A Jewish Photographer Documented Nazi Deportation of Jews

    The Times of Israel:

    Unique and chilling images of one of the first deportations of German Jews from their homes during World War II have been published for the first time by a Berlin-based international research project.

    The set of 13 pictures — discovered by chance in an archive in Dresden by historian Steffen Heidrich — were taken clandestinely. They are believed to be the only ones chronicling a deportation captured by a Jewish photographer.

    The photos show hundreds of Jewish men and women — from elderly people in wheelchairs to young children grasping their parents’ hands — being rounded up and herded into a beer garden in Breslau, Silesia, on November 21, 1941.

    The photographer is believed to be Albert Hadda (1892-1975). Hadda was married to a non-Jew and therefore escaped deportation for a time. It is thought that he had access to the area of the city where the victims were taken to be deported; a section that was sealed off to the general public. Hadda survived the Groß-Rosen concentration camp, and after living in Israel for a time returned to Germany. He died in Frankfurt am Main in 1975 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Stockholm, where Hadda’s daughter lived.

    See also, PetaPixel and #LastSeen.

    Switzerland and Dachau

    Germany’s National Socialist (Nazi) government and Switzerland had substantial ties. Switzerland’s contribution to the construction of the Dachau concentration camp near Munich is not well known.

    Before WWII, Extroc, SA, a Swiss state-subsidized timber company built the Dachau concentration camp, under a contract for 13 million Swiss francs. The contract was negotiated by Colonel Henri Guisan, the son of the later Swiss Commander-in-Chief Henri Guisan (1874–1960) and a Swiss national hero. The Swiss Colonel was in turn connected to Hans Wilhelm Eggen, an SS captain who bought timber in Switzerland for the Waffen SS. This was the wood used to construct Dachau. Dachau was the first regular concentration camp established by the Nazi government.1

    According to a now declassified CIA report, Eggen often went to “Switzerland under cover of a delivery agent for wooden barracks.” Eggen was a friend of Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the SS. In Nazi Germany, the SS controlled the German police forces and the concentration camp system.

    See, Roberts, Andrew, The Storm of War (p. 113). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition; Goñi, Uki, The Real Odessa: How Perón Brought the Nazi War Criminals to Argentina (p. 170). Granta Books. Kindle Edition.

    1. My father was liberated from Dachau by the US Army. ↩︎

    The CIA and Nazi War Criminals

    The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act established the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group to locate, identify, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration, all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.

    In 1995, the National Security Archive posted the CIA’s secret documentary history of the U.S government’s relationship with General Reinhard Gehlen, the German army’s intelligence chief for the Eastern Front during World War II. At the end of the war, Gehlen established a close relationship with the U.S. and successfully maintained his intelligence network (it ultimately became the West German BND) even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals. The use of Gehlen’s group, according to the CIA history, Forging an Intelligence Partnership: CIA and the Origins of the BND, 1945-49, was a “double edged sword” that “boosted the Warsaw Pact’s propaganda efforts” and “suffered devastating penetrations by the KGB.” [See Volume 1: Introduction, p. xxix]

    The declassified “SECRET RelGER” two-volume history was compiled by CIA historian Kevin Ruffner and presented in 1999 by CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jack Downing to the German intelligence service (Bundesnachrichtendienst) in remembrance of “the new and close ties” formed during post-war Germany to mark the fiftieth year of CIA-West German cooperation. This history was declassified in 2002 as a result of the work of The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) and contains 97 key documents from various agencies.

    The full posting is available here.

    Norman Miller (1924-2024)

    The New York Times:

    At 15, he escaped to England. At 20, he enlisted in the British Army and identified Arthur Seyss-Inquart (1892–1946) who, as the Reich commissioner of the German-occupied Netherlands, was responsible for deporting thousands of Dutch Jews to concentration camps.

    We Need to Take the Far Right Seriously

    Jeremy Stern in a long, thoughtful piece in Tablet Magazine entitled “Can Germany’s Far Right Be Stopped?” writes:

    If you really want to stop people from voting for the extreme populist right in your country, you might start by moderating your outrage at their attempts, however manic, to dissent from your leadership—and start taking them seriously.

    Stern is a deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He was previously a senior adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer in the U.S. Army.

    The History of the Swastika May Surprise You

    Germany Rearming: Where will this lead?


    Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, is going on a buying spree to make up for years of neglect. The challenge it faces, however, is more than a matter of money. As the Defense Ministry pours tens of billions of borrowed euros into planes, tanks and shells, it also needs the people to fly, drive and shoot them — and keep all of it in working order.

    That’s why conscription has emerged from the dustbin of Cold War history for a possible second act. In Germany, as in many of parts of Europe, a political debate over the issue is heating up. Opposition parties, such as the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have expressed interest in some kind of mandatory national service. The three-way governing coalition has been more skeptical.