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Murdering History: Franz Halder’s Post-Reich Career

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Franz Halder
Pho­to Cred­it: Wikipedia

COMMENT: As Mr. Emory has not­ed in many pro­grams and posts, the Rus­sia-Ukraine war has com­plet­ed the process of the Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of Amer­i­ca that he has chron­i­cled for the bet­ter part of half a cen­tu­ry.

A cen­tral role in that process was played by Gen­er­al Franz Halder.

We have tak­en note of Halder before, dis­cussing the fact that Rein­hard Gehlen cleared his for­ma­tion of a work­ing agree­ment with the U.S. by con­fer­ring with Halder and Admi­ral Karl von Doenitz, who suc­ceed­ed Hitler, fol­low­ing his alleged “sui­cide.”

Per­haps even more impor­tant is his deci­sive post-war work revis­ing the his­to­ry of the Wehrma­cht and World War  II, shep­herd­ing bla­tant, read­i­ly ver­i­fi­able lies into accept­ed his­tor­i­cal truth.

In the long, ongo­ing series of pro­grams about the Ukraine war, Mr. Emory has dis­cussed his belief that the war has func­tioned in a man­ner not unlike the Philoso­pher’s Stone of the medieval alchemists.

That stone was believed to be able to trans­form lead into gold. The war is trans­form­ing indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions in the West into the same his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ist fab­ric as the Ukrain­ian Insti­tute of Nation­al Mem­o­ry.

” . . . . After the war, he lived a com­fort­able life as an author, com­men­ta­tor and ‘his­tor­i­cal con­sul­tant’ for the U.S. Army Cen­ter of Mil­i­tary His­to­ry (CMH). . . .”

“. . . . Halder’s job was to reha­bil­i­tate Nazism for the ben­e­fit of his new Amer­i­can patrons. If the Nazis could be ide­o­log­i­cal­ly sep­a­rat­ed from the Ger­man peo­ple and the Ger­man Army, Amer­i­ca could use the most use­ful of Hitler’s sol­diers in their war against the Sovi­et Union with­out rais­ing sus­pi­cion. Halder over­saw a team of 700 for­mer Wehrma­cht offi­cers and inten­tion­al­ly set about rewrit­ing his­to­ry to present the image of a clean Wehrma­cht and a Ger­man peo­ple igno­rant of Nazi bru­tal­i­ty. His deputy was CIA agent Adolf Heusinger, a Nazi war crim­i­nal who was large­ly respon­si­ble for plan­ning the end­less mas­sacres of ‘secu­ri­ty war­fare,’ and was lat­er a com­man­der of both the Ger­man Army and NATO. . . .”

” . . . . Halder enjoyed spe­cial sta­tus, releas­ing infor­ma­tion to only the most priv­i­leged jour­nal­ists and his­to­ri­ans. With the legit­i­ma­cy grant­ed by his title, access to infor­ma­tion, and U.S. gov­ern­ment back­ing, Halder’s CMH was con­sid­ered a gold stan­dard source for aca­d­e­m­ic his­to­ri­ans and their infor­ma­tion was high­ly cov­et­ed. Halder used this to care­ful­ly vet to whom he released infor­ma­tion, ensur­ing he got the max­i­mum impact.”

“From 1955 to 1991 his works were cit­ed at least 700 times in aca­d­e­m­ic pub­li­ca­tions, espe­cial­ly by pro­fes­sors and researchers in West­ern mil­i­tary acad­e­mies. Since West­ern his­to­ri­ans were forced to drink from Halder’s well, they passed down the poi­son to their stu­dents, and from there the lies worked their way into the pub­lic con­scious­ness. Even­tu­al­ly, Nazi pro­pa­gan­da was laun­dered into ‘truth’ through sim­ple rep­e­ti­tion and care­ful con­trol of sources. . . . .”

“How a Net­work of Nazi Pro­pa­gan­dists Helped Lay the Ground­work for the War in Ukraine” By Evan Reif; Covert Action Mag­a­zine; 02/03/2023

“His­to­ry isn’t what hap­pened, but the sto­ries of what hap­pened and the lessons these sto­ries include. The very selec­tion of which his­to­ries to teach in a soci­ety shapes our view of how what is came to be and, in turn, what we under­stand as pos­si­ble. This choice of which his­to­ry to teach can nev­er be ‘neu­tral’ or ‘objec­tive.’ Those who choose, either fol­low­ing a set agen­da or guid­ed by hid­den prej­u­dices, serve their inter­ests. Their inter­ests could be to con­tin­ue this world as it now stands or to make a new world.” – Howard Zinn

In the after­math of the Sec­ond World War, many of the archi­tects of the worst atroc­i­ties in his­to­ry were res­cued and pro­tect­ed by Amer­i­can intel­li­gence. The overt role of Nazi sci­en­tists such as Wern­her von Braun (who per­son­al­ly over­saw the tor­ture and mur­der of slave labor­ers) in the Unit­ed States space pro­gram and West Ger­man indus­try has been com­mon knowl­edge for decades.

In recent years the end of the Cold War has brought rev­e­la­tions about the CIA’s “glad­i­a­tors” such as Yaroslav Stet­sko and Licio Gel­li influ­enc­ing the world’s polit­i­cal devel­op­ment by any means nec­es­sary. From Ger­many and Italy to Japan and South Korea, there is now a vast col­lec­tion of evi­dence prov­ing the exis­tence of large, well-fund­ed net­works of fas­cist ter­ror­ists who did not hes­i­tate to use vio­lence to ensure com­pli­ance from the “free” peo­ple of the world.

How­ev­er, what is less well known is that thou­sands of fas­cist-lean­ing and anti-com­mu­nist aca­d­e­mics were also res­cued and nur­tured by the U.S. to wage an ide­o­log­i­cal war against Com­mu­nism. These revi­sion­ist his­to­ri­ans spent decades labor­ing in the shad­ows of the aca­d­e­m­ic press until the fall of the Sovi­et Union allowed them to return home and final­ly rewrite his­to­ry to their lik­ing. After decades of effort, we can now see the results of their work, the seeds plant­ed 70 years ago are final­ly bear­ing their poi­soned fruit.

Sow­ing the Seeds

“This strug­gle requires ruth­less and ener­getic action against Bol­she­vik agi­ta­tors, guer­ril­las, sabo­teurs, and Jews, and the total elim­i­na­tion of all active or pas­sive resis­tance” – Franz Halder, Guide­lines for the Con­duct of the Troops in Rus­sia

One of the first and most impor­tant of these his­to­ri­ans was not a his­to­ri­an at all.

Franz Halder was a career staff offi­cer, start­ing with the Reich­swehr in World War I. He joined the Nazi Par­ty in 1933 and his close per­son­al friend­ship with Hitler helped him climb the ranks very quick­ly. By 1938, he was named Chief of Gen­er­al Staff of the Oberkom­man­do des Heeres (OKH), which made Halder the head of plan­ning for the entire Ger­man army and sec­ond in com­mand only to the Führer him­self. No order could leave OKH head­quar­ters with­out the approval and sig­na­ture of Franz Halder. This means that Halder was not only inti­mate­ly aware of the regime’s crimes, but he planned most of them.

Start­ing with the inva­sion of Poland in 1939, Halder per­son­al­ly autho­rized the liq­ui­da­tion of “unde­sir­ables” such as Jews, Poles and Com­mu­nists. His office was respon­si­ble for the infa­mous Com­mis­sar Order and Bar­barossa Decree, which allowed Nazi sol­diers to exe­cute civil­ians at will and with­out reper­cus­sions. These orders led to the even­tu­al death of mil­lions in the Sovi­et Union, both through depor­ta­tion to camps and through bru­tal reprisal cam­paigns in occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries.

“Col­lec­tive dras­tic action will be tak­en imme­di­ate­ly against com­mu­ni­ties from which treach­er­ous or insid­i­ous attacks against the Wehrma­cht are launched, on the orders of an offi­cer with at least the rank of bat­tal­ion com­man­der upwards, if the cir­cum­stances do not per­mit a speedy appre­hen­sion of indi­vid­ual cul­prits.”- Decree on the juris­dic­tion of mar­tial law and on spe­cial mea­sures of the troops (aka the Bar­barossa Decree), May 13, 1941.

Under the euphemism of “secu­ri­ty war­fare,” the Nazis anni­hi­lat­ed entire vil­lages and towns in occu­pied ter­ri­to­ry. Depend­ing on the time and place, this was done through meth­ods rang­ing from gun­fire and torch­es to tor­ture, rape, and pil­lag­ing. The result was always the same. Any set­tle­ment which may have held alleged par­ti­sans was com­plete­ly depop­u­lat­ed of every man, woman and child.

All in all, a min­i­mum of 20 mil­lion Sovi­et civil­ians were killed by the Nazis, but some Russ­ian schol­ars esti­mate that the true num­ber is at least dou­ble that.

Halder was a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sion­al; he poured over doc­u­ments for weeks, writ­ing and re-writ­ing them to ensure the lan­guage was as pre­cise and unam­bigu­ous as pos­si­ble. He was suc­cess­ful, as his orders were heav­i­ly used as evi­dence against the Nazi regime in the Nurem­berg tri­als and even today are specif­i­cal­ly cit­ed as the sort of crim­i­nal orders that sol­diers must refuse.

The Allies con­sid­ered Halder’s orders so rep­re­hen­si­ble that Nazis such as Her­mann Hoth and Wil­helm von Leeb were con­vict­ed of crimes against human­i­ty sim­ply for trans­mit­ting them to their sub­or­di­nates. Many low­er-rank­ing Nazis were hanged for fol­low­ing Halder’s orders in the Sovi­et Union. Despite this, Halder suf­fered no con­se­quences what­so­ev­er for issu­ing them.

After Halder sur­ren­dered to the U.S. Army, the Unit­ed States refused to try him at Nurem­berg. Instead, he faced only a minor tri­al for “aid­ing the Nazi regime” in a Ger­man court. He denied any knowl­edge of the crimes that bore his lit­er­al sig­na­ture and was found not guilty. After the war, he lived a com­fort­able life as an author, com­men­ta­tor and “his­tor­i­cal con­sul­tant” for the U.S. Army Cen­ter of Mil­i­tary His­to­ry (CMH).

The old fas­cist was res­cued from the gal­lows to serve as the chief plan­ner for anoth­er war. Halder no longer planned vast bat­tles and the exter­mi­na­tion of races, but he remained at the fore­front of the war against what Halder called “Judeo-Bol­she­vism,” a term he learned from his beloved Führer.

Halder’s job was to reha­bil­i­tate Nazism for the ben­e­fit of his new Amer­i­can patrons. If the Nazis could be ide­o­log­i­cal­ly sep­a­rat­ed from the Ger­man peo­ple and the Ger­man Army, Amer­i­ca could use the most use­ful of Hitler’s sol­diers in their war against the Sovi­et Union with­out rais­ing sus­pi­cion. Halder over­saw a team of 700 for­mer Wehrma­cht offi­cers and inten­tion­al­ly set about rewrit­ing his­to­ry to present the image of a clean Wehrma­cht and a Ger­man peo­ple igno­rant of Nazi bru­tal­i­ty. His deputy was CIA agent Adolf Heusinger, a Nazi war crim­i­nal who was large­ly respon­si­ble for plan­ning the end­less mas­sacres of “secu­ri­ty war­fare,” and was lat­er a com­man­der of both the Ger­man Army and NATO.

Through manip­u­la­tion, fab­ri­ca­tion and wide­spread cen­sor­ship, Halder and Heusinger cre­at­ed a com­plete nar­ra­tive of them­selves and the Wehrma­cht as bril­liant, noble, and hon­or­able vic­tims of the mad­man Hitler rather than the mon­sters who butchered a con­ti­nent.

Halder and Heusinger pub­lished reams of fan­tas­ti­cal lies with the CMH, say­ing that the Wehrma­cht com­mit­ted no crimes on the East­ern Front. Accord­ing to Halder and Heusinger, the Nazis set up mar­kets and cul­tur­al cen­ters to buy food from local farm­ers and hold dances and social events for grate­ful peo­ple. Halder and Heusinger only briefly men­tion prob­lems in the East, say­ing they were car­ried out by “Judeo-Bol­she­vik” NKVD infil­tra­tors instead of the noble Wehrma­cht.

None of this could have been far­ther from the truth. Under unam­bigu­ous orders from the OKH, the Wehrma­cht was direct­ly respon­si­ble for the sub­ju­ga­tion and exter­mi­na­tion of an entire con­ti­nent as part of Gen­er­alplan Ost. Every bit of East­ern Europe was to be picked clean both by and for the ben­e­fit of the Wehrma­cht, and the sol­diers did their duty.

The pri­ma­ry weapon was star­va­tion. The Wehrma­cht sus­tained itself from the con­quered lands, draw­ing on both resources and labor in mas­sive quan­ti­ties. Bru­tal req­ui­si­tion pro­grams for grain and meat killed mil­lions while the rest toiled to feed their Nazi over­lords on a dai­ly ration of 420 calo­ries. In the plan­ning phase for Oper­a­tion Bar­barossa, the Nazis con­clud­ed that the war was only winnable if the entire Wehrma­cht was fed from Sovi­et land by the third year. By 1944 the Nazis req­ui­si­tioned more than 5 mil­lion tons of grain and 10.6 mil­lion tons of oth­er food­stuffs from occu­pied ter­ri­to­ry, 80% of which was con­sumed by the Wehrma­cht.

The Nazis need­ed more than just food to con­quer the world. They also need­ed weapons and equip­ment. For this, Ger­many mus­tered its world-famous indus­tri­al might. The infa­mous con­cen­tra­tion camps con­tained mas­sive fac­to­ry and labor com­plex­es where mil­lions of slaves were worked to death, build­ing the weapons and equip­ment the Wehrma­cht used to sub­ju­gate them. Giv­en the mag­ni­tude of the con­tracts, very few Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions kept their hands clean, and even the dirt­i­est kept all their blood mon­ey after the war.

The two ele­ments had an almost per­fect sym­bi­ot­ic rela­tion­ship. Ger­man cap­i­tal served the inter­ests of the Army, and the Army served the inter­ests of cap­i­tal. As the Nazis con­quered, they took slaves to build more weapons, which would then be used to con­quer and take more slaves. The two-head­ed mon­ster exploit­ed con­quered land with such sav­age effi­cien­cy that Nazi gen­er­als and eco­nom­ic plan­ners feared run­ning out of slaves.

“When we shoot the Jews to death, allow the POWs to die, expose con­sid­er­able por­tions of the urban pop­u­la­tion to star­va­tion, and in the upcom­ing year also lose a part of the rur­al pop­u­la­tion to hunger, the ques­tion remains to be answered: Who is actu­al­ly sup­posed to pro­duce eco­nom­ic val­ue?” – Maj. Gen. Hans Leykauf

Despite the sheer enor­mi­ty of his crimes, Halder’s laun­dry was wild­ly suc­cess­ful; it was not until after the fall of the USSR that any West­ern his­to­ri­an ques­tioned his lies.

Even well-mean­ing researchers were ensnared by Halder’s trap. Halder enjoyed spe­cial sta­tus, releas­ing infor­ma­tion to only the most priv­i­leged jour­nal­ists and his­to­ri­ans. With the legit­i­ma­cy grant­ed by his title, access to infor­ma­tion, and U.S. gov­ern­ment back­ing, Halder’s CMH was con­sid­ered a gold stan­dard source for aca­d­e­m­ic his­to­ri­ans and their infor­ma­tion was high­ly cov­et­ed. Halder used this to care­ful­ly vet to whom he released infor­ma­tion, ensur­ing he got the max­i­mum impact.

From 1955 to 1991 his works were cit­ed at least 700 times in aca­d­e­m­ic pub­li­ca­tions, espe­cial­ly by pro­fes­sors and researchers in West­ern mil­i­tary acad­e­mies. Since West­ern his­to­ri­ans were forced to drink from Halder’s well, they passed down the poi­son to their stu­dents, and from there the lies worked their way into the pub­lic con­scious­ness. Even­tu­al­ly, Nazi pro­pa­gan­da was laun­dered into “truth” through sim­ple rep­e­ti­tion and care­ful con­trol of sources.

Although access to Sovi­et records has led to increas­ing resis­tance to this pro­pa­gan­da, some his­to­ri­ans, such as Tim­o­thy Sny­der of Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, still lean heav­i­ly on, or recy­cle Halder’s ideas to sup­port what is known as the “dou­ble geno­cide” the­o­ry. Cre­at­ed by Baltic neo-Nazis to hide their involve­ment in the Holo­caust and wide­spread col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazi regime, this the­o­ry lan­guished in the dark­ness until Sny­der brought it into the main­stream with “Blood­lands.” Even 70 years after its pub­li­ca­tion, Halder’s poi­son remains a key ele­ment in attempts to por­tray the Red Army as noth­ing more than sav­ages, and there­by make the Nazis seem tame.

The Army knew that Halder pub­lished noth­ing but apolo­gia, but that was the point. Halder remained with the Army for decades and was fre­quent­ly reward­ed for a job well done. He was even giv­en a medal for Mer­i­to­ri­ous Civil­ian Ser­vice in 1961, in hon­or of his tire­less ser­vice in the cause of geno­cide denial.

“It is nec­es­sary to elim­i­nate the red sub­hu­mans, along with their Krem­lin dic­ta­tors. The Ger­man peo­ple will have to com­plete the great­est task in their his­to­ry, and the world will hear that this task will be com­plet­ed to the end.” – Wehrma­cht Mes­sages for the troops, № 112, June 1941

The Fer­tile Soil

“In the East, I intend to loot and pil­lage effec­tive­ly. All that may be suit­able for the Ger­mans in the East, should be extract­ed and brought to Ger­many imme­di­ate­ly.” – Her­mann Goer­ing

After decades of strug­gling in the dark, the fall of the Sovi­et Union cre­at­ed a gold­en oppor­tu­ni­ty for fas­cist aca­d­e­mics. As ex-Sovi­et pro­fes­sors left, retired, or were fired in the tumul­tuous 1990s, an entire gen­er­a­tion of fas­cist aca­d­e­mics nur­tured in the West was stand­ing by to replace them.

Lav­ish­ly fund­ed pri­vate schools popped up all over the for­mer War­saw Pact, staffed with fas­cist pro­fes­sors from Cana­da, Aus­tralia and the U.S. who had spent decades reha­bil­i­tat­ing their Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tionist pre­de­ces­sors.

With almost lim­it­less finan­cial back­ing from NATO and a dizzy­ing array of affil­i­at­ed NGOs, the fas­cists could now rewrite his­to­ry to their lik­ing and train an entire gen­er­a­tion of new sol­diers in their ide­o­log­i­cal war.

As an exam­ple of this, we can focus on the life and times of Kyiv inde­pen­dent war cor­re­spon­dent Illia Pono­marenko. Through him, we can see some of the gears in the machine.

Illia was born in the town of Vol­no­vakha, Donet­sk Oblast, Rus­sia. Then a part of Ukraine, this town of around 20,000 peo­ple sits about 40 miles north of Mar­i­upol and the Sea of Azov.

Found­ed in 1881 as a sta­tion for what was known as “Catherine’s rail­way,” a major rail project posthu­mous­ly named after the long-reign­ing Empress, had been most­ly unre­mark­able since. Illia even­tu­al­ly moved south to attend col­lege in Mar­i­upol, the indus­tri­al port city which formed the back­bone of the region’s econ­o­my.

Mar­i­upol and the sur­round­ing area have often been swept up in the tumul­tuous his­to­ry of Ukraine. The region was a major flash­point in the Russ­ian Civ­il War and changed hands many times in the fight­ing between the Red Army, Tsarist forces, Makhno’s ban­dits, and the Cen­tral Pow­ers before it was recap­tured by Sovi­et forces in 1920.

In the fol­low­ing decades, the region saw an explo­sion in eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment due to its strate­gic posi­tion on the Sea of Azov only a short fer­ry trip from the USSR’s rich­est iron mines. Most notable was the now-famous Azovstal steel plant, a crown jew­el of Stalin’s first five-year plan. The foun­da­tions were laid for the plant in 1930 and, by 1933 Azovstal pro­duced its first ingot of cast iron. Pro­duc­tion increased rapid­ly, and in 1939 the plant set a world record by pro­duc­ing 1,614 tons of pig iron in a sin­gle day.

When the Nazis came to enslave Ukraine, Mar­i­upol and Azovstal stood res­olute. The plant pro­duced armor for T‑34 tanks until the bit­ter end with the last work­ers being evac­u­at­ed the same day the Nazis cap­tured the city. As they left, the work­ers destroyed the blast fur­naces and pow­er plants to deny them to the ene­my. Azovstal fell under the con­trol of Krupp, but repeat­ed sab­o­tage from Sovi­et par­ti­sans kept the fac­to­ry out of ser­vice until 1945.

More than 6,000 Azovstal work­ers fought against the Nazis as par­ti­sans or Red Army sol­diers. Sev­er­al hun­dred were dec­o­rat­ed for val­or, with eight of those being award­ed Hero of the Sovi­et Union, the high­est pos­si­ble award for a Red Army sol­dier. Sad­ly, hun­dreds paid the ulti­mate price in the war against fas­cism. A mon­u­ment was erect­ed in their hon­or out­side the plant which has been allowed to crum­ble by the Maid­an regime, no doubt ashamed of what it rep­re­sents.

Even this great and cost­ly vic­to­ry only brought a reprieve for Mar­i­upol. The peo­ple of Mar­i­upol lived for decades in peace and pros­per­i­ty, bliss­ful­ly unaware of what was com­ing next. In 1991, less than 50 years after the vic­to­ry of 1945, the mon­sters returned to once again rav­age Ukraine and its peo­ple.

In 1990, after a decade of eco­nom­ic sab­o­tage and on the verge of col­lapse, the Human Devel­op­ment Index of the USSR was the 25th high­est in the world, at .920. After the col­lapse one year lat­er, it would nev­er again be so high.

In 2019, the last year data was pub­lished before the war, Rus­sia ranked 52nd. Far from the pros­per­i­ty promised to them by the West, four years of Maid­an rule made the sit­u­a­tion even worse in Ukraine, which fell from 83rd in 2014 to 88th, below Sri Lan­ka, Mex­i­co and Alba­nia. Iran and Cuba, crushed under the siege war­fare Amer­i­ca euphemisti­cal­ly calls sanc­tions, still pro­vide a bet­ter stan­dard of liv­ing for their peo­ple.

None of the for­mer Sovi­et republics has recov­ered to their 1990 lev­el as of 2022. Even when the USSR was months from dis­so­lu­tion, Sovi­et cit­i­zens enjoyed more pros­per­i­ty than they have since their “lib­er­a­tion.” Their wealth and secu­ri­ty did not van­ish into the ether; rather, they were stolen by the very same West­ern cap­i­tal­ists who loot­ed the coun­try once before.

It is easy to view these num­bers as sim­ple abstrac­tions, mea­sures of a vast and almost incom­pre­hen­si­ble eco­nom­ic machine but, just as it was in the 1940s, this cam­paign of sys­tem­at­ic pil­lag­ing was lethal. Peer-reviewed stud­ies have found a min­i­mum of five mil­lion excess deaths from star­va­tion, lack of med­ical care, drug addic­tion, and depri­va­tion in Rus­sia alone from 1991 to 2001. When the rest of the for­mer Sovi­et republics are added, the butcher’s bill eas­i­ly exceeds that of the Holo­caust.

Had this hap­pened any­where else, or been per­pe­trat­ed by any­one else, it would have been called what it was: geno­cide. Grow­ing up amidst the dev­as­ta­tion wrought by the unre­strained bru­tal­i­ty of the “rules-based inter­na­tion­al order” only makes Ponomarenko’s future col­lab­o­ra­tion even more shock­ing.

Pono­marenko moved to Mar­i­upol to attend col­lege at Mar­i­upol State Uni­ver­si­ty in 2010. Despite the innocu­ous name, this col­lege was found­ed in 1991 with grants from USAID and George Soros and still today receives con­sid­er­able fund­ing from the U.S. and EU. The line of the col­lege is unabashed­ly pro-NATO, its pro­fes­sors tour NATO head­quar­ters, and the uni­ver­si­ty proud­ly adver­tis­es its links to D.C.-based Atlanti­cist think tanks.

MSU is not unique. Uni­ver­si­ties like it emerged all over the East­ern Bloc, flush with cash from both West­ern gov­ern­ments and their proxy think tanks. The Soros-backed Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tion was a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant con­duit for this. Not only did Soros cre­ate scores of new uni­ver­si­ties through­out the East­ern Bloc, but even went so far as to pro­duce new text­books for pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary schools in the region. His schools count pres­i­dents, mem­bers of par­lia­ment and count­less less­er bureau­crats among their alum­ni.

All of this is in the ser­vice of his war against Com­mu­nism, which he has been wag­ing since at least the 1970s with both offi­cial and unof­fi­cial gov­ern­ment sup­port. The irony of the fero­cious anti-Com­mu­nist George Soros being called a Com­mu­nist by the right is par­tic­u­lar­ly sharp, espe­cial­ly as Soros has per­son­al­ly ben­e­fit­ted enor­mous­ly from loot­ing the for­mer Sovi­et Union.

Pono­marenko grad­u­at­ed in 2014, just in time to be swept up by the next storm to hit Ukraine.

The Bloody Har­vest

“Appar­ent­ly some quirk in human nature allows even the most unspeak­able acts of evil to become banal with­in min­utes, pro­vid­ed only that they occur far enough away to pose no per­son­al threat.” – Iris Chang

The nar­ra­tive we are sell­ing regard­ing the 2014 Maid­an coup is sim­ple. We are told that pro­test­ers rose with near­ly uni­ver­sal sup­port to free them­selves of the yoke of the ille­git­i­mate, reviled Vik­tor Yanukovych’s Par­ty of Regions, and there­by Russ­ian con­trol. After this, they say, the tran­si­tion was clean and order­ly, the prob­lems in the east emerged only because of Russ­ian infil­tra­tion and all true Ukraini­ans stood behind the new regime. To this day, the Maid­an regime vehe­ment­ly main­tains that the con­flict in Ukraine is not a civ­il war, but rather a for­eign inva­sion that has been going on for eight years.

If you lis­ten hard enough, you can almost hear the echoes of Franz Halder and Adolf Heusinger in the approved Maid­an nar­ra­tive, and I do not believe this is acci­den­tal. Just as it was then, the fan­ta­sy cre­at­ed by NATO pro­pa­gan­da could not be any far­ther from the truth. The Maid­an nev­er had uni­ver­sal sup­port, and the process of bring­ing the coun­try to heel was a long, bloody affair.

Despite the Ukrain­ian government’s insis­tence to the con­trary, the con­flict is a civ­il war by any rea­son­able def­i­n­i­tion, the sep­a­ratists were Ukrain­ian cit­i­zens almost with­out excep­tion and they start­ed fight­ing to defend a legit­i­mate­ly elect­ed Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment. Most for­eign back­ing was firm­ly behind the Maid­an, not Yanukovych and the sep­a­ratists. From the very begin­ning of the Maid­an, groups like Mamu­ka Mamulashvili’s U.S.-backed Geor­gian Legion had mer­ce­nar­ies on the ground to esca­late a peace­ful protest into a bloody coup.

Many of the mili­ti­a­men were mem­bers of the Ukrain­ian Army, who defect­ed when ordered to shoot their fam­i­ly, friends and fel­low Ukraini­ans in Don­bas. NATO ana­lysts esti­mate that 70% of the Ukrain­ian Army desert­ed or defect­ed rather than killing for the Maid­an regime and they took their weapons with them, a fact which puts yet anoth­er nail in the cof­fin of the Maid­an nar­ra­tive of for­eign infil­tra­tors.

The nar­ra­tive of a for­eign inva­sion, rather than civ­il war, is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant for the Maid­an regime. If we accept that this is a civ­il war, then we must ask why this so-called “nation­al­ist” gov­ern­ment is killing so many Ukraini­ans in Don­bas with its dai­ly shelling of res­i­den­tial areas, schools, hos­pi­tals and oth­er civil­ian tar­gets. It would be impos­si­ble to jus­ti­fy call­ing them nation­al­ists, let alone lib­er­a­tors, with the blood of so many Ukraini­ans on their hands.

The “Alley of Angels,” a memo­r­i­al ded­i­cat­ed to chil­dren of Donet­sk killed by Ukrain­ian shelling. [Source: twitter.com]

The solu­tion to this con­tra­dic­tion is sim­ple. If you strip the peo­ple of Don­bas of their iden­ti­ty and his­to­ry as Ukraini­ans, it becomes much eas­i­er to rec­on­cile their anni­hi­la­tion. In the ide­ol­o­gy of “heroes of Ukraine” Yaroslav Stet­sko and Stepan Ban­dera, foun­da­tion­al to the Ukrain­ian far-right, only a Gali­cian is a true Ukrain­ian. The bulk of the nation’s peo­ple are so-called “Moskals” and “Asi­at­ics” unwor­thy of liv­ing in the Gali­cian Reich.

The fact that Gali­cia had been a part of Poland or Aus­tria, not Ukraine, for more than a mil­len­ni­um is sim­ply ignored in favor of their addled fan­ta­sy about how they, and they alone, are true Ukraini­ans by virtue of some ancient Viking blood.

Then as now, the ide­ol­o­gy makes it easy for Gali­cian fas­cists to jus­ti­fy killing Ukraini­ans by the thou­sands.

When the Maid­an protests began in 2014, counter-protests emerged all around the coun­try, with thou­sands of Ukraini­ans tak­ing to the streets in sup­port of the demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed gov­ern­ment of Vik­tor Yanukovych and the Par­ty of Regions. As the Maid­an grew increas­ing­ly vio­lent under the influ­ence of the far right, the anti-Maid­an pro­test­ers refused to be intim­i­dat­ed and fought back. Even­tu­al­ly, they coa­lesced into mili­tias drawn from the wide vari­ety of anti-Maid­an activists and resis­tance became much more orga­nized.

Fear­ing a counter-rev­o­lu­tion, the unelect­ed gov­ern­ment of America’s hand-picked Arseniy Yat­senyuk cre­at­ed the Spe­cial Tasks Patrol (STP) police which was drawn almost entire­ly from the neo-Nazis infest­ing Ukraine and giv­en wide-rang­ing pow­ers to detain and kill Ukraini­ans.

The most famous of them was the Azov Bat­tal­ion. Long before their cyn­i­cal rebrand­ing in the wake of the 2022 Russ­ian inva­sion, the Azov Bat­tal­ion of 2014 was an open­ly neo-Nazi mili­tia. The sol­diers Illia Pono­marenko counts as com­rades in arms marched under the same flag their ances­tors did in the 1940s.

The echoes of his­to­ry are easy to hear from Azov. Orig­i­nal­ly called “Patri­ot of Ukraine,” the orga­ni­za­tion was found­ed in 2005 by Andrei Belit­sky as a coali­tion of sev­er­al Kharkiv neo-Nazi groups, such as Tryzub (the armed wing of CIA agent and Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor Sla­va Stetsko’s Con­gress of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists), and the UNA-UNSO (led by the son of CIA com­man­do and Holo­caust per­pe­tra­tor Roman Shukhevych) and filled with sol­diers from Ukraine’s large far-right soc­cer hooli­gan gangs.

In their for­ma­tive years, Patri­ot of Ukraine worked as enforcers for Mafia king­pin Arsen Avakov, who was ele­vat­ed to Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Affairs after the Maid­an. Avakov pulled strings to get lieu­tenant Belit­sky out of prison for beat­ing a rival gang­ster to death and the tal­ent­ed young Nazi was dep­u­tized to bring the sep­a­ratists to heel.

In Mar­i­upol, the saga final­ly came full cir­cle and the world got to see first-hand what Halder and Heusinger spent so long plan­ning.

After months of protests, fight­ing in Mar­i­upol start­ed in May 2014. Accord­ing to the Ukrain­ian ver­sion of events, on May 3rd Russ­ian infil­tra­tors approached a check­point in the city with food for the guards laced with sleep­ing pills, then took the sol­diers and their weapons after they were inca­pac­i­tat­ed. This fan­ta­sy is like­ly cov­er­ing up the truth: The sol­diers sim­ply sur­ren­dered. Sep­a­ratists set up bar­ri­cades in the city cen­ter and began to occu­py city admin­is­tra­tion build­ings. The sit­u­a­tion was rapid­ly spi­ral­ing out of the Maid­an regime’s con­trol.

Azov was one of the first units sent by the regime to retake Mar­i­upol. Insert­ed into the city on the 7th of May, Azov start­ed killing almost imme­di­ate­ly. Azov dis­man­tled the bar­ri­cades by force, fir­ing on the crowd of unarmed pro­test­ers who opposed them. Azov fin­ished its work by the night of May 8th, and on Vic­to­ry Day, May 9th, they start­ed the next phase of their mis­sion. While most of Ukraine was com­mem­o­rat­ing the sac­ri­fice of eight mil­lion Ukraini­ans in the strug­gle against Azov’s fore­fa­thers, the heirs of Stet­sko and Ban­dera marked the occa­sion in their tra­di­tion­al way, by killing Ukraini­ans. When the local police defect­ed upon receiv­ing an order to open fire on the crowds, Azov did not hes­i­tate. Vic­to­ry Day turned into a blood­bath as Azov ter­ror­ists opened fire on the crowds.

Local pro­test­ers and police defec­tors occu­pied the region­al police HQ and took the chief of police pris­on­er in the process. Azov mil­i­tants attempt­ed to break the siege but, when faced with armed resis­tance, the “cyborgs” were sound­ly defeat­ed. They retreat­ed after suf­fer­ing casu­al­ties and were forced to nego­ti­ate for the release of the pris­on­ers. Just like before, the brava­do and prowess of the fas­cist thugs evap­o­rat­ed as soon as their vic­tims fought back.

Azov was defeat­ed that day, but they were not destroyed. With back­ing from the Ukrain­ian state and the gang­sters who were increas­ing­ly tak­ing pow­er, Azov returned in June, their forces bol­stered by for­eign mer­ce­nar­ies and a col­umn of armored vehi­cles. After they came under drone attack, the sep­a­ratists were forced to with­draw and DPR forces were dri­ven out of Mar­i­upol, suf­fer­ing 5 dead and 30 cap­tured. None of them returned alive.

Among the attack­ers that day were men wear­ing the insignia of the U.S. Army 1st Avi­a­tion Brigade, a unit respon­si­ble for train­ing Army sol­diers in com­bined arms oper­a­tions. Con­sid­er­ing their par­tic­i­pa­tion, the source of Azov’s sud­den pro­fi­cien­cy with UAVs becomes very clear.

Azov did not rest on their lau­rels. Along with the rest of the STP units, Azov quick­ly got back to their roots as what the peo­ple of the region once knew as “pun­ish­ers,” enforc­ing order by any means nec­es­sary. It is unclear just how many peo­ple suf­fered in the dun­geons staffed by STPs and SBU (Ukrain­ian intel­li­gence), but the cam­paign was so wide­spread that even the Maid­an regime found dozens of them guilty for crimes such as gang rape (includ­ing at least one instance where 8–10 Azov mem­bers raped a men­tal­ly dis­abled man until he near­ly died), loot­ing, tor­ture, mur­der, smug­gling and extor­tion. They may have worn the insignia of a mil­i­tary unit, but Azov had changed lit­tle from their days as Mafia killers.

All the while, Azov was nur­tured by the Unit­ed States and its NATO allies. Evi­dence has emerged of CIA train­ing at least from 2015, if not ear­li­er. Arms deal­ers bragged open­ly about trans­fer­ring anti-tank weapons and, by 2017, Azov was pos­ing for pic­tures with NATO mil­i­tary advis­ers.

Even as men march­ing under a swasti­ka once again cut a swathe through his home, Illia Pono­marenko was one of their most stead­fast sup­port­ers from the very begin­ning. After COVID forced him to can­cel a planned intern­ship in the U.S, Illia went to work for NATO-fund­ed papers such as the Kyiv Post, and lat­er the Kyiv Inde­pen­dent.

His edu­ca­tion at the NATO-fund­ed schools served him well, and he has done an exem­plary job at con­tin­u­ing the work start­ed by Franz Halder and Adolf Heusinger so many years ago by once again reha­bil­i­tat­ing the fas­cist killers butcher­ing Ukraini­ans. He now has mil­lions of fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, and rou­tine­ly makes appear­ances on main­stream West­ern news, such as the BBC, CNN and Fox News. His years of car­ry­ing water for his Nazi friends have final­ly paid off, Illia went from sim­ply being in the right place at the right time to an inte­gral part in the machine.

What we are see­ing today in Ukraine is no acci­dent: It is a plan sev­en decades in the mak­ing. From the very begin­ning, the Unit­ed States and NATO have been work­ing to reha­bil­i­tate the lega­cy of fas­cism so it can be used as a weapon. These net­works are not just in Ukraine; they have branch­es all around the world. Azov mil­i­tants were even spot­ted at protests in Hong Kong, the lat­est front in America’s covert war. For­tu­nate­ly, Chi­nese author­i­ties pre­vent­ed the city from suf­fer­ing the same fate as Mar­i­upol.

The seeds of this con­flict were not plant­ed in 2014, nor in 1991. Rather, they were sewn on June 22, 1941, when Nazi troops first streamed across the bor­der as part of Franz Halder’s Oper­a­tion Bar­barossa. After four long years and tens of mil­lions dead, the Unit­ed States absorbed the “best and bright­est” of the Third Reich and, for 70 years, they care­ful­ly tend­ed Halder and Heusinger’s saplings, wait­ing for the chance to take root.

In 2014, we final­ly saw the nox­ious weeds of fas­cism return to the land they blight­ed so long ago, watered once more in rivers of Ukrain­ian blood.


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