Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #609 Update on Germany

Recorded September 2, 2007
MP3: 30-Minute Segment
REALAUDIO

NB: This stream contains both FTR #608 and FTR #609 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broadcast.

Updating Mr. Emory’s long-running coverage of matters German, this broadcast begins by examining the severity of the international financial crisis for German financial institutions. The situation is so perilous that German banking executives have adopted a self-enforced code of silence, lest their public pronouncements lead to “uncertainty.” In spite of public pronouncements that the subprime mortgage in the U.S. would not affect German lending institutions, two institutions have already been bailed out. After highlighting a new book documenting how the Argentine/German cooperation in laundering German World War II loot led directly to the German “economic miracle” after the conflict, the broadcast sets forth Germany’s attempts at opposing its will on other countries in Europe. Even as it demands that other European countries defer to Germany’s will on security matters, Germany is disregarding EU policy on immigration. Assessing some of Germany’s handiwork, the broadcast concludes with a look at the revival of World War II-era fascism in the Croatian state midwived by Germany.

Program Highlights Include: Overpricing by German corporations as part of the Argentine money-laundering operation; the Argentine government’s destruction of documents that might have disclosed the German flight-capital program; the manner in which the disclosures concerning the Argentine/German money laundering operation supplement Paul Manning’s Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Germany’s imposition of total hegemony over other EU states with regard to police powers; Germany’s cooperation with some of the most murderous of African countries on refugee policy; Croatian rock fans’ use of the Nazi salute at a nationally-broadcast concert.

1. The broadcast begins with a European take on the growing international financial crisis deriving from the US subprime mortgage crisis. Although global financial authorities generally speak reassuringly of the crisis, the self-enforced silence of the German banking industry is troubling. “German banks, locked in a crisis over the fallout from volatile credit markets, have adopted a curious strategy over their increasing image problem: silence. After the head of a regional bank warned that the situation of German banks was critical as some foreign banks were refusing to lend to them, top executives at other financial institutions have decided to gag themselves. Given the situation in the financial markets, the main commercial banks have decided to refrain from commenting in public on the general market situation, said an e-mail from the head of communications at Dresdner Bank to journalists to explain why its chief executive was canceling a meeting. The association of German banks, the BdB, which represents the main commercial institutions, was keen to underline that there was no formal ban on executives speaking out. But an official said: The banks have said they don’t want to cause any more uncertainty by speaking out. . . .”
(“German Banks Remain Silent after Warning” by Richard Milne; Financial Times; 8/27/2007.)

2. The German government is investigating the collapse of two financial institutions as a result of the crisis that other bankers won’t discuss for fear that it might “cause uncertainty.” “The German government will launch an inquiry into Bafin, the German financial services regulator, amid accusations that the watchdog took too long to address crises at two banks that had to be bailed out. Torsten Albig, a spokesman for the finance ministry, which oversees Bafin, said on Monday, the ministry would look into what reasons Bafin had to take, or not take, action. The recent turmoil in the global credit markets, triggered by a weakening US mortgage market, has hit Germany’s financial sector particularly hard. In the past month, IKB, a small company lender, and Sachsen LB, the public Landesbank, had to be rescued after they were unable to provide credit facilities they had pledged to their own investment funds. Both banks had promised back-up credit facilities that far exceeded their own size, making it highly unlikely they could provide the funds when prompted. The facilities were designed legally to avoid regulatory limits on credit exposure. . . .”
(“Watchdog Faces Berlin Inquiry on Banks Bail-out” by Bertrand Benoit and Ivar Simensen; Financial Times; 8/28/2007.)

3. Next, the program sets forth a recently published investigation of the Argentine role in the Nazi flight capital program that took place near the end of and after World War II. A key element of that undertaking was a money-laundering program realized through cooperation of German and Argentine corporations under the dictatorship of Juan Peron. (For more about the Nazi flight capital program, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 305, 604. Above all, interested listeners should download and read Paul Manning’s Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile, available on the Spitfire website.). The capital that was secreted abroad under the Bormann program provided the foundation for the German economic miracle of the postwar period. “That scores of fugitive Nazis found their way to Argentina after World War II, aided and abetted by Gen. Juan D. Perón, is no secret. But according to a book just published here that draws extensively on archival material only now being made available to researchers, his government also offered a haven for the profits of German companies that had been part of the Nazi war machine and whose assets the victorious Allies would otherwise have seized. In The German Connection: The Laundering of Nazi Money in Argentina, Gaby Weber, a German journalist, argues that the Perón dictatorship sponsored an operation to move illicitly obtained wealth to Argentina and then back to Germany. For nearly a decade, her book asserts, German-made cars, trucks, buses and even the machinery for entire factories flowed into Argentina, paid for with dollars that were then used to help finance the German economic miracle. . . .”
(“Half-Century Later, a New Look at Argentine-Nazi Ties” by Larry Rohter; The New York Times; 4/4/2007.)

4. Quietly, out of the public spotlight, Germany has been increasing its hegemony over the other member states of the EU. There has been widespread publicity over American abuses committed under the “War on Terror,” but very little on the German implementation of investigative and police hegemony over the EU’s other member states. “In spite of the massive resistance put up by several EU member states, the German Interior Minister is demanding that a restriction on rights of national sovereignty in the field of security be applied throughout the EU. Following a meeting with his EU counterparts, Wolfgang Schäuble announced that Germany intends to obtain access to police data of all EU member states. Berlin can already take sovereign action in some of its neighboring states. The legal basis for this was provided by the Prüm Treaty, signed two years ago by a group of EU pioneers. Using its EU Council Presidency, Berlin is planning to initiate the incorporation of the Prüm Treaty into the EU’s legal framework. This Treaty has come under criticism in Germany because of deficits in the protection of data privacy and its lack of democratic control. The attempt to subvert legitimate resistance in the other countries, through reaching a special agreement with some of the member states, is being described in the German press as a novelty in the European integration process. It is being voiced, that this is opening the possibility of enforcing numerous legal norms, in spite of their far reaching consequences, without ratification by the entire EU. Because of its dominating position, Germany can set its own norms. Berlin has successfully rejected Portugal’s plan to adopt the admirable migration policy model legislation. . . .”
(“European Achievement”; German-Foreign-Policy.com; 1/17/2007.)

5. While demanding conformity and acquiescence by other EU states on issues of police powers and security, Germany is pursuing a course on immigration that is deviant from official EU policy on immigration. “ . . . To facilitate the deportation of migrants, Berlin is hoping to conclude, during its EU Council Presidency, so called, partnership treaties, containing clauses regulating the evacuation of refugees, with African third-party countries. According to Berlin, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal are countries being considered as models for such treaties. It is known that Mauritanian security forces have abandoned refugees, deported from the EU, in the desert. [8] Mauritania is not the only West African country known for exceptional treatment of refugees. Gambia, which likewise is presided over by a president, brought to power through a putsch, is reported to have taken, last fall, 50 illegal immigrants from various West African countries as soon as they crossed the border from Senegal into Gambia, they were arrested and were brought to the Marine headquarters in the Gambian capital, Banjul.[9] Tied with cords and electric cable, they were transported by the military to different locations on the outskirts of Banjul, where they were executed, some with machetes. It is with Gambia, of all countries, that Germany intends to conclude its fourth model treaty, including regulations for deportation. . . .” (Idem.)

6. The program concludes with a look at some of the “new” Germany’s handiwork. The first significant act of reunified Germany on the international stage was to precipitate the first major land war in Europe since the end of World War II. By recognizing the secession of Croatia and Slovenia from the Yugoslovian union and forcing the rest of the fledgling EU to do the same as a condition for ratifying the Maastricht Treaty, Germany rendered an outbreak of hostilities in the Balkans as inevitable. (For more about Germany’s role in the destabilization of Yugoslavia and igniting the Balkans’ wars, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 48, 154.) A recent concert by a Croatian pop star indicated the extent to which the brutal Ustashe fascist government of the World War II period has been rehabilitated. (For more about the brutal Croatian fascists of World War II, see—among other programs—FTR#530.) “On a hot Sunday evening in June, thousands of fans in a packed stadium here in the Croatian capital gave a Nazi salute as the rock star Marko Perkovic shouted a well-known slogan from World War II. Some of the fans were wearing the black caps of Croatia’s infamous Nazi puppet Ustashe government, which was responsible for sending tens of thousands of Serbs, Gypsies and Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. The exchange with the audience is a routine part of Mr. Perkovic’s act, and the gesture seemed to lack any conscious political overtones. The audience — most of whom appeared to be in their teens and early 20s — just seemed to be having a good time. But Mr. Perkovic’s recent success among a new generation — many of them apparently oblivious to the history of the Holocaust — has prompted concern and condemnation from Jewish groups abroad and minority groups in Croatia. [Despite those objections, the concert — his biggest ever, with an estimated 40,000 fans in the soccer stadium — was shown in prime time on Sunday night on state-owned television, prompting further protests from Jewish and Serbian groups.] We don’t want to pay for something that strikes fear into my children, or distances them from their friends or neighbors, said Milorad Pupovac, leader of the largest Serbian political party in Croatia, referring to the plan for the broadcast. What has shocked those groups more, though, is that in the ensuing debate, many senior politicians and journalists have said that they see no problem with the imagery or salutes. . . .”
(“Fascist Overtones From Blithely Oblivious Rock Fans” by Larry Rohter; The New York Times; 7/2/2007.)

7. Two video productions are being generated by a couple of documentary filmmakers. One is a DVD of a three-lecture series called “The First Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Relationship Between Fascism and Religion.” In addition, there will soon be a documentary about Mr. Emory, titled “The Anti-Fascist.” For more about this project, visit TheAntiFascist.com.

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