Thursday, October 31, 2019

70-year-old man beaten in Berlin in attack described as anti-Semitic

BERLIN (JTA) – A 70-year-old man was beaten in Berlin in what news reports have described as an anti-Semitic incident.
The victim suffered wounds to his head and chin in the Monday afternoon attack, which started with a verbal assault featuring anti-Semitic insults. He lost his balance and fell while trying to defend himself. The victim had tried to respond verbally to the insults before he was beaten.
The assailant, whose identity is unknown, fled when a passerby rushed to the scene. Police are investigating.
It is not clear from reports in the German media whether the victim actually is Jewish.
The attack is one of several against Jews reported in recent months in the German capital, including one in which men on a balcony spat on a rabbi and his young son on their way home from synagogue on a Friday night. That investigation was dropped for lack of evidence.
“It is unacceptable that in broad daylight someone taking a walk is subjected to an anti-Semitic insults and then beaten up when he tries to defend himself verbally,” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller said Tuesday when reports of the attack were published. “These kinds of attacks must not become everyday occurrences in Berlin.”
In the 13 months from July 1, 2018, to July 31, 2019, Berlin reportedly investigated 488 criminal cases related to anti-Semitism; in 169
cases, the perpetrators were not identified. Many of the cases involved vandalism of property, insults and threats.
Muller thanked the passerby, who “showed courage and civic-mindedness by intervening and causing the perpetrator to flee.”

Pro-Palestinian student walks out on Holocaust survivor’s speech after accusing Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’

(JTA) — A Palestinian student at Benedictine University called on a Holocaust survivor to condemn the establishment of Israel, and then walked out on his speech after he did not do so.
Following a speech last week by Professor Harold Kasimow, who survived the Holocaust as a child, Benedictine senior Ayah Ali asked a question which drew a parallel between Kasimow’s experiences and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Ali, according to her Twitter feed, is affiliated with the Chicago-area school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
“It honestly means the world that you were willing to share your story with us, but I wanted to bring your attention towards a similar story,” Ali said. “I’m sure you know about whats happening in Palestine and my question to you is, do you support or do you condemn the establishment of the Zionist Israeli state, and whether it’s OK to exile and completely — the complete ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, the way that the Jewish people were exiled and ethnically cleansed?”
Kasimow, an emeritus professor of religious studies at Grinnell University who is a visiting scholar at Benedictine this year, answered that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “not an area of my experience.” He added that though he is “not happy with the government in Israel,” he believes the state should exist. He said that both sides of the conflict bear responsibility for solving it.
“It’s such a complicated issue,” he said. “There are many Jews involved in interfaith centers who are working on this very issue, trying to help create peace, but it’s really both sides need to [be] open to each other and talk to each other. But if Israel should exist? Yes, I believe Israel should exist.”
Ali responded that she is “a result of experiences that you’ve been through. I am a survivor of the intifada.” She said “it’s disappointing to know that a Holocaust survivor would remain neutral in a situation of injustice.”
Kasimow said that “it’s not a matter of neutral, it’s not total guilt or innocence on either side.”
After reiterating her comments, Ali walked out of the speech. The school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine tweeted out videos of the exchange.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has reached out to both Kasimow and Ali seeking comment.

Germany Announces Plans to Build Up Fully Orwellian Thought Police

The German government has set out its new measures to tackle free speech on the internet. Opposition politicians say the plans are long overdue.
Tightening of gun laws, more protection for political figures at all levels and an obligation to report online criminal content for social media networks such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter: those were just some of the measures announced by the German government on Wednesday as part of a new strategy which aims to combat "far-right extremism and hate speech on the internet".
For more than a year, Germany's Interior and Justice Ministries have wrangled over the new bill, but recent events in Germany resulted in the Cabinet upping the tempo and hashing out a new packet months earlier than planned.
"After the synagogue attack in Halle, it was important that the government's words were followed by actions," German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) said on Wednesday.
Similarly, Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) said the German government "is confronting right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism by all means enabled by of the rule of law."
"What the disinhibition and unleashing of hatred in the net can lead to was shown again in the terrible attack on the Jewish community in Halle," she added.
Several new measures are included in the new package which will see Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, taking on a more prominent role in the monitoring and prosecution of free speech online.
What's included in the new measures?
- According to the package, online service providers such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will be obliged to report "hate speech" to German authorities, and also pass on the IP address of the conspicuous user. Until now, such social media giants have only been required to delete "illegal speech" within a certain time period.
- Gun laws will be tightened, with each request for a weapons permit to be checked by the BfV.
- Existing prevention programs that aim to tackle patriotism and anti-Jew views, renmity towards any nonwhite group will be developed and financing "maintained at a high level."
Opposition demanding more
Already on Wednesday, opposition politicians were voicing their skepticism over how the obligation to report "hate" would be implemented. Konstantin von Notz, a Green Party politician who serves as the party's internet policy spokesperson, told Deutschlandfunk radio that the online "big players" have so far been dealt with "very mildly," adding that financial penalties for not reporting and deleting "hate speech" should be in the "high tens and hundreds of millions."
"Otherwise you won't be able to hold these companies to account…This is the only lever you can use to deal with corporations that follow an economic, stock company logic," von Notz said, adding that the measures were "long overdue."
The business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) also expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the new measures. "Obligating sites to disclose information will not effectively combat hate crime," said FDP politican Benjamin Strasser.
Meanwhile, Germany's Data Protection Commission said it will be observing the developments closely as Wednesday's proposals move toward becoming law.
"At this point it's too early to say whether this is good or bad," commission spokesperson Dirk Hensel told DW. "But there will certainly be questions to be asked regarding the ethics of private companies deeming what counts as a conspicuous post on social media."
Complications could also arise if a referral turns out to be a mistake, by which point private data will already have been shared between private companies and German domestic intelligence.

Washington Post (Jews and White Freemasons) Calls for a “Hate Speech” Law in America

Richard Stengel, a former State Department official, TIME magazine editor and Atlantic Council distinguished fellow, recently wrote a piece “Why America Needs a Hate Speech Law” for the Washington Post, wherein he argued against the First Amendment.
It is important to remember that our First Amendment doesn’t just protect the good guys; our foremost liberty also protects any bad actors who hide behind it to weaken our society.
Stengel goes on to discuss how Russia supposedly used fake identities and fake stories to influence the 2016 election, all while utilizing our pesky First Amendment.
That’s partly because the intellectual underpinning of the First Amendment was engineered for a simpler era. The amendment rests on the notion that the truth will win out in what Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas called “the marketplace of ideas.” This “marketplace” model has a long history going back to 17th-century English intellectual John Milton, but in all that time, no one ever quite explained how good ideas drive out bad ones, how truth triumphs over falsehood.
We don’t need an authoritarian government determining which ideas are good and which need to be censored for being too dangerous. I’ll tell you how good ideas win out over bad ones – good ideas are obviously true, while bad ones require laws to enforce them at the point of a gun. Take the Holocaust narrative, for example. Truth really does get revealed in the marketplace of ideas, but our rulers are not interested in the truth.
Milton, an early opponent of censorship, said truth would prevail in a “free and open encounter.” A century later, the framers believed that this marketplace was necessary for people to make informed choices in a democracy. Somehow, magically, truth would emerge. The presumption has always been that the marketplace would offer a level playing field. But in the age of social media, that landscape is neither level nor fair.
The landscape is not level nor fair, because the ADL is embedded in every major social media company, censoring anyone who is even remotely close to the truth.
On the Internet, truth is not optimized. On the Web, it’s not enough to battle falsehood with truth; the truth doesn’t always win. In the age of social media, the marketplace model doesn’t work. A 2016 Stanford study showed that 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and an actual news story. Only a quarter of high school students could tell the difference between an actual verified news site and one from a deceptive account designed to look like a real one.
This guy is seriously trying to convince us that “actual” news sites tell the truth, when it has been known for decades, at least since the revelations of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, that all outlets have been completely controlled to push propaganda to the American people. You could probably get more truth from The Onion than the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also has a lucrative contract with the CIA to work on their cloud computing.
Domestic terrorists such as Dylann Roof and Omar Mateen and the El Paso shooter were consumers of hate speech. […]
See how dangerous “hate speech” is? It will create PsyOp terrorists who shoot up black churches and commit homocausts! I love how the justifications that are given for the removal of our rights are all obviously hoax events, since there are no real life instances they can easily point to. This is why our enemies stage terror in the first place.
Why shouldn’t the states experiment with their own version of hate speech statutes to penalize speech that deliberately insults people based on religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation?
States actually have implemented such draconian legislation already, outlawing criticism of Israel and jewish power, and we recently saw two UConn students arrested for saying the word “nigger” on video. Stengel wants more of this “experimentation” with tyrannical speech police, so as to shut up his ideological opponents.

The White Freemason and Zionist Donald Trump Announces Plans for Nationwide Police Crackdown and More Militarized Police

(CD) President Donald Trump on Monday said the Justice Department is preparing to launch a sweeping crackdown on crime that he named “the surge,” a term commonly associated with the George W. Bush administration’s decision to send tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq in 2007.
“In coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime—which I think is so important—targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high crime cities and dangerous rural areas,” Trump said during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. “Let’s call it the surge.”
The president did not provide any details on the plan but said it is going to be “very dramatic.”
“And you’re going to see tremendous results very quickly,” Trump added.
As if to emphasize his view of America’s cities as war zones, Trump went on to tout his administration’s success in putting military equipment into the hands of U.S. police officers and claimed “Afghanistan is a safe place” compared to Chicago.
“To help keep you safe, I’ve made $600 million-worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement,” Trump told the audience of police chiefs. “If you remember, the previous administration didn’t want to do that… They didn’t want to make you look so tough. They didn’t want to make you look like you’re a threat.”

    Watch Trump’s remarks:

    Wednesday, October 30, 2019

    American evangelicals (White Idiots, Christian Zionists, White Freemasons) rejected a reality-based world — so The White Freemason and Zionist Donald Trump was able to reshape them in his own image

    H.L. Mencken’s reputation has suffered in recent years as people have realized that his bigotry extended far beyond his famous contempt for Biblical literalists, but no one has revoked his reputation as a wordsmith. When he arrived in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925 to cover the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, he claimed to be pleasantly surprised by the inhabitants:
    The town, I confess, greatly surprised me. I expected to find a squalid Southern village, with darkies snoozing on the horse blocks, pigs rooting under the houses and the inhabitants full of hookworm and malaria. What I found was a country town of charm and even beauty….
    But this didn’t mean he had any respect for their point of view on the teaching of evolution. Remarking on the influence of prosecuting lawyer Williams Jennings Bryan, Mencken showed his true feelings:
    He has these hillbillies locked up in his pen and he knows it. His brand is on them. He is at home among them. Since his earliest days, indeed, his chief strength has been among the folk of remote hills and forlorn and lonely farms. Now with his political aspirations all gone to pot, he turns to them for religious consolations. They understand his peculiar imbecilities. His nonsense is their ideal of sense. When he deluges them with his theologic bilge they rejoice like pilgrims disporting in the river Jordan…
    In other words, Donald Trump is not the first American politician to hold these folks in his thrall. But, for former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, Trump’s influence is far more problematic. His most recent concern arose after he spent some time perusing the results in the Public Religion Research Institute’s 2019 American Values Survey and discovered some things that trouble him.
    Republicans who are WEPs [white evangelical protestants] are the most likely group to say that immigrants are invading America and changing its culture. More than 90 percent of WEPs favor more restrictive immigration policies. They support the policy of family separation at the border more strongly than other religious groups and more strongly than Americans as a whole.
    How have we come to the point that American evangelicals are significantly crueler in their attitude toward migrant children than the national norm? The answer is simple enough. Rather than shaping President Trump’s agenda in Christian ways, they have been reshaped into the image of Trump himself.
    Here are some more findings that make Gerson uncomfortable:
    According to the PRRI poll, nearly two-thirds of WEPs deny that Trump has damaged the dignity of his office. Ponder that a moment. Well over half of this group is willing to deny a blindingly obvious, entirely irrefutable, manifestly clear reality because it is perceived as being critical of their leader. Forty-seven percent of WEPs say that Trump’s behavior makes no difference to their support. Thirty-one percent say there is almost nothing that Trump could do to forfeit their approval. This is preemptive permission for any violation of the moral law or the constitutional order. It is not support; it is obeisance.
    An extraordinary 99 percent of Republican WEPs oppose the impeachment and removal of the president — which probably puts me in the smallest political minority I have ever had the honor of occupying.
    During the Scopes Trial, William Jennings Bryan’s political heyday was behind him. He had tried and failed three times to become the president of the United States, and he would ultimately die six days after the conclusion of the case.  But, for Mencken, he was still a powerful and charismatic spokesman who commanded the obeisance of his followers:
    This old buzzard, having failed to raise the mob against its rulers, now prepares to raise it against its teachers. He can never be the peasants’ President, but there is still a chance to be the peasants’ Pope. He leads a new crusade, his bald head glistening, his face streaming with sweat, his chest heaving beneath his rumpled alpaca coat. One somehow pities him, despite his so palpable imbecilities. It is a tragedy, indeed, to begin life as a hero and to end it as a buffoon. But let no one, laughing at him, underestimate the magic that lies in his black, malignant eye, his frayed but still eloquent voice. He can shake and inflame these poor ignoramuses as no other man among us can shake and inflame them, and he is desperately eager to order the charge.
    In Tennessee he is drilling his army. The big battles, he believes, will be fought elsewhere.
    It’s not really clear that Bryan and Trump are so different, or at least different in the ways that Gerson would have us believe.
    If Trump survives the impeachment process, and somehow wins a second term, many explanations will be offered. It may be that the Democratic Party went too far left, or picked a nominee with a glass jaw, or couldn’t swim against the political tide of a good economy. But there will be one reason behind all of these reasons: because evangelicals lost their taste for character and gave their blessing to corruption. And this grand act of hypocrisy would mark them for a generation.
    Mencken left Dayton, Tennessee two days before the conclusion of the trial when a conviction of Scopes no longer seemed to be in any doubt. He issued the following warning:
    [Defense attorney Clarence] Darrow has lost this case. It was lost long before he came to Dayton. But it seems to me that he has nevertheless performed a great public service by fighting it to a finish and in a perfectly serious way. Let no one mistake it for comedy, farcical though it may be in all its details. It serves notice on the country that Neanderthal man is organizing in these forlorn backwaters of the land, led by a fanatic, rid of sense and devoid of conscience. Tennessee, challenging him too timorously and too late, now sees its courts converted into camp meetings and its Bill of Rights made a mock of by its sworn officers of the law. There are other States that had better look to their arsenals before the Hun is at their gates.
    By contrast, Gerson provides a different but still resonant warning:
    But we should not underestimate the cultural trauma that many leaders of the religious right have inflicted. It is in the order of things that a younger generation should challenge the views and values of its parents. It is a source of cynicism and social disruption when an older generation betrays civilizing values in full sight of its children. Many evangelical leaders now lie drunk, naked and exposed.
    The main difference between Gerson and Mencken’s takes is that Gerson blames the evangelicals for following Trump while Mencken emphasized Bryan’s efforts to lead them. But, in both cases, the evangelicals were easy to lead.
    Mencken remarked of Dayton’s citizenry that “this is a strictly Christian community, and such is its notion of fairness, justice and due process of law” and “what Bryan says [against the theory of evolution] doesn’t seem to these congenial Baptists and Methodists to be argument; it seems to be a mere graceful statement to the obvious….”  It’s hard not to hear the echo in Gerson’s words: “American evangelicals are significantly crueler…than the national norm…they have become involved in a political throuple with Trump and Fox News, in which each feeds the grievances and conspiracy thinking of the others. The result has properly been called cultlike. For many followers, Trump has defined an alternative, insular universe of facts and values that only marginally resembles our own.”
    Mencken believed that the leading citizens of Dayton hoped that the trial would revitalize their town which had been losing population over the preceding couple of decades; “It is believed that settlers will be attracted to the town as to some refuge from the atheism of the great urban Sodoms and Gomorrah.” But what is Fox News but this exact kind of refuge?
    Nearly a century has passed since the Scopes Trial and most things have changed in dramatic ways. For one, towns like Dayton, Tennessee are less likely to be as idyllic as Mencken described:
    It would be hard to imagine a more moral town than Dayton. If it has any bootleggers, no visitor has heard of them. Ten minutes after I arrived a leading citizen offered me a drink made up half of white mule and half of coca cola, but he seems to have been simply indulging himself in a naughty gesture. No fancy woman has been seen in the town since the end of the McKinley administration. There is no gambling. There is no place to dance. The relatively wicked, when they would indulge themselves, go to Robinson’s drug store and debate theology….
    Today, these towns are shells of their former selves, with opioid addiction more the norm than debates about theology.  In this limited sense, Gerson may be onto something when he argues that there has been a lowering of standards and moral leadership within the evangelical community. But the grievances and conspiracy thinking remain largely the same. The contempt for “fairness, justice and due process of law” is the same. The desire to be free of “the atheism of the great urban Sodoms and Gomorrah” is unchanged. The  “alternative, insular universe of facts and values that only marginally resembles our own” is only enhanced and weaponized by conservative media and a Republican Party that feed and rely upon it.
    The big difference, of course, is that unlike Donald Trump, William Jennings Bryan never won a presidential election. This is the primary reason that Trump is the bigger threat. Another reason is that Bryan pursued at least some policies that would genuinely help the little guy. Trump never does that.
    On the whole, however, once you reject science and the reality-based world, you can be led down any path. One day Trump will be gone and evangelicals will be led in a new direction.

    Fraud Exposed in Defamatory German Exhibition

    A highly publicized German exhibition of atrocities allegedly carried out by regular German army forces during the Second World War has been closed down in the wake of revelations that many of the harrowing photographs it displayed are deceitful.
    By Mark Weber
    The organizers of "War of Annihilation: Crimes of the German Armed Forces, 1941-1944," announced the shutdown on November 5, 1999, after ever more evidence had come to light proving that much of the controversial exhibit is fraudulent.
    Since 1995 hundreds of thousands of visitors had viewed the exhibition, which appeared in more than 30 German and Austrian cities. Numerous secondary school classes were guided through it. Many of Germany's most prominent social, political and business personalities endorsed the exhibit, which was designed to prove that regular German army (Wehrmacht) troops, and not just SS soldiers, carried out "Holocaust" killings of Jews and others.
    "The Wehrmacht exhibition," declared a leading Socialist party (SPD) politician in the German parliament, "is an important contribution to enlightenment. It gives a voice to the victims and, hopefully, to our consciences as well." To applause from the entire body, a representative of the "moderate" CDU party declared: "I ask that such an exhibition about crimes committed by the German army be accepted with humility, in the spirit of the words of Ignatius, who said: truth against ourselves, that is humility."
    Most of the approximately 800 photographs in the exhibition are from Soviet-era Russian sources. More than half of the total are non-incriminating, while most of the 34 photos proven to be fraudulent or misrepresented actually show victims of the Soviets, and of other non-German forces. Exhibition organizer Hannes Herr also admitted that some of the photographs had been retouched. In some instances, photos taken from different angles of the same event or scene were displayed at different places in the exhibition with captions telling viewers that they showed atrocities at different locations. Also presented in the exhibition were documents that included phony confessions by Germans that had been extracted under torture from Soviets.
    The shutdown postponed indefinitely the scheduled debut of an English-language version of the exhibition in New York City. Organizers announced their intention to re-open the exhibition after re-checking each of the hundreds of photographs.

    A Polish Historian Speaks Out

    A few "right-wing" German periodicals -- including the weekly National-Zeitung and the quarterly journal Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart -- established early on that at least some of the photos in the anti-Wehrmacht exhibition were deceitful. Many examples of such deceit were also cited in a book published in 1999 by the FZ-Verlag of Munich: Bilder, die Fälschen: Dubiose "Dokumente" zur Zeitgeschichte ("Pictures that Falsify: Dubious 'Documents' of Contemporary History").
    However, it was only after two non-German scholars -- one Polish and one Hungarian -- incontestably identified misrepresentation and deceit among the exhibit photographs that "establishment" Germans felt emboldened to voice criticisms. Prof. Hans Moeller, for one, director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, acknowledged that the exhibition was full of errors, adding that it would be irresponsible to show it in the United States.
    Especially important in this process was the role of Bogdán Musial, a youthful Polish historian who works at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw. In an article published in the prestigious Munich historical quarterly, Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, he established that some of the exhibit's most gruesome photographs -- allegedly depicting German army killings of Jews -- in reality showed victims of mass killings by the Soviet security police (NKVD).
    Just after the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941, Soviet authorities summarily shot many thousands of political prisoners, hastily burying their bodies in shallow graves or dumping them down well shafts. As Musial put it: "Beria's order [by Stalin's secret police chief Lavrenti Beria] was clear: no 'mortal enemy of Communism' should be freed by the Germans. Tens of thousands were liquidated by shots to the back of the neck or by beatings with sledge hammers. In some cases, the murderers threw hand grenades among the hapless victims, who had been herded together into prison courtyards ... The perpetrators literally waded in blood ..." In the town of Lutsk, for example, the Soviets killed about 2,000 people.
    "... Before their flight from [the western Ukraine city of] Lviv [Lvov] in late June 1941," wrote Musial, "the Soviets murdered some 3,000 to 4,000 prison inmates, most of them in the Brygidki prison. The victims were Ukrainians, Poles and Jews, as well as Soviet and even captured German soldiers." After the Soviet withdrawal, Lviv residents went to the city's main prison to search for missing relatives. "In the prison cellars," relates Dr. Musial, "they saw layers upon layers of corpses ... In the prison courtyard they found two mass graves."

    These two Wehrmacht crimes exhibition photographs purport to show German soldiers standing amid the bodies of Jews they had killed. In fact, these victims – most of them Ukrainians – had been killed in the town of Zloczow (Galicia) in late June 1941 by Soviet security police. The bodies were disinterred after German forces drove out the Soviets.
    After Soviet forces fled from Lviv, the people of this ethnically mixed city took bloody revenge on the Jews (who generally had been ardent supporters of the Soviet regime). Many perished in this outburst of murderous rage. "There is, however, no indication that this pogrom was provoked by the Germans," Musial notes.
    What happened in the western Ukrainian town of Zloczów (Galicia) was typical of many others in the region. Following the Red Army takeover in late 1939, Soviet authorities arrested hundreds of "enemies of the people" there and deported them to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Then, in late June 1941, in the face of advancing German forces, Soviet security forces hastily rounded up 700 more allegedly anti-Soviet Zloczów inhabitants, and killed them over a five-day period with shots to the back of the neck. After German forces drove out the Red Army on July 1, 1941, they cooperated in digging up the mass graves of the victims.
    In some places in this region, Musial notes, the Germans arrived just in time to rescue people who were about to be killed. "Altogether
    some 13,000 prisoners were liberated by the Germans."
    Musial compares the "Wehrmacht crimes" exhibit to the propaganda of the Communist regime in Poland. "The strength of this exhibition," he has said, "lies in the weakness of its critics."
    As Musial explains, photographs of unearthed mass graves of Ukrainians and Poles killed by the Soviets were found by Red Army troops on the bodies of German soldiers who had fallen on the eastern front. These included some taken at Zloczów by a junior officer, Richard Worbs, who fell in 1944. Soviet authorities publicized such photographs as evidence of German atrocities. These same photos, with their deceitful misrepresentations, were acquired by the organizers of the German Wehrmacht crimes exhibition for display to hundreds of thousands of credulous viewers.
    In one exhibition photo, Musial explains, the corpses shown were actually Ukrainians who had been killed by the Soviet security police in Borislav (in Galicia, western Ukraine). The German soldiers seen in the photograph had helped unearth the bodies for identification. Another exhibition picture allegedly shows victims of a German massacre in Kraljevo (Serbia) in October 1941. In fact, the victims were Ukrainians and Poles killed by the Soviet NKVD in late June 1941 in a Lviv prison courtyard. "The victims were Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, Russians and German prisoners of war," said Dr. Musial.
    Among other apparently damning exhibition photos are some that show German soldiers standing among corpses "at a pogrom in Tarnopol." In this case as well, the bodies are actually those of Ukrainian and Polish victims of the Soviet NKVD, which had been unearthed after the area came under German occupation.
    "Wehrmacht crimes" exhibition organizers Bernd Boll (left) and Hannes Herr (right), at its opening in the Kiel regional parliament in January 1999, with parliament president Heinz-Werner Arens in the middle.
    "It is known that the regular German army carried out crimes," Musial said in an interview. "It is impossible that among a million soldiers, and above all in the circumstances of that war, there would not have been crimes. But there were also countless decent soldiers."
    When Dr. Musial first made public his criticisms, the Wehrmacht exhibition organizers sought to silence him with a lawsuit and to discredit him with a smear campaign.

    A Bold Hungarian Historian

    Along with Musial, Hungarian historian Krisztián Ungváry played a major role in discrediting the "Wehrmacht crimes" exhibition. The 31-year-old Budapest scholar, who was named "military historian of the year" in 1998 by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, identified additional misrepresentations in a scholarly article.
    In an interview with a Berlin newspaper, Ungváry spoke of "false photographs" and "false attributions." He said that "90 percent of the exhibition must be altered." Perhaps ten percent of the exhibition's pictures showed German atrocities, he estimated, while another ten percent showed atrocities by Ukrainians, Finns, Hungarians or the Soviets. The remaining photos (about 80 percent of the total), he went on, showed no atrocities or crimes of any kind.
    One of the exhibit's most often cited photographs purports to show a German army execution squad preparing to shoot several young men. In fact, as Ungváry established, this photo depicts a Hungarian firing squad in the town of Stari Becej (in Vojvodina, which at the time belonged to Hungary) in the fall of 1941. At the time there were no German troops in the area. The doomed men are Communists who had been sentenced to death by a Hungarian military court for treason, murder and sabotage.
    "The crimes of the Wehrmacht were dreadful," says Ungváry, "but they were not unique. The Hungarian, Romanian and Soviet armies also carried out terrible crimes. This is also true of anti-Jewish excesses."

    Missing Context

    Apart from its overt deceit by misrepresenting authentic photographs, the exhibition is a propagandistic fraud on a more fundamental level because it makes sweeping generalizations and fails to provide adequate historical context. A good example is the exhibit's most familiar photograph (reproduced on the front cover of Germany's leading news magazine, Der Spiegel), which shows German soldiers at an execution of several men in April 1941 in Panchevo, Serbia (Vojvoidina region).
    What exhibition visitors were not told is that this was an execution of 18 Yugoslav army fighters who, disguised as civilians, had been involved in shootings of German soldiers. They were sentenced to death by a military court. This execution, however grim, was in conformity with internationally recognized military law. (Also unmentioned is the fact that when Yugoslav forces retreated from Panchevo, they took with them nine ethnic German civilians as hostages, who were then murdered in a nearby forest.)

    Double Standard

    "Victims of the massacre in Kraljevo, October 1941," is the description given to this photo in the "Wehrmacht crimes" exhibition. It allegedly shows victims of a German massacre in Serbia. In fact, as Polish historian Musial established, these victims – mostly Ukrainians and Poles – had been killed by the Soviet NKVD in late June 1941 in a prison courtyard in Lviv (Lvov), western Ukraine.
    The controversy over the exhibition once again underscores the double standard by which wartime Germany is routinely regarded. In contrast to the heavy stress by politicians and the media on victims of the Third Reich, especially Jewish Holocaust victims, there is comparative silence about victims of the Allies, especially those of America's wartime partner, the Soviet Union.
    No one demands, or expects, self-abasing apologies from America's political leaders for the massive US support for Stalin during the Second World War.
    While the public is constantly exhorted to "never forget" the victims of the Holocaust, we hear no such admonition for the vastly more numerous victims of Communism.
    The scholars who identified falsifications in the Wehrmacht exhibition are -- to use the pejorative label that is routinely applied to those who point out false Holocaust claims -- "deniers." Historians such as Musial and Ungváry "deny" the atrocities "proven" by the exhibition.
    Jewish groups have often criticized Germans for their alleged failure adequately to come to terms with their Nazi past. But it is doubtful that political and social leaders in any other country would give their support to an exhibition that, in effect, indicts their grandfathers as criminals.
    In today's Germany, statements that call into question the official view of the Holocaust story can bring legal persecution. And truth is no defense. Several years ago, for example, German courts fined best-selling British historian David Irving 30,000 marks (about $21,000) for publicly saying what is now authoritatively conceded. He was punished for having told a Munich meeting that the structure in Auschwitz that has been portrayed for decades to tourists as an extermination gas chamber is a "dummy" (Attrappe).
    Irving was found guilty of thus "disparaging the memory of the dead," a German criminal code provision that effectively "protects" only Jews. The judge refused to consider any of the evidence presented by Irving's attorneys, including a plea to permit the senior curator and archives director of the Auschwitz State Museum to testify in the case.
    It is, of course, very unlikely that those responsible for the Wehrmacht exhibition will ever be charged, much less punished, for violating German laws against "insulting the memory of the dead" or against "popular incitement," two of the criminal code sections that are routinely applied to "Holocaust deniers."
    One can be sure that organizers of a comparable exhibition of Allied or Zionist crimes, no matter how factually accurate, would doubtless have to reckon with criminal indictment and prosecution.
    American newspaper reports about the exhibition's revelations have tended to play down the scope of its misrepresentations, stressing that only a small portion of the photographs have been proven to be fraudulent. This is at least misleading, though, given that 70-80 percent the exhibition photos portray nothing at all sinister or criminal.
    In an article about the exhibition revelations, the London Times warned: "The danger now is that Holocaust revisionists, who seize on all research blunders to bolster their arguments minimizing or denying the Holocaust, will try to argue that the German army was innocent of all war crimes."

    Germany's Climate of Intimidation

    One of the most harrowing photos in the "Wehrmacht crimes" exhibition supposedly shows German troops executing civilians in Serbia in the fall of 1941. Hungarian historian Kriszthin Ungvary has established that this picture actually shows an execution by Hungarian troops in Stari Becej (which at the time belonged to Hungary) of Communists who had been sentenced to death by a Hungarian military court for treason, murder and sabotage.
    This deceitful and defamatory traveling exhibition could only have attained the stature it did with the thoughtless or cowardly cooperation of German historians and politicians. They knew, or should have known, how fundamentally mendacious this exhibit was, but many Germans today keep their mouths shut out of fear of being labeled a "revisionist," "nationalist," or "right-winger."
    This is a consequence of a climate of intellectual repression, in which scholars are obliged to abide by a restrictive "political correctness," or risk public defamation or even legal persecution for daring to write or publish anything that might seem to "exonerate"
    the Third Reich regime.
    As Budapest historian Ungváry has pointed out:
    It is certainly not easy for a German scholar to present substantive criticisms on this topic without immediately being labeled a right-winger or being suspected of supporting the wrong side. I find this very worrisome, and it is unfortunate that no one does anything about this in Germany. Criticism of the exhibition has largely been left to the right-wing extremists.
    The influential German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that the revelations highlighted the "intellectual climate" in today's Germany, which made possible a propagandistic enterprise with such prestigious backing. On another occasion the daily newspaper commented: "The abundance of the exhibition organizers' errors, mistakes and negligence, proven by researchers, is devastating. One is at a loss for words, considering that this is about such a serious subject. One comes across something comparable only in government-organized disinformation campaigns."
    Perhaps the most widely-reproduced photograph in the anti-Wehrmacht exhibition is this one, which shows an execution by German troops in April 1941 in the town of Panchevo in the Vojvodina region. This was an execution of 18 Yugoslav army fighters who, disguised as civilians, had been involved in shootings of German soldiers. They were sentenced to death by a military court. As grim as it was, this execution was entirely in accord with internationally-sanctioned military law.
    "Why didn't German historians expose the many mistakes and misrepresentations in the Wehrmacht exhibition?," wrote the editor of the German news magazine Focus. "History professors provide an answer only when we promise not to reveal their names: 'Every historian immediately saw just how shoddy and slanted the exhibition was set up, but who has any desire to allow himself to be publicly ruined?' The persecution of dissident thinkers has had quite an impact."
    Commenting on the exhibition controversy, Dr. Musial expresses some hope for the future:
    I have the impression that the Germans have difficulties dealing with certain realities. A climate of consternation dominates, and this is certainly good for people such as Hannes Heer or Daniel Goldhagen. One does not really dare to question their views on scholarly grounds. Whoever dares to tackle these things without qualms, as I have, risks being labeled a revisionist. On the other hand, the tremendous response to my work gives me hope that finally in Germany people will begin to discuss, substantively and unhampered, this chapter of contemporary history. 
    W. Hackert, "Diffamierung der deutschen Wehrmacht," Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart [Tübingen], Feb. 1998, pp. 22-29;
    "Leichen im Obstgarten," Der Spiegel, Jan. 25, 1999, pp. 52-53;
    Klaus Sojka, Hrsg., Bilder, die Fälschen: Dubiose "Dokumente" zur Zeitgeschichte [Munich: FZ-Verlag, 1999];
    Ungváry interview in Berliner Morgenpost, June 14, 1999; "Geschichtsverzerrung," Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Sept. 1999, p. 14;
    Musial interview, "Die Spitze eines Eisbergs," Welt am Sonntag, Oct. 24, 1999;
    "Reemtsmas Spukhaus bricht zusammen," National-Zeitung [Munich], Oct. 29, 1999, pp. 3-4;
    R. Boyes, "Photo errors arm German neo-Nazis," The Times [London], Nov. 2, 1999;
    "'Mörder-Wehrmacht': Die Lüge stirbt," National-Zeitung [Munich], Nov. 5, 1999, pp. 1, 4, 11;
    Beweismittel gefälscht, Urteil richtig," National-Zeitung [Munich], Nov. 12, 1999, pp. 3-6;
    "Wehrmacht: Neue Fälschungen," National-Zeitung [Munich], Nov. 19, 1999, pp. 1, 6.
    A Munich publisher, FZ-Verlag, issued a 416-page German-language book about the Wehrmacht exhibition, Die Wahrheit über die Wehrmacht: Reemtsmas Fälschungen widerlegt ("The Truth about the Wehrmacht: Reemtsma's Frauds Debunked").

    From The Journal of Historical Review, September/December 1999 (Vol. 18, No. 5/6), page 6.

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