COMMENT: In a post about the relationship between the literary cultural elite, the so-called progressive element of the political sector and the CIA, we noted that many of the luminaries of that milieu were inextricably linked to the CIA.
The perversion of the historical record to portray wolves as sheep is not a new phenomenon. In the run-up to the occupation of Germany after World War II, a number of “ersatz sheep” were seen as possibilities to maintain the Nazi status quo within German power structure, while appearing to be a change of regime.
In the event, that was accomplished.
One of the potential “ersatz sheep” discussed as a possible figurehead to maintain Nazi influence in German power structure, has enjoyed a postwar reputation as something of an anti-Nazi icon: Pastor Martin Niemoller.
Although many are unaware the speaker’s identity, the rueful reflections of Niemoller that “. . . When they came for the Jews, I did not protest, for I was not a Jew. . . .” etc. are well known.
Less well known is that Niemoller was an early, enthusiastic Nazi and, before that, part of the Black Reichswehr–underground military units that subverted the Weimar Republic and paved the way for Hitler’s rise to power with a wave of assassinations. (The Black Reichswehr is covered in, among other programs, AFA #10.)
Niemoller’s eventual opposition to Hitler was a result of the Fuehrer’s attempts at over-manipulating the Protestant denominations, not an overall ideological schism.
A decorated U-boat commander during World War I, Niemoller volunteered for duty as a submariner after Hitler’s invasion of Poland! (Niemoller was an officer on board the submarine that laid the mine that sand H.M.S. Britannic, the sister ship of the Titanic.)
We should note that the Third Reich had long laid plans for going underground and re-emerging at an opportune time, as author Curt Riess notes in The Nazis Go Underground. They skillfully gave anti-Nazi credentials to those who were to be used for postwar service.
The Thyssens, for example, were seen by author Riess as a possible touchstone for Nazi resurgence, in the event of a defeat of the Reich’s armies. (The Thyssens, of course, were business partners of the Bush family and key elements of the postwar Bormann capital network.)
We very much hope that the more dedicated listeners/readers will take advantage of the anti-fascist books available for download on this website. The perspective available will enable users to bridge the gap between the past and the present, as Harry Beckhough, author and former codebreaker at Bletchley Park has done so heroically for us.
EXCERPT: . . . . This man [Pastor Martin Niemoller] presents a much more complicated problem than Bumke. For, unlike the judge, in the past he has definitely come out against the Nazis. The world remembers it. He protested violently against Hitler’s interference in Church matters. He tried to protect non-Aryan priests of the Protestant Church when they were in danger of being removed from their pulpits. He organized strong Christian resistance all over Germany to Hitler’s attempt to give the Protestant Church a leader in the person of the former army chaplain, Ludwig Mueller, one of the most problematical figures of the Third Reich. He wrote and delivered sermons in his little church in an elegant suburb of Berlin which caused everybody to fear that he might be arrested any Sunday. He was finally arrested and, though the court acquitted him of all the trumped-up charges that were made against him, he was put in a concentration camp— where he still is as far as anyone knows.
This is one side of the picture. But there is another one. Martin Niemoeller comes from one of the most reactionary families in Germany. A former navy officer, he was one of a group of the most Pan-Germanistic men in the navy. During World War I he became a successful and famous U-boat commander. The revolution made him a bitter man. He was against everything it represented, for everything the old German Empire had represented. He became prominent among the young men who formed illegal military units.
He enlisted as a member of the Black Reichswehr. Today it is conveniently forgotten by those who sponsor him that he was one of the first members of the Nazi party and that for many years he was an admiring follower of Adolf Hitler. Not a word did he have to say against the Führer and all the horrors he perpetrated, up to 1933. It was only then that he disagreed—with remarkable courage it must be admitted. He decided to leave the party, thus depriving himself of great advantages which every old member was certain of, and expose himself to great danger. Yes, he had courage. He was probably the only Nazi who left the party in the year 1933.
But as far as his quarrels with Hitler go, they do not include the whole Nazi philosophy. Niemoeller objected only to certain features, certain events, certain personalities. If Hitler had left religion alone, Niemoeller would never have fought him. If instead of trying to make his friend Pastor Mueller head of the Church, Hitler had chosen a better churchman, or if he had left the choice to the churchmen themselves, Martin Niemoeller would have been delighted. He said so himself.
How limited Niemoeller’s divergences with Hitler are became obvious at the beginning of the war, in September 1939. The pastor had by then been in prison for many years. He had repeatedly declined offers of freedom under the condition that he give up preaching. It was his constant contention that he must tell the world what he thought of Hitler. But now, when Hitler began his war against the world, this no longer seemed important. It seemed more important to help Hitler win the war. The martyr to his faith volunteered—as a submarine commander. Which means that he has hardly changed since 1914.
If Niemoeller were to become the head of the German government, he certainly would do away with all those features of the Hitler regime which he has so violently and courageously protested against. But he would not take the initiative in doing away with any of the features of that regime against which he has not protested, and with which he is in complete accord.
Niemoeller was a Nazi from the very beginning and he will always remain a Nazi. He has never fought against the political philosophy of Nazism as such, which means that if he attained power the illegal representatives of this philosophy will possess in him a good and powerful friend. . . .