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Rick Shenkman is the editor of HNN and the author of Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books, January 2016).
Everyone knows that at the 1936 Olympics Hitler snubbed Jesse Owens. As the story goes, after Owens won one gold medal, Hitler, incensed, stormed out of Olympic Stadium so he wouldn’t have to congratulate Owens on his victory.
Such a performance would have been perfectly in character, but it didn’t happen. William J. Baker, Owens’s biographer, says the newspapers made up the whole story. Owens himself originally insisted it wasn’t true, but eventually he began saying it was, apparently out of sheer boredom with the issue.
The facts are simple. Hitler did not congratulate Owens, but that day he didn’t congratulate anybody else either, not even the German winners. As a matter of fact, Hitler didn’t congratulate anyone after the first day of the competition. That first day he had shaken hands with all the German victors, but that had gotten him in trouble with the members of the Olympic Committee. They told him that to maintain Olympic neutrality, he would have to congratulate everyone or no one. Hitler chose to honor no one.
Hitler did snub a black American athlete, but it was Cornelius Johnson, not Jesse Owens. It happened the first day of the meet. Just before Johnson was to be decorated, Hitler left the stadium. A Nazi spokesman explained that Hitler’s exit had been pre-scheduled, but no one believes that.
Several other misconceptions about the 1936 Olympics are prevalent. Not only was Owens not rebuffed by Hitler, Owens wasn’t shunned by the German audience at the Berlin stadium either. Baker reports that Owens so captured the imagination of the crowd it gave him several ear-shattering ovations. Owens had been prepared for a hostile reception; a coach had warned him in advance not to be upset by anything that might happen in the stands.”Ignore the insults,” Owens was told,”and you’ll be all right.” Later Owens recalled that he had gotten the greatest ovations of his career at Berlin.
Another popular belief is that the games marked a humiliating moment for the Nazis because a few blacks walked away with a fistful of medals while Hitler had predicted the Teutonic lads would be the big winners, proof of the superman abilities of the white race. In reality, the competition was anything but a German humiliation. It is forgotten that Germany managed to pick up more medals than all the other countries combined. Hitler was pleased with the outcome.
This article was excerpted from Rick Shenkman’s Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History. © Rick Shenkman
Here’s a particularly forlorn historical date: Almost 90 years ago, between the 19th and 20th of December 1917, in the midst of the Bolshevik revolution and civil war, Lenin signed a decree calling for the establishment of The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, also known as Cheka.
Within a short period of time, Cheka became the largest and cruelest state security organization. Its organizational structure was changed every few years, as were its names: From Cheka to GPU, later to NKVD, and later to KGB.
We cannot know with certainty the number of deaths Cheka was responsible for in its various manifestations, but the number is surely at least 20 million, including victims of the forced collectivization, the hunger, large purges, expulsions, banishments, executions, and mass death at Gulags.
Whole population strata were eliminated: Independent farmers, ethnic minorities, members of the bourgeoisie, senior officers, intellectuals, artists, labor movement activists, “opposition members” who were defined completely randomly, and countless members of the Communist party itself.
In his new, highly praised book “The War of the World, “Historian Niall Ferguson writes that no revolution in the history of mankind devoured its children with the same unrestrained appetite as did the Soviet revolution. In his book on the Stalinist purges, Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Igal Halfin writes that Stalinist violence was unique in that it was directed internally.
Lenin, Stalin, and their successors could not have carried out their deeds without wide-scale cooperation of disciplined “terror officials,” cruel interrogators, snitches, executioners, guards, judges, perverts, and many bleeding hearts who were members of the progressive Western Left and were deceived by the Soviet regime of horror and even provided it with a kosher certificate.
All these things are well-known to some extent or another, even though the former Soviet Union’s archives have not yet been fully opened
to the public. But who knows about this? Within Russia itself, very few people have been brought to justice for their crimes in the NKVD’s and KGB’s service. The Russian public discourse today completely ignores the question of “How could it have happened to us?” As opposed to Eastern European nations, the Russians did not settle the score with their Stalinist past.
And us, the Jews? An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name “Genrikh Yagoda,” the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century, the GPU’s deputy commander and the founder and commander of the NKVD. Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin’s collectivization orders and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system. After Stalin no longer viewed him favorably, Yagoda was demoted and executed, and was replaced as chief hangman in 1936 by Yezhov, the “bloodthirsty dwarf.”
Yezhov was not Jewish but was blessed with an active Jewish wife. In his Book “Stalin: Court of the Red Star”, Jewish historian Sebag Montefiore writes that during the darkest period of terror, when the Communist killing machine worked in full force, Stalin was surrounded by beautiful, young Jewish women.
Stalin’s close associates and loyalists included member of the Central Committee and Politburo Lazar Kaganovich. Montefiore characterizes him as the “first Stalinist” and adds that those starving to death in Ukraine, an unparalleled tragedy in the history of human kind aside from the Nazi horrors and Mao’s terror in China, did not move Kaganovich.
Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity. We’ll mention just one more: Leonid Reichman, head of the NKVD’s special department and the organization’s chief interrogator, who was a particularly cruel sadist.
In 1934, according to published statistics, 38.5 percent of those holding the most senior posts in the Soviet security apparatuses were of Jewish origin. They too, of course, were gradually eliminated in the next purges. In a fascinating lecture at a Tel Aviv University convention this week, Dr. Halfin described the waves of soviet terror as a “carnival of mass murder,” “fantasy of purges”, and “essianism of evil.” Turns out that Jews too, when they become captivated by messianic ideology, can become great murderers, among the greatest known by modern history.
The Jews active in official communist terror apparatuses (In the Soviet Union and abroad) and who at times led them, did not do this, obviously, as Jews, but rather, as Stalinists, communists, and “Soviet people.” Therefore, we find it easy to ignore their origin and “play dumb”: What do we have to do with them? But let’s not forget them. My own view is different. I find it unacceptable that a person will be considered a member of the Jewish people when he does great things, but not considered part of our people when he does amazingly despicable things.
Even if we deny it, we cannot escape the Jewishness of “our hangmen,” who served the Red Terror with loyalty and dedication from its establishment. After all, others will always remind us of their origin.
British Fascism: Why British Nobility Hailed Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany
A 17-second video depicting young Queen Elizabeth II performing a Nazi salute has prompted a fierce debate among experts and the public. What other disturbing facts have the Allies swept under the carpet?
While discussing the victory in the Second World War, historians usually praise Russia, Great Britain and the United States for their joint contribution in defeating Nazism — the true plague of the 20th century.
Surprisingly, the West now turns a blind eye to the emergence of neo-Nazi movements in Eastern Europe and in the Baltics, demonizing the USSR and today’s Russia instead. Has this historical lesson already been forgotten?
How Anglo-Saxon Financial Elite Facilitated Third Reich’s Rise
The West is still in denial of the fact that the Anglo-Saxon political and financial establishment played a significant role in the Third Reich’s rise. Furthermore, some representatives of the British nobility even went so far as to openly support Adolf Hitler, kicking off their own fascist organizations and conspiring with Nazi Germany.Paradoxically, back in the early 1930s neither London, nor Washington considered Hitler’s Third Reich as a “threat,” facilitating the “Nazi economic miracle” and the industrial growth of the would-be military monster.
After Adolf Hitler and his Brownshirts seized power in Germany in 1933, Britain started “grooming” Nazi Germany “as best as she could,” American economist Guido Giacomo Preparata narrated in his book “Conjuring Hitler: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich.”
In July 1934 Britain and Germany concluded the Anglo-German Transfer Agreement — one of the “pillars of British policy towards the Third Reich.” By the end of the decade Nazi Germany had become Britain’s “principal trading client.”
Furthermore, in December 1934, Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944, “advanced the Nazis a loan of about $4 million in order to ‘facilitate the mobilization of German commercial credits’: that is new money to pay old debts — or better said, a gift,” Preparata elaborated.
And that is not all. Both Britain and the US made a number of highly lucrative arms deals with Nazi Germany. For instance, Vickers-Armstrong, the prestigious British arms manufacturer, provided Berlin with heavy weaponry.
When asked in 1934 to give assurance that the company was not used for secret rearmament of Germany, Chairman of Vickers Herbert Lawrence answered evasively: “I cannot give you assurance in definite terms, but I can tell you that nothing is done without the complete sanction and approval of our own government.”
Meanwhile, the US was selling Nazi Germany most advanced airplane engines, while American companies Pratt & Whitney, Douglas, Bendix Aviation, to name but a few, provided German companies — BMW, Siemens and others — with patents and military secrets, Preparata pointed out.
According to the author, for the British and American establishement Nazism was seen as a convenient way of destabilizing Europe and turning it into a big unified market place, as well as a driving force that could dismantle the USSR.
Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists
Remarkably, Great Britain also boasted its own influential fascist party.
“It seems impossible to believe that the people of such an entrenched democratic country as Great Britain could ever harbor mainstream fascist leanings. However, fascism was not always such a vilified ideology in the West. In the late 1920s and 1930s in Great Britain, fascism was often admired by the public,” wrote US historian Bret Rubin, Princeton University, in his article “The Rise and Fall of British Fascism: Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.”
According to the scholar, the earliest fascist groups in Great Britain emerged in the 1920s, including the British Fascisti, the National Fascisti and the Imperial Fascist League. However, these organizations lacked both leadership and a coherent ideology.However, in 1932 British aristocrat Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet and popular ex-member of Parliament, founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF), launching “fascism into the British mainstream.” The organization swiftly brought together almost 40,000 new members. Although Oswald Mosley failed to make further political headway, he attracted a lot of followers and established close ties with top Nazi officials, including Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and the infamous German Fuhrer.
In 1940, the BUF leader along with other active British fascists was interned under Defence Regulation 18B and his party was proscribes. However, in 1943 Mosley and his wife were released because of Sir Oswald’s “poor health.”
Interestingly enough, neither Mosley’s chronic disease, nor the British government, prevented the infamous British fascist leader from continuing his work after the Second World War. He formed the Union Movement and made a series of vain attempts to return into politics. His speeches attracted British youths and in 1977 he was even nominated as a candidate for Rector of the University of Glasgow.
What Secrets is Buckingham Palace Hiding?
Mosley was not the only aristocrat echanted by Nazi imperial ideas. The British king, Edward III, who gave up the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, openly sympathized with the Nazis.
British diplomat Sir Robert Gilbert Vansittart wrote in his diaries that in the early 1930s Edward, then the Prince of Wales, expressed his full support to Hitler’s dictatorship, turning a blind eye to the persecution of Jews.
After abdicating in 1936, Edward, who became the Duke of Windsor, visited Germany in 1937 and met Adolf Hitler personally. Confidental data, released in 2003, indicated that Nazi officials planned to reinstall him as a king once Germany invaded Great Britain.
Curiously, the Duke’s sympathies with Hitler were not unusual for those of his class at this time. According to some reports, George VI and his wife wanted to avoid a direct military conflict with Nazi Germany at all costs and sent birthday greetings to Adolf Hitler weeks before he invaded Poland.
Baron Gunther von Reibnitz, the father of Princess Michael of Kent, was a Nazi party member and a honorary member of SS. Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Charles Edward, the brother of Princess Alice, officially joined the Nazi party in 1935 and gained the rank of Obergruppenführer. He also served a member of the German Reichstag.
Renown historian and sociologist Manuel Sarkisyanz revealed in his book “From Imperialism to Fascism: Why Hitler’s India Was to Be Russia” that the “longlist” of Great Britain’s open sympathizers of fascism also included W. Churchill’s son Randolph, the family of Lord Ridsdale, Lord Lamington, Lord Londonderry, and sociologist Houston Chamberlain.
It is worth mentioning, that aforementioned Montagu Norman, 1st Baron Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England, was a close friend of German Central Bank President Hjalmar Schacht, a devoted supporter of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party.Manuel Sarkisyanz highlighted that Hitler himself borrowed much of his ideas from racist British scholars. The infamous Fuhrer considered ruthless British colonial rule in India a model for his future “colonial Russia.”
Remarkably, eugenics, a doctrine aimed at confirming the concept of “white supremacy,” was “invented” in Great Britain and then enthusiastically adopted by Nazis.
According to British and German racists, the Anglo-Saxons (including Germans), were destined to dominate the world, Sarkisyanz exposed.
Rather embarrassingly, it was the famous author of “The Invisible Man,” Herbert Wells, who stated laconically: “There is only one sane and logical thing to be done with an inferior race, and that is to exterminate it.”
Unsirprisingly, Buckingham Palace has not rushed to open its archives and unveil the truth about relations between the Windsors, the British aristocracy and the Nazis. According to some experts, much of the British royal correspondence documenting their ties with top Nazi officiails was destoryed.A 17-second piece of footage, that depicts then seven-years-old Queen Elizabeth II raising her arms in a Nazi salute, has added fuel to the fire of the ongoing historical discussion of this burning issue.