For Part 1 click HERE

 

over 1600 Nazi transferred to the U.S

 

 

The old C.I.A. — the O.S.S. — who were using my information suggested it was best for me to get out. To fly the coop. It was only six months after the end and I was being touted as one of the greatest war criminals in history. War criminal. I did what had to be done. I was aware that there would be trouble. I only systematized what had been going on in Europe for centuries. We were committed to the act. It was our solemn oath. These U.S. Intelligence officials arranged for my departure. Through Spain with the Benedictine monks. I didn't want to leave. Stayed for a month and a half with the monks. There were quite a number of us. We wore the robes of monks though Franco and the Church were friendly to our cause. The time there suited me. I have always appreciated the monastic life.

 

Church and Spain Nazi sympathizers

 

 

During my time there several emissaries of the Church passed through though the high-ups didn't want to dirty their hands with us. This was clear. I know that one of the Cardinals close to Pope Pius came to discuss us. I remembered this fellow from a period during the war. I had a little to do with him. He was one of those well versed in what we were doing especially in the East. He had given assent to us in a discreet way. One of the others had overheard him talking to the abbot about the haste with which we were to leave Europe. A few weeks later I was on a ship to Argentina with a false name — some money. I felt disgusted that I was leaving. That I wasn't allowed to stand my ground with these international pirates who were beginning to judge us at Nuremberg. This farce. This comedy they called justice. It had more in common with the theatre than it had with the law. Setting themselves up as judges of matters they had no jurisdiction to understand. They couldn't possibly understand. We had been at war. With them. With the chosen ones. Now they wanted to hold up the flag of our supposed shame and wipe it on our noses.

 

Hess 1937

 

 

The big fellows opted for the pill. Only mad Hess and Streicher were there to speak for our cause. The money men hid behind the skirts of their sons and got fined a week's wages for their troubles. Old Krupp — the wily fox — he pretended imbecility and the Americans told him not to bother coming to the trial. They didn't want to upset his delicate condition. These old foxes who never got their hands dirty and made sure they maximized the threat from the East did not have to leave their family and friends. I left a wife and two children. Not that I had seen much of them in the preceding five years. They knew and accepted my task. My daughter was my jewel. I had had little time to watch her grow. A short kiss now and then but I missed her. I knew that by coming here meant that I wouldn't see her for some time. She would forget her father. My wife had accepted some time ago that we were doomed to spending long times apart. She knew I loved her but she also knew there were higher duties to perform.

 

Those were long nights on the boat. Missing them. Missing home. When a man has to exist in flight he almost has to give up on living and become another man foreign to him. To become his shadow that only now and then he is able to recognize. Even here — far away — I knew that I was supposed to keep my mouth shut. That my life would take on a meaning for which it was never intended. On the boat I had spoken to another and I heard in his speech and saw in his eyes the great loss that I knew I was feeling. What for? I knew I would never see my home again. The Americans were doomed to using us because we were the only ones who knew how to hold the nation together. Some of us would soon be back in power one way or another. To this day I do not understand why I had to go. There were others who are in a high position today. They could've protected me. No — I was too hot. That day I detested every order that I had to follow.

 

The French and British never had any sense of nation worth any currency but we are nothing without it. I had to come to this stinking hole they call a country. Without culture. Without a sense of itself. They are nothing but gypsies. I have watched them carefully. For a short time I worked for them in various capacities. The way they ran their security services when I came was imitative of the Inquisition. Crude, abstract and final. Totally naive. You cannot collect intelligence like that. Fear has its place. It is too short term. Sooner or later the well dries up. The basis of intelligence, my experience has shown it to be true that man is basically and inevitably corrupt and can be corrupted. Men are objects awaiting debasement. This is my experience. In every way — civic, moral and political man seeks this corruption. His life is not ordered without it. It is through corruption that man knows his place. Yet these toy soldiers though that a bullet in the head here and there was enough to secure all the information they needed. You cannot imagine the stupidity of these people.

 

When we had taken Poland I went there immediately to organize the deportations. When we had first sectored them off into ghettoes I made it a given that I go amongst them in their squalid habitat. It was in Warsaw or Lodz. I can't quite remember. Perhaps it was Warsaw. Here I met an old man — a German Jew — that I had done business within the emigration scheme. He had been a jurist until 1934 and had been a man of influence. A man whose culture resided in every bone in his body. He was well known to his people. So we made use of him. At first he was hesitant. Our first appointment was some days after the Kristallnacht so one could understand his sensitivity. I put it to him that by working with us he could save the property and lives of many of his tribe. He was a man who was as blunt as I and I put to him why we could no longer have his people meddling in our economic and political affairs. I told him that they would have to leave the country. For good. For the nation's good. For their own good. Yes they would have to go. In fact the more the better.

 

We were prepared to meet them halfway if they organized their own departure. I told him the alternatives would not be ones that his community found very attractive. He was an intelligent man. He understood quickly the parameters of my argument. Karl Eckstein — Judge Eckstein — what a man he turned out to be. I wanted him to work quickly and the haste with which it had to be done were impressed on him. We had many discussions and meetings. You cannot presume friendship but I am sure there was something in his heart that yielded to me. Under the circumstances he had little choice. What a worker. He set to his task with a Herculean strength. He never seemed to sleep. He had as much love of paper as the normal German. He continually held meetings with leaders of his community. He spoke with the skill of the great jurist he obviously was. In many ways I grew fond of our meetings. He distanced himself yet he discussed questions with me that went straight to the heart of the matter. He was not without wit and many a tense meeting was made bearable by his dry humor. Not that I ever clearly understood it. It seemed to be at his own expense. The man was not too frightened to demand much of me in this very difficult period. I would mostly accept them because finally they were put to me with great reasonableness with a mind always thinking of efficacy. He too had a great love of chess and many mornings we could be found in the office still playing from the night before. I spent the best part of two years with Eckstein. You get to know a man. With him I was none the wiser the day he had to leave. This was in 1938. January I think. It was very cold.

 

Elements in the leadership had decided the emigration business was going nowhere. Who would take them? No one. Who would take the chosen ones? Not a country called out its assent. They can go to hell was their collective reply. I had done my best. Harsher methods were going to be used. Some of my superiors berated me for having worked with the Jew Eckstein. Better to have him hanging from a light globe — they said. I was not opposed to harsher methods. On the contrary I just thought the methods were often too cumbersome and ineffective. They brought out resistance. Resistance was time wasting. I didn't want to have to chase them all over Europe. Too late. I met Eckstein in my office and I told him what to expect. I was brutally frank. I said his tribe was going to go the same way as their synagogues and houses — up in smoke. I told him that sooner or later other authorities were going to deal with him.

 

I had developed a peculiar fondness for this Jew. I offered what little help I could. A means to get to Poland. He was not going to stay in one piece for long I thought. He stared at me for an endless time. He then spoke to me in tones that were as certain as they were doom ridden — "My family has lived in this country for nearly three centuries and we have fought for it many times. I fought in the last war and was awarded the Iron Cross. As a jurist I have served the State without prejudice. Now I'm told I am of no use to the nation either as a jurist or as a citizen. My work here has made it abundantly clear that we were never welcome. We were suffered in the cold austerity of your caress. My pleas have gone out to other nations and they all one by one have rejected us. You have done your work well — Heimmann. I've worked here for two years and know my work has amounted to nothing. A brief reprieve. I know no nation. I know no man".

 

These words in themselves meant nothing to me. I had heard them before. In one way or another. It was the deliberateness of his speech. He wasn't speaking to me. He was talking to history. Imagined or real. I had rarely heard words uttered with such power. I didn't respond to him. He did not seem to be seeking a response. He was staring at me. He turned his head sideways as if expecting a slap and he then picked up his coat. He walked from my office. That was the last I had seen of him until I met him again in Warsaw. He had grown considerably older yet he still possessed that resoluteness he had when he worked for me.

 

Judenrat

 

 

He greeted me with the formality of someone who would take orders but would never let them permeate the skin. I wondered if this was the nature of Jewry. Their inability to follow. I was not there to wonder at his traits but to estimate the response of the ghetto to our deportations and the setting up of the Judenrat — a council of Jewish elders who conducted the business of the ghetto and was also responsible about who went on the transports. I asked him why he wasn't involved. His contempt made itself clear. With any other I would have cracked the side of his face with my fists but with Eckstein I could not. It wasn't because he was an exceptional Jew. No. I had met many like him. It was something in me that this particular Jew brought out. It was odd in another way. All my feeling with others of his tribe left me feeling disgust. I had treated them like animals for so long that I rarely thought about any particular Jew's humanity. It didn't interest me. Not at all. It was of no concern to me what they thought. He had me contemplating questions I had rarely considered. No matter. You're a crazy Jew I told him. As certain as our victory in the East you will end up as ash. I was irritated. I am not the kind of man to hand out favors. To anyone. To anybody. Here was this Jew living in filth spitting in my face. What few words he spoke to me spelt out his indifference to my presence in his rat hole.

 

You know — I said that in one year this ghetto will be razed to the ground and not one Jew or building will be left standing. We have the will to do that. I have organized the Jews here he said. We will not go without a fight. Saying this so dispassionately that you may have thought he was talking about his health at a market. Organize this cattle yard — I thought would be a task impossible even for Eckstein. Already people were dying from various diseases brought about by the conditions they were living in. As I had walked through the ghetto you saw Jewish police picking up the dead from the streets in little carts like the time of the black plague. The people who were alive moved about in a dreamlike state going to and fro as if they were liable to fall at any sudden burst of wind. They were so skinny that they looked like they couldn't pick up their soup bowls let alone a gun. Where would they get guns? Jehovah. The Polish citizens certainly wouldn't. They hated them more than we did.

 

I imagine the Poles thought our dealing with the Jewish problem was the only benefit of our occupation. The communists and the partisans were too busy fighting unwinnable battles and they had little interest in arming the Jews. How would Eckstein organize his tribe? With sticks and pebbles. Goliath was not so vulnerable here. Even Eckstein could not gather forces strong enough to give a small militia a good fight. Yet here he was. Cold as ice. Telling me that they would resist. It would have been laughable if it had not come from Eckstein. I left him to his fantasy. This Jew. What an imagination. We would turn them into cockroaches. Was he still not aware of that? One unit of my men could tear that ghetto to pieces. He must know what is happening over the rest of Europe. This skinny continent that we opened up like so much food at the table.

 

Here in Poland we walked in. Walked in. Horses and men with swords is what we had to do battle with. We tilled the earth with their blood. Czechoslovakia. So much for the savages. The cultured went quicker. We were welcomed in the cities of France. Paris especially where their crocodile tears hid greedy merchants and self-serving intellectuals. Our triumphs were not achieved by great effort. Quite the contrary. A young machine takes a while to warm up. Everything fell before us as if God was waiting for us to clean up their mess. What battles they did fight were inconsequential. A half tired army could have beaten them convincingly. This Europe which at Versailles had tried to humiliate us was now in turn humiliated. They stood there for their colonies to see. Countries and leaders without backbones. Churchill was doing what he had always done — throw the best of the colonial armies into the meat grinder. These incompetents who were leading their people into a war. Without vision. Without strength. They did not want to understand that it was we who were leading them to battle. Almost exclusively on our own terms. If we chose diplomacy they followed that. When we chose war — they followed like a boxer who had been knocked out in the first round. Following the fists. There was no heat in their stomachs. Their leaders were fat and the people saw that. The people had an affinity with us. They could see we were cleaning Europe with a new broom.

 

 

For Part 3 Click HERE

 

 

Christopher Barnet

Christopher Barnet

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Recent Articles
relation with poetry of the english language
alison from adelaide
stutter
so deep
scattering the sheets of paper
let black sun shine

  • No comments found