Heil Hitler Episode 2

Last time, I showed you a picture of the England football team all making their Nazi salutes at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on May 14th 1938. They were the good men who stood by and did nothing:

England-Germany 1938 nazi.xsderftgyhb
The England team though, were were not the only foreigners to greet the Führer with a cheery “Sieg Heil”. Here, just a year later, is the Republic of Ireland football team engaged in pretty much the same behaviour. Is this the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”? After all, the Irish Republicans hated the British. The Germans hated the British. Result: a football match made in Heaven:


And here’s a third group of Nazi sympathisers and Jew haters. No great surprises with this one:

Perhaps one of them is Bishop Alois Hudal, who was an Austrian titular bishop in the Roman Catholic Church and the author of the catchy best seller in cathedral bookshops across Europe, “The Foundations of National Socialism”:

Ateismo cristianismo dios jesus biblia religion catolicos creyentes Hitler ss nazis segunda guerra mundial xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hudal was no Nazi, of course, no racist. He just took being a good man who stands by and does nothing one stage further. He decided to be a bad man and join in enthusiastically to help the evil, presumably on the basis of “Whoever kills Jesus deserves all they get.” That attitude though, can get you into very deep doo doos, however.

Hudal, for example, is credited with organising the escape from justice of war criminals such as Franz Stangl, the Commanding Officer at Treblinka Extermination Camp, which killed between 700,000-900,000 human beings:

Stangl himself said that he went looking for Hudal in Rome, because he knew the bishop was helping all Germans. Hudal arranged rooms in Rome for him, helped him to escape through a “ratline” and then gave him money and a visa to Syria. Using a Red Cross passport Stangl lived happily in Damascus, where Bishop Hudal found him a job in a textile factory.  He remained in Syria with his wife and family for a few years before moving to Brazil in 1951. Stangl then found work with Volkswagen still living openly with no problems, still using his own name.
Another Nazi war criminal allegedly helped by Hudal was SS Captain Eduard Roschmann, the “Butcher of Riga”, who killed 24,000 Jews in the Latvian ghetto.
Hudal helped Josef Mengele, the Mad Doctor at Auschwitz, the “Angel of Death”, who always introduced himself to the Jewish children as “Uncle Mengele”:

Gustav Wagner was the commanding officer of Sobibor, where between 167,000-300,000 human beings were killed. Hudal and others in the Vatican helped him to flee to Syria, and then to Brazil, where he became a citizen in 1950. Extradition requests from Israel, Austria and Poland were rejected by Brazil’s Attorney General who also rejected those from the West Germans.

In 1980, Wagner supposedly committed suicide in Sao Paulo. This was after he had given himself a severe beating, cut off all the fingers of his right hand and then stuck a very large knife into his own chest.

So where is all this going? Well, we’ll see in Episode 3.





Filed under Criminology, Football, History, Politics

18 responses to “Heil Hitler Episode 2

  1. Wow – the things you never learn in history class! How is I never heard of this before? A Bishop helping Nazis escape is a big deal in my book!

    • It’s an example of the anti-semitism present in the European church from early medieval times until, probably, the aftermath of the Second World War. Since then, it has disappeared completely, as far as I can see.

  2. Pierre Lagacé

    I have read the Wikipedia article on him…
    Quite a track record!
    I wonder what God told him when he knocked at the heaven’s gate…
    Of course if there is a gate…

  3. Wasn’t Roschmann the bad guy in the book ‘The Odessa File’?

    • Quite probably, but I’ve never read the book, although I did see the film a long time ago. Personally, I always liked the Marathon Man. When my dentist retires I am going to buy it for her as a present.

  4. Some of the world’s most ghastly men all in one post. How many of Hitler’s evil henchmen managed to get out and survive for years is a disgrace. Those who helped them in my book, are just as guilty, church or no church.

    • You are quite right! I think I would just upset people by naming countries but there were many who bear the guilt, and not just the obvious South American ones. Had it not been for Simon Weisenthal and Mossad I dread to think what would have happened.

  5. atcDave

    Some fascinating stuff!
    I’ll guess Masad was in the “assisted suicide” business…

    • Yes they were, although they were perhaps not as subtle here as they might have been. My favourite “assisted suicide” is that of Joachim Peiper, the SS adjutant of Himmler, responsible for a number of massacres, most notably the 84 captured members of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion. He was ultimately more or less let off by the courts after eleven years in prison, at the behest of an anti-Semitic judge, a young Joseph MacCarthy and the baleful influence of the German Church. I have summarised Wikipedia here but read about Peiper’s fate in full, after he had gone to live in France…
      “During the night of 13/14 July 1976, Peiper’s home was attacked. In the ruin, Peiper’s charred corpse was found together with a .22 caliber rifle and a pistol. The perpetrators were never identified. On the 14th of July the French celebrate Bastille Day, the founding of the modern nation.”

      Vive la Résistance!! Still operating after thirty years!

      • atcDave

        I’ve seen that story before; it always makes me wonder, what was a former member of the SS thinking, moving to France in the first place?!

  6. This still has to be said, John

  7. Amazing! I never had any chance to cross on this in my history class. Thank you for sharing John.

    • Thank you very much, that is very kind. I have an idea that one worldwide conspiracy is to make history seem boring, but of course, we all know that people and their motives are a really interesting subject.

  8. Only human beings can be so cruel.

    • Quite right. Animals do occasionally delay killing their prey so that the young animals can practice hunting with them, but we are the really evil ones when we set our minds to it.

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