very top of the Nazi system there were no files anyway. Hitler never put commands on Jewish matters in writing; Himmler, too, was extraordinarily cautious. Moreover, the decision to carry out such an action in the middle of a major war is so macabre, so counter-intuitive, that a paper trail that would otherwise suffice to certificate the parentage of an idea or a policy is here not enough.

The gaps in the record, but even more the questions Wannsee raises, force us to cast our net far wider than the meeting itself. After all, the issue is only partly: what was it that these men got up to on 20 January 1942? It is even more: how on earth did they get to that point? In particular, the Protocol's claim that the groundwork for the Final Solution had still not been prepared in January 1942 raises with peculiar force a question accompanying the entire history of the Holocaust: was the descent into genocide the result of some long-established plan? This question is difficult to answer partly because of the ambiguous character of Hitler's command. In general terms and particularly in relation to the Final Solution it is often unclear how binding and precise his orders were. What is more, the Nazi war on Jews in the nine years between Hitler's seizure of power and the Wannsee conference was characterized by a paradoxical combination of constant energy and changing purpose that is very hard to interpret." [unquote]
-----------------
Concerning the statements of those who had participated at the Wannsee Conference and survived the war, Roseman includes the interogation comments of Wilhelm Stuckart and Friedrich-Wilhelm Kritzinger:
Wilhelm Stuckart: "No, I don't believe I am wrong in saying that there was no discussion of the final solution of the Jewish question in the sense that it is now understood."
Kempner: Heydrich related clearly in your presence what it was about.
Wilhelm Stuckart: "That is absolutely out of the question otherwise I would have known what it meant.

Friedrich- Wilhelm Kritzinger from the Reich Chancellry was alone... in expressing feelings of shame. Yet he too denied killings had been openly talked about..."
-- Pg.105

So... Yeah! As Roseman is forced to admit, the alleged 'planned' genocide of ALL Jews is "very hard to interpret" adequately and convincingly, although it is allegedly the best-documented mass murder in history AND admittedly, er... the documentation is admittedly incomplete.
Hmmm? It would appear that the Emperor still has got 'new' clothes on!
_________________
"When people who are honestly mistaken learn the truth,
they either cease being mistaken
or they cease being honest"
-- Anonymous
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2014 5:52 PM GMT


Kabir: Ecstatic Poems
Kabir: Ecstatic Poems
by Robert Bly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.45

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Modernised "versions" of Tagore's English translation - but not much of Kabir, 4 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Kabir: Ecstatic Poems (Paperback)
Good that we are getting exposed to the name of Kabir. But... These in the main are not genuine Kabir poems nor represent accurately his message.
They are not even translations of inauthentic Kabir poems.
These are Robert Bly's modernised 'versions' of Tagore's English translation from a Bengali translation of inauthentic Kabir poems.
It appears to be a particularly modern and peculiar self-deceit -- when we have the option now of knowing all this to a degree not possible in previous centuries -- to pass these off to ourselves and each other as accurately representing the thought of the iconoclastic fifteenth century weaver of Varanasi.

Tagore:
------------------
O servant, where dost thou seek Me? Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash.
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabir says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."

Bly:
------------------
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms,
nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans.
Not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly -
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath."

So just be aware that this book is a distortion twice removed from Kabir's own poetic compositions. Plus know that Bly's filtering of it has distorted Tagore's own misrepresentation of genuine Kabir in a way to match his own prejudices and delusions. The irony of that is that this is NOT what Kabir was about who taught AGAINST the hypocrisy and humbug of human self-cherishing and clinging to ignorance; who invited and cajoled his audience to see and rise above every level of dishonesty and self-delusion.
So in this case neither the original english poem by Tagore or Bly's further distortion of it accurately represents Kabir who taught that the Eternal Truth was present everywhere and in everything.
Kabir actually railed against the cruelty and self-deceit in killing anaimals for food while yet hypocritically regarding ourselves and our actions as noble and steps on the path to a personal experiential realisation of the Eternal Truth. So "you will not find me... in eating nothing but vegetables" is actually the antithesis of what Kabir actually taught.
When a poet distorts the meaning of the one he claims to be inspired by, something interesting is going on...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2015 7:46 PM BST


Quest: Searching for Germany's Nazi Past - A Young Man's Story
Quest: Searching for Germany's Nazi Past - A Young Man's Story
by Ib Melchior
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and valuable research project destroyed by a Hollywood hack, 14 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an account of the search for the truth regarding what has come - since the 1970's - to be called 'the holocaust' that a young German student Frank Brandenburg made in the 1980's. The topic had been brought to a widespread German public attention in a way that it had not been before when in 1979 an American television miniseries called 'Holocaust' had been broadcast on West German TV. He, along with 20 million of his countryfolk (50% of West Germans) saw the TV dramatisation and like many other viewers born after the war had been shocked at what he saw as a fictionalised dramatisation alleging there had been a deliberate and systematic policy of genocide of all Jewry via what were called 'factories of death' in World War II. Brandenburg doubted whether his own countrymen could have commited such a crime in the way that it had been presented and started asking questions.
When his own parents and grandparents claimed to know nothing personally about it, the then teenage Brandenburg decided to try and meet any Germans who had been close to the centres of Third Reich power during WW2 and hear from them direct whether what the American TV dramatisation had portrayed was correct or not. Through a series of phonecalls, meetings and interviews he managed over some years to gain the trust of many leading figures, and thereby gain access to normally reticent and reclusive personalities. This book is an account of that research written by Ib Melchior. Ib Jørgen Melchior (born September 17, 1917) is a novelist, short story writer, film producer, film director, and screenwriter of low-budget American science fiction movies.

I came to this book after reading Hitler's personal pilot and friend General Baur's autobiography and discovering that towards the end of his life Baur had said more about his understanding of what is called 'the holocaust' when interviewed by Frank Brandenburg. As someone who is currently re-evaluating WW2 history I was interested to learn how the German Third Reich officers and their secretaries regarded the details and events of that global conflict from the safety of their homes in the twilight years of their lives.

The young Frank Brandenburg met and interviewed SS-Gruppenführer Hans Baur and SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff becoming on quite friendly terms with them.
Among others he also met Heinz Lorenz (Adolf Hitler's Deputy Chief Press Secretary), Heinrich Heim, Lutwaffe Ace Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Hitler's favorite Sculptor Arno Breker, Otto Ernst Remer, Lina Manninen (Heydrich's wife), SS Sturmbannführer Dr. Wilhelm Höttl, Dr. Werner Best, Third Reich architect Hermann Giesler, Richard Schulze-Kossens, the wife and son of Rudolf Hess, Brigadeführer Gustav Lombard, Col. Eugene Bird (Commandant of Spandau Prison) and Robert. M. Kempner (an exiled German Jewish Layer who became a chief Nuremberg prosecutor).

Frank Brandenburg's meetings with these people therefore represented a rare last chance to hear from them direct, before their lives ended from old age. This alone makes this research of some historic importance.

Regretably this last chance to allow the world to hear them has been squandered by the sensationalist and exagerated ghost writing of the Danish ex-United States Military Intelligence Service operative who had worked as a military intelligence investigator attached to the Counter Intelligence Corps during the war. Ib Melchior has tried to turn Brandenburg's research into a cloak-and-dagger type of thriller novel and in doing so has attempted to dramatise every encounter by suggesting that the young researcher was in mortal danger by associating with murderous, unrepentant, evil criminals who were currently involved in some vaguely hinted at nefarious clandestine activity.

Reading through this unecesary sensationalist account of what in itself is already a fascinating personal journey I was moved to utter out loud on numerous occassions my dismay at the twisting and over-dramatising of Melchior. Why couldn't we just have the actual conversations without all the padding trying to convince us at every oppurtunity that these were wicked people and Frank was repeatedly naively unaware of what danger he was in and how careful he needed to be! Sheesh. What a load of baloney.

An example of the crude and actually quite unpleasantly hateful demonisation of these old people would be the depiction of the wife of Reinhard Heydrich. Through a description of her appearance alone we are expected to accept that she was some kind of wicked witch. Shockingly simplistic and inhumane.
The allegation of Otto Ernst Remer's involvement as a co-conspirator in the Valkyrie assassination plot is even a clear historical travesty with no credibility, but is offered here as fact but with no supporting reference. Etc., etc. These are just two examples of the distortion of reality posing as historical research.
What a wasted opportunity this book is.
I would genuinely like to read a more unadulterated narration of Frank's interviews without the propaganda designed to destroy any feeling of empathy for these people. Maybe one day his notes and audio recordings will be made available to the public and historians.

SUMMARY:
We never know how much of what we read is 1. the actual transcripts of interviews, or is 2. notes from memory written afterwards or is 3. distorted versions of either of these by the ghost-writer Melchior.
Despite this ambiguity, the over-riding conclusion that emerges from this mix of fact and fiction is that ALL of these people denied there had been a policy of systematic genocide or that there had been extermination camps. They ALL, without exception, claimed only to have heard about this AFTER the war was ended. The book attempts to portray this as being wilful denial by misrepresenting their distinction between 'extermination camps' and 'concentration camps'. But the careful reader will note this is a deception as none of them denied the concentration camps existed, although this book attempts to make us think they did.

CONCLUSION: a wasted opportunity to hear unadulterated the final views of the vanquished of what they lived through, and further evidence that we are not given information on this topic in an honest way that allows us to make up our own minds.


The Kabir Book
The Kabir Book
by Robert Bly
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Bly's modernised 'versions' of Tagore's English translation, 6 July 2013
This review is from: The Kabir Book (Paperback)
These in the main are not genuine Kabir poems.
They are not even translations of inauthentic Kabir poems.

These are Robert Bly's modernised 'versions' of Tagore's English translation from a Bengali translation of inauthentic Kabir poems.

It appears to be a particularly modern and peculiar self-deceit -- when we have the option now of knowing all this to a degree not possible in previous centuries -- to pass these off to ourselves and each other as accurately representing the thought of the iconoclastic fifteenth century weaver of Varanasi.

Tagore:
------------------
O servant, where dost thou seek Me? Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash.
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabir says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."

Bly:
------------------
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms,
nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans.
Not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly -
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath."

Bly has greatly DISTORTED the work of Tagore. And this when even Tagore's work was in many cases not even translations of authentic Kabir poems. So this book is a distortion twice removed from Kabir himself. And Bly's is more reprehensible as he has distorted it in a way to match his own prejudices and delusions. This is NOT what Kabir was about who taught AGAINST the hypocrisy and humbug of human self-cherishing and clinging to ignorance; who invited and cajoled his audience to see and rise above every level of dishonesty and self-delusion.
So in this case neither the original english poem by Tagore or Bly's further distortion of it accurately represents Kabir who taught that the Eternal Truth was present everywhere and in everything.
Kabir actually railed against the cruelty and self-deceit in killing anaimals for food while yet hypocritically regarding ourselves and our actions as noble and steps on the path to a personal experiential realisation of the Eternal Truth. So "you will not find me... in eating nothing but vegetables" is actually the antithesis of what Kabir actually taught.
When a poet distorts the meaning of the one he claims to be inspired by, something interesting is going on...


Mongol [Blu-ray]
Mongol [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Tadanobu Asano
Price: £10.17

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular and beautiful cinematography, 11 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Mongol [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Mongol' I think this has to be one of the most visually beautiful and enjoyable films I have seen. With the quite wonderful remote, asian nature-landscapes - beautifully framed in every scene - acting as a backdrop to the interesting and beautiful Mongolian faces of the actors, all this alone make it a visual treat. Then on top of that you have a compelling and fascinating biographical story, artfully told in Mongolian (with subtitles). The film's subject matter deals only with the early life, and the hardships and struggles of the man we know today as Genghis Khan. I knew only a very little of that, from seeing a film as a child with Tony Curtis playing the lead. But this film offers so much more than that Hollywood version. I don't know how accurate this telling is, but leaving that aside, this is not only a fascinating version of his legend, but the film I felt gave me a glimpse and an insight into the living conditions and lawlessness of the Mongol society prior to Genghis Khan's rise to supremacy. Apart from one slightly over-dramatic and theatrical scene of a thunder storm during a battle, I was totally captivated and drawn into this magic piece of cinematic storytelling. A truly great film.


Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust
Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust
by Viktor E Frankl
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

13 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Re-learning process (part 4) - THE taboo subject of our times, 10 Nov. 2012
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I came to this book interested in reading an Auschwitz survivors' understanding of our human need to look for 'meaning' in life events.

Reading it I was reminded of an incident that happened in my own childhood in Germany in the 1970's which I would briefly like to relate. I was fifteen and living on a British Army camp in Dortmund. My parents held a party for the other officers and their wives and my elder brother and I were were given 50 DMs or something to act as waiters.
I can't remember now if:
a.) I witnessed the conversation AND heard my Dad discussing it afterwards,
or
b.) if I only witnessed my Dad discussing it afterwards,
probably the latter.

But, anyway, an interesting and quite heated conversation ensued at the end of the evening involving my father and the wife of the Colonel (I think). Everybody by this time was 'well-oiled' on alchohol and inhibitions were relaxing.
The Colonel's wife was German. And somehow the topic of conversation came around to where in Germany she was from. It turned out that she was from some area where there had been a concentration camp during the war. So then the discussion came onto the persecution of the Jews in the forties and the alleged policy of mass murder in the concentration camps. My Dad had wanted to know why the ordinary Germans hadn't done anything to stop it or to speak up about the exterminations. She was adamant that she herself did not now about that policy of the mass gassings. She also insisted that no-one she knew, knew of it either.

My dad was quite incredulous, and persisted that she must have known. They all must have known. How could they live so close and not have known?
In the morning he was going on about it, and that he couldn't get over that she was still denying that after all this time.
As an impressionable fifteen year old it made an impact on me and I naturally accepted my Father's view of that, ...and yet... (?) there was something that didn't quite sit right.

Years later (summer holiday of 2011), having long forgotten this episode, I spent a few days lying out in the sun in the garden reading this biography of Viktor Frankl "Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen"/"Still, say yes to life" (Man's Search for Meaning). I realised I had never read an eye-witness account of the biggest crime of the last century and I was also interested in the subject of how we apply meaning to our experiences. So I bought it online here from Amazon.
In the first half of the book Frankl (who was a psychiatrist) wrote of his experiences in WW2 as a Jew in concentration labour camps. As I read it I noticed he kept jumping between two contradictory viewpoints, sometimes in the space of a few pages.

At some places he affirmed that all the Jews themselves knew that if they were going to Auschwitz, then they were destined for almost certain annihilation. And at other times he asserts that they didn't know.
At some places he asserts that he and other people upon arrival knew that they were getting segregated into lines for either gassing or for work, and at others he maintains that the people didn't know what the segregation was for.
That was confusing.

At one point he states how he himself knew, as after being selected by Joseph Mengele "to the left for the gas chamber," he relates how he "switched behind Mengele's back" to the right.

Then there were other odd things. He says he got out of Auschwitz by volunteering as a doctor. He wrote that he left in a transportation of ill inmates taken to Bavaria in 1944.
The thought occurred: 'Ill Jewish inmates were not being gassed then? They were instead being transported out for medical care elsewhere?' That was a bit surprising.

Then he wrote how in Bavaria he worked as a doctor treating ill inmates in a hospital camp in the typhus ward near Dachau.
I thought: 'Er... They were taking care of them? In 1944? Jews with Typhoid? Trying to cure them?'

THEN after finishing the book I discovered that despite him giving the impression that he had been at Auschwitz for at the very least many months, that Frankl had in fact only been there for 3 or 4 days. :-o

It was then that my curiosity was piqued and my research into this started. And it was then that I was reminded of the Colonel's wife (who had been a young girl at the time of these events) claiming that nobody knew what was going on in the camps.
So it was that I started to re-evaluate all this.

How was she - and the other town residents- supposed to know about what was going on in the camps, if a camp inmate at Auschwitz (Frankl) couldn't make up his mind if he himself knew or not.

And now after my research I find that she was right. She didn't know about the mass murder of jews at whatever camp she had lived by. THERE WERE NO extermination camps IN GERMANY. It is now accepted after many decades of misleading propaganda that ALL the alleged extermination camps were in what became Soviet occupied Poland. This is now a well attested statement of accepted historical fact. So... my Dad had been wrong to assume she was in denial. It turns out it was in fact he who had been.

It was reading this book by Frankl and its obvious contradictions that started me looking more into this episode of history.

Before I finish, I would like to make clear that the appalling number of fatalities at the wars end in those camps was clearly and obviously a terrible tragedy of epic proportions. I do not mean to minimise in any way the suffering of those poor people.
Its just that I now understand that a mythology HAS developed around that which I was not aware of before. A mythology that demonises the Germans unfairly via denial of some basic uncontested but little known or publicised facts. A mythology that has become a taboo topic that cannot be discussed in some parts of Europe under penalty of imprisonment, and in most of the western world without receiving public censure and rebuke.

A mythology of which this book I now regard as a small contributing part. So I am am not sure exactly what rating to give it. Thus I give it only two stars...
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2015 3:54 PM BST


Inside I'm Dancing [DVD] [2004]
Inside I'm Dancing [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ James McAvoy
Offered by Just4-U-Media
Price: £13.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh out loud a fair few times, 16 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Entertaining, funny and life affirming. Great Irish film. Great acting, funny dialogue and never twee or trying too hard to be 'nice'. A warm amusing film that also does makes you think and appreciate what I myself admit I normally take for granted: a healthy functioning body.


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
by Dee Brown
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful but shaming, well-researched account of the Holocaust we don't hear about., 16 Oct. 2012
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This morning I finished reading Dee Brown's great 1970 book.
What a story. What an injustice. What a record of our recent European racist intolerance and ignorant, arrogant brutality.
I can highly recommend it and I think it would be a great thing if this were to become required reading in our education systems.

Here is a story of the 'holocaust' that our OWN forefathers perpetrated, but which we interestingly don't get to hear much of, and to which regretably (and to our shame) there are no memorial museums.

The book, and the story it tells so well, is a tragic testament to the 'white supremacist' mentality that we all are heir to and which I now clearly see I was unknowingly indoctrinated with when young. (E.g I and my generation grew up watching false dramatisation TV depictions of 'white guy heros' versus 'cruel savages'.)

Reasons why I found this book so powerful:
After reading it I realised how much I myself and our whole societies are disconected from nature and the natural world.
I was reminded anew - but with more force than before - how we do not value our environment nor respect it.
I was also sadly reminded how we STILL lie and deceive ourselves with our histories and our entertainment industries. With our justifications for the destruction and dissipation of our dwindling natural resources which we refuse to share equally and fairly.
This book showed me very powerfully how, to an 'outsider', our society's value, it's rewarding of greed and dishonesty and it's celebration of self-centred, economic 'success' looks (and is) quite perverse and strange.

E.g. This book relates how Chief Sitting Bull, near the end of his life, escaped from a depressing life on reservations when he was invited to tour as an 'attraction' with Buffalo Bill Cody's 'Wild West Show'. Getting to see 'white man' culture up close for the first time he had the following conversation with Annie Oakley. He often gave away much of the money he received to the hungry and poorly clothed boys who used to hang around the 'Show'. After doing so on one occasion he said to Annie Oakley that he couldn't understand how the white man was so unmindful of its own poor people:
"The white man knows how to make many things, but does not know how to share it!"
How true still today! :-(
I am very glad I read this book.
Dee Brown has done our society a great service by doing the research and then putting it altogether in such a respectful, fair and riveting manner. Excellent!


He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary
He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary
by Christa Schroeder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating memories of Hitler and a life in his inner circle, 15 Oct. 2012
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I must confess that I am at present going through a period of re-evaluating the history that for my first five decades I accepted without question. Thus it was that, after realising I have been indoctrinated in my formative years to blindly accepting Hitler as some kind of deranged psychopath, I therefore wanted to read a biography of Hitler by someone who actually knew him and had spent some considerable time with him.

First, from a design perspective this publication is a beautifully designed book, nicely bound and with high-class typography, plus containing a few pages of intimate but often fuzzy photos. It does contain a very few type-errors.

In accordance with her wishes, this memoir was first published shortly after her death in German in 1985. So, this is the first publication of it in an English translation. Previously we only had Zoller's distorted 1949 version in French(?) and German titled 'Hitler privat' ('Hitler in private').

Her book is an informative biography told with intelligence, honesty and without much obvious retro-active justfication or apology. She shares her own experiences and gives detail of the more personal side of her life with Hitler as his secretary from 1930 before the war, to 1945 and the end days in the bunker. She does give her opinions and reflections on a few of the more major political and military events, such as the 1934 'night of the long knives' and the 1944 Stauffenberg assassination attempt on Hitler. But in the main this covers the more personal aspect of Hitler and his off-duty interactions with his inner-circle, and his personality as she experienced it. She was not afaid to be critical of him at the time and relates how once she exposed Hitler for passing off Schopenhauer's philosophy as his own thinking. And she's not adverse to being critical of his appearance from a feminine perspective.
For example:
"Hitler's nose was very large and fairly pointed. I do not know whether his teeth were ever very attractive, but by 1945 they were yellow and he had bad breath. He should have grown a beard to cover his mouth." -- page 49. (Linge's biography also talks of his bad breath.)

The editor's introduction was also informative and fascinating explaining how the book came to be written and published, plus detailing Schroeder's concerns about it. Her book was written based upon the notes of her interrogations by a French liason officer Albert Zoller immediately after the end of the war.
In his intro, the editor tells us how Schroeder had read a previous unauthorised publication of these notes by Zoller himself. She was surprised to read words put in her mouth which she calls "mythical" and which she stated she had never talked of, nor had heard from Hitler. So she went through Zoller's book and struck out all the parts of it which did not originate from her. 160 to 170 pages of it were her own words and a whopping 68 to 78 pages were either NOT said by her, or were re-worded as to be false or give an incorrect slant on what she had said. This introduction includes a letter Schroeder wrote to the editor in 1972 with an example of a complete interpolation that did not originate from her.
In the letter she wrote:
"His [Zoller's] crafty solution was to put these words into the mouth of the 'Secret Secretary' [herself] where for the outsider and uninformed they appear credible."

As I have explained, I came to this book in an effort to re-assess the history we have all been conditioned to accept as factual and fair. Fascinating then, that the example she gave of a false quotation alleged as coming from her but invented was of Hitler's and Himmler's reaction to being asked about "the rumours of mass-murder and torture in the concentration camps."
In that false testimony deceitfully put in Frau Schroeder's mouth, Zoller misinformed his readers claiming she had said that Hitler "would refuse to speak or ...halt the talk. Only seldom would he respond and then to deny it". Whereas Himmler, we are misinfomed, allegedly admitted to it but saying: "he was only carrying out Hitler's orders" and then going on to say that Hitler "must in no circumstances be mentioned in that connection. I assume full responsibilty". Pg.xxii

So, ... is this an example of how the History was written? Based upon false testimony from victor-propagandists inventing conversations and putting them in the mouths of genuine eye-witnesses in order to incriminate the German high command for something that we have no conclusive forensic evidence for?
Shocking! :-o
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2014 7:52 AM BST


Hitler's Bodyguard [DVD]
Hitler's Bodyguard [DVD]
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £10.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sleep inducing, hypocritical, self-contradictory + with confusing timeline, 14 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Hitler's Bodyguard [DVD] (DVD)
By the time I got to episode eight (Disc 2 of 4) I had found this series to be a very shambolic and confusing presentation, but it does get steadily better after disc 2. The poor presentation is a shame as there is a great deal of interesting and well-researched information here that goes into detailed aspects of Third Reich organisations that was unknown to me before. The problem is I found it so badly put-together and presented as to be hard to follow. (And I say that as someone who is starting to become a bit of a WW2 history buff, so come with some degree of knowledge already). Plus the commentary (although excellently read by Robert Powell) leaves a lot to be desired (more on that later).

Chronology.
Many episodes repeat the same footage and even sometimes the exact same information. That would be acceptable if there was some kind of clear timeline, but each episode jumps all over the place in terms of chronology, so it is hard to keep track of when anything being presented actually happened. We often get maps with the country written in giant bold capital letters. But as most of us easily recognise the UK, Austria and Germany, etc., on a map, I think it would have been more helpful to have had occasionally the year in big bold letters.
Then the footage accompanying the commentary at times seemed chosen very arbitrarily, to on occasion being quite wrong and out of synch with what we are being informed of.
E.g. 1. colour footage of Hitler in a grey raincoat putting on his gloves as he walks down the steps with Linge to his car at the Berghof (presumably from about 1941) is used over and over and over again. Sometimes for commentary of events from well BEFORE the outbreak of war AND also after. Confusing.
E.g. 2 In each episode on the first disc, everytime we get a mention of Bruno Gesche (which is often) we get shown the same photo's from the late thirties-early forties but with commentary referring to anywhere from 1920's onwards. (A. There DO exist photos of him from earlier not used and B. thus the need to visually clarify the timeline somehow)
E.g. 3. Everytime Josef Dietrich gets a mention (which again is in most every episode I have seen so far) we get the same Berghof colour footage from the 1940's again and again but used to go with commentary talking of anywhere from 1928 onwards.
Is this due to lazy picture-research, or perhaps a decision was taken to use the best footage available whenever possible, despite its relevance time-wise to what is being discussed? I presume the latter for which I give this such a low rating.

Then there's the background music which I found over-dramatic, repetitive and so dominant as to be irritating after a few episodes.

Then there's the speculation.
The commentary often describes what individual body guards were thinking on specific occasions. (How did they know. Did all these guys keep diaries?) And we are told that "everybody" hated Hitler and are informed it was amazing that he "cheated death for so long". And yet we repeatedly see footage of him strolling amongst adoring crowds shaking hands and receiving flowers. We are shown much film of him driving through apparently happy, flag-waving, flower throwing crowds in major cities, and after the Anschluss driving all the way from Berlin to Vienna in open-topped cars standing up so everyone can see him. All this but with never a protecting gun in sight. Gosh! How did he manage to stay alive so long when evrybody hated him and "many" wanted to kill him?

Then the hypocrisy.
The executions/murders of the SA leadership for treason/political manoeuvring (Night of the long knives) is presented as the action of simply 'murderous thugs'. Whereas when someone like the British Military Attaché in Berlin Mason-Mcfarlane is contemplating and suggesting to his superiors murdering Hitler in 1938 (before the outbreak of war), it is presented as a great chance regrettably missed. Hmmmm? So, when is political assassination the action of 'murderous thugs' and when is it the proper thing to do? This is typical of the victor-propaganda mentality prevalent throughout this series - the excusing and glorifying of ALLIED immorality but the condemning in exaggerated language of similar activities by Germans.

Then there's the bias and occasional distortion of History.
Poor old Mr. Chamberlain, he gets a slanted, partial and retroactive drubbing in Episode 6. (Ah, the beauty of hindsight.)
But to call him "the best bodyguard Hitler ever had" I thought a quite contemptible slur and the writers should be thoroughly ashamed of that distortion of history. Then in episode eight we get misinformed that Hitler was intent on world domination. (The view that Hitler wanted to conquer the entire world including the Western Hemisphere and Asia is a meme that has been created by Hollywood and largely biased historical texts and has little truth. He did not even want a war with Britain and sought hard to achive a peace agreement even after defeating Britain at Dunkirk.)

Then there's the quite ridiculous self-contradiction to distort our perception of historical fact.
For example this one, which is repeated at the beginning of EVERY episode:
"Winston Churchill had very few bodyguards while Hitler had thousands: he needed them! ...fate and the small number of hand picked bodyguards helped this evil genius to cheat death on so many occassions".
Huh? So,... Was it "thousands" or "a small number, hand-picked"? We are not told, and it is left as a repeated self-contradiction, the intention presumably being that we are to understand Adolf was 'evil' and 'hated' while Winston was 'good' and 'popular'!? Sheesh! what insultingly over-simplistic drivel.
Another example of the weakness of this documentary is how we are shown footage of the joy of the Austrians at the Anschluss (repatriation of Austria to Germany) yet hear it being explained away as Hitler's dastardly "land theft". How to reconcile that with the disconcerting accompanying footage of deliriously happy Austrians greeting the 'invading' German Soldiers with kisses, flowers and handshakes. Work that one out?

Then there is the example of propaganda relevant to today. I'm talking of the footage of the exile of German Jews to the Palestinian territories in the late 1930's. It comes with an accompanying commentary telling us that the Arabs who resisted the influx did so not because they resented the unwelcome European immigrants (who had no rights to their land but were being given residency status purely at the behest of the controlling British). No, we are informed that they objected simply because the unwelcome influx of large numbers of foreign immigrants were Jews. Oh, so that was why the Arabs were complaining...?! They were just anti-Semites? So, it had nothing to do with cultural and national identity resisting foreign land theft? Hmmmm?

Then we have epithets like 'evil genius', 'brutal thugs', 'street gang brawlers' being thrown at any and all of the German characters from Göring down to the lowliest body guard. Hmmm? Well... Being the son of a British Officer stationed in Germany in the early seventies and then living in Bavaria in the nineties I actually met some German war veterans: including a Prussian Count who had been a cavalry officer, and my girlfriends Dad who as a 19 year old lost an eye at Stalingrad and was one of the last wounded flown out. I found them all to be all quite normal people and not 'evil' at all. The Prussian Count in particular was an extremely decent, fine and more-than-average noble human being. I think its a shame that the series couldn't reflect that obvious truth instead of further perpetuating an ironically racist belief that denies that many of the German people were no better or worse than the Brits, or the Russians, or the French. Acknowledging that obvious and simple fact does NOT make someone some sort of neo-Nazi.

So for me, the worst aspect of this series is the dreadfully biased, hypocritical, sometimes self-contradictory and speculative commentary. Perhaps the most obvious example of this aspect of the series being sensationalised, shallow, propaganda parading as history would be how Hitler's own words are spoken to us. They are read with a quite ridiculous German accent made to sound like some sort of exaggerated pantomime evil villain. So not only are we are told at the beginning of every episode that Hitler was an 'evil genius', solely responsible for the deaths of 55 million, (didn't Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill have a part in that then?) but he even has to sound like some deranged horror-movie madman. The only thing lacking was a manic evil laugh at the end of his quotes.

I regard this series is an example of how societies re-write the past to inform and shape the future.
George Orwell had it right when he wrote in his book '1984':
"He who controls the present, controls the past.
He who controls the past, controls the future."

For the price I perhaps have complained to much as at 6.5 hours, it gives value for money. It just seems a shame that after all the work compiling this information these aspects so badly let it down. I hope that in years to come it will be seen for what it is, viz. the last remnants of lazy, easy 'demonisation' and victor propaganda. Watch it, but with awareness so as not to be indoctrinated with the mind-manipulation and misrepresentation of history.
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