News24

Hitler protected Jewish veteran - report

2012-07-07 18:23

Berlin - Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered a former Jewish officer in his unit in World War I spared from persecution or deportation, at least for a time, according to a German Jewish publication.

Susanne Maus, editor of Jewish Voice from Germany, unearthed the almost unique order in the archives of the Gestapo secret police with regard to Ernst Hess, a judge in the western city of Duesseldorf.

Signed by Hitler's henchman and SS chief Heinrich Himmler in June 1940, it said that "as per the Fuehrer's wishes" his war comrade was "not to be importuned in any way whatsoever".

Hess was a highly decorated soldiers, receiving among other medals the Iron Cross, first and second class.

By 1936 however, he had been stripped of his job, when he was beaten up by Nazi thugs, and had moved to Italy. But in 1940 he returned to live in Bavaria.

"Hess's exemption only lasted until 1942 when at the Wannsee Conference the murder of the European Jews was codified," wrote Maus, who interviewed his 86-year-old daughter Ursula.

"Hess survived thanks to his ‘mixed marriage' with his gentile wife. His sister was murdered by the Nazis, as were millions of others.

Irony

"One irony of this dark history is that Hitler could on occasion bestow his personal protection to a person otherwise marked for death," Maus said, citing also the example of his former family doctor Eduard Bloch.

Maus said Hess's daughter recalled how her father would often relate the surprise expressed by corporal Hitler's former comrades when they heard that the maverick politician had been in their ranks.

"Hess then used to explain that Hitler had had no friends within the regiment, never said a word to anyone and had been 'an absolute cipher.'"

He had petitioned Hitler as early as June 1936 asking for an exception to be made for himself and his daughter, referring to his Christian upbringing and patriotic political outlook, as well as to his service in World War I.

"For us, it is a kind of spiritual death to now be branded as Jews and exposed to general contempt," he wrote.

Although Hitler turned down the petition he did allow Hess's pension to be transferred to Italy in 1937, albeit at a reduced amount and released Hess from the obligation to bear the name 'Israel' that identified him as a Jew.

Hess was finally deported to Milbertshofen, a concentration camp for Jews near Munich, where he did forced labour in the city.

After the war he became an executive with the national railways and died in Frankfurt in 1983 at the age of 93.

Maus said his mother Elisabeth and his sister Berta had talked themselves into believing that the "protection" accorded to Ernst also extended to them.

Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Nazis' mass murder of the Jews, "went out of his way to categorically deny this, personally signing the deportation order for both women."

Berta Hess was killed Auschwitz while her mother survived and went to live with her son Paul in Brazil.

Comments
  • chris.busschau - 2012-07-07 21:57

    Adolf Hitler was an Austrian by birth. He had a disastrous attempt to enter university as an art or architecure student in Vienna in the early 1900's, and as a result became a drop out living in men's hostels and doss houses. He eventually went to Munich to enrol in the German armed forces during the 1st World War. He seems to have been an antisocial person, but nevertheless was awarded the Iron Cross even though only a junior ranking corporal despatch rider, thus indicating that he was in some way ionvolved in some sort of major act of bravery in action, details which are not recorded. His only became involved in any sort of political thinking after the 1st World War when he was an aggrieved ex-serviceman (like 1000's of others) and was sent by some military authority to investigate a suspicious group of malcontents whom he immediately joined, took control of, and renamed the National (in German, "Nazionale") Socialist Workers Party (thereafter known as the Nazi's). This terrible man who left such a deep stain of evil on the world was in reality an insignificant twerp with a talented mind who discovered how to manipulate a large percentage of a great nation. This story of his behaviour towards one of his old comrades ('alte kameraden') is a demonstration of the totally perverse and twisted thinking of the man who claimed that he would establish a 1000 year Reich.

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-08 07:50

    Chris.Busschau, sorry, you seem very informed on this subject, could I ask for some clarfication on the folowing as I am a WWII enthusiast. -Is it true that Emile Maurice, oficiasl founder of the SS and membership card holder number 1 was of jewish descent whilst Himmler only held card 69? -Is it true that gertrude stein of jewish descent and Swedish parlamentarian brant propose A.Hitler for the nobel peace prize in 1939? -Is it true that A.Hitler was time magazines man of the year 1939? - David lloyd George, UK prime minister, J.F.Kennedy, US President, King Edward VIII Knut Hamsun literature nobel prize laureate all seem to have great admiration for A.Hitler and they seem to be highly qualified statesmen? - I read that George Karesh, one of the leading jewish representatives in Germany at the time agreed with A.Hitler on the Haavera treaty which encouraged jewish residents to move to palestine with their assets intact. On this point, granted, there seem to be some discrepancies in terms of the overall allowance however, it is an interesting fact that I was not aware of.

  • bullet.proof.9400 - 2013-01-05 14:38

    Anyone heard of the Balfore Agreement and the stab in the back during WWI?

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