Little Bits of History

August 31

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 31, 2017

1939: The Gleiwitz incident begins. What we know about these events were revealed at the Nuremberg Trials by Alfred Naujocks of the SS. False flag attacks were historically a naval plan where one used the flag of another nation instead of one’s own battle flag, This ruse during an attack is considered to be outside the bounds of reasonable warfare and against international law. Operation Himmler was a plan put forth by Nazi Germany in order to create the illusion of Poland’s “aggression” against Germany. It included staging false attacks on themselves using either innocent people or concentration camp prisoners. It was hoped this “documented” propaganda campaign would confuse the Allies when Germany “defended” herself.

Late in the evening, on this date, a group of German operatives were led by Naujocks into the Gleiwitz radio station. They were dressed in Polish uniforms and they sent out a short anti-German message in Polish. The hope was that the attack would look like anti-German Poles. They left behind a “victim” of the attack, a German farmer sympathetic to the Poles. He had been arrested by the Gestapo the day before and killed by lethal injection. He was then shot a couple times and brought to the “attack” so as to leave behind a someone who looked like he had been killed during this raid.

He was not the only “victim” who was “shot” during the attack. Several prisoners from Dachau concentration camp were drugged, brought to the scene, and then shot dead at the station. Their faces were disfigured to make identification impossible. The Polish uniforms and identification had been secured by the Abwehr and this was only one of several skirmishes along the German-Poland border at the same time as this radio attack. Also included were some house burnings. All this was supported by the “evidence” of the previous few months when German newspapers and politicians had been accusing the Poles of aggressive behavior against the Nazis. There were accusations of Poland carrying on an ethnic cleansing by killing Germans living in Poland.

As a response to these horrific “attacks” against Germany, the Nazis launched Fall Weiss, the invasion of Poland, initiating World War II in Europe. On September 1, 1939, as the Panzers rolled into Poland, Hitler gave a speech in the Reichstag citing these attacks as justification for Germany invading their neighbor. Although American correspondents were summoned to the radio station on September 1, they were not permitted to investigate the incident in detail and the world audience remained skeptical regarding the German charges. Naujocks’s testimony at the Nuremberg Trials blamed his superior officer, Heinrich Muller, head of the Gestapo, as the man who issued the orders.

I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. Its credibility doesn’t matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth. – Adolf Hitler, August 22, 1939 speaking to his generals

We learned in World War II that no single nation holds a monopoly on wisdom, morality or right to power, but that we must fight for the weak and promote democracy. – Joe Baca

Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the 1920’s and 1930’s when those who should have known better persuaded themselves that they were not their brother’s keeper. – Hubert H. Humphrey

We tend to think of World War II and all the atrocities that happened, and people say, ‘Never again.’ But these things are still happening. The Amnesty International files are big. – Jimmy Smits