The Largely Overlooked Story of How Himmler “Saved” Thousands of Jews

H/T War History OnLine.

A story they never taught in history class.

Heinrich Himmler visiting a Prisoner of War camp during World War 2. The prisoner is claimed by some to be British soldier, Horace Greasley.

He built the notorious Schutzstaffel (SS) from a battalion of a mere 290 men into a paramilitary group of over a million, established himself as the facilitator of the Holocaust, and became one of the preeminent men of the Third Reich.

But with the war coming to an end, a desire for redemption brought him to a place where he had to do exactly what his position dictated that he shouldn’t: defy Hitler. It cost him much more than he was ready to pay.

With the ultimate failure of the lethal German offensive in the Ardennes, the war’s end had just begun, with Hitler stuck on the losing side. With the reality of his looming end haunting him on all sides, Hitler’s goal remained unshaken. He gave the order for the commencement of the Final Solution, which was to end in the complete extermination of Jews across Europe.

Follow-up letter from SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich to Ministerialdirektor Martin Luther asking for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Final Solution to the Jewish Question, 26 February 1942

Nevertheless, Heinrich Himmler, the Plenipotentiary General of Hitler’s administration who was also in charge of prisoners of war and the concentration camps, was set to go on a path which he hoped would lead to his own welfare after the war.

Clearly aware that Nazi Germany had lost the war, Himmler had begun independent negotiations with the Allies, without Hitler’s consent, in hopes of obtaining some post-war security for himself and his comrades.

Heinrich Himmler, 1942.Photo Friedrich Franz Bauer CC BY-SA 4.0

It was obvious that Hitler and all participants in the Holocaust would face the ugly wrath of justice by the end of the war, but Himmler believed that he had a very tiny chance of being treated more favorably by the Allies if he agreed to their demands: he was to put an end to all death marches, gassings, and massacres.

Himmler, known among the Nazis as the der treue Heinrich—”the faithful Heinrich”—was himself the horrific architect of the Holocaust. This fact made his unauthorized move toward uncertain favor quite a bold one.

Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich.

What moment set him on that track? One day, a former Nazi loyalist and longtime friend of Himmler’s, Dr. Jean-Marie Musy, had taken a seat beside him on a train headed from Breslau to Vienna.

And in the length of that journey, there had been a moment of thorough convincing. It ended with Himmler agreeing to end all the killings of the Jews, disregarding the standing order from Hitler.

Jean-Marie Musy (1876–1952), member of the Swiss Federal Council

By the end of November 1944, Himmler had ordered a cessation of the killings of Jewish prisoners all over the German realm.

He also ordered the destruction of all the gas chambers in the Auschwitz concentration camps, and gave the green light to the movement of Jews from concentration camps to Switzerland.

“Three Jewish children rescued from Theresienstadt rest in the Hadwigschulhaus in St. Gallen”

The first batch of captives, numbering about 1,200 Jews, was moved by train out of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. However, just after the success of this one transfer, Hitler discovered what Himmler was doing.

Himmler’s relationship with Hitler had, prior to that moment, been in a bad state after Hitler ordered him to step down as commander of the Upper Rhine Command and the Army Group Vistula due to failure. However, Hitler had always thought of Himmler as a very loyal subject and was particularly unprepared for his betrayal.

A Holocaust train from Bergen-Belsen to Theresienstadt

When he heard that Himmler had ordered the transfer of trainloads of Jews, Hitler issued a counter-command, ordering the transfers to stop.

Having made only one transfer and now unable to continue, Himmler switched to another plan. He began to put a stop on the death marches around the Reich and made efforts at safeguarding all the camps marked for destruction.

Himmler (front right, beside prisoner) visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 152-11-12 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

He was able to save only some of the camps, but the rest of the camps still met their tragic fate. By saving those camps, however, Himmler still managed to save several thousands of Jewish prisoners from immediate death.

Hitler’s rage vented itself upon Himmler: in a testament written before his suicide, Hitler declared Himmler a traitor, accused him of treachery, expelled him from the Nazi Party, and nullified all party and state offices held by Himmler.

Heinrich Himmler (with glasses, to the left of Adolf Hitler) was an early supporter of the NSDAP. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1969-054-53A / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Himmler faced rejection from his comrades for what they considered his self-motivated actions and disloyalty to the Fuhrer.

Meanwhile, the Allies had begun a hunt for Himmler, forcing him into hiding. A group of former Soviet POWs apprehended him at Bremervorde on 21 May 1945 and handed him over to the British.

It was apparent that the political concession, which Himmler sought from the Allies in what he had done, was not forthcoming. Two days later, while in British custody, Himmler committed suicide by biting into a cyanide pill.

Kaltenbrunner with Himmler and Ziereis at Mauthausen in April 1941.Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 192-029 CC-BY-SA 3.0

His action late in the war, which resulted in the sparing of several thousands of Jews, is something that is largely overlooked.

Indeed, saving those Jews did not make him a hero. Perhaps you do not get any accolades for putting out a fire you started.

Himmler was at the spearhead of a historic genocide, and guilty of crimes against humanity. However, ignoring this story would most certainly be a snub towards the courage and bravery of people like Dr. Jean-Marie Musy, who did all they could to successfully convince a hardened Nazi loyalist to alter a course of action which would have led to the complete annihilation of all Jewish prisoners across Europe.

Heinrich Himmler visiting Mauthausen in June 1941. Himmler is talking to Franz Ziereis, camp commandant, with Karl Wolff on the left and August Eigruber on the right. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

It is interesting to note the chain of events and meetings which ultimately led to Musy’s reunion with Himmler.

According to one Israeli newspaper, it all began with Dr. Reuben Hecht, who was a representative of the Jewish organization Irgun. While functioning as an Irgun representative in Zurich, Hecht grew to have a close relationship with Samuel Edison Woods, the American consul general in Zurich, and won him over to Zionism.

Elderly Jews rescued from Theresienstadt.

Through Woods, Hecht met with the Orthodox Jewish couple Yitzchak and Recha Sternbuch, who oversaw the Emergency Rescue Committee of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis in Switzerland. They connected with the Papal Nuncio to Switzerland, and slowly worked their influence across the Swiss diplomatic community.

By September 1944, they had effectively connected with Jean-Marie Musy, a former Nazi loyalist who had a relationship with Himmler. They successfully convinced Musy to embrace Zionism, and thus began a mission that turned Himmler into the exact opposite of what he was–and ultimately save the lives of several thousands of Jews.

Advertisements

He Actually Fought at Pegasus Bridge on D-Day Then Went on to Star in The Movie Longest Day

H/T War History OnLine.

As the old adage goes the truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

The realism – or lack thereof – with which war movies depict historical battles is one yardstick by which films in this genre are measured. Often, war movies are either mocked for getting battle details wrong, or praised for their accuracy. What better way could there be to attain extreme historical accuracy than by hiring actors who were once soldiers – who fought in the exact battles the movie depicts?

This was the case in the making of The Longest Day (1962), which at the time was one of the most expensive war films ever made, featuring Hollywood heartthrob Richard Todd. Todd had actually fought in one of the battles portrayed in the film: that of Pegasus Bridge.

Pegasus Bridge was a key point in the Allied advance on D-Day, and the taking of this bridge was integral to the success of Operation Deadstick, which was executed by the Airborne division of the British Army.

Publicity photo of Richard Todd.

The objective was to capture two key bridges which would be crucial to the movement and advance of Allied troops during the Normandy landings. They were also important in terms of preventing a German flanking attack on the Allied troops as they landed on the beaches.

The advance force of Operation Deadstick – the units charged with taking and then holding the bridges – consisted of D Company, 2nd Airborne Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, led by Major John Howard. Richard Todd would later portray Howard in The Longest Day.

Pegasus Bridge, 9 June 1944; Horsa gliders can be seen where they landed.

D Company comprised six airborne infantry platoons and one platoon of Royal Engineers. In what has been described as one of the “most outstanding flying achievements” of the entire Second World War, D Company was flown in by six Airspeed Horsa gliders, which were towed across the English Channel by Halifax bombers and released to glide silently to the ground when they crossed the French coastline just after midnight on June 6, 1944.

Sixteen minutes after midnight the British troops were on the ground, and they launched their surprise assault immediately and with deadly force. In the event of an attack, the German defenders had been instructed to blow up the bridges because of their immense tactical importance, but the Germans were caught by surprise and did not manage to do this.

Royal Air Force Flying Training Command, 1940-1945. Airborne troops seated in an Airspeed Horsa of the Heavy Glider Conversion Unit at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, ready for take off.

The British troops advanced swiftly and fiercely, and by half past midnight it was all over and the bridges were in British hands. One of the British troops, Lieutenant Brotheridge, was shot through the throat and thus became the first Allied combat casualty of the D-Day landings.

The troops brought in by glider for the surprise attack were then provided with backup in the form of 600 troops from the 7th Parachute Battalion of the 6th Airborne Division, who were parachuted in around forty minutes after midnight. One of these troops – the first out of his plane, in fact – was the actor Richard Todd, who had enlisted in the British Army in 1939, just as his acting career was starting to take off.

Cropped screenshot of Richard Todd from the trailer for the film Stage Fright

By the time the paratroopers landed the Germans were already preparing to take back the bridges from the Allies, a goal they were prepared to achieve at any cost. Todd was among the 160 paratroopers who made it to the rendezvous zone – many others had drifted too far away with their parachutes, while some had landed in flooded marshes and drowned.

The task with which Todd and the other paratroopers were charged was securing the bridges held by Major John Howard and his men, and preventing them from falling back into German hands. The task ended up being extremely costly, as the Germans counter-attacked with force.

Another 65 British paratroopers were killed in the subsequent fighting on the bridges, which carried on for twenty-one hours.

German soldiers with an MG 34 machine-gun.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-721-0386-15 / Jesse / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Operation Deadstick was, despite the heavy casualties, a success, and the Allies held the bridges. Hundreds of thousands of Allied troops who had landed on the beaches were then able to cross these bridges as they pressed onward into France.

In the years after the war, Richard Todd got his acting career back on track and achieved global fame for his roles in movies such as Robin Hood and The Dam Busters.

Operation Deadstick canal bridge gliders.

When shooting began for the epic war film about the D-Day landings, The Longest Day, Richard Todd ended up being cast, in a strange twist of fate, as the man he and his fellow paratroopers relieved when they arrived at Pegasus bridge in the early hours of the morning on 6 June 1944.

Even more strangely, because Todd was playing the role of Major Howard, they had to hire another actor to play the role of Richard Todd.

The movie ended up being a great success, and it wasn’t until Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan that another film about the D-Day landings made such an impact on audiences worldwide.

Saving Private Ryan was noted for its recreation of the Omaha Beach landings. World War II, operation Overlord, Omaha beach.

The Longest Day‘s battle scenes in particular were shot with huge numbers of actors and extras to try to convey the immense scale of the beach landings and the fierce fighting that followed. Todd would later describe the film set as being very realistic in terms of how he remembered the battle, which made it quite emotional for him to shoot the scenes.

Years later, Todd was asked what he would rather be remembered for: his glittering Hollywood acting career, or his role in the D-Day landings. He answered that he would prefer to be remembered for “what (he) achieved on the ground on D-Day.”

Hi-Point Factory Damaged By Fire

H/T Bearing Arms.

Hopefully, Hi-Point can and will recover rapidly from this fire.

The last couple of years have been pretty rough for the firearm industry, and let’s be honest, 2019 may not be a whole lot better.

While a Democrat-controlled House may spur gun sales, that’s hardly a sure thing. Couple that with the undeclared war between them and the financial industry and the next year may end up being tough for everyone.

The last thing anyone needs is a fire at their facility.

A business was moderately damaged from a fire shortly after midnight Friday, with multiple fire departments responding to the scene.

According to Madison Township fire chief Ron Luttrell, reports came in just after midnight Friday of a blaze at Hi-Point Firearms, 1015 Springmill St. Fire crews found the middle portion of the one-story structure to be engulfed in flames.

Chief Luttrell said it took approximately 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control, and he estimated the damage to the business to be in the range of $40,000 to $50,000.

Luttrell said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, and the state fire marshal is investigating.

The fire was contained to the “machine area” of the building, according to Luttrell, and no live ammunition was affected by the fire.

Now, let’s be fair here. Hi-Point isn’t exactly the top of the line when it comes to firearms. There are a lot of jokes about Hi-Points out there. I know, I’ve told a few of them.

However, this also represents people’s livelihoods; not just the owners, either.

Oddly enough, about two years ago, the offices at this same building caught fire. That time, only smoke got into the machine area.

So what will this mean for Hi-Point? That’s hard to tell from this initial report. We know there was some damage and that it’s likely some of the equipment was impacted as well. What we don’t know is whether the estimate for damage accounts for how much the machinery will cost to replace.

Either way, while I won’t recommend a Hi-Point to much to anyone who can afford better, I still hate to see this happen to a business that not only sells firearms but also stands behind the Second Amendment completely.

Further, Hi-Point fills a niche that Glock, Smith & Wesson, and others don’t seem interested in filling (though it’s understandable). There are a lot of people who don’t have the means to pony up a few hundred dollars to buy a new semi-auto pistol. Hi-Point markets to those folks and gives them a gun that might not be ideal for long days at the range but tends to go bang when you need it.

As such, I do hope Hi-Point can get past this quickly and get back to the business of making guns.

You or I might not like its products, but it builds things that have helped a lot of people stay alive. That’s more than enough reason for me to want them to get back on its feet quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Egypt: Muslims murder at least four, injure 11 in bombing of tourist bus near Pyramids

H/T Jihad Watch.

It is time to stop all tourism and any money flowing into Egypt until the government until they eliminate these so-called Muslim extremists.

When in fact these so-called extremist are in fact just Muslim followers of the pedophile Mohammed.

Islamic jihadists generally hate tourists and tourism. In Egypt, the main attractions are artifacts of the nation’s pre-Islamic civilization, and as far as they are concerned, that is jahiliyyah, the society of unbelievers, and thus worthless trash worthy of no respect.

“At least 4 dead in Egypt tourist bus bombing near pyramids,” by Mohammed Tawfeeq and Hossam Ahmed, CNN, December 29, 2018:

Cairo (CNN)At least three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide were killed Friday when a roadside bomb struck a tourist bus in Egypt, Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek announced Friday night , according to state-run Ahram Online.

The bombing took place in the Giza region near Cairo, where the pyramids are located.

At least 11 people were wounded, Sadek said. Authorities said earlier the wounded include 10 Vietnamese tourists and the Egyptian bus driver.

The incident occurred on El-Maryoutiya Street in Giza’s Haram district, where an improvised explosive device was hidden near a wall. The bomb went off when the bus went by, authorities said….

No one has claimed responsibility.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez called the attack an act of terrorism.

“The bombing of the tourist bus in El-Maryoutiya, a despicable, cowardly terrorist act which targets what cannot be targeted: The determination of Egypt and the Egyptians,” Hafez wrote on Twitter….

Whoa: Gun Grabber Dianne Feinstein Admits There’s Issues With The Bump Stock Ban

H/T Town Hall.

This is a Shocking comment coming from a gun grabber like Di Fi.

In a rather strange turn of events, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), warned her follow gun control advocates to not rejoice over the Trump administration’s announced bump stock ban. Doing so would be premature.

In an opinion piece for The Washington PostFeinstein explained her concerns (emphasis mine):

Support for banning bump stocks is widespread, and it’s encouraging to see the Trump administration take action on gun safety.

But let’s not celebrate too quickly. Presidents can rescind regulations just as easily as they create them, and in this case, the bump stock ban will likely be tied up in court for years. Only hours after the Trump administration released its final regulation, Gun Owners of America announced it would file a lawsuit.

To ensure a ban is implemented and protected from legal challenges, Congress must still pass a law banning bump stocks and other similar devices, such as trigger cranks.

The sale and manufacture of automatic weapons have been illegal since the National Firearms Act was updated in 1986. The law — even though it eased restrictions on most guns by allowing interstate sales of long guns and removing requirements to record ammunition sales — made clear that civilians should not have such weapons.

But, the most compelling piece of Feinstein’s OpEd is her admission that bump stocks don’t fit the definition of a machine gun, something gun rights advocates have argued since the ban was announced.

Automatic weapons produced before 1986 are highly regulated, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tracks them. Despite this, the agency has consistently stated that bump stocks could not be regulated under the current law. That was because they do not fit the legal definition of an automatic weapon under the National Firearms Act.  

Automatic weapons are defined by their ability to fire a continuous number of rounds by holding down the trigger.

Naturally though, she came to the same conclusion that other gun control advocates do: that a bump stock turns a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic (hint: it doesn’t):

Bump stocks and other accessories have made this definition largely obsolete, creating a loophole that circumvents Congress’s intent to bar civilians from achieving automatic rates of fire. That’s because the recoil of the stock “bumps” the finger against the trigger, allowing the weapon to achieve automatic fire. Because of this technicality, bump stocks have not run afoul of the law. 

At the end of her piece, Feinstein came to one conclusion: to protect the bump stock ban from being reversed in court, Congress needs to take legislative action.

Even ATF Director Thomas Brandon acknowledged in a Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this year that banning bump stocks through regulation would likely be challenged in court, and the best way to achieve a ban on bump stocks would be to pass a law. He said that the “optimum answer for public safety, as a career guy [for] 30 years, the law is clearly the best route.”

Both Justice Department and ATF lawyers know that legislation is the only way to ban bump stocks in a way that will not be tied up in court for years. The National Firearms Act has not changed since 1986, and it must be amended to cover bump stocks and other dangerous devices like trigger cranks.

Buckle up, folks. We’re in for a bumpy ride.

News Sites Cover Fake News Piece About Student’s Size and Title IX Penalty, Here’s the Real Story

H/T Right Wing Folks.

I will admit I got fooled by this fake story about the University of Missouri.

I was fooled because of the history of the University of Missouri and its radical ways.

Right-leaning media outlets falsely reported Tuesday that a University of Missouri student was sanctioned under Title IX because he was physically larger than a female student to whom he made unwanted romantic propositions.

The story apparently emerged after a Twitter user flagged a portion of a deposition taken in an ensuing lawsuit. During that deposition, a University of Missouri administrator said that having large physical stature could count as having “power or authority” over a victim within the meaning of campus Title IX regulations.

All told, it is not clear that the student’s comparatively large size had any bearing at all on the sanctions he received. The accused is named Jeremy Rowles.

National Review journalist Kat Timpf first reported on the allegation. Her piece has since been retracted.

In a statement regarding the retraction, NRO expressed regret for the error and noted that Timpf accurately described the administrator’s statements concerning physical size and Title IX. Timpf did not immediately return a request for comment.

Close variations of her story appeared on other platforms, including the Daily Mail. The pieces also omit highly relevant details, casting Rowles as the hapless victim of over-zealous campus bureaucrats.

Key omissions aside, Timpf’s piece begins with a false claim. She writes: “It’s not clear from the documents what kind of punishment, if any, that the student faced for his violation.”

A document Timpf herself hyperlinked — called a motion for summary judgment — repeatedly indicates that Rowles was suspended from Mizzou campuses for four years (later reduced to two years), and was permanently barred from all residence halls and recreation centers in the system.

Indeed, that punishment is a principal component of Rowles’ lawsuit. In recent years, the university has sanctioned two other students — both white — for sexual harassment and stalking on the basis of sex, the same offenses for which Rowles, who is black, was punished. The white students, one of whom allegedly committed sexual assault, received considerably lighter penalties than Rowles.

Rowles is now seeking damages from the university, asserting that his punishment was inflated because of his race.

Facts that bear on the case are missing from the Timpf and Mail articles.

In the first place, there is an age dynamic to consider. The student’s social media accounts suggest that she was an undergraduate during the underlying events. Rowles, a PhD student in cultural anthropology, is 40 years old.

Court filings from the university relay a fact pattern during a six-month period in 2016 which, in their opinion, rose to the level of stalking.

For instance, Mizzou lawyers say Rowles incessantly messaged the student on digital platforms and made intimate comments about her body in the course of those communications.

On a separate occasion, Rowles composed and delivered a three-page confession to the student, in which he apologized for his behavior, described her as an “immaculate fire angel,” and conveyed his desire to “hold you in my arms, gaze in your eyes that glow golden when the light strikes them, emotionally dance to the song that is your voice and marvel at your smile,” Mizzou lawyers say.

Even after the student disclaimed interest in Rowles’ romantic advances, he began attending dance classes at the campus recreation center where she was the instructor.

During those sessions — by the university’s telling — witnesses told Mizzou investigators that Rowles stood in proximity to the student to facilitate physical contact, stared at her unsubtly and desirously, left notes for her and lingered after class to speak with her. In these instances, the student retreated into the ladies bathroom to avoid contact with him.

All told, the student described Rowles’ behavior as “inappropriate, bizarre, and delusional.” University lawyers even say Rowles himself conceded that his behavior left the student “uncomfortable and emotionally distressed.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation is unable to verify this claim because the deposition where he allegedly made that concession is sealed.

Once complaints were filed, the university prepared a 55-page investigative report which concluded that Rowles engaged in “a course of conduct … that would cause a reasonable person to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed.”

The university further claims that three other female students at the recreation center had troubling encounters with Rowles, though they did not file formal complaints.

Separate and apart from the events of 2016, Mizzou court filings reveal that another undergraduate student accused Rowles of soliciting sexual favors in exchange for test answers in 2015. At that time, Rowles was a teaching assistant in one of that student’s classes.

A Title IX inquiry ensued. Though Rowles was cleared of wrong-doing, administrators advised him that the accuser “was not unreasonable to have inferred, as a subjective belief, that your behavior indicated sexual favors were sought.”

The Timpf and Mail reports appear to be drawn entirely from Rowles’ motion for summary judgment — which casts the facts in the light most favorable to him — and makes no references to the university’s cross-motions.

Rowles has requested oral arguments before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes, who is presiding over this case. It’s not clear when Wimes might act on the summary judgment motions. If those motions are rejected, a trial will follow.