ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

German Foreign Ministry.

with 2 comments

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised, but the Independent reveals more about the German Foreign Ministry:

“It had always been regarded as Nazi Germany’s only “decent” government ministry and one which shunned the persecution of the Jews, but a new and shocking study to be published this week exposes the Third Reich’s foreign office as a “criminal organisation” which backed the Holocaust to the hilt.

The disturbing report, which is the result of five years of research by a group of German and independent foreign historians, explodes the myth that has largely prevailed since the end of the Second World War that under Adolf Hitler, Germany’s foreign ministry somehow survived as an isolated nest of anti-Nazi resistance.

The extent of German foreign diplomats’ active involvement in the Holocaust is graphically outlined by Eckhart Conze, one of the four historians who compiled the 880-page report. In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine conducted in advance of the study’s publication on Thursday he described the foreign ministry as a “criminal organisation”.

“The foreign ministry was not just somehow caught up in National Socialism or even a haven of resistance as has long been claimed. It was actively involved in every operation to persecute, expel and exterminate the Jews from the very beginning,” he said.

“It functioned as an institution of the Nazi regime from day one and backed its policies of violence throughout.”

Even after 1945, the ministry of the democratic West Germany continued to employ hundreds of heavily implicated Nazi-era diplomats, he added, and furthermore intervened to prevent their being brought to justice for their involvement in the Holocaust.

The study shows how Willy Brandt, Germany’s “enlightened” post-war Social Democrat chancellor, who is still regarded as a beacon of hope by the political left, helped to shield the liberal politician Ernst Achenbach from being prosecuted by the French authorities. Achenbach, a senior German diplomat in Paris during the war, helped to deport thousands of Jews to the death camps. But in 1974, Brandt blocked French plans for a Franco-German treaty which would have allowed the French to prosecute him.

Scores of other German diplomats with a Nazi record were dispatched to countries in Latin America and the Arab world after the war to prevent them from being exposed. The report says that many used an official body called “The Central Office” that was set up to aid former prisoners to warn fugitive Nazis of impending arrest warrants. One of them was Klaus Barbie, the infamous “Butcher of Lyon,” who remained on the run until 1983.

Even German prosecutors who helped initiate the capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in the early 1960s had to ask Israel to track him down because they feared that Germany’s diplomats might tip him off.

The study was commissioned by Joschka Fischer, Germany’s former Green Party foreign minister, who admitted in an interview published at the weekend that he was utterly shocked by its findings. “It makes me sick to think about them,” he said “

Written by modernityblog

26/10/2010 at 10:53

2 Responses

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  1. Achenbach also employed Werner Best in his law firm after the war, campaigned for a general amnesty for Nazis in the early 50ies and also had close contacts to the group around Werner Neumann in this period

    entdinglichung

    26/10/2010 at 13:31

  2. Thanks for that🙂

    modernityblog

    26/10/2010 at 18:37


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