X-files: WW2 "surprising" facts for thought...


Under the direction of Dr Herman Josef Abs* (who never became a Nazi) the bank was responsible for financing the slave labour used by business giants such as Siemens, BMW, Volkswagen, I.G. Farben, Daimler Benz and others. The banks wealth quadrupled during the twelve years of Hitler's rule. Arrested by the British after the war for war crimes, he was quietly released after the intervention of the Bank of England to help restore the German banking industry in the British zone. This caused much dissension between the British and the Americans who wanted the German economy crushed. Later, he became financial advisor to the first West German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. Herman Abs died in 1994.

*=Head o/t Deutsche Bank, board-member of IG Farben, Daimler Benz, Siemens. This is the same Hermann Abs who was chosen by Pope John Paul II to oversee the reorganization of the Vatican Bank when it was caught red-handed laundering counterfeit securities and heroin profits for the Gambino crime family.


In a memorable speech, Churchill asked America "Give us the tools and we will finish the job." But America wouldn't 'give' anything without payment. After two years of war, Roosevelt had drained Britain dry, stripping her of all her assets in the USA, including real estate and property. The British owned Viscose Company, worth £125 million was liquidated, Britain receiving only £87 million. Britain's £1,924 million investments in Canada were sold off to pay for raw materials bought in the United States. To make sure that Roosevelt got his money, he dispatched the American cruiser USS Louisville to the South African naval base of Simonstown to pick up £42 million worth of British gold, Britain's last negotiable asset, to help pay for American guns and ammunition. Not content with stripping Britain of her gold and assets, in return for 50 old World War I destroyers, (desperately needed by Britain as escort vessels) he demanded that Britain transfer all her scientific and technological secrets to the USA. Also, he demanded 99 year leases on the islands of Newfoundland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Bermuda for the setting up of American military and naval bases in case Britain should fall.


After the German Luftwaffe was defeated in the Battle of Britain and the cancellation of 'Operation Seelowe' the planed invasion of Britain in late 1940, Germany set about protecting its own citizens from attack by enemy bombers. In October 1940, Hitler ordered the construction of bomb shelters and flak towers in all the major cities. The cost was enormous. Around 120 thousand million Reichsmarks and 200 million cubic metres of reinforced concrete was the estimate given prior to the work proceeding. Thirty major cities were included in the programme which employed some 80,000 workers and aimed at 3,000 shelters being built. In addition to this, thousands of smaller shelters were built into tunnels, caves and mines. In late 1941, construction was somewhat delayed by the building of the Atlantic Wall and construction of U-boat pens in France. After the war many of these shelters and bunkers were blown up by the Allied authorities but were used first as emergency accommodation for Displaced Persons. By the end of the war, 131 cities and towns in Germany had been bombed. (Air raid deaths in Germany has been calculated at 443,000) One may ask where is the moral justification in killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the hope that doing so will force a military surrender?


After the fall of Poland, Himmler issued a top secret document to all eastern Gauleiters. In it he proposed that 'racially valuable people from Poland be removed and Germanized'. The masses were to become a 'leaderless nation of common labour'. They were not to be taught anything more than simple arithmetic and how to write their own name. They could earn enough for simple living needs but the lowest German peasant must still be ten percent better off than any Pole. They could keep their Catholic priests so they would for ever remain 'dull and stupid'. All intellectuals were to be exterminated.

It was Hitler's intention to obliterate all traces of Polish history and culture. Even towns and villages were renamed in German.


When French occupation troops arrived in Berlin in July, 1945, they were without a sector. The Soviets and the Americans refused to budge to accommodate them. It was up to the British to break the deadlock by giving up their two boroughs of Reinickendorf and Wedding to create a French Sector in the city.


Hitler's revenge for Germany's defeat of 1918 brought about the cataclysm that was Europe between 1939 and 1945. The incident which triggered World War II was the fake simulated attack by the Germans on their own relay radio station for Radio Breslau at Gleiwitz on the Polish border. To make it appear that the attacking force consisted of Poles, SS officer Alfred Naujocks secured some condemned German criminals from a nearby concentration (protective custody) camp and dressed them in Polish uniforms before being shot and their bodies placed in strategic positions around the radio station. A Polish-speaking German then did a broadcast from the station to make it appear that Poland had attacked first. On January 26, 1934, Germany and Poland signed a ten year non-aggression pact but the Gleiwitz incident gave Hitler the excuse he needed to invade Poland, which he did on September 1, 1939, an act which was to develop into a war embracing almost the entire world and causing the deaths of some 55,014,000 persons, military and civilians. About 85 million men and women of all nationalities served as combatants in this, the world's first total war, in which more than twice as many civilians died than did uniformed soldiers.


On his 78th birthday, the prestigious German Grand Service Cross of the Golden Eagle was presented to Henry Ford, the famous and fabulously wealthy American car manufacturer, by a German diplomat in the USA on July 30, 1938, on behalf of Adolf Hitler himself. Ford is actually the only American that Hitler even mentions in his book 'Mein Kampf'. In his book, 'Entnazifizierung in Bayern' the German author, Niethammer, suggests that the "failure" of the Americans to destroy the Ford car plant (Ford Werke) outside Cologne, was all a part of a "capitalist plot" of some kind. Many other well-researched authors have since drawn exactly the same conclusion. By 1941, the Ford Werke plant became one of the largest suppliers of military vehicles to the German Army. In April, 1939, Ford Werke presented Hitler with a birthday gift of 35,000 Reichmarks.

In that same year, the senior executive of the General Motors (German branch) also received the Grand Service Cross of the Golden Eagle award for his 'distinguished service to the Reich'. This referred to the synthetic fuel technology provided by G.M. Coincidentally, his firm had also invested very heavily in Germany. In 1929, General Motors had bought up 80% of the German automobile firm of Opel in Russelheim. The same Golden Eagle award was presented by Herman Göring to the wildly popular (and coincidentally, very wealthy, and highly politically 'connected') American aviation hero, Charles Lindbergh, in October, 1938, during his third visit to Germany. (Lindbergh was the first to fly non-stop from New York to Paris, a distance of 3,600 miles in 33 hours and 15 minutes)


Just prior to the German invasion of the Netherlands, the National Bank of Belgium transferred part of its gold reserves to the Bank of France in Bordeaux for safe keeping. When France was attacked, Belgium asked the French bank to transfer the gold to London. The gold was transferred, but not to London, instead it was forwarded on to a French bank in Dakar. On October 29, 1940, the French bank promised to return the gold to Belgium but Pierre Laval, Foreign Minister in the Vichy government of Marshal Petain, sent it on to Berlin. There it was melted down, supplied with false seals and documentation and transferred to the National Bank of Switzerland by the Germans. The value of this gold was 378.6 million Swiss francs. Around 218 million francs worth of this treasure was resold by the Swiss to fund its banking operations. In 1945, France restored the gold that was entrusted to her in 1940 but Switzerland claimed that only 160 million francs worth was held in its banks.


First used on July 17, 1944, when US P-38s attacked a fuel depot at Coutances, near St Lo. The next use of napalm was on April 15, 1945, when American bombers attacked the Atlantic coast town of Royan at the mouth of the Gironde. In the Pacific, napalm was used when US forces invaded the island of Tinian in the Marianas. It was also used in the bombing of Tokyo. This jellied fuel became the standard fuel explosive, later used widely - and notoriously - during the Vietnam War.


The Vercors Massif is a limestone plateau surrounded by many cliffs, ridges and valleys, its highest point being the 2,346 metre high Grand Veymont. Situated not far from Grenoble in central France it became the scene of the greatest and most tragic battles involving thousands of men of the French resistance. Just after D-day these men had rallied to Vercors to assist the Allies by slowing down the German forces on their way to Normandy. Their actions resulted in an average delay of forty-eight hours in the movement of German Panzer Divisions to the Normandy beaches. Vercors, completely surrounded by the enemy, these brave resistance fighters hoisted high the French Tricolour, to be clearly seen from the German headquarters at Grenoble, and proclaimed the plateau the 'Free Republic of Vercors' the first democratic area of France since the start of the German occupation in 1940. On July 22/23, 1944, about twenty enemy gliders landed and out poured some 500 SS soldiers who began shooting everyone in sight and raping all females regardless of age. Houses were set on fire with whole families inside. Ground troops then attacked the town of St Nizer and by nightfall some ninety-three houses were smouldering ruins. Due to a military muddle in which politics played a large part, the air support promised from Algiers never arrived. In the town about forty wounded maquisards were dragged from their hiding places then tortured and shot. On August 18, the last of the German troops pulled out of Vercors when the Allied landings began in the south of France. Some 800 people had been killed on Vercors since the first day of the German assault. On August 21, the first American tanks, accompanied by Free French infantry units, rumbled through the crowded streets of Grenoble. (The whole sad epic of Vercors is detailed in the book 'Tears of Glory' by Michael Pearson)


(April 1-June 21, 1945) The only invasion of the Japanese homeland, 360 miles south of Japan. The 81 day battle for the island in the Ryukyus caused losses totalling 107,500 among the Japanese garrison. The US 10th Army casualties were 7,374 killed and around 4,600 wounded. This was the highest losses suffered by the Americans in the Pacific War. For the first time large numbers of enemy troops surrendered, a total of 7,400.The commanding general of the Japanese forces, Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, committed suicide. The commander of the Japanese naval base, Admiral Minoru Ota, also committed suicide. In all, 234,183 persons were killed. This included Japanese and US soldiers, Korean labourers and Okinawa residents. All their names can be seen today inscribed on 114 stone Memorials. Just before the invasion, US forces discovered around 350 Japanese suicide boats in nearby Kerama Islands. All were positioned for attacks on Allied ships in the expected invasion of Okinawa. The US Navy lost 4,907 men and 36 ships. The ferocity of the Japanese defenders was a key consideration in the decision to drop the atomic bomb on the Japanese homeland although conventional fire-bombing had killed more civilians than the two atomic bombs. Without the nuclear bombs the Japanese would have surrendered anyway.


Berlin fell to the Russians on May 2, 1945. A Major Feodor Novikov of the Red Army ordered the vaults of the Reichbank to be opened. Still in the vaults were 90 gold bars worth 1.3 million dollars and gold coins worth 2.1 million dollars. Also 400 million dollars worth of negotiable bonds. Major Novikov ordered the vaults locked and demanded the keys. Shortly afterwards the entire contents of the vault disappeared. The gold was never seen again, but the bonds keep turning up even today all over the world! Another six and a half tons of gold, recovered from Ribbentrop's castle 'Schloss Fuschl' near Salzburg and turned over to the US Army on June 15, 1945, also disappeared and no records of it being received at the Frankfurt US Foreign Exchange Depository can be found. In 1945 it was worth over seven million dollars. Much of the gold recovered by the Americans was re-smelted and in the process all hallmarks, Nazi symbols and identification numbers, were erased.


Code name (later changed to Paperclip) for the project which involved the search and capture of the Peenamunda V2 rocket scientists and technicians who were now working in the tunnels at Nordhausen in the Hartz mountains. All the Peenamunda documents relating to the design and construction of the V2 rockets were hidden in an abandoned mine near the village of Dörten not far from Nordhausen. The documents, when found by the Americans, weighed around fourteen tons. Six trucks with trailers were needed to transport the hundreds of boxes of these documents to the docks at Antwerp for shipment to the US. Also shipped were about 100 partly assembled V2 rockets found in the tunnel workshops. The Russians were also searching for these technicians and put out an offer of 50,000 Reichsmarks to Wernher von Braun to entice the expert to come over to the Soviet side.


The loot the Germans transported back to the Reich from Holland was staggering:

13,786 metal working machines
2,729 textile machines
18,098 electric motors
358 printing presses
31 dredgers
over 7,000 barges
90,000 lengths of railway line and a half million sleepers
over 60,000 motor cars, 40,000 trucks and 25,000 motor bikes
154,647 kilos of Dutch gold disappeared into the Reichsbank's safes in Berlin
320,000 cows, 472,036 pigs and 114,220 horses.
A total of 346 works of art were also stolen including 27 Rembrandts, 12 Hals, 47 Steens, 40 Rubens and 12 Van Goghs. Most of these paintings were recovered after the war.


The most destructive air raid of the war was against Japan's capital city, Tokyo. During the night of March 9/10, 1945, 1,665 tons of napalm-filled bombs was dropped on the city from 279 US B-29 bombers. The death toll was greater than that at Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the official count being 83,793 Japanese killed in the 30 minute raid. Another 41,000 were severely injured or burned. About 80 percent of Japanese houses in Tokyo were constructed of wood and paper. The Allied air attacks on Tokyo destroyed 15.8 square miles of the city. As of July 1, 1945, only about 200,000 residents of Tokyo remained in the city, all others had been evacuated to safer areas.

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