Spoiler alert!!!

I caught this movie being “offered” on youtube. It’s very interesting, but you wouldn’t tell this from the ridiculous beginning.

I agree with many of the things written here on the movie, by Douglas Messerli. It’s bizarre how the movie starts and continues for quite some time with this light and peppy and very old-fashioned (to us) comedy tone. The jokes revolving around the old neighbor (as one of many men) flirting and running after Celestine just make you groan. The somewhat one-dimensional or very exaggerated characters also. Then before you know it, the movie quickly and inexplicably transitions into this intense and dark drama, a transition that makes no sense, but then it’s when the good part of the movie begins.

Something very special happened in my experience watching the movie. Because of this boring, overly silly, and very sexist beginning, I just started skipping ahead to see what the next parts of the movie would bring. It’s then that I came across one of the most romantic and thrilling scenes I have seen in a long while, when the two enamored “heroes” finally come together and admit their love for each other. When things reach a climax and Georges sees that he is going to lose Celestine to the evil valet Joseph, he finally breaks free of his life-long passivity and submission to his profoundly domineering mother to fight for his love. Thus he goes after Celestine and challenges her to admit her hidden love for him by kissing him.  He tells her she is afraid to admit her feelings for him – that’s why she won’t kiss him. Finally Celestine, in a dramatic action,  passionately kisses Georges as they sweepingly embrace, as a testament of her love and the belated admission of her feelings for him. What a magnificent kiss because of the context. Ah, so romantic, I thought, so sweet, so lovely, so powerful.

After I finished watching the movie, I went online to find out more about it. Especially because of this detailed Messerli critique, I learned that among the several bits of the movie that I skipped as I fast-forwarded, was the information that Georges has tuberculosis and is doomed. So his challenging Celestine about her being afraid of kissing him was not, as I thought as I watched the scene, a lovely emotional challenge for her to admit her love for him, but a challenge that she would not kiss him because she could become ill as a result of the contact. Oh, for Christ’s sake. There went my most beautiful romantic scene. The actual meaning is tragic and awful. He’s going to die. But they admit their love to each other. So 19th century! As Messerli says, “Even if he has somewhat regained his health [ thanks in part to the realized love of the couple], we know he is doomed, given the intensity of his illness, to live only a few years.”

With this new spoiled understanding of what was my beautiful romantic scene with no tuberculosis and therefore a “lived happily ever after” ending, I mentioned my tragic discovery of the meaning of the lines to an acquaintance. And how awful that made the whole ending. They offered back a small silver lining. “I don’t know if everybody who had tuberculosis ended up dying in those days”. True, I hadn’t thought of that. My friend has a point. I mean, even during the Middle Ages plagues, there were people who were resistant and didn’t die. There! Georges will just have to be one of them. I refuse to go look up the question of tuberculosis resistance on the Internet because I want to keep with me the thought that he just might have survived, and with him, their love.

And, as an additional bonus, as the movie gets into its dramatic half, I saw what is potentially the best dramatic scene I have ever seen in a movie about material greed. It’s the scene where Joseph and Madame Lanlaire, Georges’ mother, desperately fight  for the piles of the shiny silverware. The silverware is greatly chosen as symbols of  wealth and fortune – and it truly stands out visually – and of their mutual naked and vile greediness.  The powerful acting,  lungings, wrestlings, viperous verbal attacks, the blackmailing, the manipulations, their absolute desperateness as they try to hang on to or take control of the silverware – everything is brilliant. As a magnificent additional touch is Lanlaire’s husband in the background, smacked by his wife back into his passive role, visibly in the throes of utmost despair about how their lives have unraveled, as the two more strong willed characters fight it out in the foreground.

Now that is good drama!

Just one last note: one other addition of excellent acting comes from Celestine’s fellow servant  Louise (Irene Ryan)— “who cannot even walk across the room without the bearing the weight of her sense of worthlessness”. Not such an easy thing to pull off.

From CNS News:

The homosexual crusade continues, now intensifying on the international front. Liberals have started to mix their noxious LGBT agenda into international politics, and to go full throttle on their homosexuality imperialism efforts.

They will now use economic and political clout to blackmail countries with a decent understanding of sexuality to corrupt themselves like the US has done or else.

“International free-trade agreements like those being negotiated with countries in the Pacific and Europe should help to export American values such as human rights, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, according to seven openly homosexual U.S. ambassadors.”

Seven!

Obviously, the human right to have healthy and decent view on sexuality is NOT an American value anymore.

The homosexual crusade has now appointed an official general to lead the crusading armies: the  State Department’s first “special envoy for LGBTI persons,” Randy Berry.

“Special envoy for LGBTI persons.” Really. Special envoy to shove homosexuality down your throats or you don’t get to do the trade you need.

Obviously, there is no “special envoy” for people with a wholesome and decent view of sexuality, on the other hand. And that is the state of the US today. Watch it crumble, while it proclaims its absolute glory.

“The seven joining Berry are Ambassador to Dominican Republic James Brewster, Ambassador to Spain James Costos, Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford, Ambassador to Australia John Berry, Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Daniel Baer, and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman.”

It’s true that savage capitalism is more coherently accompanied by savage sexuality – thus, while the US is dominated by liberals, that’s what its new imperialism will smell like.

“The signatories [of a letter outlining their homosexual crusade via economic blackmail and imperialism] said they were proud to be part of an administration “deeply committed” to advancing the human rights of LGBTI people, citing President Obama’s recent comment – in a statement marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – that “all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.””

Funny. I don’t live free from all these things exactly because of people who have a homosexual problem (LGBT) and their fanatical homosexual agenda.

I’d like to have an international day against liberal “decent sexuality”-phobia – and that it would be every day.

Once upon a time, I was told I lived in a thing called a country. It had a flag and an anthem and its own symbolic colors. Wasn’t that super? What a great thing a country was, they said. The country had once been a colony, but then it wanted independence and it got it. People had drawn lines on the ground and they said: everyone who is born within these lines is now of this country, they are its citizens. Then they instituted a government and called it a democracy, because they said that’s what you call a country where the people are represented in their government. You can vote for some of your politicians, they said, and isn’t that a great thing? Really, isn’t that the most fantastic idea ever?

Then they added police and military and a bunch of bureaucrats. They also said they needed a secret service – to do secret things, of course. And not only one secret service, but many different secret services, aside from all the secret things the military did. The people no longer knew what these secret government bodies were doing. They no longer controlled it, and their representatives no longer informed the people. That’s how it must be, they said. It’s for your own good – this is how countries work. In a democracy, you must obey the rule of law and we must have secret services.

Now it came to light that these secret services were going to other countries and breaking all kinds of laws allegedly to further some interests – our interests which are your interests, they said. The secret services were spying on people – and that is a crime. “But that’s what secret services do!” they said. They were torturing people – and that is a horrible crime. “But it must be done!” they said. They were murdering people. “But we have to”, they said. And that’s when they weren’t committing mass murder by another name, war. Which of course had to be done – that’s what we were told.

“It’s our right because we are defending your interests and aren’t our interests your interests too?” they said smiling. It’s all for your own good that we go to other countries and we behave like thugs and like the mafia. That’s democracy.

So let me get this straight about how this “democracy” system works. I live in a country where there are a million laws. Not only laws, but the principle of the rule of law. And which I am told I must follow because they say the principle itself means that the laws apply to everyone. Yet a very large group of people take a huge amount of money for themselves to organize themselves to break the law in any country, any time they wish, for any purpose they like to call “our interests”? Curiously, I never got to vote on what my interests would be in the case. I don’t even know what these interests are and who gets to decide what interests are “our” interests. I only know nothing was chosen by me. Nothing represents me. I gave no consent to any of it.  “But that’s democracy!” they said. Isn’t it fun?

Indeed! Let’s just examine how fun it is. When I look around this so called democratic world based on the rule of law, this is what I see. It functions just like a non-democratic system in many ways, even though some of the government people are elected. It has a very curious organizational dynamics that resembles every other thuggery-based system that has ever existed before.

Imagine that in my house, I have the same system. I tell everyone who lives in my house: we have rules – they are laws. Everyone must obey the rules: you cannot rob or murder people living in our house – these are just horrible things and we don’t want anyone doing horrible things. But, if it serves our interests, we can go to our neighbor’s house, after we’re all decked in black and wearing a black a mask, and do any crime we wish – all those things we said were horrible. All that is needed is that it serves some nebulous interests that someone conveniently decides to call “our” interests. That’s our magnificent, laudable, sophisticated, modern democratic system! Behold and be in awe of Western democracy!

So this  is the great vision of a democratic world? This is a world ruled by the rule of law? On what planet?

We live in a barbaric feudal mafia system with a few ballot boxes sprinkled on top to disguise it, that’s all.

And this is just a little parable on international relations, without getting into a scenario of secret services breaking the laws in their own country. Which they obviously do.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Added later:

Tying in to how this thuggish kind of democracy works today, there is this great comment from Fran Macadam, over at TAC:

America’s Civil Liberties Exceptionalism

With the passage of the NSA-reforming USA Freedom Act, the U.S. separates itself by restraining its post-9/11 surveillance state. (By Reid Smith)

Fran Macadam says:

It frankly involves a huge amount of cognitive dissonance to try to claim exceptionalism for ourselves in matters of liberty over our allies own mass spying, when our government and its covert agencies strongarmed allies into becoming wholly owned subsidiaries for NSA spying, “collecting it all” for them and transferring it to NSA. These weaker countries really had no choice, when “you’re either for us or against us” and it’s the American Way, or the highway. Look what happens to nations who don’t tow the line – few are willing to endure economic sanctions. To say then, that we who are the authors of the greatest mass domestic surveillance programs in human history, forcing what we developed on others without their peoples knowing what was being done to them, are superior defenders of privacy and liberty is completely beyond hypocrisy. Without Snowden, whom the array of democratic institutions in our nation – law enforcement, homeland security, the surveillance agencies, the courts both secret and open, the congress, the Presidency, the Justice Department, the State Department – still declare Snowden to be the greatest criminal in U.S. history – there would have been no discussion, no knowledge of how the United States government turned its covert agencies against the American people, compiling dossiers and assigning threat levels to everyone, recording and assessing every personal communication and transaction.

Yes, this is exceptional, but in the opposite direction of every founding principle embodied in our Constitution that sought to give us liberty. My former Florida Sheriff friend had told me that the government was engaged in building the greatest mass surveillance in human history. I thought at the time it must be hyperbole. It wasn’t.

Snowden is as great a patriot for our times as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and others, all of whom were sought to similarly be imprisoned or executed by the imperial tyranny that claimed they were traitors for advocating democracy and liberty.

We have a country – if we can keep it.

In case you missed a minor twitter spat between renowned Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, and the Westboro Baptist Church this week, Ms. Rowling decided to display to the world just what makes up the mind of an ignorant bigot. All giddy with the recent farcical homosexual “marriage” vote in Ireland, Ms. Rowling revealed that when not writing youth fiction, she spends some of her time fantasizing about perverted sexual relations between fictional characters.

To celebrate Ireland’s idiotic vote to legalize farcical homosexual “marriage,” she tweeted to a fan a message where she imagined the perversion of Gandalf, the heroic wizard of Lord of the Rings. Ms. Rowling was apparently very excited with the thought of Gandalf sodomizing and being sodomized by one of her own male characters, Dumbledore, and that all of this would be marvelous if done under the ridiculous ideological wrapper of homosexual “marriage”. Not only that, thanks to the recent vote by Irish liberals, the fictional homosexual “marriage” would then take place in Ireland.

As a response, the Westboro Baptist Church provoked the Harry Potter author by saying they would picket the fictional “homosexual wedding”. Ms. Rowling, stooping to a bigoted insult as a reply, tweeted back: “Alas, the sheer awesomeness of such a union in such a place would blow your tiny bigoted minds out of your thick sloping skulls.”

As it’s plain to see, Ms. Rowling, while cluelessly yacking about the “the sloping skulls” of the WBC, forgot to take a look at her own. Let’s ask a simple question. Who does more violence in society and is the least civilized: the group she belongs to, liberals who think homosexuality is normal, or the Westboro folks?

In the US and Europe alone, there are millions of liberals perpetrating all kinds of violent and non-violent crime, especially in the area of sexuality and relationships – and they are people who believe homosexuality is normal.

Not only that, who does more violence to LGBTs – the WBC folks or LGBTs themselves? There is no record of any WBC member ever assaulting, raping, trafficking, or murdering any LGBT person. The WBC folks simply do zero violence to LGBTs – compared to millions of cases of assault and abuse by LGBT perpetrators themselves. Several studies put the number of interpersonal violence occurrence among LGBTs – you know, the people who think homosexuality is normal – at 25-50%. Do the math with the population of millions of homosexuals and bisexuals in the West. Obviously, LGBT individuals also sexually assault and harass heterosexuals, that is, not only adults and teen victims, but also children, toddlers, and even infants. Just to cite some of the most notorious examples of such homosexual monsters, we can mention Frank Lombard, James Rennie, and Truong/Newton. Once Ireland’s vote becomes law, all of these homosexual criminals will be able to get married in Ireland and then sexually torture Irish children with a marriage certificate in hand! What an achievement for Ireland.

On the other hand, where have you seen a Westboro member violently batter a homosexual? Or produce child porn? Or murder anyone? Nowhere. But you can literally find millions of LGBTs who constantly do all these horrible crimes and many other harmful acts. Among the troglodyte achievements by Ms. Rowling’s “homosexuality is normal” camp, LGBTs are also infesting society with STIs, from minor to deadly and resistant. Who leads the spread of HIV and syphilis in the West despite being a very small percentage of society? Why, it’s Ms. Rowling’s homosexual and bisexual pals – not the WBC. Syphilis in the US had almost been eradicated in the early 2000s, but thanks to homosexuals and bisexuals, it’s now surging again.

Given this striking difference in ethics and behavior, which group do liberals consider as good, ideologically normal, and middle-of-the-road – that is, non-extremist? The group that contains millions of violent and degenerate individuals, and who share a particular ideology that normalizes homosexuality, among other warped ideas!

Very curiously, the WBC, the group that basically does no violence, is framed and demonized as evil and extremist. How odd. What is it that the WBC folks actually do that makes liberals vilify them so much?

They impose and demand a healthy morality and they state outright what is perverse in terms of sexuality. For a liberal, that is a crime of the highest order. Notice that at their MOST extreme, the Westboro folks merely say “God hate fags”. On the other hand, at their most extreme, LGBTs brutally rape infants, specifically adopt children to torture them, hack their partners with chainsaws, sexually humiliate, whip, and degrade people for pleasure, set their lover’s children on fire, and batter their partners systematically, including to death – and then go out on their Pride Parades to be clapped at. Just a tad of a difference!

Really, could the real extremist group please stand up? What liberals deem to be “extremist” regarding the Westboro folks is nothing of the kind. It’s simply the latter’s refusal to submit to the very harmful and lacking in ethics ideology that liberals promote in the sphere of sexuality and relationships. Were Ms. Rowling’s skull a little less sloping, she might acknowledge this simple, but very important fact.

I came upon this article in the New Haven Register in the form of an answer to a man asking why a number of Jews see Jews intermarrying and “ceasing” to be Jews such a threat and such a problem. I posted a comment, but since it was “held for moderation,” I’m going to post it here, to save it, because this could very well mean that it will never see the light of day.


GOD SQUAD: Jews are justifiably worried about their declining numbers

http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20150522/god-squad-jews-are-justifiably-worried-about-their-declining-numbers

Q: What’s the big deal about marrying “in the faith” with Jews? Furthermore, why does being born into a particular faith impose a duty to preserve the faith and traditions of the religion in which a person is raised? [cont.]

Excerpt of the full answer:

The concern about intermarriage is sociological, not theological. The issue of intermarriage is really the most visible manifestation of the concern that the Jewish people might not continue to exist. Low birthrate among Jews (except for the orthodox); assimilation into secular culture; lack of synagogue membership or the practice of Jewish rituals in the home; the Holocaust, which saw the murder of a third of the Jewish people during World War II; and, yes, intermarriage, have led to a demographic catastrophe in the Jewish world.

There were roughly 18 million Jews alive on planet Earth in 1933, when the world’s population was about 2 billion. In 1945, there were only about 12 million Jews still left alive. Today, there are still only about 12 million Jews, but the world’s population is 7 billion! …

By contrast, one out of every three people here on earth is Christian.

The intermarriage statistics are also concerning. Well over half the marriages in America involving one Jewish person are marriages to a non-Jewish person. Only about a third of the children of such intermarriages are raised as Jews, and less than 10 percent of the grandchildren of intermarriages are raised as Jews.

Therefore, what looks to you like xenophobia and Jewish prejudice is, in fact, a deep terror in the hearts of every Jewish person aware of these numbers that Jews are not long for this world. … The tragic irony does not escape me that a 4,000-year-old religion and people that survived exile and persecution might not be able to survive tolerance and freedom. God promised Abraham, the first Jewish person, that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands on the shores of the sea (see Gen 15:5). The way things look now, it’s a very small beach with very little sand and I can’t see the stars through my tears.


My comment:

“By contrast, one out of every three people here on earth is Christian.”

This is misleading. As several Pew surveys have shown, Christianity in the wealthy West is going down the drain just the same. What remains with us is either smaller conservative groups or larger groups of very liberal kinds of Christians, which are, in any case, a total deformation of what Catholicism and Protestantism have stood for centuries – witness the current Pope and the fact that many Catholics approve of perverted homosexuality. While it is true that in poor nations Christianity is growing strong, it seems harsh economic factors push people to organize around helping communities, and Christianity can serve this role is destitute areas quite well.

However I can understand the author’s sorrow.

But here is the catch: if people are no longer religious, there isn’t much regarding Judaism to hold onto just as an ethnicity. Take for example, an American Jew (ethnic, not religious) who thinks the CIA, a luxurious lifestyle (think Madoff), porn, and homosexuality are normal. What does it matter if he marries a Jewish woman who thinks the same way or if he marries a non-Jewish woman? The man is already such a corrupt version of what a man should be. Would the author want a bigger community of such Jews? Why? To give money to other Jews who are also such frauds?

I am just at the very first pages of Uriel da Costa’s autobiography – so sad. His tragic struggle against the barbaric world he lived in, including the Jewish community that persecuted him, raises many of these questions.

In this review by Cesarani, I found a bit more explanation of the complicated problem Fritz Bauer and others were up against in attempting to try the participants in the Nazi Holocaust machine. https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/utq/summary/v076/76.1cesarani.html

As Cesarani explains:

The trial of twenty men accused of aiding and abetting murder while serving as guards or kapos in Auschwitz that took place in Frankfurt between December 1963 and August 1965 was a pivotal moment in the process by which West Germans became aware of the crimes committed by the Third Reich. It was given saturation coverage by the media and made it impossible for West Germans to deny knowledge of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis.

[This is what is so amazing for someone who was not living at that time to understand. As I mentioned in my earlier post about the movie “Labyrinth of Lies”, it’s just mind-blowing to think that the  public largely ignored what happened before that regarding the Nazi extermination system, the camps, the tortures, etc! I can understand better now why the fictional character in the movie is completely surprised when he first hears that Auschwitz was an extermination camp – and why the director+other writer decided to create the character and the story this way.]

However, as Rebecca Wittmann shows, this knowledge was partial and peculiar. It would take decades before Germans came to terms with the extent of popular complicity in racism, atrocity, and genocide during the Third Reich. This was not due to malice in the judiciary or any desire to avoid the truth. Rather, it was the strange result of punctiliously observing legal niceties.

The Auschwitz trial was conducted under the 1871 criminal code. The prosecution did not want to charge the defendants with perpetrating genocide or crimes against humanity because that would have meant invoking retrospective legislation, something that was anathema following Nazi manipulation of the law.

[What a terrible dilemma. It seems to me, had the prosecution tried the genocide trial route, that would have meant failure from the start. At the same time, having to use a legal framework from 1871 (!) completely hampered their efforts and goals.]

But this fastidiousness created numerous dilemmas. Owing to the statute of limitation the defendants had to be charged with murder.

[As an aside note, the notion of statute of limitations for serious crimes is often counter to justice.]

To convict on a count of committing or abetting murder, the prosecution had to attain a high threshold of evidence and, crucially, had to prove ‘base motives.’ If the defendants could convince the court that they were just obeying orders, which meant that they had no motive other than doing what they were told to do, they could be acquitted. So, ironically, the more they were obedient Nazis the less they were at risk of conviction.

Use of the old criminal code created an even worse distortion that warped public understanding of Nazi perpetrators. In order to show that the defendants acted from ‘base motives’ the prosecution had to demonstrate that they showed initiative and exceeded orders. To do this the prosecution invoked the regulations that pertained in the concentration camps and brought forward witnesses, such as the SS judge Konrad Morgan, who investigated alleged ‘excesses.’ This technique inadvertently established the standard brutality of the camps as an acceptable norm. Furthermore, to clinch a conviction the prosecution sought to show that the defendants acted sadistically. In several cases there was plenty of such evidence, but it had unintended consequences.

The West German public became convinced that Nazi perpetrators were not ordinary folk like them, but murderous sociopaths.

[What a convenient way to think! Especially when you are living in a country infested with Nazis, most of whom have been awarded total impunity for every kind of monstrous crime, including genocide.]

Other SS men, even if they were part of the machinery of mass murder, seemed like decent chaps doing their duty. Any sign of compassion or inconsistency could moderate the view taken of a defendant and few men were consistently violent or murderous. Because the prosecution focused on individual instances of vicious behaviour, the daily business of genocide receded into the background. The torture apparatus developed by one of the defendants made more of an impression on the public than the gas chambers.

Fritz Bauer, the attorney-general of the state of Hesse, who had pressed for the trial, hoped that it would expose the systemic racism, quotidian brutality, and genocide practised by Nazi Germany. He was thwarted because, ironically, the law itself militated against the effects he wanted to obtain. Wittmann remarks that ‘in the courtroom, the Holocaust faded almost entirely into the background, as excessive, unauthorized brutality was emphasized by the judges and prosecution.’ Even the worst offenders received relatively mild sentences that bore no relation to their role in a death factory that murdered over one million people. Indeed, the more Nazified they were the more lenient the court had to be because this, rather than personal, venal motives, explained their errant behaviour.

Wittmann’s study is a fine blend of political, cultural, and legal history, drawing on a deep knowledge of the Nazi era and the genocide against the Jews. Although in places her narrative is a trifle repetitive, she writes clearly and elegantly. Her account of the trial’s impact may seem perfunctory compared to the space devoted to exegesis of the proceedings, but this is a minor quibble over what will surely be regarded as a landmark study of a landmark trial.

I just saw the movie “Labyrinth of Lies” /      Im Labyrinth des Schweigens / Le Labyrinthe du silence. Universal Pictures.

“Labyrinth of Lies” – post-war Germany’s dilemma over Nazi past – http://www.euronews.com/2015/05/15/labyrinth-of-lies-post-war-germany-s-dilemma-over-nazi-past/

This is a must-see movie. It’s a mixture of fact and fiction, revolving around the circumstances and one man’s determination that led to the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials. … A story that exposes the conspiracy of prominent German institutions and government branches to cover up the crimes of Nazis during World War II.”

I found the movie excellent, but was extremely puzzled about some of the director’s choices. As some others have inquired, why not make a movie about Bauer, where Bauer is the main character, given that he is the protagonist making the Trials happen in reality? Bauer’s life would make a very interesting movie. (16 July 1903 – 1 July 1968 – Bauer was a German judge and prosecutor, who played an essential role in starting the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials.)

Yet in “Labyrinth of Lies”, he is a relatively minor character and the hero position is given to the young, handsome fictional prosecutor of the movie, “Johann Radmann”, played by Alexander Fehling. I read one interview of the director, Giulio Ricciarelli, kind of touching upon the reason why he chose this, and while, as I said, I found the movie very good, I feel it is a sort of injustice to Bauer.

So what we need now is a movie about Bauer. I found this documentary exclusively on Bauer, but it’s in German, and it’s a documentary: Fritz Bauer – Tod auf Raten / Death By Instalments, by Ilona Ziok.  http://www.fritz-bauer-film.de/en/index.htm

Given that I don’t know much about European history, as I started watching the film, I was completely puzzled and confused, to the point of not understanding the story. How could it be that in the beginning of the 60s, you have a whole slew of German public prosecutors, their secretaries, and other “normal” professionals that had never of Auschwitz and its extermination function? How was this possible? Hadn’t the whole world heard of Auschwitz, the Nazis, the Holocaust, 20 years after it happened? I couldn’t understand. And yet, it appears, this is true. But I still haven’t had time to read more about it to understand exactly what happened to the flow of information. I had always thought that after the Nuremberg Trials, “everyone” knew. And not to give away much of the film, the scene where Radmann goes to the American military archive center in Germany, and the American chief there just shows him into the archive with the thousands of files on the Nazis, that the Americans are just sitting on, without doing anything whatsoever, it’s just mind-blowing!

Wow.

from wiki: Fritz Bauer was born in Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire to Jewish parents. After receiving his Doctorate of Laws degree (youngest Jur.Dr. ever in Germany), Bauer became an assessor judge in the Stuttgart local district court. By 1920, he had already joined the Social Democratic Party. In the early 1930s, Bauer was, together with Kurt Schumacher, one of the leaders of the local Reichsbanner chapter in Stuttgart. In May 1933, a plan to organize a General Strike in the Stuttgart region against the Nazis failed, and Schumacher and Bauer were arrested with others, and taken to Heuberg concentration camp. Whereas the much more prominent and older Schumacher (a crippled veteran of World War One), who had been a fierce and prominent opponent of the Nazis as SPD deputy in the Reichstag, stayed in concentration camps until May 1945 (which completely destroyed his health, the charismatic SPD leader died in 1952), the young and largely unknown Bauer was released, which probably spared him from becoming a victim of the Shoah. A short time later Bauer was dismissed from his civil service position.

In 1935, Bauer emigrated to Denmark and then to Sweden (1943) after the former was occupied by German troops during the Second World War.  In Sweden, Bauer founded, along with Willy Brandt, the periodical Sozialistische Tribüne (Socialist Tribune). Bauer returned to Germany in 1949, as the postwar Federal Republic was being established, and once more entered civil service in the justice system. At first he became director of the district courts, and later the equivalent of District Attorney in Braunschweig. In 1956, he was appointed to office as the District Attorney in Hessen, based in Frankfurt a. M. Bauer held this position until his death in 1968.

Bauer was active in the ongoing postwar efforts to obtain justice and compensation for victims of the Nazi regime. In 1958, he succeeded in getting a class action lawsuit certified, consolidating numerous individual claims in the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, the proceedings of which opened in 1963. He was also instrumental in the intelligence that he relayed to the Mossad in 1957 that allowed Adolf Eichmann to be captured. From 1957-1960 Fritz Bauer was instrumental in tracking Eichmann down in Argentina and bringing him to trial in Israel.

Fritz Bauer’s work contributed to the building of a democratic justice system in Germany, as well as to the consistent, lawful prosecution of Nazi injustices and the reform of the criminal law and penal systems. Without Bauer’s persistent involvement, the Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt might never have come to fruition.


Then there is the question of Bauer’s death, which happened in suspicious circumstances – he died in his bathtub. According to the findings of the investigating authorities, he had allegedly  committed suicide using sedatives. http://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Bauer,_Fritz

Suicide – now isn’t that a very odd thing to do if you have committed your entire life to bringing Nazis to justice and are in the midst of preparing a new, major trial? I remember reading his death was actually never investigated, but I can’t find the reference.

Another reference: “Bauer was found dead in his apartment on June 30, 1968. He was busy preparing a new trial against euthanasia crimes of the National Socialist era. ” http://geopolis.francetvinfo.fr/fritz-bauer-le-heros-meconnu-du-film-allemand-le-labyrinthe-du-silence-60475

What I think the movie made me realize like never before is summarized in this Canadian CBC article: “Auschwitz convictions have been few and far between” – About 6,500 SS personnel are estimated to have worked at the Nazis’ most infamous concentration camp, but few have ever faced trial for their roles at Auschwitz. …

The scant number of people brought to justice for being part of Nazi death machinery has been called “an ongoing scandal of postwar history. Only 49 SS guards from Auschwitz have been convicted in German courts. …

1st Auschwitz trial – Forty senior SS officials who worked at Auschwitz were put on trial in late 1947 at Krakow, Poland, with all but one convicted and more than half put to death. …

Frankfurt Auschwitz trials – Twenty-two lower-level SS were charged and 18 found guilty. Sentences ranged from life to five years in prison.”

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/world/auschwitz-convictions-have-been-few-and-far-between-1.3042220

Indeed, what stands out is just how few Nazis were ever tried. Talk about impunity and an entire system of absolute injustice.

[Added later:] Wiki gives a larger overall number – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Auschwitz_trials:

The Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, known in German as der Auschwitz-Prozess, or der zweite Auschwitz-Prozess, (the “second Auschwitz trial”) was a series of trials running from 20 December 1963 to 19 August 1965, charging 22 defendants under German criminal law for their roles in the Holocaust as mid- to lower-level officials in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death and concentration camp complex.

Overall, only 789 individuals of the approximately 6,500 surviving SS personnel who served at Auschwitz and its sub-camps were ever tried, of which 750 received sentences.[1] Unlike the first trial in Poland held almost two decades earlier, the trials in Frankfurt were not based on the legal definition of crimes against humanity as recognized by international law, but according to the state laws of the Federal Republic.[2]


More about the problem of Germany’s impunity mentality here: Buscher on Fritz Bauer Institut and Wojak and Meinl, ‘Im Labyrinth der Schuld: Täter – Opfer – Ankläger’ – https://networks.h-net.org/node/35008/reviews/43980/buscher-fritz-bauer-institut-and-wojak-and-meinl-im-labyrinth-der

From the link above:

Although the topics of the essays vary considerably, several themes emerge. Perhaps the most important is the notion that determined individuals can change the course of history. Fritz Bauer was one such individual. Irmtrud Wojak portrays him as an official who was too progressive for his time. However, although he confronted a public mood focused on drawing the final line under the Nazi past as well as the continued integration of Nazi perpetrators and fellow-travellers in West German society, Bauer was by no means discouraged. Dedicated to the construction of a free and democratic Germany, he decided to challenge this “heavy mortgage” (p. 19). Wojak and several other contributors, including Michael Greve, Langbein, and Duex, leave no doubt that there would not have been a Frankfurt Auschwitz trial without Bauer’s initiative.

The Generalstaatsanwalt was not interested in a normal proceeding, though. To be sure, he wanted to see justice done, but he saw the trial’s main function as educating the public about the utterly criminal purpose and nature of Auschwitz (p. 324). But Bauer was disappointed with the results. In 1965 the court convicted only seven defendants of murder and sentenced six to life. Three were found not guilty, and the remainder was convicted of the less serious charge of aiding and abetting murder. Similarly, the trial’s educational potential remained largely unfulfilled during the few remaining years of Bauer’s life. Certainly, as Greve rightly asserts, neither Bauer’s colleagues in the judiciary nor West German legislators felt a great urge to conduct “a thorough prosecution of [Nazi] crimes” throughout the 1960s and thereafter (p. 59).”

In addition, this system of injustice was largely fomented by the US as well, with its priority then being the Cold War. Trying Nazis got in the way of the Cold War fight agenda.

More here:  The Auschwitz Files: Why the Last SS Guards Will Go Unpunished – http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-german-judiciary-failed-approach-to-auschwitz-and-holocaust-a-988082.html

If you will be in Germany in May/June 2015, lots of great events to attend at the Fritz Bauer Institute: http://www.fritz-bauer-institut.de/

Lastly, there is this explosive claim from Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/.premium-1.553006:  “Secret life of the German judge who brought the Mossad to Eichmann
Much mystery surrounds the life of Fritz Bauer, the German-Jewish judge who told Israel where Adolf Eichmann was hiding. A new biography sheds light on Bauer – who hid the fact that he was Jewish and possibly homosexual.”

Since now every single (as in non-married) person in history is thought to have had a deformed homosexual mind, “without any doubt!” say liberals while stomping their feet, who knows. I didn’t read the Haaretz article because it’s paid. One thing is for sure, no liberal today wants to know how many millions of Germans and other Europeans were closeted homosexual or bisexual and staunchly supported the Nazis or participated in Nazi crimes. You never hear about those, do you? And if you search and search, you will only find very rare mentions.

Just like bringing Nazi criminals to justice could not get in the way of Cold War tactics, reality must not get in the way of the Narrative.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/04/30/response-to-left-and-right-wing-critics-of-the-sex-discrimination-argument-against-laws-banning-same-sex-marriage/

Ilya Somin continues with this ridiculous and farcical “sex discrimination” argument. And he’s not the only one. How can these people even get a job, let alone keep one in any institution that thinks of calling itself a higher education body?

quizberry

5:01 AM GMT+0200

[moved to correct VC post] I would reject both the Loving and Craig analogies here as very weak support for a pro-gay marriage holding based on sex discrimination. Loving is based on extending bans on asymmetric race classifications (“blacks can’t vote”) to include symmetric race restrictions (“no interracial marriage”). Loving as race discrimination law stands for a “look-through” principle against symmetric race formulations because of a bias against a race. The Loving analogy for sex discrimination law would be a look-through principle against symmetric sex formulations because of a bias against—a *sex*. NOT against a sexual orientation. The idea that anti-gay marriage laws are a way to keep down women, or men, is ludicrous, but that is what would be needed for a Loving analogy to sex discrimination. A look-through sex principle can only remedy bias re sex, not sexual orientation (unless you assume sexual orientation is a protected class, in which case using a sex discimination approach is redundant).

Similarly, the Craig v Boren analogy is weak. That case involved an asymmetric sex classification (“young men can’t buy beer”). In fact *all* previous cases have involved asymmetric sex classifications! There has never been a case finding a principle against symmetric sex classifications. For Shapiro to say “it is obviously wrong” that symmetric sex classifications might deserve a lower form of scrutiny is inane—because under current law they don’t deserve any scrutiny at all!

Even worse, Loving and Craig aren’t arguments *for* a symmetric sex look-through principle—they are helpful analogies for describing what the law would look like if there *were* such a principle. To invoke them is to point to a gap and say, “look here, shouldn’t we put something here?” It is to beg the question.

This case is clearly about sexual orientation, not sex. Gay marriage bans are not about keeping one sex down. The court should decide if bias against gays should be illegal.

Charlie Feather

6:36 AM GMT+0200

This case is really about sanity and nothing else. Why gay marriage is even being taken seriously says something very troubling about the state of mind of America.

Fyodor II

5/1/2015 8:34 PM GMT+0200

“I think it is actually Whelan who is engaging in “word games” here, not the defenders of the sex discrimination argument.”

ROFL. A lawyer having the audacity of accusing others of engaging in “word games”. The very fact that the SCOTUS has reached logically contradictory positions over matters such as segregation PROVES it is not using the Constitution and well-established interpretive principles as a basis in at least some of its decisions. And, when you consider that it has construed the word “speech” to mean – among other things – disrobing, then it is laughable to see how seriously people like Ilya take SCOTUS cases. What is the upshot of upshot of this latter construction by the court? To sustain its fragile pretzel logic, it is forced to conclude that computer generated child pornography (which will soon be indistinguishable from the real thing) is protected “speech”.

All I can say is that if Jonathan Swift were alive today, he would be pillorying the lot of constitutional lawyers with biting and humiliating satire. They are like the “learned” professors at the Grand Academy of Lagado, learning how to mix paint by smell and soften marble for use in pillows. 

The SCOTUS has NO constitutional authority to MAKE law. And yet, by presuming to answer questions which often cannot be answered by the Constitution (instead of referring the matter to the Congress), it makes de facto law – as it did when it created a generalized right of privacy from the “emanations” and “penumbras” of that document. Try getting a less “august” court to amend your mortgage contract with a bank citing “emanations” and “penumbras” and see if you don’t get laughed out of the building.

Read the rest of this entry »

If you haven’t seen the three movies below on the Battle of Stalingrad, the battle that turned WWII around, you really are missing something. I would start with this very good documentary with several interviews with survivors from both sides – free on youtube:   Stalingradhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0NSXHwPl68 (By the way, there are several other documentaries on the Stalingrad battle on youtube – this is another good one: Line Of Fire Stalingrad)

Then, you can watch “Enemy at the Gates” 2001 – a good, but very Hollywood, glossy version of the snipers in the conflict. It’s very well written, the characters are great, plenty of drama and suspense, but it’s too embellished. The main character (Jude Law as handsome as can be) is somewhat based on a real Russian sniper, and the central idea of the movie, the duel between the best German and Russian snipers, as well. But most other characters and events are fictional, even though they represent many of the feelings and experiences of real people. Of course, not included in the fictional content are major war events and people, like Stalin, which are real. In any case, despite these issues, it’s a good film for what it sets out to be – but this doesn’t mean it is what a movie about Stalingrad should be.

Before you get to the best movie of all times about Stalingrad (at least that I know of!), you can watch, if you have nothing better to do one day, a reasonably lousy one, just as a way to think about how a war and Stalingrad movie should not be done. Ridiculous story, characters, events, and reactions abound in Stalingrad (2013), directed by Fedor Bondarchuk. A sappy, ridiculous pastiche introductory sequence sets the movie on its way of mostly bad story writing. Many of the lackluster characters have such stupid incoherent minds and personalities. There is so much that doesn’t make sense in this movie that I kept wondering if I had misunderstood many things that were said, given how much they lacked sense! In fact, I think this group of four movies would be great material in a film production class. Show the films where they did things well and compare with this nonsense.

Lastly, we come to the best. Interestingly enough, it’s a German production way back from 1991, also called Stalingrad, directed by Joseph Vilsmaier. It is one of the greatest fictional movies about WWII. I think every adult should see this movie to understand the horror of war.

Today, when most people in the West are sitting comfortably in their living rooms while wars rage in far away places, many in Africa, often deployed to fulfill the greedy and corrupt interests of the West, sustained by its official Western merchants of death, the various military industries that are left to ravage the world unbridled, this movie should be shown every year, like they do with those Xmas and New Year’s Eve classics – I’d add the documentary above for education about the context. This German “Stalingrad” is brilliantly written, has greatly built characters, directing, and acting. It is not an “action” movie – these grotesque movies that present violence to be considered entertaining. This movie is about the truth.

By chance, I came across old and new news of a case involving many elements of a novel, but which may be quite common and mundane after all. Enter into stage SucDen (Sucres et Denrées), a French company that is reputedly the world’s leader in sugar. They “wanted in” in the Kazakh sugar market (which probably means control). The man who controlled the door was the Kazakh oligarch Rakhat Aliyev, who had married into Kazakh’s ruling family via the daughter and had been head of the country’s secret service, aside from having built his business empire through alleged thuggery and profoundly corrupt deals, before things turned sour with his father-in-law. Smell the perfume!

In any case, Aliyev was someone with power and money, and wanting more. So SucDen “gives” Aliyev 10% of its capital for 8 million*. Three years later, when the company no longer had any use for Aliyev, it tells Aliyev it’s time for him to sell his part, and it then pays Aliyev $24 million – with this 300% increase being justified by SucDen’s Financial Director, Thierry Bourvis, as an “increase in value of the company”. Precious! It gets better: all of it paid via checks signed in Malta from another company in Luxembourg that was managed by SucDen’s CEO, Serge Varsano. These were checks from a Societe Generale account, and there were a couple more from a BNP account – these are two of France’s most important banks. It just so happens that France has anti money laundering laws and procedures that banks are supposed to follow. One of them is that any time there is a suspicious transaction, they must inform TracFin, the French financial authority. Well, guess what the banks did?

Nothing!

Interspersed with all of this was that in 2007 Aliyev was charged in Kazakhstan for the murder of two top executives of one of Aliyev’s businesses, Nurbank. He was later charged in Austria and imprisoned there (but apparently received quite a bit of aid from the allegedly corrupt Austrian Minister of Justice, Wolfgang Brandstetter).  Aliyev was then condemned in Kazakh in absentia. This February, Aliyev’s luck ran out and he was found hanged in his cell – the prison says suicide, his lawyers and family say murder. I say murder also, but I am just an Internet onlooker. More investigations have been launched in other countries relating to him, so contrary to what some people may have wanted, the story hasn’t been buried along with his death – even though important information may have.

But all of this leads us to ask if there’s actually a single non corrupt authority in all of Europe!

Because really, what good are money laundering laws when it can be done in broad day light and authorities do nothing?


* I found this info puzzling. Is it correct? I don’t know. But how could a person acquire 10% of the capital of the world leader in sugar for just $8 million? Wasn’t this suspicious enough to anybody? I didn’t search for an answer.

An excellent piece of investigative journalism can be found here by Mediapart: http://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280215/les-etranges-deals-de-sucden-le-geant-francais-du-sucre-avec-un-mafieux-kazakh in French, plus there are many articles on Aliyev’s doings in English.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 116 other followers