World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Miscellaneous -
Maybe this page could be labelled: "The depths to which humans can sink."
From various sources
No surprises here; Hitler has done much worse than this.

Heinrich Himmler’s daughter devotes life to charity that helps support Adolf Hitler's henchmen

By Allan Hall

Members of a charity group loyally devoted to helping their old friends met in secret last weekend. They arrived in ones and twos at the nicely painted house with a well-tended lawn - ever on the look-out for any hidden observer who may have threatened their anonymity. In most countries they would have passed for modest do-gooders anxious to conduct their benevolent work out of the public gaze. But there is nothing humanitarian about this shadowy organisation or the kindly looking old lady at the heart of its dark web. For the covert gathering was the quarterly meeting of Stille Hilfe - or Silent Aid - which has helped some of the Third Reich's most evil fugitives from justice. And one of its most revered and terrifying figures is the 81-year-old daughter of Heinrich Himmler, architect of the Holocaust. Mother-of-two Gudrun Himmler, known as the Princess of Stille Hilfe, joined other confederates of the Nazi aid group at its weekend summit in Munich. During her childhood she worshipped her father, who organised the murder of six million Jews in the Second World War, and was worshipped in return.

As head of the Gestapo, he would have her flown to join him wherever he was on his mission to enslave the world. One of her visits was to Dachau, north of Munich, which served as the model for all of Nazi Germany's other concentration camps.

The young Gudrun strolled around with her adoring father and his servants while yards away prisoners were beaten, starved, killed and burned in the camp crematorium. Such experiences were to defile her innocence for ever. For in keeping the flame of her father's memory alive, she is devoting her last years to nothing more than a support group for mass murderers.

Gudrun Himmler, or Burwitz as she now is, lives in an ordinary house in the Munich suburb of Furstenried. The phone is unlisted and the property is registered under the name of a building association.

TERRIFIED

She is seen only occasionally by neighbours as she devotes most of her life to a secret world that bars access to outsiders. Even at 81 she is mentally and physically active - and German journalists who write about Stille Hilfe and its clandestine activities frequently remark on the extraordinary power she wields within it.

They point to a rally of neo-Nazis at which she made a rare appearance a decade ago in Ulrichsberg, northern Austria. Young hate-mongers there were awed to be among their idols - Waffen SS veterans as well as a handful of camp guards and the "desk murderers" who pushed the pens that moved the trains that fed the gas chambers.

"But everyone was terrified of Gudrun," said Andrea Ropke, an authority on neo-Nazism who attended the rally. "All these high-ranking former officers lined up and she asked, 'Where did you serve?' showing off her vast knowledge of military logistics."

Gudrun does not deny her involvement with Stille Hilfe, describing herself in a rare interview as simply one of the few members in a dying organisation. "It's true I help where I can but I refuse to discuss my work."

Her greatest post-war coup was organising the comfortable retirement of Anton Malloth, a sadistic guard at Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia which the Nazis passed off as a "model" camp for visiting Red Cross officials so they could perpetuate their lie that Jews were being resettled rather than exterminated.

When Malloth was sentenced to death in his absence by a Czech court, Gudrun used Stille Hilfe funds to rent a comfortable room for him in a home for the aged, which was built on land near Munich formerly owned by Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.

For 12 years he lived at ease until Germany was persuaded to prosecute him and she visited him regularly until his death from cancer in 2002. But he is not the only Nazi war criminal eased back into society by the group, which began operating covertly from 1946. Its most notorious beneficiaries include the Butcher of Lyon Klaus Barbie and Erich Priebke of the SS, who murdered Italian partisans.

In its early days it aided the escape of hunted Third Reich fugitives along "rat lines". These helped top Nazi henchmen such as Adolf Eichmann, who operated the death camp trains, and Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele to escape to South America. The group co-operated with Odessa - the organisation of former SS members - and Catholic bishop Alois Hudal in Rome.

It was Hudal who provided the paperwork for many SS killers to escape justice. Among the most infamous was Franz Stangl, who murdered a million people while commandant at Treblinka death camp north of Warsaw.

SLAUGHTERED

This week it was revealed Stille Hilfe is funding the defence of a Dutch Nazi living in Germany. Klaas Faber, 88, is wanted by Holland to resume a life term for murdering Jews and resistance fighters in the war. It also bankrolled the legal fight of Samuel Kunz, who died a week ago aged 89 before answering for his crimes as a guard at Belzec death camp in Poland. Prosecutors say he was involved in murdering 433,000 people.

And neo-Nazi insiders say topics at the group's weekend meeting included the ongoing Munich trial of John Demjanjuk, charged with assisting in the murder of 27,900 people at Sobibor extermination camp in occupied Poland. Members also discussed charitable aid for the family of war criminal Martin Sandberger following his death this year.

The high-ranking former SS officer led an elite killing squad that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Jews, communists and gipsies in the occupied Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Until his death he lived quietly at an OAP home in Stuttgart - supported by Stille Hilfe.

Oliver Schroem, author of a book about Gudrun's organisation, called her a "dazzling Nazi princess, a deity among these believers in the old times". She was born in 1929, a year after her father wed her mother Marga, the blue-eyed, blonde daughter of a rich Prussian. When the marriage began to deteriorate, Himmler spent ever more time with his lover in Berlin. Marga, eight years Jolder than her husband and unable to bear any more children, adopted a boy but Himmler showed him little interest.

His visits to the family home near Munich became so few that Gudrun was often flown to Berlin to be with her father, by then Germany's second most powerful man. He was involved in a passionate affair with his secretary Hedwig Potthast, who bore him a son called Helge. But Gudrun remained his favourite child, as she showed in a grim entry to her wartime diary when she was 12, which told how he "spoiled" her with a day trip to one of the death camps. "Today we went to the SS concentration camp at Dachau. We saw everything we could. We saw the gardening work. We saw the pear trees. We saw all the pictures painted by the prisoners. Marvellous. And afterwards we had a lot to eat. It was very nice."

Himmler committed suicide in an Allied interrogation centre on May 23, 1945, leaving Gudrun distraught on hearing the news. She was held with her mother in the British-occupied zone and kept in prison for four years. Later she told friends those were worst years of her life and she had been made to suffer because of her father. On release from jail, mother and daughter - penniless after a of privilege - turned to Stille Hilfe and were offered refuge in Bielefeld, where Gudrun taught herself dressmaking.

After moving to Munich, she met and married Wulf-Dieter Burwitz, a writer who supported her as Marga fought a losing battle against cancer. The couple had two children and are comfortably off. Gudrun no longer works, except for Stille Hilfe.

The organisation is said to have around 25 active members - but also several hundred secret sympathisers, who fund and support its projects. Outlawed It came out partially into the open in 1951, registering with German authorities so it could raise funds to help "prisoners of war and interned persons".

But the cover story fooled no one. Andrea Ropke, who advises the German government on neo-Nazi groups, claims Stille Hilfe is closely linked to a number of outlawed movements.

The opposition Social Democratic party has also called for an investigation into its charitable status - but so far Berlin has refused to act against it.

Guilty: Samuel Kunz, Anton Malloth, Klaus Barbie, John Demjanjuk, Klaas Faber

 

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Students protesting against having to pay their way in life.

Churchill's Statue on December the 9th, 2010. This picture (and the one below)  show the level of respect (lack of) that the 'students' of 2010 have for those who gave their lives, just so that these same students have the freedom to do this.

Undoubtedly, had THEIR flag been flying in Whitehall, the Third Reich would have had them shot for much less than this. On the Cenotaph below, showing the true mettle of modern students,  is the stepson of the Pink Floyd legendary guitarist and singer, David Gilmour. He has now (12th Dec) been arrested and charged with criminal damage.

Latest update (July 2011) is the story below:

 

Charlie Gilmour's abuse of the cenotaph 

                           From

The Cambridge Student

online

Charlie Gilmour court case – The things we choose to care about

It was 'that picture' that did for him. The image of Charlie Gilmour using the Cenotaph's Union Jack as a swing during the student protests last December was published again and again on every front page, news website and bulletin in the country. Now, one does not have to be a genius to realise that this is not something that Gilmour could really recover from and so it has come to pass that, seven months later, he has been sentenced to sixteen months in prison, of which he will serve at least eight. The charge was 'violent disorder' and pertains to a few other ill advised but perhaps not terribly serious incidents. However, there can be no doubt that the harshness of his sentence and the enthusiasm with which he has been prosecuted was all due to that picture.

Indeed, when passing sentence, the judge at Kingston Crown Court accused him of showing gross disrespect to the monument saying: "You have shown disrespect to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, to those who fell defending this country." All of this he said while admitting that Gilmour's actions at the Cenotaph had absolutely nothing to do with the case before him. Nevertheless, the judge felt the need to pronounce upon it, as have many others since the photograph surfaced, invariably describing it as a disgraceful act of disrespect. 

Received by email, 12th January 2012 

*This is a great piece of hidden history from WWII.**

Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves
as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting
about for ways and means to facilitate their escape...

Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and
accurate *map*, one showing
not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses'
where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.



Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you
open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn
into mush.


Someone in MI-5 (similar to America 's OSS ) got the idea of printing
escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and
unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.



At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had
perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington,
Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do
its bit for the war effort.



By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular
American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a
category of item qualified for insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched
by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war



Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old
workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy
employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany
or Italy where Allied POW camps were regional system). When processed,
these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit
inside a Monopoly playing piece.



As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed
to add:
1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French
currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!



British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their
first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set -- by means of a
tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch,
located in the corner of the Free Parking square.



Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated
one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets.. Everyone
who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government
might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.

The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from
Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public
ceremony.

It's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail' Free' card!


I realize most of you are (probably) too young to have any personal
connection to WWII (Dec. '41 to Aug. '45), but this is still interesting.