Theodor Eicke.. Eicke was the man that assassinated Ernst Roehm in his jail cell in the 'Night of the Long Knives'. Eicke was the first inspector of the concentration camps and he influenced the concentration guards with his attitude of "inflexible harshness". He was the commander of the SS Totenkopf Division. He said, "It is the duty of every SS man to identify himself body and soul with the cause. Every order must be sacred to him and he must carry out even the most difficult and hardest of them without hesitation".
"I must admit that this gassing had a calming effect on me, I was always horrified of executions by firing squads. Now, I was relieved to think that we would be spared all these bloodbaths."
Rudolf Hoess was responsible for the death of over one million people in his concentration camp. He was caught in March 1946, gave evidence at Nuremberg and was then handed over to Poland for trial. While awaiting trial he wrote his memoirs. He was executed at Auschwitz, the very site he commanded, and allowed others to die in.
"It is time something must be done. Whoever acts will probably go down in German history as a traitor. Yet if he fails to act, he will be a traitor to his own conscience".
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg..
Claus von Stauffenberg was a key figure in the plot on Hitler's life on 20th of July 1944 and paid with his life for his part in the attempt.
Kristallnacht was called the 'Night of Broken Glass' because so the destruction of so much property involved a lot of broken glass. It also marked an intensification in the Nazi perseuction of the Jews that culminated in the Holocaust. Nov. 9 & 10, 1938. The attack started on the night of the 9th and continued during the next day. Nazi Stormtroopers terrorized Jewish men, women and children. About 25,000 Jewish men were rounded up and sent all over Germany for torture, slave labour, brutal treatment and often death from the SS. 91 people were murdered, 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, 267 synogogues burned, and probably hundreds of people injured.
When Hermann Goering became Prussian Minister of the Interior in 1933, he detached the espionage and political units of the Prussian State Police and he put Nazis in charge. It was known as Department 1A, which later came to be called the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei). (Later this term came to be widely used in a looser sense to denote the entire Nazi terror apparatus).
The Swastika is a very old sacred symbol from near-prehistoric times and referred to in Germany as the Hakenkreuz. There is no evidence that Hitler ever used the word “Swastika”. It was traditionally a sign of good fortune and well-being, its name is derived from the Sanskrit 'su' meaning 'well' and 'asti' meaning 'being'. For thousands of years the Swastika symbol given courage, hope and security to millions. It predates all former known religions and it is well-known in Hindu and Buddhist cultures and used by the Aryan nomads of India in the Second Millennium B.C. Unfortunately, Nazism has turned the Swastika into a hate symbol. Hitler displayed the symbol on a red background 'to win over the worker' and it had an hypnotic effect on all those who supported the Nazi movement. In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote "In the red we see the social idea of the movement, in the white, the Nationalist idea and in the Hakenkreuz the vision of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man."
This was the name for the Nazi period of government from January 1933 to May 1945. The official name was "Deutsches Reich" or (only from 1943 on) "Grossdeutsches Reich".
* The First Reich (or 'Empire') was the Holy Roman Empire period of the German Nation begun in A.D. 962 when Otto the Great was crowned in Rome. This Empire, of course, did indeed last - more or less intact - for around a thousand years.
* The Second Reich was founded by Otto von Bismarck in 1871 after the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War. When the Hohenzollern dynasty collapsed in 1918 with the abdication of Emperor William II, the Second Reich came to its end.
* This was followed by the Weimar Republic proclaimed by the Social Democrats or Labour Party at the end of 1918 and which lasted until 1933.
* In turn, it was followed by Hitler's Third Reich which he regarded as an empire that would also last for a thousand years. On January 30, 1933, President von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. (Hitler had adopted the term 'Third Reich' in the early 1920s after the German writer, Arthur Moeller von der Bruck, used it as a title for one of his books)
The original title of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' was 'My 4 & 1/2 Year Struggle, against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice'. The first part was written while he was incarcerated in Landsberg prison after the 1923 Beer-Hall Putsch. His publisher, Max Amann, later changed the title to Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The first volume was published on July 18, 1925. By 1939, the book had sold over 5 million copies, making Hitler a millionaire. Up to 1945, the book had a total printing of just over 10,000,000 copies, outsold only by the Bible. His official salary was 60,000 Marks per annum. In 1934, Hitler declared his income for 1933 as 1,232,355 Marks but the tax on 600,000 of this amount was never paid. Most of this was from royalties from his book. He also received a fraction of a cent for every postage stamp sold bearing his image. Today, the rights to Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' is owned by the Finance Amt Bayern. (Bavarian Finance Office)
An early convert to the Nazi party was 19 year old Bielefeld-born Horst Wessel (1907-1930) who gave up his law studies to join the SA (Storm Troopers). Working as a taxi driver and builder's labourer, he soon became a leading orator at SA rallies and leader of Sturmabteilung Unit No. 5. In 1929, he married Erna Jaenicke, an 18 year old prostitute. On the evening of January 14, 1930, a group of communist thugs, led by Jaenicke's former boyfriend and pimp, Albrecht Höhler, called at their lodgings at 62 Grosse Frankfurter Strasse, Berlin, and in a fit of jealous anger Höhler drew a pistol from his pocket and shot Wessel in the mouth. He died five weeks later on February 23. Höhler was arrested and sentenced to a term in prison but when the Nazis came to power in 1933 he was taken from his cell and executed.
Before his murder, Wessel had composed a poem 'Die Fahne Hoch' (Fly the Flag High) which later was changed to 'The Horst Wessel Song' and introduced into Nazi Party ritual. It soon became Nazi Germany's second anthem and played after 'Deutschland Uber Alles' (Germany Before All). In the town of Stralsund, near Stettin, a citizen was sentenced to two weeks in prison for failing to give the Nazi salute and standing with his hands in his pocket while the band was playing the Horst Wessel Song. Wessel was buried in the Nikolaifriedhof cemetery in Berlin but after the war, in common with all other Nazi graves, the headstone was removed in 1955 and his remains were disinterred and cremated.
From 1933 onwards, the music of German Jewish composer Mendelssohn was banned. Soon after, all Jews were dismissed from symphony orchestras and from the Opera. Books published by Jewish authors such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Maxim Gorky and Heinrich Heine were burned in April, 1934, in front of the University of Berlin. One of the leading newspapers, the 'Vossische Zeitung' was forced out of business because it was owned by the 'House of Ullstein' a Jewish firm. The same thing happened to the German Jewish newspaper, the 'Judische Rundschau'. The Jewish owned 'Berliner Tageblatt was forced to close in 1937. The well known and respected Frankfurter Zeitung was allowed to flourish but its Jewish owners were sacked. On April 7, 1933, a Civil Service Law was passed in Germany. This law banned all persons with a Jewish grandparent from public employment, an action which caused great distress in the Jewish community. By the end of the year around 31,000 of Berlin's Jews were living on charity. (Of the 503,000 Jews living in Germany when Hitler came to power around 319,900 had fled the country by 1939. By the war's end only about 23,000 Jews were living in Germany)
In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.
REVEREND MARTIN NIEMOELLER
Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property—so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.
According to Gestapo records…they had little need to engage in direct spying on the citizens since the citizens themselves were more than willing to do their spying for them.
Jena by this time was a center of antitobacco activism -- mainly through the labors of Karl Astel, director of the new institute [Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research] and president, since the summer of 1939, of the University of Jena. Astel was head of the Thuringia's office of Racial Affairs and a notorious antisemite and racial hygienist (he had joined the Nazi party and the SS in July of 1930) ... Astel was also a militant antismoker and teetolater who once characterized opposition to tobacco as a 'national socialist duty.' On May 1, 1941, he banned smoking in all buildings and classrooms of the University of Jena, and the following spring, as head of Thuringia's Public Health Office, he announced a smoking ban in all regional schools and health offices. Tobacco in his view had to be fought 'cigar by cigar, cigarette by cigarette, and pack by pack' -- hence his notoriety for snatching cigarettes from the mouth of students who dared to violate his Jena University tobacco ban.
-- Nazi Germany In Color: Part 2
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