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Thread: The Tip-Off From a Nazi That Saved My Grandparents

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    Post The Tip-Off From a Nazi That Saved My Grandparents

    This is an interesting story: The Tip-Off From a Nazi That Saved My Grandparents -- It has often been described as a “miracle” that most of Denmark’s Jews escaped the Holocaust. Now it seems that the country’s Nazi rulers deliberately sabotaged their own operation.

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    Im glad your grandparents escaped and yes the Danes were very courageous in the way they saved almost all their Jews, deserving special mention, but ask yourself "why" would a Nazi Party member act to warn Jews in Oct. 1943, especially a General in the SS second only to Reinhard Heydrich , a guy who created a registry of all Jews in Germany for later annihilation? A guy who organized the Einsatzgruppen death squads that murdered their way across the eastern frontiers executing Jewish woman and children without mercy? Why would he do it?

    Part of the answer is the Danes received special treatment from the Germans because Hitler and his mob considered them a racially pure Aryan race so he left them with a functioning bureaucracy. Danish young men volunteered for a German SS motorized Division, 5'th SS Wiking and the "Free Corp", that fought well on the eastern front tho they steered clear of atrocities and demanded to be led by their own officers. This is the division that was made up of the racially pure Scandinavian countries.

    There was no more dedicated a Nazi then Best lets make that clear. A General in the SD/SS he was also one of the highest ranking members of the Gestapo and showed his loyalty to Hitler in "The Night of the Long Knives" when Hitler decimated the leadership of the S/A, a paramilitary group upsurping both the Army and SS in the power structure and whom Hitler destroyed because he needed Army loyalty more. Industry too was afraid of the socialist policys of the S/A.

    So why would Best do it? A guy with buckets of blood already on his hands? He was a Lawyer and part of the Intellectual elite Himmler recruited to legitimize his screwball racial policies. Well one answer is that Best wanted the Danish occupation to be low key with as few internal problems as possible. But the real answer is by Oct. 1943 a blind man could see Germany was going to lose the war.

    The winter before the German 6'th army had been wiped out at Stalingrad and was being hurled back on the entire eastern front by a Soviet army growing more and more powerful and mobile. In Sept. Italy quit the war which further drained German military manpower by forcing an occupation of the Italian mainland because the Allies had just landed on it and were working their way north. The American 8'th Air Force based in England had rebuilt its strength and there was the rumor of a new long range escort fighter that could shepherd the B-17s all the way to Berlin. The western allies were building up their forces for the invasion of France. The cities and Industry's of the Reich were being razed to the ground by the allied bombers. Hamburg had been destroyed a few months earlier, Germanys largest port and 2nd largest city. Rommel was defeated in Africa. The Battle of the Atlantic had been lost in May '43 with Donitz recalling all surviving U-boats and suspending operations.

    In short Best was already looking ahead and how to save his own skin. Even Himmler tried the same thing in the closing months of the war by offering to sell Jews to the allies and not murder them. Nobody made it to one of the top spots in the SD/SS by being a Jew lover. We should have executed everyone involved in The Final Solution and Werner Best would have been at the top of my list to hang I dont care how many tailors he warned. It was lucky for the Danish jews that Germany was being beaten and SS members were already looking for ways to save their skin post war. By late 1943 organizations like "The Spider" were already forming to help SS officers escape justice.

    Some Nazi's like Best and Albert Speer played on western sympathys to escape death sentences. Werner Best was not a "righteous man" in any way.

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    1. It was the author's grandparents, not mine. Mine were Italian Catholics, living in the US - Alliance, Ohio area.
    2. You make very valid points.
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    That's a great article; as one who studies WW II history I found it to be very informative. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGUtley View Post
    1. It was the author's grandparents, not mine. Mine were Italian Catholics, living in the US - Alliance, Ohio area.
    2. You make very valid points.
    c

    My bad on that. But it doesn't matter Werner Best still should have finished his life dangling from the gallows. He was a no good SOB.

    I remember Albert Speers book "Inside the Third Reich" when I was about 10yo. He mostly wrote it while serving a 20 year sentence at Spandau prison and then went on a very successful book tour and autograph signing. The book was considered the most in depth realistic portrayal of Hitler and the war at the time. Speer had used a different tactic to escape the hangman ; He expressed remorse at the trial and spun up stories of how he tried to murder Hitler and end his rule, a thing there was never an ounce of proof about. He played the western news media like a violin and became the "good Nazi" by a war weary west that was trying to convince itself such an evil couldn't have existed in what had been a Christian Democratic nation.

    Well we were wrong. It really did exist and Speer turned out to be a manipulative, no good SOB in charge of a vast slave labor war industry that didn't give a damn about the people it chewed up and spit out. He also was a bureaucratic genius who was responsible for prolonging the war by introducing innovative Industrial practices that made Germany that much harder to beat. History ended up exposing Speer not as the good man caught in a bad situation but a self serving man eager to rise to the top of Nazi'ism , increasing his own personal power, loyal to Hitler until the end, and unsympathetic to the victims of the regime he chose to serve. He was another Lying SOB that should have dangled from a rope.

    Its important to separate the experience of Jews from Denmark and that of the Netherlands. While a few provinces of the Netherlands resisted the deportation of Jews as a whole the Dutch were willing collaborators having closer ties to Germanic tribes in their history. The majority of the Netherlands rounded up their Jews with even more energy then the Vichy French did. The Danes, of Denmark, have much closer ties to the Scandinavian countries who weren't fond of the Nazi's and their racial policy's. They protected their Jews probably more then any occupied country in the war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by usaf81 View Post
    Im glad your grandparents escaped and yes the Danes were very courageous in the way they saved almost all their Jews, deserving special mention, but ask yourself "why" would a Nazi Party member act to warn Jews in Oct. 1943, especially a General in the SS second only to Reinhard Heydrich , a guy who created a registry of all Jews in Germany for later annihilation? A guy who organized the Einsatzgruppen death squads that murdered their way across the eastern frontiers executing Jewish woman and children without mercy? Why would he do it?

    Part of the answer is the Danes received special treatment from the Germans because Hitler and his mob considered them a racially pure Aryan race so he left them with a functioning bureaucracy. Danish young men volunteered for a German SS motorized Division, 5'th SS Wiking and the "Free Corp", that fought well on the eastern front tho they steered clear of atrocities and demanded to be led by their own officers. This is the division that was made up of the racially pure Scandinavian countries.

    There was no more dedicated a Nazi then Best lets make that clear. A General in the SD/SS he was also one of the highest ranking members of the Gestapo and showed his loyalty to Hitler in "The Night of the Long Knives" when Hitler decimated the leadership of the S/A, a paramilitary group upsurping both the Army and SS in the power structure and whom Hitler destroyed because he needed Army loyalty more. Industry too was afraid of the socialist policys of the S/A.

    So why would Best do it? A guy with buckets of blood already on his hands? He was a Lawyer and part of the Intellectual elite Himmler recruited to legitimize his screwball racial policies. Well one answer is that Best wanted the Danish occupation to be low key with as few internal problems as possible. But the real answer is by Oct. 1943 a blind man could see Germany was going to lose the war.

    The winter before the German 6'th army had been wiped out at Stalingrad and was being hurled back on the entire eastern front by a Soviet army growing more and more powerful and mobile. In Sept. Italy quit the war which further drained German military manpower by forcing an occupation of the Italian mainland because the Allies had just landed on it and were working their way north. The American 8'th Air Force based in England had rebuilt its strength and there was the rumor of a new long range escort fighter that could shepherd the B-17s all the way to Berlin. The western allies were building up their forces for the invasion of France. The cities and Industry's of the Reich were being razed to the ground by the allied bombers. Hamburg had been destroyed a few months earlier, Germanys largest port and 2nd largest city. Rommel was defeated in Africa. The Battle of the Atlantic had been lost in May '43 with Donitz recalling all surviving U-boats and suspending operations.

    In short Best was already looking ahead and how to save his own skin. Even Himmler tried the same thing in the closing months of the war by offering to sell Jews to the allies and not murder them. Nobody made it to one of the top spots in the SD/SS by being a Jew lover. We should have executed everyone involved in The Final Solution and Werner Best would have been at the top of my list to hang I dont care how many tailors he warned. It was lucky for the Danish jews that Germany was being beaten and SS members were already looking for ways to save their skin post war. By late 1943 organizations like "The Spider" were already forming to help SS officers escape justice.

    Some Nazi's like Best and Albert Speer played on western sympathys to escape death sentences. Werner Best was not a "righteous man" in any way.
    I had to pass history when I was in school. Good thing you didn't.
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    I had to pass history when I was in school. Good thing you didn't.
    What does that mean?

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