Heinz Hermann Weichardt was born to a German father and a Jewish mother and spent his young adulthood in the Third Reich. In in his February 1995 memoir Under Two Flags, he gave a concise but very revealing account of his tribulations as a Mischling in the first degree. The alternate title is Nazi Terror: A Short Autobiography of a Jewish National Socialist, which indicates that the contents might be a little different from the usual sort of fare.
Louis Beam, a colorful Grand Dragon of Fraternity Tri-Kappa, convinced him to tell the tale. It first appeared in the August 1995 edition of Liberty Bell. It was so popular that the publisher had to do a reprint. It’s a bit obscure by now, but the text is available online nowadays, and also in German translation. It’s fortunate that Heinz Weichardt told his very informative story when he did, as he died later that year.
As you read the following summary, reflect on the fact that he could’ve made a pile of money if he’d written an anti-German account. The book even could have become one of those docudramas or a “based on a real story” Hollywood film that still gets airplay on late night cable.
Trouble on the horizon
Prior to the First World War, Jews were successfully assimilating into German society. Some made notable positive contributions to society. Any religious gripes were a thing of the past. The only point of contention, such as it was, concerned some cultural quirks: “Any remaining anti-Jewishness, anti-Semitism barely existing, was mainly aimed at some Jewish mannerisms which sometimes grated on the somewhat stiff Prussian form of social etiquette.”
How did relations deteriorate so terribly after that? First, the author mentions how the Balfour Declaration was arranged with Britain. The quid pro quo that the Jewish press in the United States (up to that point, their editors were moderately pro-German) and Zionist lobbying would be brought to bear to stir up war fever and drag America into the fight:
After obtaining the Balfour Declaration the Jewish-American press and their followers made a sudden turnabout and began to pour their well-practiced venom on the still hard-fighting Germans, who were from now on to be known simply as barbarous Huns. This was not only a betrayal of Germany but also of their German co-religionists who were more accepted in Germany than anywhere else in the world and where most of their able-bodied men were still fighting for what they considered their fatherland. It was rather easy to convert the “idealistic” but feebleminded Wilson into a fanatic crusader for “democracy” and America joined the bloodletting with supposedly the best of intentions.
I’ll add that the deal wasn’t public knowledge at the time, but some in Germany might have suspected it. The next development was unmistakable to any on the scene, however, including the author, who lived through these events:
A massive movement of Galician Jews, most of them being Austrian citizens, began their trek westward into Austria, mainly Vienna, whence they could freely enter Germany. A few thousands in the beginning swelled to hundreds of thousands towards and after the end of the war. Among the first arrivals there was a disproportionate amount of Communist agitators which wormed its way into Germany’s Socialist movement, which already was dominated by Jewish intellectuals. In Germany, because of the Allied blockade, the suffering of the civilian population had already become severe and demoralizing and exactly after the Russians were forced to sign the peace-treaty of Brest-Litowsk, the unions struck a mortal blow to Germany’s war effort by striking the munitions factories. The planned offensive was thereby sufficiently delayed to permit the Americans to arrive with their unlimited supplies and after another year of hopeless resistance and president Wilson’s reasonable sounding peace offer, revolution broke out in Germany.
Germany had been starved by the British blockade and was fighting desperately in a three-front battle. Then they brought the Italian campaign to a favorable standstill, concluded peace with the Russians, and finally had a free hand to break the stalemate in France. Then, amidst the proverbial war of matériel, Jewish radicals staged a general strike. When the ammunition and supplies stopped reaching the front, imagine what effect that would’ve had on the combat readiness of a country in a struggle for its life. To make matters worse, at the end of the war, Marxist rebellions started breaking out around Germany. These were conspicuously Jewish-led, just as they were in Hungary and Russia.
Obviously, this sort of thing doesn’t win hearts and minds. There’s a pretty clear lesson to be had which would improve public relations greatly: stop doing that. (Lately, Zionists claim that nothing of the sort happened.) Really, this isn’t about Jewish ethno-religious identity as such; it’s about behavior. Suppose that in some future conflict, the Moonies hamstring America’s war effort, and after we lose, the Moonies start fomenting Communist uprisings in our cities. One might predict a lot of anti-Moonie sentiment resulting from that, which has nothing to do with their odd beliefs. This isn’t the end of it, since the glories of the Weimar Republic were just beginning. I’ll quote Weichardt and keep editorializing about it:
During the accelerating inflation certain businessmen and well connected financiers, again the majority being Jewish, were able to amass fortunes, which helped the rise of anti-Semitism in the country suffering from defeat and incredible hunger, thanks to the continuing British blockade, which was prolonged for one year after the armistice and caused the deaths of approximately 800,000 Germans, mostly women and infants.
When the populace observed newly-rich Jewesses in their fancy fur coats, bedecked with jewelry, entering expensive nightclubs with their escorts while veterans with missing arms or legs are sitting on the sidewalks, shivering in their worn uniforms and trying to sell some pencils or whatnot to earn a few pennies for their modest needs, it did not go over too well with them, even if the majority of the professional Jews, professors, engineers, doctors, government employees, etc., shared the misery with the rest of the people.
Once again, the outrageous actions of a limited number of Jews ruined the reputation of their brethren in the worst possible way. If only this problem could’ve been handled within their community before things got too serious, disaster could’ve been avoided.
Finally, there was the Weimar Republic’s infamous wave of degeneracy. The author covers the subject briefly, though it had far-reaching effects then:
During the Weimar years many outstanding performers in concerts and theater as well as scientists were Jewish, but they never dominated and were more than balanced by Germans of equal or superior stature. In literature, however, in the arts as well as in the left-leaning part of the press their influence became all encompassing and pernicious. With it, the deterioration of civility, speech and social behavior became endemic. Nothing, of course, compared with what we are witnessing today, but one must remember that seventy years ago the standards of propriety were vastly different when compared with the present. The constant assault on the sensibilities and moral values which were held dear by the majority of patriotic Germans created a backlash within the parties from the center to the radical right. “Anti-Semitism” was again on the rise.
These things don’t win hearts and minds, either. Again, the solution is very simple: stop doing that.
All told, present-day Zionist historiography holds that relations between Jews and Germans were going quite well, but then a massive wave of anti-Semitism just came up out of nowhere during the inter-war years. (This is the same perspective as you’ll hear in school, see in the movies, and watch on the idiot box.) Like so many other occasions in history, the host population became infuriated for no reason whatsoever. On this occasion, it’s as if Hitler thought, “Well, how can I get in charge here? That’s it — I’ll scapegoat some innocent party and make everyone believe it! Let’s see . . . who shall it be? The French? The British? The Pygmies? Dentists? Cab drivers? Capricorns? Cat ladies? The Kiwanis Club? The Kiowa Apaches? Kite flyers? Aha! I’ll blame the Jews for lots of stuff none of them ever did, and that’s my ticket to power!”
Unfortunately, this sort of avoidance — one that Sigmund Freud certainly would’ve recognized — leads to paranoia, which fuels most Zionist destructive behavior lately. All that’s another subject, however. As preposterous as their take is, I’m not being too facetious; they really believe Hitler was a one-trick pony who scapegoated his way into power. (That’s what I was taught in high school, back in the Paleolithic age, and the line hasn’t changed since then.)
During the first six months after he came to power, Hitler took an economy that was in an absolute shambles and got everyone back to work. What Zionist historiography has never explained is how it’s possible to scapegoat an economy into recovery. If any old bullshit artist could work economic miracles by pointing fingers and blaming people, then Obama would’ve had the unemployment problem licked by the end of 2009.
The persecution begins
Eventually, the Weimar Republic came to an end with Hitler’s rise to power:
On January 31, 1933, with a Bolshevik uprising only weeks, perhaps days, away, Hitler, as leader of the largest party, was constitutionally named Reichs Chancellor. The most remarkable part about the following national “revolution” is the fact that it was totally orderly and bloodless. A few especially obnoxious leaders of the extreme left were locked up and perhaps got a well earned beating from overly enthusiastic storm troopers, who remembered their murdered comrades. If I am wrong about this, please name me one prominent victim of this “terror.” When on February 27, 1933 a Communist succeeded in setting fire to the Reichstag building in Berlin, the Communist Party was outlawed and the top leaders were arrested. Any claim that the National Socialists set the fire is typical lying propaganda. Today this is even admitted in Jewish-ruled Germany!
Then things took a turn for the worse, of course:
What was the situation of the German Jews at that point? The first blow came from abroad. World Jewry declared war on Germany. This was no idle threat.
This “declaration of war” business was arranged by Samuel Untermyer, a very tricky attorney from New York who had hovered around government circles since the Wilson administration. Apparently, he was unconcerned about how this would affect the standing of his brethren in Germany. Things were already quite strained, since the Germans were running out of patience with them and had just elected Hitler.
Had the German-Jewish community voiced a unanimous and vociferous protest against the action of their co-religionists throughout the world, they would have avoided, in my opinion, some of the harsher measures soon to come.
Weichardt is certainly on to something with that. It was a missed opportunity to prevent disaster.
The next anti-Jewish measure was the Arierparagraph, which eliminated non-Aryans from all government positions. Everybody with one quarter or more Jewish background was considered non-Aryan. Exempt from this law were all Jews who had fought for Germany in the World War or had lost sons during that war or who already held government positions before that war. Certain exemptions for meritorious individuals could be granted. All non-Aryans in government positions had to be retired (not fired!) with their pensions forthcoming.
This was enacted, along with other discriminatory measures, though he concludes by saying that “[t]he immediate effect on the private lives of most Jews was in the beginning only minimal.”
The Gestapo pays a visit
Suddenly, persecution hits home. First, I’ll provide a little background. In recent times, much has been made about firearms laws in the Third Reich, generally to make a well-meaning but ill-informed reductio ad hitlerum argument against gun control. As I wrote in Deplorable Diatribes:
This got enacted in Weimar-era Germany with the 1919 confiscation law, Verordnung des Rates der Volksbeauftragen über Waffenbesitz. Quite amusingly, the guy who began running the show fourteen years later still gets blamed incessantly. The often-cited Waffengesetz of March 18, 1938 actually amounted to a partial deregulation. Today, gun laws there are more stringent than they were under this former German chancellor. Ownership is permitted for limited uses (hunting qualifies, but self-defense does not), and subject to burdensome restrictions.
Heinz Weichardt indicated that even the 1919 law wasn’t taken too seriously by the authorities:
In Germany, under the Weimar Republic, one had to register each gun with the police. There were no restrictions on the possession except if you wanted to carry them. In this case you had to have a hunting license which required a lengthy course in gun handling, marksmanship, game laws and handling of bagged game. The police had absolutely no say or power to refuse you the ownership of your guns when you came to register. It was a purely bureaucratic measure which enabled the police to trace a gun involved in a criminal action.
Although Jews were exempt from the 1938 partial deregulation measure, his mother was a gun owner and nobody bothered her about it. However, when the 15-year-old Heinz was making plans to purchase a hundred Parabellum handguns in bulk in order to profit by one Reichsmark each in reselling them, that finally brought official attention:
It was followed by the famous knock on the door, and on opening I faced three agents of the secret police (Gestapo). No hands in the pockets groping for hidden arms, no shouted orders or threats, only showing of identifications and the polite question if I had any firearms at home and if they could see them. I asked them in, got my guns and asked my mother to show the registration receipts. The disappointment of the rather mild-mannered gentlemen at the measly display was obvious and they asked about the whereabouts of one hundred Parabellums which I was suspected to harbor. My heart sank and I told them about my, now surely aborted, hoped-for big deal, which as yet had not been consummated.
They conducted a brief search, causing no damage or disarray, not even dumping out drawers:
When they were ready to leave the man in charge spotted a letter on the table with a Jewish-sounding name of the sender and being obviously informed about my mother’s racial background he very kindly admonished her that because of the new conditions prevalent to be especially careful and not to break any of the existing laws. With that they apologized for the inconvenience they had caused and left. My loaded guns remained on the table.
After that, he makes some comparisons between the Gestapo and the American Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which is rather unflattering to the latter given their behavior in the Ruby Ridge and Branch Davidian fiascos. I can’t help but concur that even as an American, it wouldn’t have gone over well had I attempted to become a gun retailer when I was a teenager. I can imagine agents showing up on our doorstep and my father giving me that look yet again.
When he was 18, more discrimination led to further persecution. Specifically, he was denied enlistment into the armed forces because of his ethnic background:
Instead of swallowing my badly injured pride I complained to everybody who would listen to me, ending my complaints with the caustic question: Why me, when even the top general of the Luftwaffe, Erhard Milch, had a Jewish father? Well it didn’t take very long for the knock at the door. This time I faced three members of the Allgemeine-SS.
His yappy Dachshund lunging at them didn’t help the overall mood. Bitch, please! I note that it’s an interesting inversion of the usual script on late-night TV. Typically, the screenplay has the SS menacing frightened Jews with guard dogs.
After the three men had entered our apartment, I was severely admonished for spreading insulting rumors about high-level army officers. All I could say was that I was absolutely sure that the father of General Erhard Milch was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Dessau, home of the famous Junkers aircraft works. I will never forget the stunned expressions on the faces of the three as they left, this time without apologies, in a huff. I did not hear from them again. Of course I knew that the statement to which they objected was true.
My take is that there’s some controversy about what General Milch’s ancestry was or wasn’t, but be that as it may, it was an accomplishment to out-argue three grouchy SS dudes.
More Nazi terror
As for the Sturmabteilung’s attitude, he cites an anecdote from a Brownshirt friend:
In Germany, as well as in most European countries, it was the custom that children and young men ceded their seats in crowded trains when a lady or elderly adult entered and could not find a seat. During one meeting of the troop the members were reminded to adhere to this rule and a wise guy asked the tricky question of what to do if the lady or elderly adult was obviously Jewish? After a short silence for reflection, the (pardon the expression) solomonic judgment was forthcoming: “Storm troopers, in order to avoid this embarrassing situation, remain standing in trains which were apt to be crowded!” To some nice old Jewish lady I strongly recommend a ride on the New York subway or any other public conveyance.
It’s fairly common knowledge that Germans during the Third Reich were forbidden to listen to enemy radio stations. (Most of it was full of demoralization propaganda, so apparently the mainstream media hasn’t changed much over the years.) Still, most people disregarded this rule:
One evening, while listening to radio Moscow, the bell was ringing and there stood the lady living in the apartment below us. Her husband was the Blockward of our building and responsible to take care of all problems of or with the tenants and to make sure that everybody behaved nicely and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the new era. How did she phrase her demands and threats? “Dear Mr. Weichardt, if you have to listen to radio Moscow, wouldn’t you be so kind and turn the volume down a bit in order to avoid possible trouble for you or us.”
He notes that this compares unfavorably to current conditions in the free and democratic Germany of the present day. Possessing two or more copies of naughty literature, like what he was writing, incurs a sentence of up to five years. Warrantless searches are commonplace. So are goon squads that might burn down businesses belonging to dissidents.
Then the subject turns to concentration camps, invariably associated in the popular imagination with the Third Reich, despite being a British invention from decades prior:
Who were the inmates? Mostly vagrants, bums and, yes, some obnoxious politicians of the leftist variety (come to think of it, not a bad idea at all) who had previously caused the ire of the new rulers. Strangely enough — hardly any Jews, who after all, according to Hitler, where at the root of most of the country’s troubles. . . . While confined in a camp the inmates had to perform labor, I am sure sometimes hard labor, which was tough on the mostly overweight politicians. They learned new skills, were well fed and had excellent medical facilities available in case of illness or injury. After their release some actually became useful citizens.
To clarify, he left the country in 1938 and was speaking of pre-war conditions. This was before the development of the extensive system of labor camps in occupied territories, which really did hold multitudes of Jewish detainees. Prior to that time, concentration camps were effectively the equivalent of our medium-security prisons, mainly housing habitual criminals, sex offenders, and undesirables such as those the author described.
Here I must state categorically that during my nearly six years under the Hitler regime, living at the center of power in Berlin with my father, as a journalist in constant touch with the authorities (he had, e.g., to attend, together with other journalists, confidential monthly meetings with Propaganda Minister Goebbels to obtain political directives and listen to pep talks) and aware of all nasty anti-government rumors, I had neither a single personal contact with anybody who had suffered physical harm from the authorities of the Third Reich, nor did I hear from anybody among my rather extended acquaintances that they knew of somebody who had.
As for the Jews, some were beginning to head for friendlier environs. Most of those who wanted to leave had difficulty finding a place to go, since most countries generally expected them either to be put up by relatives, or to bring a large reserve of cash to prevent them from running out of money before finding work.
Walking across the Rio Grande at night was definitely not considered an alternative in those days. Endless lines were forming around the block in Berlin which housed the US consulate by Jews hoping to get on the waiting list which would permit them to apply for an immigration visa after several months or even years of waiting time.
There were some faster alternatives. He discussed the Transfer Agreement, by which Germany settled Jews in Palestine, which was then under British rule. (This interesting operation is worthy of its own discussion.) The Germans set up trade schools to ease their transition to a new society. Unfortunately, the British weren’t too cooperative. I’ll add that this was because the Palestinians didn’t appreciate the Hebrew invasion, which of course became a deluge of millions after the war. Moreover, some things I’ve read about the early returnees via the Transfer Agreement indicate that they got a reputation for being obnoxious.
The Jews were permitted their own organizations in sports, culture, medicine, schools and they even had their own department at Gestapo headquarters which was staffed by Zionists who welcomed the government’s anti-Jewish measures because they promoted their wished-for emigration of Jews to Palestine. There were a total of sixty training camps run by the Zionists under German sponsorship.
Franklin Roosevelt assembled an international conference at Evian to alleviate the immigration backlog, though this turned out to be a flop:
Not one of the thirty-three nations present, including the USA, was willing to change its immigration laws! Dr. Goebbels was in sheer ecstasy. The display of hypocrisy was plenty of water on his propaganda mills. (“Doesn’t anyone want our geniuses?”)
The author didn’t mention the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, and probably was unaware of it. (It’s an interesting story — a rabbit hole worthy of its own discussion.) They managed to shuttle at least a couple thousand Jewish professors and other academics out of Germany, fast-track their immigration papers, and arrange jobs prior to arrival — Bob’s your uncle! Professors in American universities who can’t speak English are hardly anything new! This included at least some of the Frankfurt School thinkers, who made such a wonderful contribution to the United States. These folks were lucky; plenty of garden-variety Germans had been militant Marxists and were in hot water, too, but there wasn’t any Rockefeller-sponsored “Save the Spartacists” foundation to bail them out.
Escape from Hitler’s clutches
Soon, the author became one of the lucky few to flee the Nazi chamber of horrors. He had a technical education, but was having difficulty finding good work because of discrimination. However, it turns out that he had connections, the extent of which would become apparent later:
My father had a good and very influential friend, Dr. Hugo Eckener, who was president of the world famous Zeppelin and Maybach Motor Works. He was best known as the commander of the pioneering, world encircling flights of the Zeppelins during the Twenties and Thirties. He was also at the time the best known and most respected German in the United States. Upon his strong recommendation I decided to emigrate to the US, where he had influential connections and assured me that, despite an again deepening depression and rising unemployment, I should be able to find gainful employment. He arranged my personal introduction to the Consul General of the US, Mr. Raymond H. Geist.
The executive got one of his American friends to be a financial guarantor, which smoothed the way for a residence visa. Heinz had a boat trip arranged to the US through the port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands. Then he ran into trouble on the train ride out:
Just before the train arrived at the Dutch border, at 3 am, I was awakened by the appearance of three SS men in full regalia, who grabbed my voluminous baggage and ordered me off the train together with about a dozen of other emigrants.
Uh, oh! They got strip-searched and their luggage was thoroughly examined by the tired and ill-tempered SS men. No smuggled documents or contraband were found. Their belongings were returned in their entirety, including the author’s camera, antique violin, jewelry, silver, and his Parabellum pistol.
We were ordered to dress, no questions were asked, our baggage was re-packed in good order and we could rejoin the ladies in the waiting room. One of the young Jewish ladies began to cry because of the nervous strain she had undergone. This changed the stern expression on the faces of the SS men into one of obvious concern and two of them tried to comfort her by buying her coffee and giving assurances that everything was going to be all right.
It’s nice to know that kindness wasn’t a lost art by 1938. They were sent on their way. They caught the next train and made it to the boat in the nick of time. All told, it was a pleasant voyage. The German crew members were quite courteous to the Jewish passengers. There were even a couple of shipboard romances. He concludes, “It seemed that six years of incessant ‘racist hate propaganda’ had not quite taken hold in the minds of the young Germans.”
On the way, the Kristallnacht incident took place, a sign that things were worsening back home. (This event hardly needs introduction, since it’s the first Station of the Cross — or rather the equivalent thereof — for the Holobunga religion.) Your average late-night TV special will give no context, suggesting that the Nazis were just being dicks for no reason. That was indeed a bad move, and quite an optics disaster-o-thon, though Kristallnacht was practically a candlelight vigil compared to the mass chimp-outs from Watts to the Great Vibrancy of 2020. Be that as it may, it was hardly unprompted; they were being dicks for a reason. Specifically, it was preceded by one too many political assassinations, which was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The author presents a rather long and detailed account of the shooting of Ernst vom Rath, first secretary to the German ambassador in France, by Herschel Grynzpan. It’s pretty obvious that he had been put up to the operation by some tricky (((foundation))), which is still extant under a slightly different name, and is nowadays rather similar in purpose to those meddlesome “watchdog” outfits. The case kept getting delayed, and Grynzpan outlasted the war in pre-trial detention despite being a Zionist fanatic who indisputably assassinated a diplomat. After the war, he joined his family in Israel, literally getting away with murder. I wonder if he applied to Germany for a Holocaust survivor stipend?
In the land of the free
After the author disembarked, he found the American customs officials to be rather greedy, behaving unfavorably compared to the SS men who had searched them on the way out:
The reception was not too friendly because the customs inspection lasted for hours and turned out to be a disaster for a few. Some young Polish Jews were hit especially hard. They were trained craftsmen and not being able to export any sizable amount of money from either Germany or Poland, they had invested all they had in tools of their trade. They had no money to pay the required duty for their brand new equipment, which was simply confiscated.
Then a customs official took a look at the author’s family treasures and other goodies and “he literally began to salivate and declared everything for brand new and subject to duty payments.” In the nick of time, his sponsor, perhaps wondering what was taking so long, arrived at the scene and got the greedy bureaucrat to back down. The author concluded, “This showed me for the first time that even in a much-vaunted democracy some people are more equal than others.”
After arriving in November, he was still looking for work by December. Despite his specialized technical education, the job search hadn’t panned out yet. It turns out there was still a Great Depression going on, which is a little different than the propaganda he’d heard on the radio:
and the glowing stories which I had heard during the listening to foreign broadcasts while still in Berlin, of how the friendly genius Roosevelt was leading his country to new economic heights, lost some of their luster. I was walking up and down the endless avenues of New York to catch the flavor of The City but only developed a bitter taste, which has remained ever since. Yet, I do not want to be totally negative, because if I compare the New York of 1938 with the one I last visited in 1982, it seemed like paradise lost!
Then his connections began to pay off, including some he hadn’t known he had. His sponsor lined up a job in upstate New York with a subsidiary of IG Farben (yes, that company!), specializing in photography:
The following week I was introduced to the management of Agfa-Ansco where I found to my great surprise that nearly everybody from the president down to the chief engineer was a recently arrived Jewish émigré from Germany. As everybody knows today, IG-Farben was the terrible outfit which mistreated Jewish deportees in their large Buna (artificial rubber) Works located in Auschwitz. Of course their management was tried after the war and many of them severely punished for their alleged misdeeds. Anyway, during the late Thirties Agfa-Berlin was pressured by the German government to get rid of its high-level Jewish staff members and arrived at the heinous solution of deporting them to the wild west in Binghamton, NY, where they languished at salaries from fifteen to fifty thousand dollars per annum.
His starting salary was $1,300 a year (presently the equivalent of $27,000). In two months, he was able to take out a note on a used car: “There was some resentment because a greenhorn such as I had what was then considered a well paying job, while many locals were unemployed during the still-unrelieved Depression.”
After that, he remarks on the German-American community, which was very numerous but entirely inactive as a political bloc. (That much hasn’t changed.) He tried to set the record straight about the Third Reich with some of them, but they didn’t want to hear it.
Then he gives considerable commentary on the outbreak of the Second World War. As for the US, paranoia was on the rise:
The highly-paid Jewish managers of Agfa-Ansco suddenly became suspected of being secret Nazi agents and as for me personally, most people were sure of it because not only was I not Jewish but I had also previously defended Germany and worst of all I had required a secondhand Buick for the princely sum of $750 as early as November 1939. Since this seemed to be impossible, considering my still low-level position, I must surely have received remunerations for my activities in service of the Third Reich. In addition, some observant neighbor had seen me at night carrying a suspicious looking briefcase, probably containing contraband of some sort. Actually I was attending an evening course in order to improve my still very limited English and carried my writing papers in the briefcase. I was reported to the local District Attorney and called on the carpet for this deviation. It took the chief of the Binghamton FBI office to supply me with a clean bill of health. [Try that today!]
By 1941, his full-Jewish mother, still in Berlin, was in danger. This wasn’t because of her ethnicity or any kind of political trouble, but rather because Winston Churchill was in the business of spreading democracy one bomb at a time. Also, the author got an inside tip that FDR was itching to get into the war, despite his emphatic campaign promises. His sponsor was kind enough to put $3,500 on deposit for her, smoothing the immigration process. Still, arranging transport wasn’t easy:
This time Dr. Eckener solved our problem by a personal call to Air Marshal Göring, who at that time was already plagued by more pressing problems than the transportation of my mother. Nevertheless, he immediately ordered that she be put on a diplomatic flight to Lisbon, which took her there two days later.
One can move mountains with the right connections! It was just in time, since the war was about to escalate:
Only two weeks after her arrival, Hitler was forced to start the preventive war against the Soviet Union, after Stalin had assembled 140 divisions, and a larger and more modern tank force than Germany could muster at the time, at the eastern border of the Reich. Stalin was ready to start his dreamed-of conquest of Europe.
Surprisingly, the German army beat the Russians to the gates of Moscow, despite its lower numbers and inferior tanks. They did, however, have much better trained soldiers and far superior leadership. The advance of the Germans was stopped by the onset of an abnormally harsh winter for which they lacked the appropriate clothing. Stalin’s breathing spell was used to re-equip his forces, thanks to a massive influx of American war matériel of all kinds.
After Pearl Harbor, the author lost his job since he wasn’t an American citizen and therefore was an enemy alien. His sponsor arranged another job, but eventually the company was shuttered because of wartime necessities. During those interesting times, the glowies paid a visit:
One afternoon three agents of the FBI showed up and confiscated my camera (it was returned in good condition after the war) as well as those of my two roommates. I showed them the shortwave coils, which I had removed from my radio set, as required by the law, which prohibited the possession of shortwave radios by enemy aliens. One of the agents turned on the radio and, believe it or not, the booming voice of Der Führer filled the room, giving a major pep talk to the German nation. Short waves are very tricky. Everybody had a good laugh but the radio was taken anyhow. The next day a front page photo appeared in the local blat showing all the contraband taken from the enemies and, of course, all their names given.
Way to go, G-men! That was my grandparents’ tax dollars at work!
Again, he ran into difficulty obtaining gainful employment. Raymond Geist, the diplomatic contact he’d made via one of his business acquaintances, and who was now in the State Department and had earlier tipped him off about FDR’s intentions, located a better position. His citizenship status caused a bureaucratic snarl. Fortunately, his friend in the State Department got it straightened out in record time. Then he got his American citizenship towards the end of the war, despite his mouth almost getting him in trouble:
The interviewer, a very unpleasant Jewish lady, started by asking if I was not ashamed for holding on to my German name, to which I angrily replied that I saw no reason not to be proud of my German heritage. This about ended the interview and I was convinced that I had failed in my efforts to become an American citizen. To my great surprise a couple of days later, I received notice to appear in court to be sworn in as a new citizen and to pick up my final papers.
Immediately after, he bought a rifle, ever the gun enthusiast. Second Amendment for the win!
The story ends with a few interesting anecdotes. In one of them, he meets a Holocaust survivor. The story conflates Buchenwald with Bergen-Belsen, which is an excusable error since he was recalling it half a century later:
Sometime during the year 1946 I attended a party in New York where many Jews were present. One of the young fellows spoke fluent German and during a conversation he told me that he had spent many months as an internee at the Buchenwald-Belsen concentration camp. Immediately I asked him about the Beast of Belsen, Ilse Koch (Lampshades of specially picked human skins, etc., etc.). “Oh, those are just stories,” he said. “I know for certain, because for several months I was assigned the duty to be her chamber boy who had to clean her premises. She acted absolutely normal and correctly and was never abusive . . .”
Later, the author became interested in historical revisionism. For one thing, the numbers just didn’t add up. As others have put it, “Of the four million Jews under Nazi control in World War Two, six million died and, alas, only five million survived.”
One person’s experiences in a country and its conditions may differ quite a lot from someone else’s, of course. Given the author’s background, however, one would expect him to have had some gripes about the Third Reich. Still, he took everything in remarkable stride. (It’s instructive to compare it to the bellyaching of blacks traumatized by having to ride at the back of the bus, use separate lunch counters, and all the rest of it six decades ago.) Despite getting the fuzzy side of the lollipop a few times back in the good old days, the author wasn’t bitter about it:
The sickening continuation of the war by other means is the main reason for my writing these compressed memoirs of mine, hoping that some people, by reading them, might change their minds about Germans and their National Socialist government. I have always regretted that I was not permitted to serve Germany in its time of great need and feel absolutely no resentment because of Hitler’s racial policies. To the contrary, I am convinced that the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were an absolute necessity and if they could be enforced throughout that part of the world which still considers itself white they would prevent a coming disaster of unimaginable dimensions.
All told, he had quite an interesting journey. Although he encountered some discrimination in Germany, his background became advantageous in the US. He never consciously played the Jew card, but without even trying, he was the passive beneficiary of ethnic networking. It helped at least somewhat to open doors for him to get good employment, which was no mean feat during those times. The willingness of well-placed Germans and German-Americans to give a hand to a half-Jewish guy recently out of grad school was instrumental for this as well.
Moreover, even though he had difficulty keeping his mouth shut about politics, the ethnic background for which he had little enthusiasm was still his magic shield of protection when he was technically classified as an enemy alien. Otherwise, he could’ve gotten into deeper trouble under the Roosevelt administration than he had ever been in Hitler’s Germany. It’s fairly common knowledge that the Japanese on the West Coast were rounded up and put in internment camps, but it’s not as well known that large numbers of outspoken Germans, Italians, and Hungarians also got locked up for political reasons. Those who say that fascism is repressive might not realize that their own side is hardly innocent of the same! “Vee are not zo different, you und I” and all that jazz . . .
All told, Weichardt offered several interesting revelations. Those who assume that all Jews in Germany got rounded up are incorrect. Government officials behaved respectfully more often than not, even the dreaded Gestapo. This is quite in contrast to the melodramatic mush that you’ll see on the televitz, like the shtick in which a sadistic SS officer smacks a riding crop against a jackboot while using his other hand to fiddle with a monocle. Weichardt also deconstructs a lot of nonsense about the era. His stories are often funny, and his account is worth a read in its entirety.
There are a few errors and assertions that have since been superseded by more accurate information. The erroneous parts are of fairly minor importance, however. Other than what I’ve mentioned previously, according to David Irving’s research, Sturmabteilung chief Ernst Röhm’s fall came about because he was plotting with the French to stage a coup, and the moral turpitude angle was only a cover story. Also, Irving’s newest take on the Kristallnacht incident, which he revised after finding further evidence, is that Hitler publicly censured Goebbels for staging it, but privately approved of it. The editor concludes, “Although Heinz may have been a little too emphatic about incidents which were outside his personal experience, I believe that the reader can take his word as well as anyone else’s at this great remove from that time.”
According to the Afterword, Heinz continued his rewarding technical career. Perhaps at his mother’s recommendation, he married a Jewish lady, Zelda Goldsmith (née Altschuller), in New York in 1951. They had two children. Eventually, the couple moved to California, during or before 1979, and lived in a nice house in Pebble Beach. This was apparently an interesting match, given her background and his political views. Still, it’s a good example of the fact that a couple doesn’t have to agree about everything.
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