Why did Hitler not claim the German-majority areas of Schleswig?

Why did Hitler not claim the German-majority areas of Schleswig?

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As a part of the Treaty of Versailles, and following the results of the two Schleswig plebiscites held in 1920, the northern part of Schleswig (Zone 1) was returned to Denmark while the central part (Zone 2) remained a part of Germany.

The map below shows the percentage of people who voted either way (blue shaded areas for Denmark, pink one for Germany).

Atrib: By Bennet Schulte (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Although Zone 1 overall voted heavily in favour of Denmark, there were areas which favoured remaining in Germany by as much as 80% but they were still handed over to Denmark. Further, Wikipedia says that

The Danish/German border was the only one of the borders imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I which was never challenged by Adolf Hitler.

Given that Hitler disputed all the other borders imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, why didn't he contest this one? Denmark was a much smaller 'target' than either Poland or Czechoslovakia and thus potentially easier to bully.

Did Hitler think it wasn't important enough, or did he perhaps think that Britain (especially) would object more strongly than it did over other claims which were geographically more distant from Britain?

As historian Mark Mazower put it: The Nazis always fabulated about thousand years and were often incapable of thinking 5 minutes ahead. That means that there were many plans, often grandiose in nature, in scope of time and space, that were seldomly thought through or followed through and much of the time of quite an ad hoc nature. Not the least because Hitler was far less influential as commonly thought and the Nazi system of politics and decision making in fact quite chaotic. Many cooks added their salt into the broth.

But in this case I would like to cite Semaphore's condensed common sense first:

The area involved is not just tiny and contains nothing historically significant, but also had very few Germans, isolated pockets notwithstanding. Compare with Memel, Danzig, and the 3 million in Czechoslovakia its easy to see why it gets overlooked. Hitler didn't get around to Eastern Belgium (detached by Versailles) before the war either.

That correctly identifies the small gains available by reconverting Sønderjylland back into Nordschleswig. Further we have to keep in mind that the post-Versailles partition of a medieval duchy may not have been ideal or even ideally possible according to language or ethnicity based reasoning. Thoroughly mixed up people (and less than 150.000 voters in Nordschleswig in 1920) between rural and urban spaces with little practical significance regarding positive changes to the war effort.

On the contrary, we might conclude that the Nazi sympathy for their nordic racial comrades was not only conducive to much milder treatment in general but also a prerequisite for the Nazi's hope of genuine collaboration during the war and after that. We do not need to resort to the conspiratorial revisionist historiography of claiming a general pact between Danes and Germans, but the occupation operation was indeed quit uneventful and low in losses of human life and thereafter Denmark enjoyed a very special treatment until 1942, not in the least because of German wishful thinking of joining genetic forces to better breed the master race to fight the racial war.

Gaining little but angering potential allies doesn't seem like a good plan. After the guns were so successful it was time to ensure the butter was kept coming. That might be the main reason for German elites envisioning at least since World War One1 their Mitteleuropa: preforming the European Union as an economic block co-opting racially compatible nations, expropriate racially inferior nations and exterminating racially unworthy enemies. Hitler's overall geostrategy should be read with a healthy dose of salt after re-reading the first paragraph of this answer. But the ever popping up of Mitteleuropa plans (another example by Ribbentrop) are indeed the general guideline to consider here.

Mark Mazower: "Hitler's Empire. Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe" Allen Lane: London, New York, 2008:
On 9 April, Denmark became the first country to capitulate. The invasion was over in a few hours, before the Danes had even had time co declare war: resistance was patently futile. As a result, compared with Poland, they were handled with such a degree of moderation by the Germans chat it is difficult to imagine the same state was responsible for dealing with both. In the case of Poland the Nazis trampled on international law and erased the country from the map, whereas the Danes negotiated the mildest form of German oversight anywhere in Europe. The country remained formally independent, and King Chris-tian stayed on his throne: Copenhagen continued to be the political centre of Danish life throughout the war, and those politicians who fled abroad found themselves marginalized. The parliament continued co function, and there were even surprisingly free elections in 1943 - we know this by virtue of the fact that the Danish Nazi Party won barely 2 per cent of the vote and was trounced by the old prewar parties. German wishes were transmitted through the former ambassador, Cecil von Renthe-Fink, who became Reich plenipotentiary, supervising Danish affairs with a tiny staff and a Iighr touch. The country's territorial in-tegrity was guaranteed, and the small German minority was firmly told not to make trouble.

Renthe-Fink emphasized the importance of keeping the 'outward appearance' of independence in order to weaken opposition to the Germans elsewhere. Keen to move on to Norway, the Fuhrer agreed: in Denmark there was to be no civilian administration, and even the army played only a modest role. It was 'political window-dressing' perhaps - as one Nazi official termed it later on - but first impressions were important at a time when the Germans did not know how the invasions of Norway and the Low Countries would turn out. Such an arrangement also promised to guarantee what Germany really needed from the Danes - dairy produce and foreign policy compliance - at very low cost. German hegemony, it turns our, was exercised in more complicated and indirect ways than is often imagined. The Danes ended the war as members of the United Nations; but for at least three years, they found a comfortable niche in Germany's New Order. (p 103-4)

King Leopold did not leave. He may have been impressed by Germany's treatment of Denmark, but if he hoped for something similar, he was mistaken: Belgium was much more important than Denmark strategically and territorially. (p 106)

Demographers and security experts were also making their contri-bution. In early October 1941, Heydrich made a important program-matic speech about Europe to his colleagues in Prague which marked one of the early signs of the SS's new ambitions for the East: First, he said, there were those countries - Norway, the Netherlands, Flanders, Denmark and Sweden - inhabited by 'Germanic men"of our blood and our character', that would be incorporated or associated in some way with Germany. Secondly, there were the Slav countries of eastern Europe; and third, there were the 'spaces' as far as the Urals which would be exploited for their labour and raw materials. Heydrich described a 'German wall' of 'German blood' standing against 'the Asian storm- flood' (just as Himmler would the following summer to Kersten). (p 207)

German policy in Denmark, on the other hand, showed what could have been done in eastern Europe had the Nazis followed what one disillusioned business executive called 'contenting oneself with the attainable'. The contrast with Poland was scarcely believable. Hitler had said that the Danes should be treated 'in the friendliest manner' in view of their lack of resistance, and as a result business contracts were drawn up 'following normal practices'. What this meant was that the Danes largely ran the economy themselves, through a German-Danish Govern-ment Committee, which enabled the Germans to make extensive but by no means overwhelming use of the country's shipyards, machine-tools plants and other key industries. The Germans trusted the Danes to play along. There was no 'reorganization' of the economy along Nazi Lines, no mass buy up of assets, or plundering of stockpiles and exchange reserves, nor even the forced conscription of labour. Aware of the scepti-cal, not to say hostile, attitude of the Danish public, and anxious to secure continued access to the country's dairy produce, fish and meat, the Germans intervened as little as possible in business transactions. They got what they needed, but, as a result, their share of Danish industrial output probably never exceeded 10 per cent of the total, compared with as much as 30-40 per cent in France. (p 266)

One of the most influential planners was Haushofer. In Geopolitik: Haushofer, Hitler and lebensraum we find:

To be sure, by 1941 Haushofer's theoretical geopolitical constructs had long been drowned out by Hitler's ever-escalating pace of diplomatic crises, war, and extermination. But the general remained true to his convictions to the bitter end: after the Battle of Stalingrad, he penned for Hitler a shopping list of German war aims that included the annexation of Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovenia, Alsace-Lorraine, Eupen-Malmédy, North Schleswig, South Tyrol, Togoland, and the Cameroons; 'friendly' regimes in Finland, the Baltic states, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Belorussia, and the Ukraine; and a German-dominated 'economic union' with Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Italy." Geopolitics 'Through the Looking Glass'.

The real goal, if we are to identify just one of several competing concepts, looks indeed more like this Lebensraum:

where the whole of Denmark is simply swallowed up.


While Hitler may have had the most power concentrated into a single hand since Napoleon he was not involved in each and every decision, despite being famous for his micromanagement style for military affairs later on. The multi-headed hydra of the Nazi party had different goals at different times. Keeping Denmark as it was - for the time being - was influenced by Hitler, the racial war concept, racial ideology, power pragmatics and attention spans. As can be seen from different planners and their papers, if Germany had won the war, a little border correction - for the sake of tradition or principle - was by no means off the table.

1 Mitteleuropa (and German war aims corresponding to that) is a concept that is as constant in German foreign policy as the Russian "drive to warm water ports" like the Dardanelles, if not more so.

Regarding the fate of Denmark in these plans there was ever only one real option:

- Frantz laid out his principal arguments in the late 1840s. Although his posture towards Prussia changed in the coming decades, his main ideas on Central European federalism remained unchanged. The starting point for Frantz's Mitteleuropa vision was a global view of politics in which he foresaw a bipolar global system between the United States and Russia. Given this premise, he argued that only a federally organized Central Europe could withstand pressures from the two great powers. Furthermore, he argued, the federal principle was the only adequate form of government for a united Germany, even under Prussian leadership, since German cultural diversity would neither permit nor survive within a centralized state. For the same reason, it was imperative to unite Mitteleuropa in a confederation in which the Germans would play the role of a 'cultural mediator'

Frantz suggested that Europe be divided into three federations that would cooperate closely with one another in a 'Central European peace union'. Russia, Poland and the Baltic Provinces; the Austrian Empire with the Balkans; and the remaining German states. Eventually the Low Countries, Denmark and Switzerland were to join.' (p 29)

- [WWI aims:] Influenced by the leading banking and industrial circles surrounding Helffrich and Walter Rathenau, Bethmann-Hollweg [Reichschancellor] proposed a Mitteleuropa under German hegemony. Compared with the pan-German programme, it was designed to be a moderate conquest that was, simultaneously, economically necessary. Concretely, the programme demanded the following: the annexation of Longwy-Briey from France, as well as terms of trade that would make France dependent upon Germany (as an Exportland); the preservation of Belgium, which would become a vassal state of Germany (as a military base against England), and the establishment of a Central European economic area under German rule that would include Austria-Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Italy and Scandinavia. (p 44.)

Examples cited from Jörg Brechtefeld: "Mitteleuropa and German Politics 1848 to the Present", MacMillan: London, 1996.

The poisonous myth: Democratic Germany&rsquos &lsquostab in the back&rsquo legend

“German economic life is to be annihilated . . . It amounts to the denial of the people’s right to existence.” (German foreign minister Count Brockdorff-Rantzau’s response to the draft peace treaty, May 1919.)

Germany lost the war. It is easy to lose sight of this basic fact. The peace treaties imposed by the victorious nations on Germany and its allies resulted from their defeat and capitulation.

The Treaty of Versailles, signed by Germany on June 28th, 1919 (the others being the treaties of St. Germain with Austria, Trianon with Hungary, Neuilly with Bulgaria, and Sèvres with Turkey), did not result from negotiations between equals, as some German politicians naively hoped.

In fact it flowed directly from the armistice of November 1918, a term that implied a temporary pause in fighting. Over the summer of 1918 Allied offensives were driving the German troops back through France and Belgium towards the German border increasing numbers of German soldiers, with their combat officers, were surrendering en masse – a sure symptom of the army’s loss of cohesion. To German commanders it was becoming clear that defeat loomed large and imminent.

Armies, as organisations of violence based on values of bravery and endurance, find it hard to admit defeat. The more thoughtful German officers could read the signs by summer 1918, but the de facto commander-in-chief, General Eric Ludendorff, kept lying to the civilian government about non-existent victories, masses of reserves, and the great losses of the enemy.

Only on September 29th did Ludendorff finally admit to the army leadership that the war was lost. He demanded the formation of a new democratically-based government that must call for an “armistice”. If not the army would completely collapse.


The armistice that resulted was in reality a capitulation. It prefigured Versailles in every essential: all occupied territory and Alsace-Lorraine were to be returned to the Allies immediately Germany had to surrender its heavy weapons, warships and U-boats, thousands of trucks and railway rolling-stock it agreed to pay reparations and the Allies would occupy the left bank and large zones on the right bank of the Rhine.

The army was thus rendered incapable of resuming the struggle, but in any case its disintegration was already in full swing as millions of soldiers took the first opportunity to cross the Rhine and go home.

However, knowledge of the perilous condition of the front had been kept secret from the German people. Strict censorship and the army’s daily false news bulletins meant that news of the armistice came as a shock.

This too was important to bear in mind. With minor exceptions in 1914, the war had not been fought on German territory. Unlike the devastation visited on its enemies, the German population was spared direct violence and destruction, and had the benefit of the exploitation of the resources of occupied northern France, Belgium, Poland, Serbia, Romania, northern Italy and the Ukraine, though most of that was enjoyed by the army. The German people had no “ocular proof” of defeat.

This cognitive dissonance produced the “repressed defeat”: the denial of the fact of the military debacle. German politicians colluded in this, against their better knowledge.

As one exhausted, tattered division returned to Berlin on December 10th, the Chancellor, leading social-democrat Friedrich Ebert, greeted the troops with the words: “No enemy has vanquished you.”

Ebert’s intention was understandable: to welcome troops home, thank them for their sacrifice, and try to ensure their loyalty to the weak new state. Unwittingly, however, he helped launch one of the two most poisonous myths in the history of democratic Germany: the “stab in the back” legend. For if the army had not been defeated in the field, someone must have betrayed it.

German armed forces

The other myth concerns the peace treaty, from which all Germany’s ills flowed, according to nationalists and later the Nazis. But what was the alternative?


1919: War & Peace

No matter how “humiliated” German nationalists pretended to feel at the terms of the peace treaty, there was no way the German armed forces could resume fighting against the Allies. General Groener, first quartermaster-general, concluded on May 14th, 1919: “These reports [from generals in the west] made clear our total military impotence in a war against the west.”

In the days of high tension before the Allied ultimatum was due to expire, the German government unwisely subscribed to nationalist myth-making when chancellor Philipp Scheidemann announced: “May the hand wither that binds us in such shackles.”

The majority of the German population agreed the treaty was harsh, but fatalistically accepted the need to sign since the alternative was invasion and the destruction of German towns and countryside.

Many generals, however, believed that the army should resist: it would be impossible to defend western Germany, but the army would ensure that “the kernel of the old Prussian state remained intact in the east”.

This was a romantic, self-destructive illusion. It would have meant the dismemberment of Germany, Groener warned, followed by “the total capitulation of the German people”. But even the foreign minister, the imperious Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, demanded rejection. He too expected Allied invasion, a catastrophe, but it would lead to mutiny among Allied troops, to revolutions, as in Russia, and thus produce a new world order in which Germany could re-write the script – another fantasy, another illusion.

The harsh reality was a “dictated peace”, as German nationalists never tired of claiming. In this case they were right: the Allies, as victors, dictated terms to the losers. But were the terms of the treaty really harsh? And to whom?


On two counts – Germany’s expectations of its own victorious peace treaty and the comparison with other peace treaties of 1918-20 – Versailles was a moderate peace that allowed Germany considerable freedom to develop. The draconian peace Germany expected to impose if it had won the war – and did impose on Soviet Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918 – entailed continued ruthless exploitation, occupation, annexation of territory, the extraction of reparations, and the establishment of a German-dominated continental European bloc.

The territorial and economic terms of the Treaty of Versailles were lenient by comparison: Brest-Litovsk deprived Russia of a third of its European land, the richest third. Hungary lost half its territory through Trianon. Germany lost 13 per cent of its area, with 10 per cent of its population. Most of these territories contained a majority who were not German (above all Poles and Danes) or did not want to be part of the Reich (Alsace-Lorraine). To the one million German refugees and expellees from Alsace-Lorraine and Poland, the treaty undoubtedly meant hardship and loss. Their integration was, incidentally, one of the unsung successes of the Weimar Republic.

Clearly any attempt to redraw the map of Europe along ethnic lines and reflect the new movements for national independence would create new perceived injustices: Poland, which had not existed as a state since the late 18th century, was promised its independence not only by the Allies but also by Germany Versailles allocated West Prussia, with its German majority, to Poland to provide access to the sea, thus cutting off East Prussia from Germany. Germans formed a beleaguered minority in Poland German speakers (who had never been German but rather Habsburg subjects) were to be found in the new Czechoslovakia, just as there were ethnic Germans in Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy and Romania. The potential to destabilise the weak new states in eastern Europe was not lost on the German foreign ministry, which assiduously cultivated links and secretly financed agitation in the inter-war years.


Restricting the army to 100,000 men and banning conscription came as a relief to the vast majority of Germans: the predominant mood in the 1920s and even the 1930s was “never again war!” Objectively it was an infringement of German sovereignty, but given its neighbours’s fear of a revived, vengeful German militarism, it was understandable.

It angered that small minority of professional officers and violent militarists for whom war had become a way of life, for whom the military was a home and a refuge from the complex realities of peace, work, family and a democratic polity. Their refusal to accept the knowledge of defeat and to engage in mental demobilisation proved to be fatal to the political culture of the democratic republic.

Violent rhetoric by irresponsible nationalist politicians inflamed the mood. Long after 1919, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau repeatedly condemned the “rape of a people of 60 million” Germany “would not allow its body to be torn to pieces”, and he accused Clemenceau of treating the German people like a dog under vivisection.

The anger of German politicians was directed above all at the “honour” paragraphs, articles 231 (which nationalists disingenuously depicted as the “sole German war guilt” article), and articles 227 to 230, which provided for the extradition of officers accused of committing war crimes to face trial.

Was the treaty a “humiliation”, as generations of schoolchildren have been led to believe? A career officer, his identity tied to the profession of violent nationalism, with a feudal sense of “honour”, who refused to accept the reality of military power, may have felt humiliation at the defeat. Army commanders, such as Hindenburg and Ludendorff, should have felt humiliated at having sent two million young Germans to be killed for no good cause, but there is no evidence that they felt any shame.

Three world powers

In economic terms the treaty in fact left Germany more industrialised than before (the lost territories being mainly agrarian), and Germany was still potentially the most powerful state in Europe. It took three world powers to defeat resurgent Germany in the second World War.

Reparation payments, for which article 231 provided the legal basis, were a real burden on the German economy. Rather, they can be considered as a form of international debt that most countries at the time carried, as they do today, and they were payable. Moreover, the post-war inflation which the government allowed to turn into hyperinflation effectively wiped out the state’s internal war debt. Even the restrictions on the German army amounted to a peace dividend, while France and Britain continued to shoulder a high level of military spending.

By 1928 the German economy had recovered from the war and the inflation most Germans had settled in and accepted the Weimar Republic and the post-war world order. Reparations were being paid smoothly, and even the director of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, who later served as Hitler’s finance minister, admitted that they were payable.

Yet a well-oiled campaign machine, secretly funded by the foreign ministry, manufactured propaganda inside and outside Germany to keep attacking the central planks of the peace treaty: reparations, “sole war guilt”, and the “German” minority question.

After Hitler emerged from his lenient, short prison term for high treason and began to rebuild the Nazi party, the denunciation of Versailles featured as a constant element. A Nazi attempt to mobilise public hatred of Versailles and Weimar democracy in a plebiscite against the Young Plan (which aimed to reschedule reparations) failed miserably in 1929, with 85 per cent of Germans showing no interest.

Violent rhetoric

Nevertheless the Nazis had established themselves as the most radical opponents of democracy and Versailles, prepared to use violent rhetoric and physical violence to challenge the “system”. A growing mass basis of angry young men soon made the Nazis the only party whose political goals coincided with those of the conservative establishment – the army, President Hindenburg and his camarilla, and traditional nationalists.

Destroying parliamentary democracy and the modern welfare state, coupled with rearmament and breaking the fetters of Versailles, were the common ground on which Hindenburg took the fatal decision to appoint Hitler as chancellor on January 30th, 1933.

Were the Allies therefore responsible for the rise of Hitler through the “flawed” Treaty of Versailles?

With the knowledge of hindsight, one could say the Allies devoted insufficient attention to enforcement, and made little attempt to understand German politics. In the 1920s, brave German pacifists informed the world about secret German rearmament, but the former Allies preferred not to intervene despite the obvious breach of the treaty.

From the viewpoint of German nationalists, almost any peace written by the victors was going to be unsatisfactory because it stood for defeat. A balanced view would be that the Allies did their best to recognise the realities of the new Europe and resolve conflicting interests.

The League of Nations, which emerged from the treaty, had more success than it is usually credited with in resolving conflict. Yet the new order, which offered Germany the chance of reintegration into the community of nations – Germany was allowed to join the league in 1926 – was never going to be acceptable to those who were bent on vengeance.

The decision-makers of 1919 can hardly be blamed for failing to predict the improbable rise of an Austrian deserter to the highest office in Germany.

Alan Kramer is professor of European history, Trinity College Dublin

Schleswig-Holstein question

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Schleswig-Holstein question, 19th-century controversy between Denmark, Prussia, and Austria over the status of Schleswig and Holstein. At this time the population of Schleswig was Danish in its northern portion, German in the south, and mixed in the northern towns and centre. The population of Holstein was almost entirely German.

The duchy of Schleswig (Slesvig) was a dependency of Denmark in the 13th and 14th centuries, but from 1386 to 1460 it was united with Holstein. After 1474 both Schleswig and Holstein were ruled as separate duchies by the kings of Denmark, although Holstein also remained a fief of the Holy Roman Empire and, later, from 1815, a member of the German Confederation. The Napoleonic Wars awakened German national feeling, and the political bonds that had existed between Schleswig and Holstein suggested that the two regions should form a single state within the German Confederation. A countermovement developed among the Danish population in northern Schleswig and from 1838 in Denmark itself, where the Liberals insisted that Schleswig had belonged to Denmark for centuries and that the frontier between Germany and Denmark had to be the Eider River (which had historically marked the border between Schleswig and Holstein). The Danish nationalists thus hoped to incorporate Schleswig into Denmark, in the process detaching it from Holstein. German nationalists conversely sought to confirm Schleswig’s association with Holstein, in the process detaching the former from Denmark. These differences led in March 1848 to an open uprising by Schleswig-Holstein’s German majority in support of independence from Denmark and close association with the German Confederation. The uprising was helped by the military intervention of Prussia, whose army drove Denmark’s troops from Schleswig-Holstein. This war between Denmark and Prussia lasted three years (1848–50) and ended only when the Great Powers pressured Prussia into accepting the London Protocol of 1852. Under the terms of this peace agreement, the German Confederation returned Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. In an agreement with Prussia under the 1852 protocol, the Danish government in return undertook not to tie Schleswig more closely to Denmark than to its sister duchy of Holstein.

In 1863, nevertheless, the Liberal government prevailed on the new Danish king, Christian IX, to sign a new joint constitution for Denmark and Schleswig. Prussia and Austria were now able to intervene as the upholders of the 1852 protocol. In the ensuing German-Danish War (1864), Danish military resistance was crushed by Prussia and Austria in two brief campaigns. By the Peace of Vienna (October 1864), Christian IX ceded Schleswig and Holstein to Austria and Prussia. In 1866, after Prussia had beaten Austria in the Seven Weeks’ War, both Schleswig and Holstein became part of Prussia.

After the formation of the German Empire in 1871, the Schleswig-Holstein question narrowed to a contest between Germany and Denmark over North Schleswig (which had a Danish-speaking majority). The Treaty of Prague (1866), which had concluded the Seven Weeks’ War, provided that North Schleswig would be reunited with Denmark if the majority of that area voted to do so. In 1878, however, Prussia and Austria agreed to cancel this provision. Following Germany’s defeat in World War I, separate plebiscites were held in 1920 in the northern and southern portions of North Schleswig so that their respective inhabitants could choose between Denmark and Germany. The northern part of North Schleswig voted 70 percent to join Denmark, while the southern part voted 80 percent to remain within Germany. The northern part of North Schleswig thus became part of Denmark. The resulting Danish-German boundary in Schleswig has lasted to the present day and is no longer a matter of contention.

Is a warp drive possible?​​

The distances between the stars are so vast that they can make your brain melt. Take for example the Voyager 1 probe, which has been traveling at 35,000 miles per hour for more than 40 years and was the first human object to cross into interstellar space. That sounds wonderful except, at its current speed, it will still take another 40,000 years to cross the typical distance between stars.

Worse still, if you are thinking about interstellar travel, nature provides a hard limit on acceleration and speed. As Einstein showed, it's impossible to accelerate any massive object beyond the speed of light. Since the galaxy is more than 100,000 light-years across, if you are traveling at less than light speed, then most interstellar distances would take more than a human lifetime to cross. If the known laws of physics hold, then it seems a galaxy-spanning human civilization is impossible.

Unless of course you can build a warp drive.

Prince Philip Pictured at Nazi Funeral/The Nazi Relative that the Royals Disowned

Prince Philip (circled) at the Nazi funeral in 1937

Prince Philip has broken a 60-year public silence about his family’s links with the Nazis.

In a frank interview, he said they found Hitler’s attempts to restore Germany’s power and prestige ‘attractive’ and admitted they had ‘inhibitions about the Jews’.

The revelations come in a book about German royalty kowtowing to the Nazis, which features photographs never published in the UK.

They include one of Philip aged 16 at the 1937 funeral of his elder sister Cecile, flanked by relatives in SS and Brownshirt uniforms.

One row back in the cortege in Darmstadt, western Germany, was his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, wearing a Royal Navy bicorn hat.

Another picture shows his youngest sister, Sophia, sitting opposite Hitler at the wedding of Hermann and Emmy Goering.

Explaining the attraction of the Nazis, 84-year-old Prince Philip told an American academic: “There was a great improvement in things like trains running on time and building. There was a sense of hope after the depressing chaos of the Weimar Republic.

“I can understand people latching on to something or somebody who appeared to be appealing to their patriotism and trying to get things going. You can understand how attractive it was.”

He added that there was ‘a lot of enthusiasm for the Nazis at the time, the economy was good, we were anti-Communist and who knew what was going to happen to the regime?’

Philip stressed that he was never ‘conscious of anybody in the family actually expressing anti-Semitic views’. But he went on to say there were ‘inhibitions about the Jews’ and ‘jealousy of their success’.

Philip was born Prince of Greece and Denmark on Corfu in 1921, the youngest of five children and the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. All four of his sisters married German princes and three – Sophie, Cecile and Margarita – became members of the Nazi party.

Sophia’s husband, Prince Christoph of Hesse, became chief of Goering’s secret intelligence service and they were frequent guests at Nazi functions.

Philip went on to fight with distinction for the Allies in the Second World War before marrying the young Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen. He served with the Royal Navy where, by 1945, he had risen to the rank of first lieutenant on a destroyer and was mentioned in despatches.

All of his sisters and brothers-inlaw are now dead but he keeps in contact with his German relatives.

His comments on the family’s Nazi connections appear in Royals and the Reich, by Jonathan Petropoulos, to be published in Britain in May.
The Nazi Relative that the Royals Disowned
1st December 2007

Behind the Queen’s diamond wedding is the extraordinary untold story of howher marriage was almost scuppered by Philip’s links to one of Hitler’s closest henchmen…

The scene was one of devastation and squalor.

At a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany, in the weeks following the death of Hitler and the fall of the Third Reich, a 60-year-old man, crippled by arthritis, stumbled painfully round a rubbish dump.

He scrabbled in the rotting refuse until he discovered an old tin can. Starving, he pulled up grass to add to the thin soup his American captors allowed him for sustenance.

No one looking at him would have believed that this forlorn figure had once been one of the richest and highest-ranking men in Britain, a royal duke, the grandson of Queen Victoria, a Knight of the Garter, and the first cousin of kings and emperors.

Against his own wishes, fate had exiled him to a land where he never chose to live and placed him on the losing side in two World Wars.

Now he was a prisoner, ostracised by his royal relations and branded a traitor to his country.

The tragic history of Prince Charles Edward, to be explored next week in a TV documentary, has a certain ironic relevance to the recent diamond wedding anniversary celebrations of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

Sitting quietly in Westminster Abbey at the service of thanksgiving two weeks ago was a small group of former royal personages with names and faces hardly known to the British public.

Their presence was significant.

It testified to the fact that the marriage of Elizabeth and Philip, though a popular fairy tale in the glamour-starved years of post-war austerity and now regarded as a source of stability to Britain’s monarchy, was by no means hailed with rejoicing in royal circles 60 years ago.

In fact, evidence that is still held off-limits in secret archives suggests that it almost never happened at all.

The little group of ex-royals to whom I have referred were described in the media as “Prince Philip’s distant German relations”.

They were Philip’s nieces and nephews, the children of his sisters, all three of whom were excluded from receiving invitations to the royal wedding in 1947, owing to the fact that their husbands were German officers, in some cases with strong Nazi connections.

Philip’s youngest sister, Princess Sophie of Hanover, had married Prince Christopher of Hesse-Cassel, who was an SS Colonel attached to Heinrich Himmler’s personal staff and became head of the sinister Forschungsamt – a security service under Hermann Goering’s command that carried out surveillance on anti-Nazis.

Sophie and Christopher even named their eldest son Karl Adolf in Hitler’s honour.

Christopher’s brother, Prince Philip of Hesse-Cassel, had joined the National Socialist party in 1930, becoming the Nazi governor of Hesse in 1933, and later acted as the liaison between Hitler and Mussolini.

Our own Prince Philip, who Anglicised his name to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, really had the Germansounding family name of Schleswig-Holstein- Sonderburg-Glucksburg.

Although his marriage to the young Elizabeth was skilfully promoted and manipulated by Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, and the Princess had been deeply infatuated with the tall, blond, Viking Prince for at least eight years, the match was bitterly opposed at the very highest levels.

Leading the opposition was Philip’s future mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, afterwards the hugely popular Queen Mother.

One of her brothers, Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, had been killed at 26 fighting at the Battle of Loos in 1915. Queen Elizabeth had a dislike of Germans, and this had increased through the scenes of destruction she had witnessed during her visits to the blitzed areas of Britain.

Now, here was her daughter, who would one day be monarch, proposing to marry – only two years after the defeat of the Third Reich – a Prince of German blood, whose four sisters had all married Germans and whose brothers-in-law had fought for Hitler.

Queen Elizabeth, who was shrewd and had a highly developed sense of expediency, was aware that there was a new, post-war spirit of republicanism in the air.

She thought this marriage – to a man she referred to in private as “The Hun” – was dangerous, and that it risked reminding people that her husband’s family was German in origin, descended from the Hanoverians, and that her own mother-in-law, Queen Mary, was a German Princess.

“Queen Elizabeth opposed the marriage,” said her friend, the Dowager Lady Hardinge of Penshurst.

“She distrusted the Mountbattens, and felt that her daughter ought to marry a British duke. She lobbied against it, and said to me at the time: ‘The trouble is that Philip is so impossibly attractive, and Lilibet (Princess Elizabeth) just cannot see beyond that.'”

In the end, with deep misgivings, the King and Queen gave their consent and the marriage went ahead.

But Philip’s sisters and their husbands were excluded.

The only member of his German family to be invited was his mother, Princess Alice, and even she was requested to divest herself of the sombre grey nun’s habit she had adopted after suffering a nervous breakdown when her bisexual husband, Prince Andrew of Greece, left her for a mistress in Monte Carlo.

But there was one royal figure whose scandalous life and career perhaps did more than anything else to unite the opposition to Philip’s entry into the Royal Family.

This was his cousin, the British-born Prince Charles Edward.

At the time of Philip’s marriage, Charlie was living in obscurity and utter disgrace, ostracised by all but one of his royal relations and reviled as a traitor to Britain.

The Channel 4 documentary traces the tragic tale of how this man, born into the British Royal Family, was forced against his will into accepting a German dukedom, found himself fighting for theKaiser in World War I, was deprived of all his British titles and branded a “traitor peer” – and then, even more tragically, assisted Hitler’s rise to power and ended his days as a convicted Nazi.

His Royal Highness Prince Leopold Charles Edward, second Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow, was born at Claremont House, Surrey, on July 19, 1884.

He was Queen Victoria’s favourite grandson. King George V was his first cousin – as were Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Russia’s last Czar, Nicholas II.

“He was a very happy little boy,” says his granddaughter, Victoria Huntington-Whiteley.

But Charlie, as he was known in the family, had a tragic destiny in store for him.

When he was a carefree 14-year-old schoolboy at Eton, his mother, the widowed Duchess of Albany, wrote to him: “Don’t forget work and duty over your pleasures. Don’t be lazy and indolent.

“If my words read hard, understand that they come out of a full heart, full of love and anxiety, to help you become a good man, so that you bring no shame on Papa’s name.”

But while he was still only a boy, his grandmother, Queen Victoria, made a decision that was to ruin his life.

She decreed that Charlie should become Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the German principality from which the Queen’s husband Albert had come.

Charlie’s granddaughter Victoria says: “He didn’t know anything about Germany. He couldn’t even speak the language. He didn’t want to go”.

But Queen Victoria insisted.

And so, at 16, Charles Edward was forced to leave his home and become Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, with 13 castles in Germany and Austria, hunting lodges, hotels, a power station, tens of thousands of hectares of rich arable farmland in Bavaria and a duchy with an income worth £17million in today’s value.

He was enrolled at Germany’s top military academy by the bombastic Kaiser, who then married off Charlie to his own niece, Victoria, by whom he had three sons and a daughter.

And when, in 1914, war was declared following the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Charlie found himself in the nightmare situation of fighting for the Kaiser against the country of his birth.

In Britain, as the great monarchies of Europe – the Hapsburgs of Austria, the Romanovs of Russia, and finally the Hohenzollerns of Germany – tumbled from power, Charlie’s first cousin, King George V, hastened to dump the German name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and adopted Windsor as the new title of Britain’s royal dynasty. Charlie was left high and dry.

After the war ended in 1918, worse was to follow. George V removed all Charlie’s British titles as well as the status of Royal Highness, and struck his name from the register of the Knights of the Garter. He was declared ‘a traitor peer”.

Germany was now a republic, and Charlie, believing that Communism was responsible, tragically allied himself with the extreme right-wing group led by a charismatic and ranting former army corporal – Adolf Hitler.

By 1933, when Hitler seized power as Chancellor of Germany, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg was among his most fervent supporters.

Charlie returned to Britain in 1936 to attend George V’s funeral, but because he no longer had the right to wear a British uniform, he shockingly wore German military attire, complete with a stormtrooper’s metal helmet.

As president of the newly-formed Anglo-German Fellowship, he tried to engineer personal dealings between his cousin, the new pro-German King Edward VIII, and Hitler.

When Edward’s abdication only 11 months later scuppered that plan, Charlie again found himself out in the cold, treated with icy distance by the new King, George VI, and his dominant and strong-minded consort, Queen Elizabeth, who wanted no part of him.

Hitler made him president of the German Red Cross, in which he presided over the horrific programme of enforced euthanasia, in which some 100,000 mostly disabled people, including children, judged by the Nazis unworthy of life, were murdered. The extent of his involvement in this barbarism was never really established.

When war inevitably came in 1939, Charlie once again found himself on the wrong side.

His three sons were sent to fight for the Germans, and one of them, Prince Hubertus, was killed on the Eastern front.

As the Allies advanced, Hitler, before committing suicide in his crumbling Berlin bunker, sent a telegram to Charlie in Coburg, warning him not to fall into the hands of the Americans.

Yet that is precisely what happened.

In spite of being a cousin of King George VI, he was held in the harshest internment camps.

The one member of the British Royal Family who had always stood by him, his sister Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, flew to Germany with her husband and was horrified to find him starving, “scavenging on a rubbish dump to find a tin to eat from”.

Put on trial as a Nazi, Charlie pleaded not guilty.

He claimed he had acted honourably and did not know of any crimes by the regime. He was not believed.

Though he was exonerated of complicity in actual war crimes, he was judged to have been “an important Nazi”.

His houses and estates were confiscated, and he was almost bankrupted by heavy fines. Only his failing health saved him from remaining in prison.

Now a penniless, convicted criminal, he was given a chauffeur’s cottage in the stables of one of his estates.

“He thought it was wonderful,” relates his granddaughter Victoria.

“He had everything he loved.

“He had his wife, he had pictures, he had his little dog. And it didn’t matter how small, it could have been even one room, he would have been happy not to be in prison any more.”

By this time, Charles Edward had cancer, he was crippled by arthritis and blind in one eye.

He was exiled for ever from Britain and would never be permitted to return to the land it was deemed he had betrayed.

Yet, even in his disgrace, he was unable to let go of his royal birthright.

In 1953 he made one last journey from his house to a cinema in Coburg, to watch a colour film of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey.

His granddaughter Victoria says: “I think he would have cried, seeing all his relations, especially his sister, and he would have thought: ‘So sad I can’t be there with them. It could have been me sitting there, too.’

“And for him, I think that must have been the worst moment.”

The man ordered to leave his homeland as a 16-year-old Eton schoolboy clung on to one last memento he had brought with him from England.

“He always slept in a particular bed, which came from Claremont House. He said it was his little bit of England, as he could never come to England again.”

He died in that bed on March 6, 1954, at the age of 69.

Prince Charles Edward, sometime Duke of Albany, and later, at his grandmother Queen Victoria’s insistence, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, is never mentioned today in the British Royal Family.

He has been airbrushed from the history of the House of Windsor.

Yet his adored sister Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, became one of Britain’s best-loved royals, a game old lady who was the only member of the Queen’s family to travel on public transport.

She made her final appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 1977, at the age of 94, for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, standing in almost the same place as she had as a child, 90 years earlier, for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. She died in 1981.

Elizabeth II has made four State visits to Germany, but Coburg, where her disgraced cousin Charlie reigned as Duke, remains one town she has never entered.

Otto von Bismarck &The wars of German unification

During the summer of 1849, and into the summer of 1850, the Prussian Government invited other north German States to enter into a fresh "Erfurt" union on the basis of a new Constitution - to be that accepted by the Frankfurt Parliament of 1848, but altered so far as might be found necessary. The union was to be a voluntary one.

Had this policy succeeded, the Prussia that was most dear to Bismarck's heart would have been no more. Otto von Bismarck was a Prussian aristocrat and was, as such, opposed to this policy of the King of Prussia and his ministers. He took the extreme particularist view he had no interest in Germany outside Prussia Würtemberg and Bavaria were to him foreign States. In all these proposals for a new Constitution he saw only that Prussia would be required to sacrifice its complete independence that the King of Prussia would become executor for the decrees of a popular and alien Parliament. They were asked to cease to be Prussians in order that they might become Germans. In a speech to the Prussian Assembly on 6 September Bismarck said:-

The possibility of Habsburg Austria gaining more influence in the Germanic Confederation, to Prussia's detriment, was very much to the front of Bismarck's mind. He had entered political life almost by accident, having been deputised in the place of another who had been taken ill. Originally prepared to respect Austria, as a champion of conservatism, he had come to view Austria as being a dedicated rival of Prussia with this rivalry only being open to being resolved to Prussia's advantage by the humbling of Austrian claims to predominance in the affairs of the German Confederation.

Throughout his career, subsequent to his coming to resent Austria, Bismarck devoted his considerable efforts to performing several difficult tasks including that of the exclusion of Austria, ( as being Prussia's rival ), from German affairs and that of the preserving of the Prussian tradition from being eroded by the effects of both Nationalism and Democratisation.

German-nationally minded liberals in northern Germany were inspired by the career of the chief minister to the House of Savoy, Camillo de Cavour (who had, in the summer of 1859, achieved a greater degree of integration of northern "Italian" territory under the leadership of the Victor Emmanuel II), to form, in November 1859, the Nationalverein or National Union. This soon grew into being a liberal-national movement actively supported by several thousand parliamentarians, professors, lawyers and journalists who exerted their diverse efforts towards the establishment of a more unified and powerful "German" state.

In these times Bismarck was serving as a diplomat in the Prussian service and had been accredited to the Court of the Tsar in St Petersburg since the early months of 1859. In March, 1860, whilst on leave in Berlin, Bismarck paid courtesy calls upon the leaders of the Nationalverein in Berlin.
Early in 1861 King Frederick William IV, whose mind had failed, was replaced as King of Prussia by his brother, who had been serving as regent, but who now came to the throne as King Wilhelm I. Bismarck prepared a memorandum on the German question for the consideration of King Wilhelm I, this was delivered to the King at Baden-Baden at the end of July 1861. In this so-called "Baden-Baden Memorial" Bismarck advocated that Prussia should attempt to exploit the growing sentiment of German patriotism by supporting a demand "for a national assembly of the German people".
In March, 1862, Bismarck received a new diplomatic posting that led to his becoming Prussian ambassador to France. From his base in Paris Bismarck took an opportunity to cross the English Channel, in June, 1862. This visit was ostensibly for the purpose of visiting an Industrial Exhibition but Bismarck met several senior British statesmen including Disraeli, leader of the Opposition, to whom he outlined his proposal for bring a form of unity to Germany under Prussian leadership even if this involved a degree of conflict with the Austrian Empire.
That evening Disrali was heard to remark "Take care of that man! He means what he says!"

In September 1862 there was a crisis in Prussia where the Prussian Landtag, or lower parliamentary house, was refusing to approve increased military spending in defiance of the King's wishes. Wilhelm I was advised by his Minister of War, Roon, to send for Bismarck as a formidable personality who might secure the passing of the budget and the associated military reforms in the Landtag.
On the 17 September the crisis had reached such a pitch that King Wilhelm I seriously considered abdicating his throne. That evening Roon sent by telegraph to Bismarck suggesting that he, Bismarck, should hurry to Berlin and that there was danger in delay. The message in French and Latin read :- Depechez-vous Periculum in mora.

On 22 September Bismarck met King Wilhelm I and assured him that he could form a ministry and carry through the army reforms desired by the king, if necessary against the will of the deputies in the Landtag. Given this assurance the King decided not to abdicate. Bismarck was appointed acting chief minister to the House of Hohenzollern.
Bismarck made an appearance before the Landtag on the 29 September where he spoke expressing his regret at the hostility of the deputies to passing of the military budget and stressed the need for progress to be made on the military proposals favoured by the king. The next day at a meeting of a Budget Committee Bismarck went perhaps further than he his better judgement might have intended in asserting that:-

" The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by its power . Prussia must concentrate its strength and hold it for the favourable moment, which has already come and gone several times. Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been ill-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided - that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 - but by iron and blood".

This somewhat aggressively phrased speech caused alarm to liberal opinion in the Germanies and beyond. This was in part attributable to subsequent reportage amending its wording to read more pithily as " blood and iron ". This speech has since become known as Bismarck's Blood and Iron Speech.

As Minister-President of Prussia Bismarck arranged things such that the increase in the size of the army took place despite the opposition of the Landtag. The existing practices of the Prussian state allowed Bismarck to continue in office provided the King was willing to remain favourable to his ministry.

Popular Nationalism was seen by Bismarck as being potentially erosive of his desired future for the Prussian Kingdom. This nationalism being a liberal German nationalism which offered to seek to incorporate Prussia, along with other German states, into an extensive "constitutional-liberal" German state.

Bismarck began to devise schemes whereby the Prussian king and kingdom could better hope to receive the respect of many of those in Prussia, and more widely in the German states, who held German liberal-nationalist-constitutionalist sympathies. He came to see that the prestige Prussia already enjoyed in Germany, both as a notably powerful and somewhat constitutional state, and as the central power to a pervasively influential "Zollverein", or Customs Union, could be exploited to secure the acceptance of policies embarked upon by a Prussian government to promote German unification.
It being understood by Bismarck that such promotion of German unification was to be on terms acceptable to a Kingdom of Prussia where the king retained his sovereignty.

In January 1863 the Poles in Russian administered Polish territories again attempted to forcefully win concessions of change from a reluctant Tsar-King. Russia regarded the retention of its Polish lands as a principal aim of policy. Whilst several western states, including France, lost the Tsar's good opinion by offering moral support to the Poles, an offer of assistance to Russia made by Bismarck, that was initially thought presumptuous, left an abiding impression with Russia that Prussia was a state that it should view with favour.
Bismarck's support for Russia was practical as well as strategic. Prussia had annexed Polish lands during her own participation in the Partitions of Poland. Bismarck considered that a revived Polish polity might well contest Prussia's continued hold on some of the lands so annexed.

Russia was to take some time to recover from this expense of resources in what proved to be protracted efforts to retain control over Poland.

In 1863 Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, proposed that a reform of the Germanic Confederation be discussed by the German Princes in a meeting to be held that autumn in Frankfurt. Franz Joseph urged agreement between the Princes of Germany as the best way of preserving a German Confederation under the leadership of its historic dynasties whilst containing the revolutionary tides of liberalism, democratisation and socialism that were pressing for diverse radical changes.

In the lead up to this proposed conference Franz Joseph met the King of Prussia on 2 August at Bad Gastein and felt encouraged, during a personal interview, that the Prussian king would be agreeable to reforms. Many of the most prominent princes of Germany convened at Frankfurt and authorised one of their number, the King of Saxony - a notably cultured individual who was on terms of personal friendship with the King of Prussia, to personally convey an invitation to attend on behalf of the assembled rulers to the king of Prussia.

The Prussian King was inclined to accept this pressing invitation personally delivered as it was by a King on behalf of more than thirty German rulers. In order to prevent the formulation an agreed approach to the reform of the Confederation Bismarck went to very great lengths, even to the point of reducing the King to tears and himself to nervous exhaustion, in order to persuade the King of Prussia, very much against his own inclination, not to attend. Austria had a preponderance of influence in the Confederation and any agreed reform would probably have been broadly favourable to the Austrian interest. With the absence of Prussia, which was, after Austria herself, inherently the second most powerful state in the confederation, nothing could be fully decided upon.

Prussian domestic elections of October 1863 saw only thirty-eight deputies being returned who could be relied on to support Bismarck's policies. King Wilhelm I was greatly dispirited by these results and even suggested to Bismarck that he, the King, might possibly expect to be guillotined in the Palace Square. Nevertheless Bismarck continues to follow the military and other policies which had alienated public opinion.
The Emperor of Austria also had domestic troubles to contend with during these times. A so-called February Patent of 1861 had instituted a limited form of parliamentism that was supported mainly by Germanic "liberals" who were comfortable with an autocratic centralism effectively run by the Germans of the Empire largely in the interests of those same Germans. The parliament was largely boycotted by the Magyars, Poles and Czechs who felt themselves to be excluded from real power and representation.

Schleswig and Holstein again loomed to the forefront of European affairs in that the resolution internationally agreed after the difficulties that become critical in 1848 was breaking down. That resolution as enshrined in a Treaty of London of 1852 had envisaged these territories remaining separate from Denmark, but with the Danish King being Duke of Holstein and Duke of Schleswig. Holstein was predominantly peopled by ethnic Germans, whilst Schleswig had an ethnic German majority in its southern areas.
This attempted resolution of 1852 over Schleswig and Holstein featured an early example of the powers proposing that an eventual settlement should be consistent with the nationality of the person's affected rather than on dynastic claims or treaties. Denmark undertook to respect the rights of ethnic Germans in the Duchy of Schleswig. Holstein and the tiny Duchy of Lauenburg were to remain in the German Federation with equal recognition of German and Danish nationality.

In 1863 the Danish King moved to break the traditionally recognised link between the two Duchies and to incorporate Schleswig fully into Denmark. Such a move was supported by the Eider Dansk Danish Nationalism of the ethnic Danish majority in the north of Schleswig. In November 1863 the demise of the then King of Denmark allowed a new succession issue to further complicate an issue which Bismarck fully intended to exploit to Prussia's advantage.

Although the Diet of the German Confederation authorised the actual sending of federal forces to intervene in the Duchies Prussia and Austria preferred to act as joint-principals rather than as agents of the Confederation in an extensive intervention that was characterised as being undertaken in support of existing treaties. A so-called Danish War ensued and by February 1864 both Schleswig and Holstein had substantially fallen to Prussian and Austrian forces and a conference of Vienna of October assigned Schleswig, Holstein, and a small territory of Lauenberg to joint Prussian and Austrian control.

Bismarck was not alone, in these times, in hoping to take measures, broadly exploitative of populist sentiment, which would enhance the position of a German Kingdom.

In January 1864 Odo Russell, nephew of the British Foreign Secretary and a quasi-official British representative in Rome, in a private audience with the Pope was told that:-

"The example of Italy" (i.e. where the House of Savoy was annexing, with local popular consent, the territories of other Princes) will be the ruin of the smaller Princes of Germany and I think very ill of the condition of that country. Each of the smaller sovereigns hopes to aggrandise his Kingdom at the expense of his neighbour and all will be swept away like the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, Modena and Parma were in Italy. The King of Bavaria was here and I did what I could to convince him that he was running great risks but he could not see it. His idea is that the House of Wittlesbach should be as powerful as the Houses of Hapsburg and Hohenzollern, and if he had his own way he would begin by annexing Baden and Würtemberg to Bavaria."

The situation within the lands of the Habsburgs where the parliament, as elected under restricted rules of suffrage, was particularly supported by the Germans of Austria, of Bohemia, and of Moravia, and was largely boycotted by other nationalities was not entirely as Emperor Franz Joseph would wish and after some consideration, and against the advice of most of his ministers, he responded positively to an article published in the spring of 1865 by the prominent Magyar liberal, Ferenc Deak, that outlined conditions under which the inherently powerful Magyars would find it possible to co-operate more fully with his own exercise of sovereignty. These conditions amounted to a restoration of the Hungarian constitution of 1848 and the virtual establishment of two distinct states - one largely German-Austrian and one largely Magyar - that would co-operate fully and that would together function towards the outside world as a single power.

A Convention of Gastein of August 1865 recognised Holstein, (the more southerly Duchy actually bordering Prussian territory), as being under the administrative control of Austria whilst Schleswig was to be administered by Prussia. A small Duchy of Lauenberg passed absolutely to Prussia after the payment of a steep purchase price.
Prussia, which had previously no major sea-port under its control, was given rights to exploit the potential of the important port of Kiel on the "Baltic" coast of Holstein and was authorised to plan and execute an ambitious "Kiel Canal" from the Baltic coast across Holstein to the North Sea coast. Holstein was also allowed to enter the Prussian led Zollverein customs union.

Austria had reason to believe that Prussia was still not satisfied in relation to Holstein and that Italy was not satisfied in relation to Venetia. In September Bismarck secretly sounded out Napoleon III at Biarritz as to his possible reaction to an open conflict between Prussia and Austria. In November Austria received offers of very substantial sums from Italy, if Venetia would be transferred to Italian control, and from Prussia, if Holstein would be transferred to Prussian control. Austria declined both these offers probably deeming it dishonourable for any dynastic state to sell off territories.

In late December 1865 Prussia and Italy entered into a commercial treaty and in January King Victor Emmanuel was invested with the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle. Bismarck continued to work towards securing the Prussian King's permission to enter into a formal military alliance with Italy that would prejudicial to the Austrian interest. It was contrary to the basic principles of the Germanic Confederation that any member would ally with an outside power against any other member of the Confederation. The fact that Prussia intended to secretly ally with Italy shows the seriousness with which Bismarck was pursuing his own version of reform of the Confederation.

The alliance between Prussia and Italy was finalised in April and promised Venetia to Italy in return for her participation in a war against the Austrian Empire. The alliance was to hold for only three months. Within days of the Italian alliance having been concluded Bismarck challenged Austria by having the Prussian delegate to the Confederal Diet propose reforms of the Confederation that would be deeply prejudicial to the Austrian interest and also voicing complaints about the way the Austrian administration of Holstein was being conducted. Austrian diplomacy, meanwhile, indulged in some provocations of Prussia including that of requesting that the Federal Diet should adjudicate on the future of the Duchies. A Prussian force was sent into Holstein on Bismarck's orders. A "Seven Weeks War" between Austria and Prussia ensued in which the Prussian interest convincingly prevailed despite Austria also being supported by several other German states.

Bismarck had to strenuously and extensively use his powers of persuasion to restrain the forces of Prussia and her allies from making too many claims on an humbled Austria.

In his personal outlook Bismarck was not a German Nationalist - he was more truly first minister to the House of Hohenzollern. In his view it was necessary to avoid the possibility that a coalition of powers that might otherwise be formed to aid a severely threatened Austria. Should Habsburg Austria be critically damaged it was an open question as to what settlement would spring up in its place - it would be possible that Austria's non-German territories deprived of their admittedly weak bond through the historical sovereignty of the Habsburgs could be re-constituted as a number of unstable, and even radical, small republics.

It would also be likely that if the Habsburgs were more intimately involved with German affairs through the incorporation of German Austria into an extended German state they would routinely rival Prussian influence in political affairs with the support of a coalition of lesser german state interests.
Bismarck considered that a preserved Habsburg Austria, although somewhat humbled in these disputations, could be a possible diplomatic and military ally in the future. Although largely excluded from German affairs in the West it was in Prussia's interest that Austria should nonetheless be allowed an opportunity to re-establish herself as a power to the east.

Prussia did annexe territories at this time - Schleswig and Holstein, the Kingdom of Hanover, the Electorate of Hesse-Nassau, and the City of Frankfurt together with some smaller territories. Austrian agreement was secured for the formation of a Prussian-led North German Confederation with the inclusion of the independent Kingdom of Saxony. The Austrians secured Prussian agreement that Northern Schleswig could return to Danish sovereignty should the population there so decide in a plebiscite.

The conflicts with Denmark over Schleswig-Holstein and between Austria and Prussia are sometimes referred to as "Wars of German Unification" but they were at that time more truly "Wars of Prussian Consolidation". In the wake of these two availing conflicts that had been, in large part, subtly fomented by Bismarck as the champion of "traditional Prussia", and which led to the formation of a North German Confederation in 1867, the Landtag was encouraged to bestow retrospective immunity on Bismarck's unconstitutional acts.
Such retrospective immunity was not the only "reward" that fell to Bismarck at this time as he was raised to the nobility as Count Bismarck and invested with the prestigious Prussian Order of the Black Eagle.

In the wake of the defeat in the "Seven Weeks War" the Austrian Emperor, whose position had been weakened thereby, agreed a Compromise (Augsgleich) with the Magyars that re-established the Austrian Empire as Austro-Hungary - an Imperial and Royal "Dual Monarchy" comprised of an Austrian Empire and an Hungarian Kingdom - under a single monarch and with common ministries of Foreign Affairs, War and Finance.
From these times the Austrian aspect of this state developed along lines that showed a preparedness to be somewhat liberal in accomodating its powerful minority peoples whilst within the Hungarian Kingdom the Magyars tended to moreso work towards cultural assimilation of the numerous Slav minorities domiciled in the "lands of the Crown of St. Stephen" but offered many social and civic concessions to those who assimilated themselves to an officially Magyar state. The Magyars thus gained a substantial independence whilst retaining assurance that their King would seek to defend the Hungarian Kingdom with Austrian as well as Hungarian resources.

The North German Confederation operated under a Constitution dictated by Bismarck. The Federal Presidency was vested in the Prussian Crown. The Prussian Minister was to be Federal Chancellor. A degree of democratisation was allowed in relation to the election of a lower parliamentary house - partly as a means of breaking down the traditional German particularisms in a Confederation that was being formed of historic dynastic states that continued to convene local assemblies. Prussian originated institutions - army, postal service, the Zollverein (Customs Union) etc., - were effectively extended towards giving the new Confederation a Prussian character.

In order to provide the North German Confederation with an acceptable and distinctive flag Bismarck, in 1867, sponsored the adoption of a Black-White-Red tricolour flag. This flag is widely accepted as being derived from the black and white colours traditional to Prussia in combination with the white and red associated with the Hanseatic League - this being an historic trading bloc with which many states and cities in the Germanies had celebrated traditions of involvement in earlier times.

The adoption of this, unprecedented, emblem tended towards the avoidance of possible ill-will through giving a prominence to the Prussian flag that might prove unwelcome to other German states. It also side-stepped issues associated with the inherent claims of the Black-Red-Gold tricolour emblem of the popular "liberal and constitutional" German tradition. (This Black-Red-Gold emblem had, moreover, been adopted as the common flag of the alliance of South German states led by Austria during the War of 1866. )

Croat nationalism continued to be a powerful centrifugal force such that in 1868 the Magyar dominated Reichstag at Pest agreed to recognise the Croatian Landtag as having competence to consider Croatian domestic matters.

Prussia had long hoped to be dominant in the Germanies north of the river Main, this was now achieved but a groundswell of Germanic sentiment supported the establishment of a more territorially extensive German nation state. Bismarck was keen to preclude threats to Prussian influence in the German lands and was also open to achieving yet more expansions of the territory of Prussia-Germany. In strategic terms the France of Napoleon III was a presumptive opponent of any increased influence being exercised by the Prussian dominated North German Confederation over the states of Southern Germany.

The diplomatic position of France was in one most important respect to the advantage of Bismarck's expansionary policies. There was a tradition of competition and cultural misunderstanding between north and south Germany. That being said there was also a more intense tradition of rivalry between German Europe and French Europe. In the nineteenth century alone Germany had fought a "War of Liberation" against Napoleon in 1813, whilst in 1840 there was a crisis, which blew over, featuring widespread, and popularly supported, German alarm when it appeared that the French intended to seize territories south of the Rhine. Bismarck hoped to exploit German rivalry in relation to France to precipitate cooperation and solidarity between north and south Germany and also increase acceptance of the Prussian dynasty.

In these times, at the Biarritz meeting and later, Napoleon III of France had more or less hinted to Bismarck that in return for French neutrality at the time of the recent Austro-Prussian War France should expect "Compensations". France had remained neutral, largely out of the belief that the war would be more protracted and expensive of lives and resources than it had been. Napoleon III seemed to anticipate that the position of France would have been relatively enhanced by the exhaustion of Austria and Prussia and had even expected that Prussia would be defeated. France hoped that a third Germany, apart from Austria and Prussia, could be formed based on the South German states. The unexpectedly brief conflict, and decisive outcome in favour of Prussia, with no compensating advantage to France, meant that France, formerly the power of note in Western Europe, had lost much advantage as a result. Napoleon reminded Bismarck that he expected some sort of "Compensation".

In efforts to attain this compensation the French sought part of Belgium but met with British and other opposition, and then the Palatinate on the Upper Rhine but met with Germanic opposition. Bismarck was able to get a written copy of these claims on the Palatinate. Then the French agreed a compact with the King of Holland whereby the French could gain Luxembourg by purchase and Bismarck although initially prepared to accept such a transfer was subsequently made aware of a groundswell of popular "German" opposition to the acquisition of "Germanic" Luxembourg by France and decided to encourage such popular opposition. In the Reichstag Bismarck deplored the willingness of a prince "of German descent" to sell to France territory which "had been German at all times".

An international situation resulted from the Spanish being prepared to accept a Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen cousin of the King of Prussia as the successor to their vacant throne. France, which had historical reason to consider itself the foremost power on the western Europe continent, considered that the presence of a cousin of the King of Prussia of the Spanish throne would "disturb . the present equilibrium of forces in Europe" and sought to ensure that this Hohenzollern related candidacy was not merely withdrawn, but was withdrawn in such a way as making it seem that Prussia had climbed down somewhat under French pressure. The disputed candidacy was initially withdrawn without much appearance of a climb-down but French diplomacy persisted in efforts to produce such an appearance. It was in these circumstances in 1870 that Bismarck as Minister-President subtly added Prussian provocations to those of France by editing a so-called Ems Telegram, (that had been sent to Bismarck by the Prussian king outlining an interview that the Prussian king had had with a French diplomat), in order to let it seem that the French diplomat had been disrespectfully treated by the Prussian King. Bismarck ensured that this edited version was published in a special newspaper supplement. France for her part had been seeking a contest of arms in which it hoped to prevail. The "Ems Telegram" provided material which led to a declaration of War. The French Emperor spoke of entering into this war "with a light heart". In the event the Prusso-German interest prevailed in this war and received some support from the states of South Germany.

The outcomes of an ensuing "Franco-Prussian" War, which is also referred to as a War of German Unification, included the formation of a federal German Empire. This "Second German Reich" was proclaimed after the King of Prussia was persuaded to accept the Imperial Crown that had been offered on behalf of all the German Princes by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The actual announcement taking place in the fabulous Hall of Mirrors in the sumptuous palace of Versailles outside Paris.

The Second German Empire was a Confederation composed of clearly separate constituent states (4 kingdoms, 5 grand duchies, 13 duchies and principalities, and the free cities of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen). Within this Confederation the inherently powerful Kingdom of Bavaria was able to retain its own army, which would fall under Prussian command only in times of war. Bavaria could also retain its own railways, its own postal system, its maintain its own diplomatic contacts. As with the now defunct North German Confederation the Presidency was vested in the Prussian Crown and the Prussian Minister was to be Imperial Chancellor.

Imperial Germany was to operate as a federation with strong central control. Both the short-lived North German Confederation and the subsequent German Empire functioned under constitutional arrangements which, whilst including a Federal Parliament, or Reichstag, elected by universal suffrage, did not concede effective power to that Reichstag. Authority over the duration of administrations, central finances, and the armed forces, residing moreso in a Bundesrat of State delegates dominated by Prussia.

The outcome of the Wars of German Unification considerably altered the European political scene. France deplored the seizure of Alsace-Lorraine by Imperial Germany after the Franco-Prussian War and Bismarck thereafter strove to diplomatically isolate France denying her the opportunity of winning back her lost provinces as an outcome of war. Aside from this limitation on alliances that might threaten Imperial Germany Bismarck hoped that France would progress and be reconciled and was prone to encourage her to direct her energies towards extending sway over parts of North Africa. The German Empire's establishment inherently presented Europe with the reality of a populous and industrialising polity possessing a considerable, and undeniably increasing, economic and diplomatic presence.

This Otto von Bismarck & The Wars of German Unification page receives many visitors.

Why did Hitler not claim the German-majority areas of Schleswig? - History

Background: On 31 May 1942 the British conducted a large bombing attack on Cologne, the largest attack to date and an example of what was to come. This widely-circulated pamphlet appeared in September or October of 1942, some months later. It suggests that British bombing, though damaging, would never break German morale. It also makes the interesting claim that the German Luftwaffe had avoided civilian targets, ignoring German attacks on Rotterdam and British cities.

The author was a rather active Nazi propagandist. He was a Reichsredner, one of the party’s elite speakers, a radio director in Cologne, and later director of foreign broadcasting. He was also an SS member.

The source: Toni Winkelnkemper, Der Großangriff auf Köln. Ein Beispiel (Berlin: Franz Eher, 1942).

The Attack on Cologne

The attack The military balance Bluffs and Lies

England and international law &ldquoI do not want to wage war against women and children&rdquo — Adolf Hitler Warsaw The Führer on the permitted and banned use of weapons Does the air force decide the war? Churchill’s &ldquoadvanced military science&rdquo 12 January 1940: England begins the air war against civilians &ldquoGermany has to look worse than the Sahara Desert&rdquo The English Church: &ldquoWipe the Germans out!&rdquo Revenge blows 22 June 1941 Concentrated war efforts The Nonstop Offensive War of words Spring 1942: Massive attacks on German morale

All of Cologne is a single team! The &ldquoLittle Hitlers&rdquo Examples of unprecedented accomplishment &ldquoChildren have become heroes here&rdquo — Dr. Goebbels The police in action Protecting factories Neighborly assistance &ldquoLike a disciplined army. &rdquo What &ldquoChurchill’s big eyes&rdquo failed to see Gauleiter Grohé speaks to Cologne’s citizens Generous relief aid First aid &ldquoI&rsquom staying in Cologne&rdquo &ldquoWheels roll again&rdquo The heart of Cologne Inimitable Cologne humor &ldquoCologne remains Cologne!&rdquo Over the graves Cologne as an example Germany knows what is at stake

The Attack

The Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht announced on 31 May 1942:

&ldquoBritish bombers conducted a terror bombing of Cologne’s center over the past night, causing great damage through bombs and fires, particularly in residential areas and to public buildings, including for example three churches and two hospitals. The British air force suffered heavy losses in these attacks on the civilian population. Night fighters and flak shot down 36 of the attacking bombers. A further bomber was brought down by coastal artillery.&rdquo

It is the night of 30-31 May 1942. As so often before, the air raid alarms sound at midnight in Cologne. As the first bombs fall at 12:15 a.m., everyone believes that his neighborhood is the target. No one yet knows that the British are making a major attack and are attempting to destroy the residential areas of the whole city. In the glare of searchlights of Cologne’s defensive ring, the first enemy planes break through the evening clouds.

The flak begins to fire. The first British attack wave goes after flak positions, using dive bombers with bombs and machine guns. Some hit their targets. There are dead and wounded, but the light and heavy guns continue firing, shot after shot. Amidst the roar of flak shells, there are the sounds of exploding heavy bombers and the crackling hail of falling incendiary bombs and clusters. The first flames ignite. Flames shoot from apartment buildings and department stores, swelling, blazing flames that greedily spread. The dark city is brightly illumined by the red glow of widespread fires.

In steady new waves, the British openly ignore military targets and aim for the city’s residential districts. The insect-like buzzing of their airplanes sounds ever more menacing, and the dreadful sounds of exploding shells and detonating bombs, mixed with the chattering of machine guns aimed at the civilian population, grows ever louder.

For over an hour and a half, a terrible hail of hundreds of bombs and incendiary canisters, over a dozen blockbusters and over a hundred thousand incendiary bombs fall on Cologne’s residential districts. Apartment buildings and multi-storied buildings burn, collapsing with loud crashes.

Only after 2:30 a.m. do these terrible sounds begin to quiet down, and one hears only the crackling of greedy flames and the sounds of falling ceilings and collapsing walls. At the dawn of a rainy morning, the whole city is covered with clouds of mist and smoke, interrupted by raging flames. Hardly a neighborhood of Cologne is untouched, nor are churches, museums, schools, hospitals and other community buildings spared. The &ldquomajor attack&rdquo on the open city of Cologne, which the British call

is aimed only and exclusively at the civilian population.

One does not need to conceal the extent of the damage. The civilian population suffered great loss of life and property. Several hundred died this night. Thousands more were wounded to a greater or lesser degree, and tens of thousands became homeless.

Irreplaceable treasures in Cologne’s center were forever destroyed. Artistically valuable public buildings and dwellings which were under landmark preservation vanished from the scene, such as the Vanderstein-Bellen building on the Haymarket, the Guild House Unter Goldschmied, the Faßbinderzunft House on the Filzengraben, the Temple House on the Rhinegasse, the Overstolzen House on Eigelstein, the blocks around the Old Market, the Glockenstraße, In der Höhe, am Lichthof, the Marienplatz, the Straßburger and the Salzgasse, the Mathias-Straße and Weberstraße.

21 churches were heavily damaged, most completely destroyed. They were among the most important treasures of German architecture. Among them were three of the oldest and most artistically significant churches in Germany: &ldquoMaria im Kapitol,&rdquo &ldquoSt. Apostel,&rdquo and &ldquoSt. Gereon.&rdquo

The commercial sector had only minor and temporary damage. There was no serious damage. From the type and nature of the attack, there is no doubt that it was directed at the civilian population, not military targets. Even the English press, which is never reluctant to invent successes, did not make an attempt to claim the terror attack on Cologne was a military success.

The military balance

The negative military results of this attack are clear and obvious. The German defenses were alert and, as always, at their posts.

&ldquoThe British aircraft involved&rdquo — the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht added on 2 June — &ldquoattacked in several waves. According to information so far, 37 fell victim to the effective German defense. Among the types of aircraft shot down were Vickers-Wellington, Whithley, Hampdon, Blenheim aircraft, and also several four-engine bombers. The crews generally were not able to use their parachutes. Along with the extraordinarily heavy loss of 37 aircraft, the British air force also lost over 200 men. A London news agency reported on Sunday that 44 planes from yesterday’s attack on Cologne had not returned.&rdquo

44 British bombers failed to return from their attack on Cologne’s residential districts. That is an extraordinarily high rate of loss, even measured against the results of the attack. British air experts have recognized this, and they have — more or less clearly— let the public know their concerns.

In Germany no one thinks that these voices have any particular significance. Nor does anyone think that such considerations will stop Churchill from again sending bombers into the fire of German defenses to sacrifice his best crews for an illusion. This man’s long career of failures has proven that he holds to his mistakes with remarkable loyalty and is not able to learn from experience. The continuance of terror attacks on other German cities confirms our opinion. Still, it is interesting to know that doubts occasionally surface even on the enemy’s side as to the &ldquoprofitability&rdquo of such major attacks. The military expert of the Daily Express wrote on 25 July 1942:

&ldquoThe effort it takes to mount such huge attacks is greater than England can currently sustain.&rdquo

In a following sentence, he points out to Churchill that it would perhaps be better to use the planes in strategically important areas rather than sending them against German women and children.

Major Oliver Stuart, an English air force expert, make the point even more clearly in the African Service of London radio on 1 June 1942. There is some doubt, he said, as to whether Great Britain will be able in the near future to build the number of night bombers necessary to replace an average loss of 44 planes in each attack, along with the unavoidable losses through accidents. If 44 planes are lost each night, that means 1320 a month, and that figure only includes night bombers based in England. This figure does not include British aircraft losses in the war’s other theaters. Major Stuart went on to say that it required no special intelligence to realize that England’s industry could not build airplanes fast enough to cover the British air force’s losses. His comments can be understood only when one realizes that Oliver Stuart views the terror attacks on residential districts as a &ldquoside show&rdquo for the British air force, having a strategic purpose only in that sense. In fact, however — as we know from British sources — the planning and carrying out of such major attacks on German cities requires extraordinary effort. One reads in the English press that each and every available night bomber had to be used for the attack on Cologne. That is certainly an exaggeration, but still enlightening. A dispatch from the International News Service (INS) sounds more reliable when it claims that planes left from more than sixty airfields. The attack involved several thousand crew members and a hundred thousand ground personnel.

Thoughtful statements by experts could not stop Churchill from the politically necessary shouts of triumph. He held stubbornly to the belief that destroyed buildings meant that German morale had also been destroyed, and that German’s will to victory had also been broken. Besides, Comrade Molotov, Stalin’s ambassador was in London at the time. Churchill needed to impress him with an apparent military &ldquosuccess&rdquo to show the strength of the British air force to persuade him to accept an urgently hoped for military agreement. Everything he had to say about the terror attack on Cologne was cheap bluff and cynical calculation.

Bluffs and Lies

On the night of the attack, Churchill sent the leaders of the British air force a congratulatory telegram in which he expressed his thanks and appreciation for this cowardly attack, and went on to say that the terror attack on Cologne must serve &ldquoas a model in every regard.&rdquo Two days later, after the attack on Duisburg on 1 June, the commander of the British bomber command received a telegram from Air Minister Sinclair that said:

&ldquoI send my congratulations for the success of the attack on Cologne and the Ruhr area. The enemy has been bit by a double blow, which is the result of months of patient and hard work.&rdquo

What the press and radio in England and the USA reported, aside from the more thoughtful statements cited above, certainly put great trust in the gullibility of their readers and listeners. These papers and stations worked hard to outdo each other with every increasing figures about the size of the British &ldquosuccess&rdquo and of the German losses. Among the more modest was the claim that Cologne has suffered 20,000 dead and 60,000 wounded. London radio cited American sources on 2 June claiming that 60 percent of Cologne’s population had to be evacuated — which would be 480,000 people. There were more accounts along these lines. The number of planes involved in the attack on Cologne also grew from day to day — at the same rate, by the way, as reasonable Englishmen realized the meaning of 44 lost aircraft. That is an old and favorite trick. The percentage of aircraft lost becomes smaller and less alarming as one adds to the number of planes supposedly involved.

With such tricks, the enemy’s press and radio attempted to distract the world public from the fundamental fact that this costly terror attack completely failed to reach its goal. The attack on the strength of character, the courage, the endurance and the morale of Cologne’s population failed utterly. All the other terror attacks on cities and towns in the Reich have had the same result. When therefore the British news agency Exchange Telegraph wrote on 1 June 1942 after the attack on Cologne:

&ldquoThe bombing of Cologne is a decisive turning point in the war —&rdquo

It is perhaps right, as Churchill’s last remaining card has been wasted. After failing everywhere else in the war, his only hope was to speculate on a weakening of the German civilian population under the blows of his terror.

We have come to know these blows, and we do not want to minimize them. But we have also come to know the German population’s hardness, its determination, and willingness to sacrifice. Its attitude, its manly endurance under the hard blows of fate, actually has led to a turning point in the war — a greater one than many realize. Friend and foe alike know that now and for all times, the German civilian theater is unbreakable. This people is stronger than Churchill’s terror!

England and International Law

A fundamental principle of international law that all civilized nations have solemnly affirmed is that wars are fought between armed forces, and that defenseless civilians, above all women and children, should be safe from enemy action.

Great Britain’s policy has always been to affirm the slogans of international law and humanity at every opportunity — but to trample on them whenever necessary. The world is well aware of the terrible brutality with which the British so often in their history have acted against innocent women and children. Every German remembers the hunger blockade the British conducted against the German civilian population during the World War of 1914-1918, mocking international law.

Every new weapon humanity invents brings new possibilities for misuse. That is particularly true for the air force. It stretches the arm of the fighting forces far beyond the front into the enemy’s peaceful hinterland, reaching them with death-dealing weapons. We Germans who lived along the border during the World War 1914-1918 already had a bitter taste of that.

In the years following the World War — at least in enemy countries — there was a dynamic development of long range bombers that led to their present form. Voices calling for humanitarian limitations of aerial warfare were not silent. The British above all made fine-sounding statements about humanitarian restrictions. But only Adolf Hitler made really practical suggestions for disarmament and for more humanitarian warfare. His proposals were always ignored.

&ldquoI do not want to wage war against women and children.&rdquo Adolf Hitler

Despite constant disregard for his disarmament proposals, Adolf Hitler acted according to the demands of humanity at the moment of decision. As our army began its revenge against the blinded Polish pseudo-state on 1 September 1939, the German Luftwaffe received particularly strict instructions with regard to its choice of targets.

As the Führer said in his speech to the Reichstag on 1 September 1939:

&ldquoI do not want to wage war against women and children. I have given my Luftwaffe the order to limit their attacks to military targets.&rdquo

The world knows that the Führer held to his principle. On 19 September 1939, speaking in the Artus Court in the liberated city of Danzig, he repeated the statement:

&ldquoI have given the German Luftwaffe the order to fight this war humanely, which means that they will attack only fighting troops.&rdquo

These words display the deep sense of responsibility — from the German standpoint — that each head of state and military leader must have who controls such a wide-reaching, terrible weapon, and who can decide in which ways to use it. Events have shown that only a true leading personality is able to feel this responsibility and make the corresponding moral decisions. Only one person can be responsible. A parliamentary system lacks conscience. The majority rules, which eliminates any feeling of responsibility.

England has always misused weapons in which it was superior to other peoples — naval power, for example. That was clear at every stage in the growth of its empire. England hoped once more to reach its goals by a hunger blockade. The Führer characterized this characteristic British attitude in the same speech in Danzig:

&ldquoEngland has already begun the war against women and children with lies and hypocrisy. It has a weapon it believes unassailable, namely sea power, and says: Since we ourselves cannot be attacked with this weapon, we are justified in using it, if necessary, to fight not only the women and children of our enemy, but also those of neutral nations. One should not deceive oneself! The time could soon come when we too use a weapon that cannot be used against us. One hopes others then do not suddenly remember the principles of humanity and the impossibility of waging war against women and children. We Germans do not do that. It is not our way.&rdquo

How easy it would have been for National Socialist Germany to misuse its superiority in the air just as Great Britain has always done at sea. But in Poland, Adolf Hitler gave the world proof of his military leadership. The Luftwaffe followed his orders and attacked only military targets.

It was irresponsible of Poland’s leaders to declare Warsaw a fortified city, overflowing with people as it was. Machine guns and artillery were set behind the moral protection of women and children. That was a disgusting mockery of the decent German style of combat. The Führer left no doubt that his knightly approach presumed reciprocity, and that it could not be misused by one side. In his speech in Danzig before the storming of Warsaw, he said:

&ldquoI have given the order in this campaign to spare cities whenever possible. We have held to this principle. In those areas where insane, crazy or criminal elements did not resist, not a window has been broken. In Krakow, not a bomb fell inside the city, save for the railway station and airfield, which are military objects. But if one fights in every street and building in Warsaw, the war will naturally engulf the whole city.&rdquo

And in his major speech to the Reichstag on 6 October 1939, the Führer reaffirmed once more:

&ldquoOut of pity for women and children, I have offered the rulers of Warsaw the opportunity to at least allow the civilian population to leave the city. I declared a truce, guaranteed the necessary escape routes, and we all waited in vain for a parliamentarian, just as we waited in vain at the end of August for a Polish negotiator. The proud Polish city commander did not even grace us with an answer. I extended the truce, and ordered our bombers and heavy artillery to attack only clear military targets. I repeated my offer, but it was in vain! I therefore offered not to attack an entire section of the city, Praga, reserving it for the civilian population to give them the opportunity to go there. This proposal, too, met with Polish contempt.&rdquo

The Führer on the permitted and banned use of weapons

The Führer knew the misery that he wanted to spare women and children. Unlike his counterparts in London, Washington and Paris, the musketeer of the World War, who today commands the strongest military force in the world, learned the horrors of war in his four years at the front. In the middle of a victorious war and fully aware of his military might, he did all he could to humanize warfare. In his Reichstag speech on 6 October 1939 he said:

&ldquoThe most important precondition for a true flowering of the European, as well as the non-European, economy is the establishment of a guaranteed peace and a sense of security for the individual peoples. This necessary sense of security depends on clarifying the use and fields for certain modern weapons that are able to strike at the heart of the individual peoples, thereby creating a lasting sense of insecurity. I have made proposals in this regard in my previous speeches to the Reichstag. They were rejected then — presumably because they came from me. Yet I believe that a feeling of national security in Europe will return only when there are clear international agreements and obligations as to the concept of permitted and banned weapon usage.

The Geneva Convention, at least among civilized states, forbade the killing of the wounded, the mistreatment of prisoners, attacks on civilians, etc. Over the course of time, these principles came to have general acceptance. So also we must agree on the use of aerial force, the use of case, etc. of U-boats, and also guerilla warfare, so that war will not be waged against women and children, or against any civilians. The banning of certain conduct will lead to the elimination of weapons thereby rendered useless. During the war with Poland, I have taken care that the Luftwaffe attacked only so-called military targets, or was used only when there was active resistance at a certain point.&rdquo

Does the air force decide the war?

The Luftwaffe was at the center of the discussions and predictions of the experts of every country during the fall weeks of 1939. The evaluation of the air force as a factor in military leadership, the reasons and counter-reasons for its importance in the war, these were everywhere discussed — everywhere but in Germany. Here we did not discuss, we acted. The Führer’s military genius had long-since recognized the role of the air force in modern warfare, along with its use in conjunction with other weapons. He had taken the appropriate steps. The Führer knew that a single weapon, even one as useful as the air force, would never be sufficient to decide a war. He always built his strategic plans on the basis of carefully calculated cooperation of the military branches and their various weapons. A good example, and a model for the world, is the Stuka (dive bomber), which distinguishes itself from all other aircraft types by its almost mathematical accuracy. It is suited as no other aircraft for attacks on military targets, providing the greatest possible protection for non-military targets. This alone proves the purely military nature of the German Luftwaffe.

The British are different. Their air force from the beginning adopted the methods of British warfare, namely the involvement of the civilian population in military conflict, be it through subversive propaganda or bloody terror — through leaflets or through bombs. During the first months of the war, its air force dropped remarkably foolish leaflets on German cities from great heights. Such a naive attack on the civilian population was more in line with their nature than a military attack, say against the German West Wall.

Churchill’s &ldquoadvanced military science&rdquo

He who knows Great Britain’s history knows that the whip follows the candy, the bomb the leaflet. In September 1924, Mr. Winston Churchill published an article in Pall Mall Magazine that recognized with cynical openness that air terror against women and children was the most effective method of military leadership.

&ldquoOne should invent a bomb no larger than an orange that could blow up an entire city, churches, apartments and all.&rdquo — &ldquoI am in favor, &ldquo he continued, &ldquoof spreading certain types of bacteria among men and animals. spreading blight to destroy crops, anthrax to infect horses and livestock, and the plague to kill not only whole armies, but the inhabitants of whole regions. I call this all advanced military science.&rdquo

The world, above all the neutral nations, has a remarkably bad memory for such statements of a lovely soul. If one makes the excuse that at the time Churchill was a free-lance journalist, not an official representative of British policy, and that one cannot hold Prime Minister Churchill responsible for the statements of the journalist Churchill, let us consider a second statement, no less clear, from a British minister. It comes from a time when he was a minister, and represented the views of the British cabinet. On 9 November 1932, seven years before the beginning of the war, when the Weimar System was still at the helm in Germany, then Vice Prime Minister Baldwin said in a speech at the Guild Hall:

&ldquoThe only defense is attack — or in other words, — if we want to save ourselves, we must kill women and children faster than the enemy.&rdquo

Which women and children were to be the objects of this attack was clear in a later remark by the same Mr. Baldwin:

12 January 1940: England begins the air war against civilians

On the night of 12 January 1940, the first bombs of the war dropped by British airplanes fell in the open city of Westerland on Sylt. The first German bombs on British soil fell on 16 March 1940, on a flak battery defending British ships against German bombing attacks in the Orkney Islands. They were aimed not at civilians, but at a clearly military target. In following months, there were more British attacks on German cities and villages. No military targets were hit. The civilian population was always the target.

The 25 April 1940 report of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht commented as follows on these fully ungrounded attacks on non-military targets:

&ldquoThe previously mentioned attacks by British aircraft on the island of Sylt struck the spa at Wennigstedt, damaging several buildings. Enemy aircraft also dropped several bombs at the edge of the city of Heide in Schleswig-Holstein, though there are no military targets either in the heath or the surrounding area. The enemy has thus begun air warfare against undefended areas without any military significance.&rdquo

When the German military leadership provided documentary proof of the Allied plan to march into the Ruhr through Belgium and Holland and acted first, throwing back concentrated masses of troops in both countries, the English air force began to increase its air attacks against open German cities. The first treacherous attack came on 10 May 1940, when 57 civilians were killed in Freiburg in Breisgau, including 13 children ranging in age from five to twelve. After a major attack on the residential district of Düsseldorf on the night of 19-20 June 1940, the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht’s report announced:

&ldquoSince 10 May, enemy aircraft, mostly British, have been attacking open German cities.&rdquo

During the campaign in France, the British air force had more than enough opportunity to hit military targets. Here, where they really should have attacked — and where everyone in the world expected them to — they appeared only rarely. Where they here and there showed up to fight, they suffered catastrophic defeats. Even when its French ally in desperation asked for several squadrons to save it from threatening collapse, the British cynically turned them down. France, which covered the shameful British retreat from Dunkirk with the bodies of its soldiers, met its inevitable fate. Under the flows of the German military, it collapsed both militarily and in morale along the entire line. True to its old policy, England betrayed and deserted an ally that was no longer of any use to it.

England continued the war with fine-sounding speeches and with the same air terror it had begun against civilians on 12 January. The British aircraft, which were not used over the battlefields of France, Belgium, and Holland, instead appeared over German cities and towns. In his speech on 19 July, the Führer said:

&ldquoMr. Churchill has once again declared that he wants war. Six weeks ago he began to fight in an area in which he apparently thought he was particularly strong, namely air warfare against the civilian population, with the claim that he was attacking so-called military targets. These targets since Freiburg have been open cities, markets and farming villages, hospitals, schools and kindergartens.&rdquo

Despite it all, the Führer extended the hand of peace once more. In the same speech, he said:

&ldquoAt this hour, my conscience requires me once more to appeal to England’s reason. I believe I can do this because I come not as someone who has been defeated, but as a victor, and speak only for reason. I see no reason that compels the continuation of this war.&rdquo

But Churchill rejected this last change to unite with Europe. He responded to the Führer’s peace proposal with insults and air terror.

England’s historical guilt for the unleashing of air war against open cities is proven beyond any doubt.

&ldquoGermany has to look worse than the Sahara Desert&rdquo

What worsens the guilt of England’s leading circle is the fact that it knew how to conduct systematic hate propaganda aimed at Germany’s annihilation, and to promote air terror as a weapon of annihilation, making these the demands of the whole British people. There is abundant and unmistakable proof of this. Whether it is official statements by the British war cabinet or the editorials of greater or lesser journalists, whether in the sermons of leading clerics or letters to newspapers from every class — they all contain a fanatic hatred of the German people.

A letter to the News Chronicle from 1939 stated:

&ldquoTo be completely open, I am in favor of exterminating every living creature in Germany, man, child, bird, and insect. I would not leave a blade of grass. Germany should look worse than the Sahara Desert.&rdquo

The famous English writer H. G. Wells wrote in the American magazine Liberty — as reported in the Daily Mail of 26 January 1940:

&ldquoI am convinced that heavy bombing, the destruction of cities and similar things would be a productive, healthy, and demoralizing experience for the Germans. Let the Germans take their own medicine.&rdquo

Even in 1940 they wanted the German people to take British patent medicine. As early as February 1940, before the first German bomb had fallen on English soil, the Star wrote:

&ldquoAn appropriate dose of destroyed German cities and areas would probably do a lot of good.&rdquo

The Daily Mail reported on 29 April 1940 that it had already received hundreds of letters calling for &ldquothe random bombing of German cities.&rdquo This demand was growing daily in intensity and strength. It was coming from every part of the country and the people. The Daily Mail provided several typical examples.

Sir Henry Lawson from Catterick thought:

Miss Ida Turnball from Cambridge wrote

&ldquoWhy do we not drop bombs on every street and shop in Germany? We have the best airplanes and pilots — why not turn them loose?&rdquo

A reader from Southampton wrote:

&ldquoBomb any convenient German city for 48 hours straight. That would be a lesson for the damned Huns.&rdquo

&ldquoWhy don&rsquot we randomly bomb the Rhine? The Germans are very proud of their cities on the Rhine, and it would do them good to see their lovely buildings turned into ruins!&rdquo

Mr. H. Foster of Linton wrote:

&ldquoThe destruction of German cities should be ordered.&rdquo

And finally, Mr. Morgan Porthcawl (Glamoran) wrote:

&ldquoI hope that our flyers will pound German cities to bits! Only then will Germans see the light, and perhaps Hitler’s heart will be broken.&rdquo

The Daily Herald published a series of letters on this theme in April 1941. For example, Miss Dot Critshlay from Newtonfield wrote:

&ldquoGive the Germans something to choke on! Give the civilian Jerries a blow! Let them feel the strong power of the Royal Air Force, the best force in the world! For as long as they feel safe, their morale will stay strong. I will bet my best hat that the morale of our enemy will be a thing of the past, and the end of World War Number 2 will be significantly nearer.&rdquo

The British labor leader George Gibson said at a gathering in Leeds on 29 September 1941, according to an article in the next day’s Manchester Guardian:

&ldquoEngland can only win this war if it kills Germans. One can best kill them where there are a lot of them.&rdquo

The English Church: &ldquoWipe the Germans out!&rdquo

When it comes to calls for the annihilation of the German people and covering bloody terror with the mantel of godliness, the clergy of Britain’s high church do not hold back as eager servants of British power politics. We have noted some of their &ldquoChristian&rdquo remarks. Reverend F. O. Baker, vicar of St. Stephens’s Church in London, said on 21 May 1941, as the News Chronicle reported on the next day, that twelve German cities should be flattened immediately. Reverend C. W. Whipp, vicar of St. Augustine’s in Leicester, had an even more &ldquoChristian&rdquo proposal, according to the &ldquoDaily Mirror&rdquo of 5 September 1940:

&ldquoThe orders to the bombers of the British air force should be: Wipe the Germans out! No English flyer should return saying that he could find no military targets for his bombs. The order should be: Kill them all! We should use all of our scientific knowledge to invent new and more terrible explosives. I hope that the British air force becomes so strong that it can blow these German devils (the only word one can use to describe them) to pieces. But I will go even further. I will say it openly: If I could, I would wipe Germany off the map. The Germans are an evil race. Hitler is god of the underworld, and there will be no peace until everyone who believes in him is sent to hell.&rdquo

The perfidious British Phariseeism, which presents itself as &ldquoGod’s chosen people&rdquo and which claims to be carrying out a divine mission as it implements its brutal policies, is shown in the following citation from the English magazine Cavalkade of 3 February 1940:

&ldquoWe have learned from the Old Testament that God more than once ordered the extermination of an entire generation. We also learn that in one case those who did not obey God’s order to exterminate a certain people were themselves slaughtered. Are we not in a time of which the Bible speaks, when the cleansing of a people should occur?&rdquo

In the same pious style, the Manchester Guardian, in its 5 May 1940 issue, calls for a war against women and children in the name of Christianity:

&ldquoWe must indeed&rdquo — so it writes — &lsquoregret the necessity of attacking civilians on Christian grounds, but we must grant that it is necessary to kill as many Germans as one can, whether they are wearing a uniform or not.&rsquo&rdquo

These statements come neither from overheated imagination or a passing wave of hatred on the part of the British people, rather the British were and are in bloody earnest about annihilating the entire German people. That is easier said than done. But at least the British have not failed to try.

Revenge blows

For three months, the Führer watched the criminal insanity of British air pirates. He gave the English people time to come to their senses and their catastrophic politicians time to see reason. But when finally the terror became ever more bold and their demands ever more impudent, the Führer gave the order to strike back. On 8 November 1940, the Führer said:

&ldquoYou know that I have proposed to the world for years the cessation of bombing warfare, especially against civilian populations. Probably aware of what would come, England refused. Democracies are always clairvoyant. Well and good. Despite that, I have never waged war against civilians in this war. I allowed no night attacks on Polish cities. One cannot target precisely at night. I generally allowed attacks only during the day, and always against military targets. I did the same in Norway. I did the same in Holland, Belgium, and France. Then it suddenly occurred to Mr. Churchill to attack the German civilian population at night. You know how patient I am. I watched for eight days. They dropped bombs on the people of the Rhine. They dropped bombs on the people of Westphalia. I watched for another fourteen days. I thought that the man was crazy. He was waging a war that could only destroy England. I waited over three months, but then one day I gave the order. I will take up the battle.&rdquo

After England’s first satellites fell, the British attempted, with the help of their notorious Secret Service, to bring about an explosion in the Balkan powder keg. Using the shortsightedness of a small clique in Belgrade, they succeeded in involving Yugoslavia and Greece in the war. But these peoples waited in vain for military assistance, as had all of England’s other allies. They, too, rapidly collapsed under the blows of the German military. Thus England lost its last positions on the Continent.

During all these months, Great Britain was able to do nothing else in its waging of the war than to stubbornly continue its air terror against German cities and villages. But the British air force was unable to carry on its program of annihilation, since it was struck by the ceaseless revenge blows of the German air force.

22 June 1941

22 June 1941 was the big event that Churchill and those behind the scenes in England and the USA had long predicted would change the war in their favor. The final source of military assistance, the military colossus of the Soviet Union, could be set in motion against Germany. The unleashing of the Bolshevist army would mean the end of a German army grown accustomed to victory. It did not bother Churchill in the least that he had only recently damned Bolshevism as the destroyer of all human values. As the lackey and tool of Jewish-plutocracy’s destructive goals, it was welcome. But England did not react to this turning point in the European military situation by taking active military measures, rather it renewed its bombing terror. Now that the German military was involved in a huge conflict to protect Europe from the danger threatening from the East and was already destroying the marching Soviet divisions, the British air force believed that its time had come. It thought that the German Luftwaffe was so involved in the East that it could no longer provide defense, or exercise revenge.

&ldquoHitler is not strong enough to bomb England during the war in Russia,&rdquo

Radio London declared on 1 July 1941. The phrase &ldquonot strong enough&rdquo illuminates once more the fundamentally different military strategies of England and Germany.

Concentrated war efforts

Since 1939, the Führer has acted according to the laws of concentrated military leadership. That is, he was so strong on offensive fronts that he could win &ldquomodel victories&rdquo in Schlieffen’s sense, and strong enough on defensive fronts so that he could stop the enemy. When he fought in Poland, he was on the defensive along the West Wall, but sufficiently strong to rule out an Allied offensive. When he fought in the West, he was strong enough in the East so as not to fear a successful attack there. During the Eastern campaign, the Western front is again defensive, but it is strong enough to resist any enemy attack, as the Dieppe adventure demonstrated. Due to its concentration of forces, Germany will win the decisive battle in the East, and thereby the war. England did not concentrate its forces. England wanted to be equally strong on every front, and therefore was not strong enough on any front to win a decisive victory. Thus they had big words to say about a Nonstop Offensive in June 1941, but could not do anything about it.

Between 22 June 1941 and 9 November 1941, the British air force lost 1570 aircraft without doing the German Reich any military damage. That also meant the loss of several thousand crew members.

The failure of the Nonstop Offensive has been admitted in England, since the losses can no longer be concealed. The Daily Post wrote in September 1941:

&ldquoThe bombs of the British air force will never inflict as much damage on the German war industry as the German army is inflicting on the Soviet war industry.&rdquo

The New Statesman and Nation in London added this on 16 May 1942:

&ldquoThe Germans can make critical military objectives almost impregnable. The Ruhr can still be attacked despite its strong ring of flack and spotlights, but precise bombing is no longer possible. It is, we fear, therefore wrong to assume that the bomber can make a decisive contribution to victory.&rdquo

The great loss of aircraft was particularly hard for the British. Major Oliver Stuart, the British air expert, announced rather quietly on 1 September 1941:

&ldquoThe British air force currently has higher losses than before. The British are losing two to three times as many bombers as the enemy. The British loss of fighters is also higher than that of the Germans.&rdquo

This admission concealed the real loss balance during the months of the Nonstop Offensive, which was on average 10:1. The Daily Telegraph had to explain on 1 September 1941 that the British air force suffered huge losses in August 1941. 12 August was a particularly black day, as England lost 60 aircraft within 24 hours, while the German Luftwaffe lost not a single plane.

The British did not launch the Nonstop Offensive for military reasons. It was intended to be a massive attack on the morale of the German civilian population. Air Minister Sinclair spoke openly of Britain’s intent on 25 February 1941:

&ldquoWe will see during the attacks of the next twelve months if bombs can shake the German people’s faith in Adolf Hitler.&rdquo

The British air minister has proven a bad prophet in this regard as well. German morale has not been shaken. The population of the threatened areas has endured and survived the attacks in an exemplary manner.

In its military and morale goals, the results of the Nonstop Offensive were the opposite of those of the accompanying war of words. All of England was captured by the optimistic illusions of its prime minister’s war of words. South African Premier Smuts declared that the Nonstop Offensive was already an invasion of Europe. The English did not need to land any troops. The British air force had begun the invasion, and would deliver the knockout blow. The previously cited air minister had big words in a speech on 19 August 1941 to British flight crews, claiming that the English air force would weaken the German will to resist and cause the collapse of German morale.

In America too, people eagerly latched on to the theory of &ldquothe second front in the air.&rdquo The New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, and other papers argued eagerly that the inability of the German Luftwaffe to fight a two front war was the most critical current development of the war. Even more remarkable was a prediction in the Sunday Express of 7 July 1941, which claimed that Germany’s cities, forests and fields would be transformed into a sea of flames.

But all of these big words failed against the strength of German weapons and the attitude of the German people.

Spring 1942: Massive attacks on German morale

Churchill’s situation grew even tighter in spring 1942. England and the USA had had no doubts about the success of the major Soviet winter offensive, but the German military’s tough defense and its superhuman accomplishments ruined their hopes. The millions of German soldiers that the enemy happily claimed were freezing to death in the Russian winter suddenly displayed their full offensive power and seized the initiative. Their unexpected successes increasingly forced Churchill to do something about all the boastful statements and threats he had made over the course of the winter. The Kremlin pressed for the promised military assistance, and the Soviet demand for a &ldquosecond front&rdquo could no longer be ignored.

Even the biggest optimists in England had realized, after nearly three years of war and an unbroken series of major German victories, that the German military could not be defeated with weapons. The hope that one could bring Germany to its knees by a hunger blockade vanished as German territory increased step by step to include the most fertile and productive areas of Europe. They vanished completely after the food reserves of the Ukraine were in German hands. One could no longer hope for a &ldquositting war,&rdquo the victorious end of which one could patiently wait for. The &ldquoirresistible Soviet war machine,&rdquo Churchill’s last trump after the failure of a half dozen other allies, did not flood into Germany, but rather was driven deep into the heart of Soviet territory in bloody battles with the German military, and was in itself in need of help. Churchill and his clique realized by the spring of this year — long before Dieppe — that a &ldquosecond front&rdquo on the European mainland was impossible. After years of experience with their risky policies, we were nonetheless sure they would make an attempt. &ldquoEven the attempt is punishable,&rdquo Dr. Goebbels had written several weeks before the failed landing attempt at Dieppe. That they made the attempt despite its hopelessness speaks to the situation Great Britain found itself in. The rising number of ships sunk made the material and economic support of the USA an illusion. Rommel was winning in Africa, the Japanese in East Asia.

England had no other hope than that the air force could decide the war. As even England granted, the German armaments industry was distributed throughout Europe and was well defended. The only remaining target was the morale of the German population.

Thus in the spring of 1942, the British resumed their senseless terror attacks on the German population in the north and west of the Reich, at first with weak forces, then in mass attacks. Many of the Reich’s cities fell prey to British air terror.

During the night of 30-31 May, the British air force made its &ldquobig attack&rdquo on the residential districts of Cologne.

How the population of Cologne bore and overcame the largest British air attack so far is portrayed in what follows as an example of all the areas threatened from the air.

All of Cologne is a single team!

In the dark of night, the peaceful city of Cologne suddenly faced a terrible catastrophe, one that under some conditions could have led to a panic of unprecedented proportions. Preventing that was an urgent task as flames rose from every corner of the city, as whole buildings collapsed as the result of bombs of every caliber and blockbusters, as numerous people stared death in the face by being buried in rubble or asphyxiation in air raid shelters and basements, as the dead and wounded had to be dealt with, as babies, children, the sick, the aged and the weak had to be rescued from certain death, as people’s vitally important possessions and cultural and other treasures had to be saved from destruction. The instant action and calm behavior of Cologne’s women and children allowed Cologne to master the danger.

The behavior of Cologne’s population during the night of the British terror attack displayed true heroism, a heroism of loyalty and camaraderie, of courage, of determination, of a willingness to sacrifice for the good of the community. All Cologne became a single team to fight need and death, bombs and flames. In this most severe hour of testing, people grew in strength and bravery, in steadfastness and achievement. Each outdid the other in selfless labor and mutual support.

All of these characteristics, which the party developed in ten years of educational work, are the foundation of an unbreakable people’s community that, in the truest sense of the word, survived its trial by fire in the hour of common need. More than ever before, this night showed the true leadership of the NSDAP and its close relationship with the people. In unique camaraderie, leadership and people worked together in heroic struggle, and were victorious. All of those who stood together this night in the face of death and destruction — men, women, and children, political leaders and emergency forces, the police and fire departments, Hitler Youth and soldiers — displayed in every regard behavior that fills the whole German people with pride.

People in trouble! That always was and is the signal for the National Socialist German Workers&rsquo Party to spring into action. It practiced the leadership role assigned to it by Führer and the people thousands of times during the many years of peaceful development. Its task has become even broader and more critical during the war, and particularly where the enemy threatens the lives of our people with death and destruction. British air attacks brought back for the men of the party a hard time of struggle — a struggle against the problems of the community — a slogan that has been the first commandment for each party member since its beginning. Once more, the property and lives of German people had to be protected in the face of immediate danger, at the risk of one’s own life.

From the start of the war, the NSDAP had been building a system to lead and aid in the event of an air attack, assisted by the party’s regular offices. As in a thousand other areas, this shows the ability of a carefully organized people. The political apparatus of the party is organized with the Führer at the top. Authority flows down through the Gau, the county, the local group, the cell, and the block, in ever smaller groups down to the smallest part of the people’s community, incorporating literally every individual in the great flow of strength that is the nation’s life. This proved itself in the time of the greatest common need in a splendid way.

The nerve center for the entire party’s activity in case of air attack is the emergency office. It is ready day or night. When the early warning alarm sounds, whether day or night, the local group offices are manned, and with the alarm sounds, all of the assigned forces in the cells and blocks are at their assigned posts. As danger nears, a thick network of observers and emergency centers is quickly in operation, which are in communication with the central office. If there is damage anywhere, it is reported to the emergency center as rapidly as possible. This office, in contact with the local air raid warden, sends the appropriate assistance. The orders are sent by telephone. If the telephone system fails, couriers, above all Hitler Youth members, are ready.

This network of men are entirely volunteers, men who have a long day behind them at a desk or factory, but who, when duty calls, are willing to sacrifice their nights for the good of the community. One has to realize how much discipline and self-sacrifice is required to leap out of bed every time an alert or warning sounds, often several times in a night, and hurry to the assigned post, not knowing if the warning will become an alarm and the alarm an attack.

All of the political leaders loyally display such unparalleled willingness to serve. They led the party and its organizations, from the leadership corps accustomed to giving orders down to the last man and the youngest woman. After the attack, Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels spoke to ten thousand Cologne citizens at a mass meeting at a large armaments factory. He spoke about the men of the party and its organizations, of the great test of those who were so often mocked as &ldquoLittle Hitlers.&rdquo These &ldquoLittle Hitlers,&rdquo Dr. Goebbels said, whom the Führer had to defend at the 1936 Nuremberg party rally against occasional complaints, have proven how seriously they take their task, risking their lives for the property and lives of the people’s community. Today, the title &ldquoLittle Hitler&rdquo has become an honored title for many unnamed workers in the party.

Although the party had proved its mettle in numerous previous attacks, their first real hour of testing came as the British made their major attack. Wherever bombs fell or flames broke out, political leaders were there to care for the wounded, to rescue those buried in the rubble, to rescue household goods, to provide first aid for the homeless.

The work they did and the sacrifices they made during the bombing attack were so great, whether by man or woman, young or old, large or small, that a full account is impossible. We can only provided a few examples, taken in part from the press of Rhineland-Westphalia, or from conversations with the population of Cologne.

Examples of unprecedented accomplishment

A large apartment building in the middle of Cologne was hit by explosive and incendiary bombs, and was in flames. Approximately 150 people were trapped in the basement shelter, which was blocked by rubble. The inhabitants would surely have suffocated if a brave man, a 50-year-old Sturmführer of the NSKK, had not recognized the situation and set to work rescuing them. An escape route had to be established in the adjoining building, also on fire, but with an undamaged basement. The wall had to be broken through. He had scarcely reached the basement with another bomb fell through into the basement and came to rest next to the wall that needed to be broken through. The Sturmführer, who through a miracle was unhurt by falling stones, did not know if the bomb was a dud or a treacherous time bomb that could exploded at any moment. Disregarding the danger, he calmly broke through the wall to make an exit for those who were trapped on the other side. First, many who had lost consciousness were rescued. Only then could one after another of the rest slip through the emergency exit. To avoid panic, the Sturmführer did not tell the inhabitants of the air raid shelter that there was a bomb next to their escape route. The time bomb exploded fifteen minutes after the last person had left the basement.

A long chain of women passed pails of water from one to another to a girl who sat for hours on a wall, throwing pail after pail at the flames to protect valuable food storage area. She refused to be relieved, and did not rest until the fire was out and the food storage area safe.

A mason and a painter, whose own homes had been completely destroyed by a bomb, ignored British machine gun fire to reach the basement of a neighboring building, where three women and four children were trapped under the rubble. Regardless of the risk to their own lives, they worked all night. Together, they also rescued an elderly couple who had fainted in a burning building and saved eleven people from other burning buildings.

A 70-year-old roofer hurried to a commercial building that had been set on fire by incendiary bombs near his home. A large fire threatened. &ldquoHere’s work for me!&rdquo he said, and climbed up the emergency ladder with a hose to the roof. He was surrounded by a ring of fire, and was in danger of being hit by further incendiary bombs. For two hours, he held the fire back, until he plunged through the burned roof to the next floor. His wife and others, who had been manning the water pump below, rescued him. He had five broken ribs and serious bruises. His courageous action saved the building and its contents. As the business manager wanted to thank him, he merely replied: &ldquoNot worth mentioning. That’s why I&rsquom a roofer!&rdquo

Men and women spent hours bent over hand pumps in hard, monotonous rhythm. They kept a stream of water going to keep roofs from burning or to protect neighboring buildings from the greedy flames. Mothers rescued with their babies and children from basements took not only their own children, but those of their neighbors under their care. Two were carrying a baby under each arm, while the other women joined the rescue effort. One woman had given her child to a neighbor and was part of the water brigade. Suddenly, she saw that the fire had reached her child’s bedroom and flames were rising from the floor under the bed. The floor collapsed and the child’s bed fell onto the rubble. The women climbed through a window to the mountain of rubble, rescued the child’s bed, and returned to the street. A pail of water put out the smoldering fire, and that night the child slept in its own bed in the basement of a neighboring building.

Another woman, who had left her three children in a basement shelter, noticed that an incendiary bomb had fallen through the roof of her building. She went inside with her oldest child, a boy of eleven. Seven incendiary bombs had landed in the kitchen and bedrooms. The boy immediately emptied a pail of sand over the first bomb, another on the second, and yet another on the third. As he was covering the fourth bomb, it went off, burning both his legs. Despite the pain, he did not stop until he and his mother had extinguished the last bomb. Only then was he taken to the air raid shelter for first aid.

A 12-year-old girl was trapped in the basement of a collapsed building with her younger sister and grandmother. They were threatened with asphyxiation. Through superhuman exertion, the child dug through the rubble in total darkness until she could call for help. Through her bravery, the grandmother and both grandchildren were rescued.

The fate of a mother was frightening. Very pregnant, she found herself alone in the basement shelter with her little girl. The building had been hit by a bomb, and the basement was buried in rubble. Cut off from any assistance, mother and child were left to their fate. The neighbors and police who hurried to help took an hour and a half to clear away the rubble. During that time, the mother, in darkness and with only the help of her 11-year-old daughter, gave birth to her fourth child. Miraculously, mother, daughter, and newborn child were rescued.

A young worker, a Blockleiter in Cologne-Nippes, was asked for help by a young girl. On the way to the air raid shelter, a collapsing balcony knocked him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he saw the girl laying next to him. He carried her into the air raid shelter of a neighboring building. Without taking the time to bandage his own wounds, he fought his way through the smoke, fumes, and smoke to the air raid shelter the girl had told him about, which was buried in rubble. Using a beam, he broke through the basement wall and rescued the trapped women and children.

Incendiary and explosive bombs caused a large fire in a warehouse on the Clevischen Ring. The warehouse was in flames, which had already spread to a shed nearby which held barrels filled with gasoline. The barrels were in danger of exploding, thereby endangering nearby undamaged buildings. A Blockleiter to whom the situation was reported fought through the smoke and flames, and succeeded in carrying one after the other of them out, though they were hot from the flames. Despite painful burns, he did stop until he had brought all of the barrels to safety.

A physically handicapped man succeeded in saving a large apartment building, on the roof of which a fire had broken out. He extinguished a series of incendiary bombs with water and sand. The only way he could prevent the fire from spreading to lower floors was to destroy the stairway that was his only escape. The next morning, the building’s residents found him suffering from light smoke inhalation and several burns.

A woman screamed for help from a burning building on the Old Market. A cell leader, a lathe operator by trade, attempted to fight his way into the house through the flames, but was knocked unconscious by a falling stone. A 15-year-old Hitler youth who accompanied him sprang through the flames to the injured man and brought him out of the burning building. As soon as the man was safe, he ran through the smoke and flames to find the woman, whose screams had stopped. While a new rain of incendiary bombs was falling all around, the boy found the woman, who had lost consciousness due to the smoke, and rescued her from certain death. As he finished his rescue work, the Hitler Youth collapsed, and had to spend a long time in the hospital due to smoke inhalation.

&ldquoChildren have become heroes here&rdquo — Dr. Goebbels

The Hitler Youth behaved splendidly during this night. &ldquoChildren have become heroes here,&rdquo said Dr. Goebbels in Cologne. There are many examples of where children were the first to see a fire and began the work of putting it out. They tirelessly got sand and water to master the flames.

Pimpfs [members of the Nazi organization for young boys] and Hitler Youth had learned about dressing wounds and first aid during their outings and camp outs. This proved useful in many cases, as they were able to provide first aid for the wounded. The work these children and older boys performed is almost unbelievable. After hours of work, it sometimes took an order from a political leader before they were willing to stop.

During the night of the attack, the technical means the party used to communicate failed in large part. Hitler Youth took on dangerous courier duty. They rode their bicycles through burning streets, past exploding and collapsing buildings, which often blocked their way, forcing new and dangerous detours. But these lads carried out their assignments, bringing their messages to the most distant party offices, seeking whatever cover they could find from bombs and explosives along the way.

One of theses boys took shelter with his bicycle in the hallway of a building during a courier mission as a new hail of incendiary bombs began to fall. He noticed that incendiary bombs had fallen on the children’s home across the street. He ran across the street, broke a window, and entered the building. He was able to put out the fires with his jacket. The nurses and children in the basement learned only later the danger that they had been in.

Another boy and his bicycle were thrown against a wall by an exploding bomb. The boy was unconscious for several minutes. As he came to, he saw that his bicycle was destroyed. His legs were OK, but his head hurt and his arm and hand were injured. Losing no time, he continued on foot. The blast of an blockbuster threw him into the ruins of a shop, but he once again picked himself up and fought his way to the local group office, where he delivered his message. The second bomb had left his head and face bleeding heavily, but he did not want to stop or go to the hospital. He said: &ldquoA soldier would not even get a medal for such a wound, so why should I stop?&rdquo It turned out that his injuries were more serious than he thought, and he had to undergo a serious operation. His loyalty is a symbol for many deeds by unnamed comrades, and he was awarded the military service cross with swords.

Under heavy enemy attack, in the middle of a hail of bombs and shell fragments, police emergency forces hurried to major fires in the various city neighborhoods. Through the smoke, dust, and fumes, over rubble and broken glass, frequently endangered by bomb craters that could not be seen in the darkness, emergency vehicles went their way. They encountered damage from the beginning. At the first major fires, emergency teams of air wardens and small groups of police and Hitler Youth provided first aid. Together with the men of the party and the population, they worked tirelessly to save human lives and property.

In the Old City, a whole block had collapsed due to bombs and buried the inhabitants of an air raid shelter, cutting them off from contact with the outside world. Under the machine gun fire of enemy planes, at risk from falling flak and bomb splinters, threatened by the constant danger of collapsing buildings, they succeeded in making a small opening to at least allow fresh air to reach those trapped. After more work, the opening was enlarged and 51 people were rescued, many of whom had lost consciousness.

In some districts, large air raid shelters under burning buildings had to be evacuated because the buildings above were threatening to collapse. In most cases, the police succeeded in getting the people out of the smoking ruins and bringing them to other air raid shelters. In other cases, they had to rescue people from upper floors because stairways had collapsed. They used ladders and jumping sheets. Several police lost their lives, and many others suffered smoke inhalation and eye damage.

The fire department alone provided over one hundred fire engines for the air raid police. The anti-aircraft brigades near and far from Cologne hurried to the hard-pressed city. Even during the attack, convoys were rolling toward Cologne, fire brigade after fire brigade, one piece of equipment after the other. Far beyond the call of duty, the police also acted in a manly and selfless way, following the call of their heart and disregarding personal danger and loss.

In the middle of smoke and suffocating dust of collapsing buildings, a team of air raid police manned a fire engine. An explosive bomb fell in the immediate vicinity, causing severe casualties. There were several dead and many wounded. Still, the battle against fire and destruction continued, and priceless treasures were saved.

The medical service of the air raid police gave the injured first aid everywhere. In the middle or the street or in smoking rubble, the doctors and men of the medical service provided first aid and arranged the often not easy transportation to the nearest medical station.

Tower spotters passed on their news with long practiced precision to the central office, which thus had an up-to-date knowledge of conditions. Undeterred as explosive and incendiary bombs detonated around them and thick dusk and smoke stung their eyes, they kept at work. In once case, the observers remained at their post even though the roof all around them was in flames. Only an order from their superior made them leave their observation post at the last minute.

In past years, some did not have a clear idea of the importance of the Security and Aid Service (SHD). In the meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people have personally experienced the valuable service these air raid wardens perform for the German people’s community, and how often they save the lives and property of Germans from destruction and damage.

The report of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht on 1 June 1942 have honorable recognition to the exemplary conduct of all police forces:

&ldquoDuring the night attack on Cologne, the air raid forces — ignoring their own losses — prevented fires from spreading by their actions and courage.&rdquo

During the attacks on residential areas, a few factories or plants were also hit. Here German workers proved the loyalty that binds them to their work place.

Many a worker risked his life to protect valuable facilities. There are &ldquosuicide patrols&rdquo at large and critical factories as well as among soldiers at the front.

A group of determined men at one factory, organized by the air raid warden, protected a large gas tank. Under a hail of explosive and incendiary bombs, these men were unable to seek cover, but had to remain in the vicinity of thousands of cubic meters of explosive gas to prevent a great catastrophe. Some assumed that such a tank, if hit by a bomb, would explode with sufficient force to level everything in its vicinity. The air raid warden, based on his experience in World War, was of a different opinion. But he was not sure. As an incendiary bomb broke through the full tank, the men sprang to the hole, filled it with loam, and pressed a steel plate against it with all their might to prevent gas from streaming out and air from entering. They were completely successful. There was no explosion. After the attack, they could make better repairs. But who knew that in advance?

The idea of neighborly assistance involves mundane matters in normal everyday life, but it showed itself splendidly in the hour of greatest need. Time and again, men and women left the work of extinguishing fires in their own buildings to rescue the lives of others. Not just those affected by bombs and fire were in action. All of Cologne was in the streets. The streets were mobilized, but not in the way London expected! It was the mobilization of fraternal assistance. &ldquoThe roof is on fire,&rdquo someone would shout, and immediately the building’s inhabitants and their neighbors were at work. As soon as someone shouted &ldquoWater!,&rdquo a bucket brigade already stretched from the hydrant to the building. The phosphorus stuck stubbornly to the roofs, but even more stubborn was the will of people to resist, attacking repeatedly with water and axes to save what could be saved.

This showed the results of the years of education the Air Raid Society had conducted for the German people. Even during the years of peace, it tirelessly acquainted the broad public with practical information on combating bomb damage. Without that training, important treasures not to be underestimated would have been destroyed during this war.

Here, where the homeland became the front, camaraderie between the armed forces and citizens was displayed in a wonderful way. The citizens of Cologne remember thankfully the work of the pioneer brigades, whose trained forces immediately set to work digging out those buried in rubble blasting rubble, and cleaning up. Those whose homes were damaged or who were homeless were particularly thankful for the army’s field kitchens, which were set up at the Gürzeneich, the opera house, and many other locations, serving hearty portions.

The first efforts during the night of course went to caring for injured people and providing first aid, but everything possible was also done to protect people’s material goods from damage or destruction. Much furniture was saved. There were piles of clothing, towels, beds, tables, chairs, cabinets, suitcases, sofas and other household goods in the street. Here too people helped each other as much as possible. First one building was emptied, then the next.

Thus an attorney helped a locksmith to rescue his possessions from a neighboring building, then both set to work to rescue his own possessions. The attorney wanted to rescue a treasured possession, his baby grand piano. Together with the locksmith, he got it to the street undamaged. The attorney’s daughter lifted the lid and played a little children’s melody. For a moment, it sounded like a fairy tale in the midst of the smoke and fume-filled night. People listed for a moment, deeply moved — then got back to work. When the worst was over and people could catch their breaths once more, the owner of a little shop sat down at the piano. Hitting the keys harder than usual, he played a song familiar to everyone in Cologne, one they had often sung together at more peaceful times: &ldquoThey will not beat us, they will not beat us, they will not beat us to the ground!&rdquo That is real courage!

Thousands of other examples could be given of passionate will to life, of devoted duty, of selfless assistance. All of Cologne this night followed the law of unbreakable perseverance, which all readily affirmed. Everyone joined the fight against terror — women, too, who can no longer be spoken of as the &ldquoweaker sex.&rdquo It is true that many women are frightened by a mouse in a room, but when it comes to defending life and health, their family’s possessions and those of the people, they display no less toughness, endurance and bravery than a man. Everyone, man, woman, and child, made superhuman efforts.

Over 40 percent of the fatalities did not die in their homes or air raid shelters, but rather in active rescue work. Just as a soldier at the front stays at his post regardless of every danger, so the men and women of the homeland did their duty, often without knowing if something had happened to their closest kin or to their home. They fought terror and need to the last — and they won.

This truly military behavior of the city’s 800,000 inhabitants filled some old front soldiers with amazement and pride. And old World War officer, now a political leader, experienced the terror attack and recorded his impressions: &ldquoIn 1917, my company and I experienced a terrible air attack. We were marching to relieve a battalion at Chemin-des Dames, and spent the night in a destroyed village behind the front. Tommy came during the night and dropped bombs on us. He seemed to know we were there, and bombed us for an hour. The bombs destroyed whatever was left in the village. I was a corporal then. As I took the important papers from my burning quarters and tried to find someplace safe for them, I saw that all around me buildings had been hit and were on fire, and watched the young soldiers of my company seeking cover in ditches and behind ruins. This feeling of helplessness against an enemy one cannot reach is the worst thing I experienced as a soldier. I wondered if the young lads could hold out. Are they still a unit, or only a group of scattered men thinking only of themselves? Then came a moment of silence, and the captain’s command came through — and the company came together. Discipline prevailed. Everything was in order, and each did what he was ordered to do. It was exactly the same later during the great battles.

I thought back on that night in later years, and see it as an example of military discipline that young recruits had learned through hard training. I had never thought it possible for a whole city, women, children and the aged, to display such conduct under conditions of life and death. But I saw and experienced it in the night of the attack on Cologne.&rdquo

What &ldquoChurchill’s big eyes&rdquo failed to see

As morning dawned over the burning and smoking ruins, it became clear what Cologne has lost in the night. It was a great deal — valuable human lives, precious possessions, the familiar streets, churches and monuments of a thousand years of history, whose stones had formed the face of the city. But one thing the citizens of Cologne had not lost: themselves.

The day after the attack, British observation planes flew high over the city to photograph the damage. What these cameras — which the citizens of Cologne called &ldquoChurchill’s big eyes&rdquo — bought home would have shamed any German pilot. The photographs certainly show destruction, but not the destruction of military targets, but rather of apartment buildings and hospitals, schools and culturally important buildings, and a number of churches that were among the greatest treasures of German architecture. They included &ldquoMarie im Kapitol,&rdquo built in the eleventh century on a Roman foundation, which was a model of organic artistic development from the earliest stages to the late Gothic. The treasure of late Roman church architecture on the Rhine, St. Apostel, and the equally unique Church of St. Gereon, whose ten-cornered central cupola and high chancel were built over a thousand years, were heavily damaged.

What British flyers brought home was shameful evidence of destroyed works of art known and loved all over the world by experts as well as ordinary people.

These buildings were more than that for Cologne. They gave city neighborhoods their names and character. A citizen of Cologne is proud to live by &ldquoSt. Gereon,&rdquo or &ldquothe Kapitol,&rdquo or &ldquothe Lichhof,&rdquo or on &ldquothe Salzgasse, or the &ldquoOld Market.&rdquo Almost more than his own losses, he was affected by the destruction of what generations had been bound to, from childhood on. The churches and other destroyed monuments were not mere showplaces to Cologne’s citizens, the kinds of places American and English traveling snobs, armed with their Baedecker guides, visited before the war, making loud but empty comments about. They are part of Cologne’s landscape, the foundation of its thousand years of proud history. Memories and duties speak to him from every stone, forming his thoughts and feelings, his attitude toward life, the way he lives. This wealth gives Cologne’s citizens the foundation for their true behavior, which does not boast of what they have. This deeply rooted consciousness of history never leaves them, whatever the need or danger. That is the peculiar nature of the citizens of Cologne, and it is something that British cameras could not photograph, nor can it be destroyed by bombs or terror.

Cologne’s heart held firm through the destruction. During the night, they never lost self-discipline. Not once was the population overwhelmed by pain and terror, nor did they panic or lose their heads, as can so easily happen to masses under conditions of terror. There was no gloomy desperation that morning in Cologne. As day came, the city’s will to life was unbroken.

GauleiterGrohé speaks to Cologne’s citizens

In the days following the attack, Cologne’s party offices and agencies displayed activity and responsibility that shows a refreshing ability to do new things. It is proof of the youthful vigor and flexibility that National Socialism has brought to the leadership of the German people. Gauleiter Grohé who led the recovery efforts as he had the night of terror, inspired the hearts of the citizens of Cologne with proud words. The Gauleiter said:

&ldquoCitizens of Cologne! In the midst of the work we all have to do since Saturday night, I have a few words to day to you.

Aside from the heavy damage done to our beautiful city of Cologne by order of the criminal Churchill, there is hardly a one of us who has not also suffered personally from this night. That makes the behavior of the whole population the night of the attack, and in the days following, even more admirable. It will take much patience and a long time to overcome the damage of that night’s attack, but you all have seen how from the first moment on, everything possible was done to provide help wherever it was needed.

With deep respect, we remember those who lost their lives. In light of their sacrifice, we can bear the material damage, knowing that it can be repaired.

Food and other supplies are assured. Sufficient housing was reserved for those who became homeless, and each family that lost its home will find decent housing elsewhere in our region. The transportation equipment is ready. The party’s local groups are expecting their arrival. Obviously, those with critical occupations will remain in Cologne and will accept the housing offered to them. Should criminal elements take advantage of the current situation, immediate judgment is waiting.

Citizens of Cologne! Your actions and attitudes have given many soldiers who were home on leave or who are stationed here compelling proof of your courage and willingness to sacrifice, showing the same spirit as that of the front.

The Führer was the first to hear of the situation in Cologne, and followed it through the night. He expressed to me his deepest appreciation for the conduct of the entire population of Cologne.

I know that you will prove worthy of this appreciation in the future as well!&rdquo

It is hard to imagine, and even harder to describe, the enormous scale of official measures that are necessary to get a city like Cologne over the first shock of such an attack. The life of a great city is tied to the functioning of numerous offices, each depending on the other. The enemy’s bombs brutally disrupted this finely tuned organism, putting numerous parts of it entirely out of action. The first task was to restore essential services, repairing the torn connections and reestablishing the flow of life.

The city administration played a major role in these tasks. Just as with the party, every city office has emergency plans that are implemented when needed. The city was, of course, prepared in theory for an attack. But it is equally obvious that there is no &ldquomanual&rdquo for dealing with such situations. The terror attack on the last night in May presented the city administration with new and unforeseen situations that could be mastered only through the personal action of men with strong wills who were used to giving orders.

At the beginning of the attack, as always, first aid workers were at their posts in every local group. They provided an approximation of the number of injured shortly after the end of the attack. These women were the bridge between the work of the party and that of the city. They referred the displaced to emergency shelters — usually schools — and provided clothing if necessary. The emergency shelters were not needed to a great extent. Most of the homeless found immediate shelter with friends or relatives. Without saying much, all those who still had their homes made space for their neighbors who needed it. Cologne was one big family.

The first aid workers provided everything necessary for community life to those who were displaced, including credit slips, ration cards, certificates for clothing, etc. They avoided bureaucracy. The displaced were served during the first few days without ration cards. Everything was thought of. Women who the next morning stood helplessly outside food stores without their customer cards were served. A stamp from the relevant local group gave them the right to be served like any regular customer.

No less important than these administrative measures was the immediate provision of food and essentials. By dawn, by order of the Gau Economic Director and the city administration, temporary shops were functioning in every part of the city to provide essential food items. Food went immediately to where it was most needed. Emergency kitchens had to be supplied with food. The Economic Office ordered shopkeepers and restaurants to distribute their supplies for this purpose. These supplies were quickly replaced by the Economic and Food Offices. This rapid and unbureaucratic assistance was possible thanks to the foresight and generosity of the relevant Reich and provincial offices. The day following the attack was a Sunday, on which normal commercial business rests, but there was never a shortage of food. On the same day, the provincial food office sent thousands of tons of rice, fruit, and baked goods to Cologne in columns of trucks. It was distributed within hours.

The serious problem of transportation within the city was solved by the central control of all available horse-drawn vehicles and trucks. Within days, many automobile owners had gotten their vehicles running again, even though their turn signals were broken. The city offices not only allowed this, but also provided them with gasoline as a way of more quickly solving transportation problems. Naturally, they could not drive permanently in this condition. After a week, the transportation difficulties were solved, and they were refused further gasoline until their cars were in full order again.

All of these measures were implemented calmly and carefully, without losing any time, but also without haste. The population shared this calmness and seriousness. Important news and regulations were spread by the party’s loudspeaker trucks. By Sunday afternoon, all the bakers whose shops had not been damaged were ordered to get to work to repair the gaps in the bread supply. Even the milk supply, perhaps the most fragile part of a big city’s economy, was functioning after a few hours of delay. Cologne’s children did not need to give up their bottle of milk the day after the attack.

The destruction of many shops led to a shortage of commercial space, which could not be dealt with by temporary shops. As a result, empty buildings or commercial spaces not currently essential (for example, automobile showrooms) were used. In a remarkably short time, these spaces become food and clothing shops that had lost their former buildings. With cheerful energy, the personnel set to work in their new workplace. Delivery trucks quickly appeared from the warehouses, and soon a lively traffic developed in a new place but with the old, organized precision.

The initiative of the displaced shopkeepers was displayed during these moves. Many depended on their own resources, and could the help of city offices only when they had reached the limits of their own capacities. That is what made possible such a large amount of constructive work. This self assistance was not only tolerated by city offices, but welcomed and encouraged. It provides eloquent testimony of the will and the responsibility of Cologne’s population.

The party had taken care to be able to transport the homeless to the countryside and to neighboring cities, and had columns of busses, trucks and special trains for this purpose in readiness. However, only a small number of people made use of the opportunity, largely because most of them had found long-term housing with friends and acquaintances. Many preferred the discomforts of emergency housing to leaving their beloved city. The political leaders responsible for evacuation often heard the laconic, but significant answer: &ldquoI&rsquom staying in Cologne.&rdquo

One of the city’s important tasks was restoring the transportation system. The transportation network, in particular the streetcar system, had suffered heavy damage to tracks and cars. By agreement with the Local Transportation Office, busses and drivers were secured from neighboring cities, allowing for transportation from the suburbs to the Ring Street. Within a few days, the tracks and power lines were repaired enough to allow streetcar service on the main lines.

It took much work and planning to restore gas, water, electric, and telephone lines. The morning after the attack, teams of experts of varying sizes spread throughout the city to repair the underground network. They succeeded in an unbelievably short time. Twelve hours after the attack, parts of the badly damaged telephone system were functioning again. Teams of workers began clearing away the rubble immediately, and blowing up building remnants. Picks, shovels, and steam shovels accomplished a lot of work in a short time. Willingly and without complaint, the men and women in city offices accomplished a mass of extra work — often working until they collapsed — one shift after the other. They worked like never before. These fanatical efforts on the part of a whole city were proof that: &ldquoThey can&rsquot beat us!&rdquo It was an instinct of resistance, a conscious will not to give in, to use one’s full strength to undo what had happened.

The health of the city was never in danger, thanks to the rapid reestablishment of the water and sewage systems, trash pick up, etc. The health system had plans to deal with disease. Since they did not need to be implemented, doctors and nurses could give their full attention to the wounded.

The city administration made unprecedented efforts to deal with damage to buildings. With precise knowledge of the damage that existed, the available forces could be used in the most effective manner. Expert architects examined culturally valuable buildings to protect them from over-eager demolition, or to shore up the remains of important buildings against further collapse.

The work continued tirelessly. Ever more piles of rubble turned into construction sites overnight, and soon became usable buildings, or at least temporary facilities As the worst damage was repaired, the city gradually resumed normal life.

What could be repaired was soon back in order. People accepted what could not be repaired. Every factory resumed its work after the attack. More than 90 percent of Cologne’s workers showed up for work on Monday morning. Some had walked for hours to get there, since the transportation system was still not functioning. Many came from their emergency quarters, in tattered or hurriedly repaired clothing, which still bore the marks of the night of fire and terror. Some showed up in their Sunday best, the only clothing they had left. But they came, loyally and dependably, like German workers.

The citizens of Cologne had quietly agreed to remain true to the rhythm of their work and duty, despite the hard conditions. The strength of Cologne’s heart and its calm defiance held up through the heavy burdens of the night of bombs.

The life-affirming style of Cologne’s population, its good cheer and humor, are often misjudged elsewhere in the Reich and the world, since one thinks it careless and superficial. Cologne’s humor is more than that. It has nothing to do with dumb jokes and silliness. It is an expression of a considered style of living, and of life’s wisdom.

Certainly there was no cause to laugh at the serious losses Cologne had suffered. The citizens of Cologne did not want to ignore the seriousness of the situation and display frivolous jollity. But it speaks for their inner strength that, despite the hard blows of faith, they did not lose their sense of humor.

Despite the piles of rubble and all the damage done by British terror, Cologne’s inimitable humor was showing itself.

The morning after the attack, a Cologne citizen was calmly pushing a wheelbarrow along the Ring Street. It had all his remaining possessions. They were little things, with a table on top. Written in chalk on the table: &ldquoEverything else was destroyed.&rdquo

Only the walls of a burned out department store remained. One could see through from one side to the other. The nest morning, a sign appeared: &ldquoAlways open!&rdquo

The owner of a destroyed building met a friend. The owner’s clothes bore traces of his vain efforts to save his building. He began by saying: &ldquoI think I&rsquoll go change my clothes.&rdquo

A man whose own home was undamaged invited a neighbor to move in. The man who had lost everything said to his neighbor: &ldquoYou poor chap!&rdquo As his host asked in surprise: &ldquoWhy me?,&rdquo the other responded philosophically: &ldquoIt’s behind me, but may still happen to you!&rdquo

The owner of a world-renowned restaurant along the Rhine sat by the ruins of the totally destroyed building along with his employees. He had lost everything, including his wine cellar. Nearby, there was a gathering place for homeless awaiting busses to evacuate them. The restaurant owner gave what wine he had been able to salvage to the people who had to leave their city. With consoling words, he gave each a bottle of wine and said: &ldquoListen! don&rsquot drink this now, but wait until things are going better for you.&rdquo He pointed to the ruins of his building and said: &ldquoThings are no better for me than for you. Everything is gone. All I could rescue was this wine, and it is good wine! Say Prost when you drink it! Tommy can do what he wants, but Cologne remains Cologne!&rdquo

The citizens of Cologne have a special love and affection for their city. It is widely known that a citizen of Cologne is comfortable only when he can see the cathedral towers, and that when he is returning to his beloved city, he looks eagerly from far away to see the silhouettes of the towers of his city. Cologne’s immortal poet Willi Ostermann gave expression to their feelings in a song that has become known throughout Germany, and is sung wherever its citizens gather:

A city that is loved so much is immortal.

Cologne buried its dead eight days after the attack. They were buried together, just as they had died together. The whole city took leave of them in a powerful and moving ceremony. Formations of the party and its divisions, units of the military, the police, and other public services, accompanied them to the grave, along with thousands of citizens. In silent sorrow, family members, many of whom still bore the wounds of the British attack, stood before the long line of graves. A mother rested between two of her children. A third child who survived wept at the graves. Here two sisters were buried next to each other, there a whole family of four. Here, several siblings, there grandparents and a grandchild. And so it went — a long line of coffins.

A spirit of proud sorrow filled the cemetery. Deep pain filled everyone, but it was a pain that dwelt in strong hearts. The thoughts of the sorrowing wandered over the borders of their great fatherland to the wide spaces of the East, where sons, fathers and brothers stood against a pitiless enemy. There, too, death demanded the best of the people, and the flags that are lowered over open graves greet the dead on the battlefield too. Here as well as there, they fell in the battle against Germany’s enemies. These children, men and women also died for their Führer and their people, and all the living who stand in silent pain before these graves vow to be worthy of their sacrifice.

Mayor Dr. Peter Winkelnkemper spoke these words:

&ldquoHere the enemy showed with dreadful clarity that his goal is the annihilation of the German people for all times, but here springs forth after these sacrifices an even more determined will to victory that cannot be defeated, and will resist every blow from the enemy. The city of Cologne will never forget those who died for the Reich, and their eternal memory will strengthen us for victory. Their deaths demand of us that we work still harder and with greater determination, that we be ready to make any sacrifice, to remain worthy of their last devotion.&rdquo

From the pain and sadness of this funeral there came a powerful demonstration of the will to victory that overcomes need and death.

What has been said here of Cologne also applies to all the cities and towns in the Reich that have been struck by British terror. They all share the will to resist and to overcome shown by Cologne in the largest and most damaging attack so far. In the same way, British power politics attempt brutal attacks on their morale and loyalty, and in the same way, their citizens display an unbending attitude. The blows of Britain’s air force have only strengthened and hardened their will to victory.

Germany knows what is at stake

Germans know the hopelessness of Britain’s gamble, of their wish to make the German people collapse, thus gaining victory at the last moment. They know the sadistic plans of the Jew Kaufman, who wants to exterminate the German people by sterilizing them. They know the pitiless plans of the &ldquoVansittarts,&rdquo and they know the demand of the official English news agency Reuters that all German children between two and six years of age be deported in order to wipe out the German nation.

Thus they endure the terrors of bombardment and accept the battle against them, for they know what is at stake in this war. It is a matter of winning the living space for the German people that is necessary for its existence. Everyone knows that this war will determine the fate of the German people for all time to come, and that there is no way to avoid it. Either Germany will win the war, and the German people will gain all, or it will lose, and the German people will be destroyed.

Just as the soldier has won victory with his weapons on every front, and will continue to do so, the home front is fighting with the full strength of its heart.

The enemy will always attack this German bastion of strength in vain. All that his brutal and senseless destructive desire will accomplish is to build a hatred in the German people that they have never felt before, a growing hatred that sooner or later will destroy him who has caused it.

[Page copyright © 2004 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

Catholicism and Fascism [22]

“The catholic church has spilt more blood than any other religion.”
Hitler, as reported by Reinhold Hanisch, circa 1910.[23]

“The enemies of National Socialism include not only the ‘jewish Marxists’ and the catholics but also certain elements of an incorrigible, stupid and reactionary bourgeoisie.”
Speech by Hitler, 1 April 1933.[24]

Hitler and his prime revolutionary conspirators had their attitudes formed by catholic teaching. Authoritarianism is at the very core of the Church of Rome, so it is hardly surprising that such an attitude permeated the perspective of catholic politicians. The mixture of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism generated an explosive mix in Hitler’s Germany. The Church has long been intolerant of any deviation from the party line and millions have paid for dissent with their lives. That intolerance and ‘certainty’ is inculcated from childhood and the child is encouraged to utter obedience. The demand for unquestioning obedience leaves the young adult adrift without useful independence of mind. There is little ability to ‘think for oneself’, leaving a yearning for authority and a fear of freedom or responsibility. It becomes a small step to find willing hands to follow any pogrom or crusade.

Jews are the historic scapegoats of the Catholic Church. Catholicism is a Jewish schism. As is widespread with schisms, bitterness is common. WW1 and WW2 were much about rivalries between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, another long-term religious schism. Both forms of christianism make scapegoats of Jews.

There are also echoes of the feudal quarrels that have been common down the centuries, particularly in the case of the first World War. Trade rivalries also played a part, as modern industrial Europe developed on the back of imperialistic ambition.

In 1918, the powerful industrialist Henry Ford, rich on the development of motor car mass-production, bought a newspaper, The Dearborn Independent . In it he published a series of scurrilous attacks on ‘jews’. These were published in 1920, in book form, as The International Jew , which was published around the world in many languages. He blamed ‘the international jew’ for financing the war. In 1927, Ford formally retracted his attacks and sold the paper. Ford’s articles are effectively repeated in Mein Kampf , published in 1925𔃄. Ford was also involved in financing Hitler.[25]

Mein Kampf was considerably written/edited by a Catholic priest.
Hitler was raised as a catholic. He dreamt of being an abbot when he was young.

Hitler was forever studying the hierarchy of the Jesuit organisation.[26]

Himmler, head of the SS, was catholic. The SS was set up on the Jesuit model.
Goebbels was catholic.
Hoss, the camp commandant of Auschwitz, was catholic.
Frank,‘the butcher of Poland’, was catholic.

Mussolini was catholic. Franco was catholic. Salazar was catholic. The worst dictatorships and greatest social inequalities in South America are under catholic administrations.

The Catholic Church is implicated in both the first and second World Wars. The part played by cardinal Pacelli, later Pope Pius 12 th , is well analysed in Hitler’s Pope [27]. Pacelli systematically undermined the powerful catholic Centre Party[28] negotiating them out of political action in accord with Hitler’s wishes. The Centre Party, which had been important in resisting Bismarck, was thus neutralised. The foolishness was forwarded in particular by Papen, Centre Party deputy and Weimar Chancellor and by Kaas, who was a priest, Centre Party leader, and a Centre Party representative in the Weimar government.

A series of Weimar government leaders (Chancellors), who steadily centralised power, paved the way for Hitler’s eventual power grab.

Many of the top ‘philosophy’ and theology posts at Oxford and Cambridge have been held by catholics. Most of the British establishment come via Oxford and Cambridge, hence much of that which is ‘inconvenient’ is often not emphasised in academic writing. The Catholic Church has garnered considerable experience through the rewriting history for much of the last 2000 years. See also Heresies, authority, quarrels and words on this site.

The first ‘state’ to recognise Hitler’s third Reich was the Vatican.

Hitler became a vegetarian and a teetotaller he also did not smoke. He loved animals and doted on young children. Such a pattern is common among the NSDAP hierarchy. Himmler was a violent opponent of hunting.[29] Many were proud ‘family men’. The more one comprehends the criminal NSDAP state, the more one is struck by what Arendt termed ‘the banality of evil’.

Assorted References

The history of the people of Denmark, like that of all humankind, can be divided into prehistoric and historic eras. Sufficient written historical sources for Danish history do not become available before the establishment of medieval church institutions, notably monasteries, where monks recorded orally…

In Denmark the government pronounced in 1683 that the pauper had the legal right to relief: he could work in land reclamation or road building. Different was the approach of Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), whose instructions to the Sisters of Charity, founded to help “our lords…

Denmark also had turned in the absolutist direction. Enforced withdrawal from the Thirty Years’ War (in 1629) may not have been a disaster for Denmark, but the loss of the Scanian provinces to Sweden (1658) was—loss of control of the Sound was a standing…

Grevens Fejde, (1534–36), the last Danish war of succession, which resulted in the strengthening of the monarchy and in the establishment of Danish Lutheranism, as well as in a change in the Baltic balance of power. The war derived its name from Count Christopher of Oldenburg. Christopher unsuccessfully led the…

Johann Struensee’s liberal reforms in Denmark (1771–72) represented, besides his own eccentricity, justifiable resentment at an oppressive Pietist regime. The constitutional changes that followed the first partition of Poland in 1772 were dictated as much by the need to survive as by the imaginative idealism of King Stanisław. Despite her…

…in bringing the Reformation to Denmark.

In Scandinavia Denmark toyed with breaking with Rome as early as the 1520s, but it was not until 1539 that the Danish church became a national church with the king as the head and the clergy as leaders in matters of faith. Norway followed Denmark. The Diet…

In Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark it manifested itself in peaceful reforms of existing institutions, but democratic insurrections broke out in the capitals of the three great monarchies, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin, where the governments, rendered powerless by their fear of “the revolution,” did little to defend themselves. The revolution…

…Swedish polity, Skåne belonged to Denmark when the Middle Ages began (c. 500). The Danes thus controlled the Baltic–North Sea passageway, and this accounted in large part for Denmark’s great power status. Skåne was coveted by other Baltic powers at least since the 14th century, when the Danes lost complete…

…1625 King Christian IV of Denmark saw an opportunity to gain valuable territory in Germany to balance his earlier loss of Baltic provinces to Sweden. Christian’s defeat and the Peace of Lübeck in 1629 finished Denmark as a European power, but Sweden’s Gustav II Adolf, having ended a four-year war…

…leader was Christian IV of Denmark (1588–1648), one of the richest rulers in Christendom, who saw a chance to extend his influence in northern Germany under cover of defending “the Protestant cause.” He invaded the empire in June 1625.

English invasions

A large Danish army came to East Anglia in the autumn of 865, apparently intent on conquest. By 871, when it first attacked Wessex, it had already captured York, been bought off by Mercia, and had taken possession of East Anglia. Many battles were fought in Wessex,…

…two serious attacks from the Danes, who destroyed Winchester in 860, in spite of the resistance of the ealdormen Osric and Aethelwulf. In 865 the Danes ravaged Kent.

…one long struggle against the Danes. In the year of his succession a large Danish force landed in East Anglia, and in the year 868 Aethelred and his brother Alfred went to help Burgred of Mercia against this host, but the Mercians soon made peace with their foes. In 871…

…England from falling to the Danes and promoted learning and literacy. Compilation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle began during his reign, circa 890.

Foreign relations

…with King Valdemar II of Denmark, who in 1219 landed with a strong army on the northern coast, on the site of Tallinn.

…with Novgorod via Gotland, and Denmark tried to establish bases on the gulf. The Danes reportedly invaded Finland in 1191 and again in 1202 in 1209 the pope authorized the archbishop of Lund to appoint a minister stationed in Finland. The Swedish king counterattacked, and in 1216 he received confirmation…

…Frederick V), the Netherlands, and Denmark (whose Protestant king, Christian IV, had extensive territorial interests in northern Germany, now threatened by Catholic armies). In 1625 Christian IV commenced hostilities. He was opposed by a much-enlarged imperial force under the war’s most flamboyant figure, Albrecht von Wallenstein, a military entrepreneur with…

…ruled by the king of Denmark but which were politically and ethnically tied to Germany. When the government in Copenhagen sought to make Schleswig an integral part of the Danish state in 1863, nationalist sentiment in Germany was outraged. William I proposed to Francis Joseph that the two leading powers…

In 1979 the Danish government granted home rule to Greenland. Under this agreement, Greenland remained part of the Danish realm, and each Greenlander was a Danish citizen, enjoying equal rights with all other Danes. Denmark retained control of the island’s constitutional affairs, foreign relations, and defense, while Greenland…

After the Reformation the royal treasury confiscated all lands that had belonged to the Icelandic monasteries. German traders were ousted in the 16th century, and in 1602 all foreign trade in Iceland was monopolized by a royal decree and…

…struggle for Icelandic self-government under Denmark.

…sanction of the king of Denmark was sought for a local Icelandic flag. Royal approval was available on the condition that the flag be different from any existing flag and always flown subordinate to the national flag of Denmark. To the blue flag with a white Scandinavian Cross proposed by…

…enterprises in India included a Danish East India Company, which operated intermittently from 1616 from Tranquebar in southern India, acquiring Serampore (now Shrirampur) in Bengal in 1755, and the Ostend Company of Austrian Netherlands merchants from 1723, a serious rival until eliminated by diplomatic means in 1731. Efforts by Swedes…

A Danish fort was built on the site in 1784, and in 1850, when Keta became a British colony, the Danes sold the fort to the British. Until the harbour at Tema began operations to the west in 1962, Keta served as an open roadstead port.

…1773 Kiel became part of Denmark, which ceded Norway to Sweden by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. The city passed to Prussia in 1866 along with the rest of Schleswig-Holstein and became the capital of that province in 1917. After 1871 it also became an important naval base it…

…accession of Margaret I of Denmark to power in 1387, the foundation was laid for political union with Denmark. She adopted her grandnephew Erik of Pomerania (later Erik VII), then six years old, as her heir, and in 1388 she was acclaimed queen of Sweden as well. The next year…

…the claims and counterclaims of Denmark, Sweden, the Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, and Austria. The region has had Danish minorities in predominantly German areas and German minorities surrounded by Danes, and consequently its history has been one of border and sovereignty disputes and, more recently, accommodations.

question, 19th-century controversy between Denmark, Prussia, and Austria over the status of Schleswig and Holstein. At this time the population of Schleswig was Danish in its northern portion, German in the south, and mixed in the northern towns and centre. The population

…duchies were in union with Denmark Schleswig, however, had a large German population, and Holstein was a member of the German Confederation.) When the Danish king acted rashly, Bismarck made sure that it was Prussia and Austria rather than the German Confederation which represented German interests. Liberal leaders like Rudolf…

…years later the kings of Denmark and Norway attacked Sweden on his behalf. Birger was again recognized king of Sweden at a peace concluded in 1310 with Denmark and Norway, but he was forced to transfer half of the kingdom to his brothers as fiefs. Erik’s territory, together with his…

Encouraged by these promises, Denmark embarked upon the policy that led to the Danish-Prussian War of 1864. The Swedish government, however, reluctantly refused to honour the king’s pledge. Scandinavian unity subsequently suffered a decisive defeat and ceased to be the guiding light of Swedish foreign policy.

That year Denmark claimed St. Thomas, and in 1684 it claimed St. John.

Thomas was occupied by Denmark, which five years later founded a colony there to supply the mother country with sugar, cotton, indigo, and other products. Slaves from Africa were first introduced to St. Thomas in 1673 to work the cane fields, but the first regular consignment of slaves did…


…(1660), treaty between Sweden and Denmark-Norway that concluded a generation of warfare between the two powers. Together with the Treaty of Roskilde, the Copenhagen treaty largely fixed the modern boundaries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

…treaty ending the hostilities between Denmark and Sweden during the Napoleonic Wars. By the treaty, Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden, thus ending the union initiated in 1380 and further reducing Denmark’s status as a Baltic and European power. By the accession of Norway, Sweden was partially compensated for the loss…

…campaign stalled, Charles boldly attacked Denmark (1657), quickly conquering the province of Jutland and threatening Sjælland. By the Treaty of Roskilde (1658), Denmark ceded all its holdings in southern Sweden, the county of Trondheim in Norway, and the island of Bornholm. The treaty was seen by the Swedes as a…

…northern Schleswig was returned to Denmark. In the east, Poland was resurrected, given most of formerly German West Prussia and Poznań (Posen), given a “corridor” to the Baltic Sea (which separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany), and given part of Upper Silesia after a plebiscite. Gdańsk (Danzig) was…

World War II

…Germans on April 9 occupied Denmark, sending troopships, covered by aircraft, into Copenhagen harbour and marching over the land frontier into Jutland. This occupation was obviously necessary for the safety of their communications with Norway.

… by occupying that country and Denmark in April 1940. Hitler took a close personal interest in this daring operation. From this time onward his intervention in the detail of military operations grew steadily greater. The second was Hitler’s important adoption of General Erich von Manstein’s plan for an attack through…

German-occupied Denmark rescued most of its own Jews by spiriting them to Sweden by sea in October 1943. This was possible partly because the German presence in Denmark was relatively small. Moreover, while anti-Semitism in the general population of many other countries led to collaboration with…

…Germans’ dismissal of the legal Danish government in 1943 gave rise to a unified council of resistance groups that was able to mount considerable interference with the retreat of German divisions from Norway the following winter. Communists dominated the resistance movement in northern (occupied) France, although both there and in…


The Allied powers organised war crimes trials, beginning with the Nuremberg trials, held from November 1945 to October 1946, of 23 top Nazi officials. They were charged with four counts—conspiracy to commit crimes, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity—in violation of international laws governing warfare. [418] All but three of the defendants were found guilty twelve were sentenced to death. [419] The victorious Allies outlawed the NSDAP and its subsidiary organisations. The display or use of Nazi symbolism such as flags, swastikas, or greetings, is illegal in Germany and Austria, [420] [421] and other restrictions, mainly on public display, apply in various countries. See Swastika § Post–World War II stigmatization for details.

Nazi ideology and the actions taken by the regime are almost universally regarded as gravely immoral. [422] Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust have become symbols of evil in the modern world. [423] Interest in Nazi Germany continues in the media and the academic world. Historian Sir Richard J. Evans remarks that the era "exerts an almost universal appeal because its murderous racism stands as a warning to the whole of humanity." [424]

The Nazi era continues to inform how Germans view themselves and their country. Virtually every family suffered losses during the war or has a story to tell. For many years Germans kept quiet about their experiences and felt a sense of communal guilt, even if they were not directly involved in war crimes. Once study of Nazi Germany was introduced into the school curriculum starting in the 1970s, people began researching the experiences of their family members. Study of the era and a willingness to critically examine its mistakes has led to the development of a strong democracy in today's Germany, but with lingering undercurrents of antisemitism and neo-Nazi thought. [425]