Germany: What Have We Learned Since the “Forgotten Holocaust”?

Germany: What Have We Learned Since the "Forgotten Holocaust"?

Photo: Romani ("Gypsy") children at Auschwitz subject to various terminal medical experiments.

By Victor Grossman (Excerpt)

Monthly Review, November 3, 2012

That was on October 24th.  On October 25th Merkel's Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, demanded that entrance visa and asylum rules for people from Serbia and Macedonia be sharply tightened, that decisions on approving or rejecting applications be speeded up, and that skimpy cost-of-living allowances for those waiting should be reduced.  He avoided the word -- but it is common knowledge that 90 percent of these would-be immigrants are Roma people, whose living conditions in much of southeastern Europe have become intolerable.

... Aside from big and little breakdowns in the elevated train system, by now almost normal, the giant new headquarters for the Federal Intelligence Bureau (BND), at the site of a main stadium in former GDR times, was also hit by delays caused by mismanagement; the price tag, originally set at 720 million euros, has already reached 912 million.  This bad-luck espionage center, less a sister of the CIA than its daughter, was set up in 1956 by a top Nazi espionage general, Reinhard Gehlen, after absolving his service with the American cloak-and-dagger chiefs.  He immediately staffed his organization near Munich (where it remains until the Berlin building problems are overcome) with all his old SS, Gestapo, and other war criminal buddies.  The more anti-Communist they were the better their chances of a good job -- until a scandal in the 1960s forced him to fire 71 of the very bloodiest.  By now those men have died off, a small consolation to judge from the present lot.  And no one here seems overly worried about delays in this particular moving day.

Neo-Nazis march in Berlin on May 1, 2010

This BND agency also has a German sister, the Constitutional Protection Bureau -- rather like the CIA and FBI siblings in the USA.  But the sister also directed its main attention to obstreperous leftists or, more recently, other sinister elements who don't even speak German properly.  Thus it somehow overlooked a widespread neo-Nazi underground network which killed people (mostly immigrants) and set off bombs for over ten years without being detected, even though rightwing groups and the neo-Nazi "National Democratic Party" are filled, even staffed, with highly-paid secret government agents.  Lengthy investigations of what has obviously been collusion were rendered more difficult because this government agency shredded thousands of relevant documents when the facts first started to bubble up out of the morass.  The investigations are still in progress. ...

Victor Grossman, American journalist and author, is a resident of East Berlin for many years. He is the author of Crossing the River: A Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War, and Life in East Germany (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003).


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