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The three-page, closely typed report, marked 'Secret', copied to British officials and sent by air pouch to Cordell Hull, the US Secretary of State, detailed how the industrialists were to work with the Nazi Party to rebuild Germany's economy by sending money through Switzerland.They would set up a network of secret front companies abroad. Death camp: Auschwitz, where tens of thousands of slave labourers died working in a factory run by German firm I.
The exported funds were to be channelled through two banks in Zurich, or via agencies in Switzerland which bought property in Switzerland for German concerns, for a five per cent commission.The Nazis had been covertly sending funds through neutral countries for years. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Model-1896 World War One cannon to military vehicles dating from the 1960s and 1970s.It was discovered by a team which normally specialises in exploring urban areas. Some of the vehicles, including a Cold War-era ERC-90 armed recon vehicle and a World War Two era truck are remarkably well-preserved, with fully inflated tyres and a noticeable lack of rust, prompting some experts to suggest they are part of a private collection that has been moved there recently. However the explorers believe the facility was abandoned in the late 1980s or early 1990s at the end of the Cold War and point to the rusted remains of the German heavy guns as proof that it was in use almost a century ago.
Newly discovered documents show that in the years after World War II, former members of the Nazi Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS formed a secret army to protect the country from the Soviets. For nearly six decades, the 321-page file lay unnoticed in the archives of the BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency -- but now its contents have revealed a new chapter of German postwar history that is as spectacular as it is mysterious. The previously secret documents reveal the existence of a coalition of approximately 2,000 former officers -- veterans of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS -- who decided to put together an army in postwar Germany in 1949. The goal of the retired officers: to defend nascent West Germany against Eastern aggression in the early stages of the Cold War and, on the domestic front, deploy against the Communists in the event of a civil war. Kesselring uncovered the documents, which were given the strange title of "Insurances," while trying to determine the number of workers employed by the BND. Instead of insurance papers, Kesselring stumbled upon what can now be considered the most significant discovery of the Independent Historical Commission.
According to the papers, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer didn't find out about the existence of the paramilitary group until 1951, at which point he evidently did not decide to break it up. In the event of a war, the documents claimed, the secret army would include 40,000 fighters.
Statements by Schnez quoted in the documents suggest that the project to build a clandestine army was also supported by Hans Speidel -- who would become the NATO Supreme Commander of the Allied Army in Central Europe in 1957 -- and Adolf Heusinger, the first inspector general of the Bundeswehr. Kesselring, the historian, has a special connection to military history: His grandfather Albert was a general field marshal and southern supreme commander in the Third Reich, with Schnez as his subordinate "general of transportation" in Italy. The army project began in the postwar period in Swabia, the region surrounding Stuttgart, where then 40-year-old Schnez traded in wood, textiles and household items and, on the side, organized social evenings for the veterans of the 25th Infantry Division, in which he had served.
But their debates always returned to the same question: What should be done if the Russians or their Eastern European allies invade? At first, Schnez' group considered allowing themselves to be defeated and then leading partisan warfare from behind the lines, before relocating somewhere outside of Germany. To prepare a response to the potential threat, Schnez, the son of a Swabian government official, sought to found an army. Anton Grasser, a former infantry general who was then employed by Schnez' company, took care of the weapons. Schnez wanted to found an organization of units composed of former officers, ideally entire staffs of elite divisions of the Wehrmacht, which could be rapidly deployed in case of an attack. As the grandson of German Jews who prospered for 500 years in Germany, fought in the Franco Prussian wars and WW i, and emigrated at the right time,I fail to see why this emergency military measure should attract any negative press. A little more truth in German journalism in regard to the former Wehrmacht would not be out of place.
The fact is, the Wehrmacht was looked upon, by most of those fighting on the other side, as a very disciplined and professional fighting force. Those who had experienced the horrific brutality of the Soviet forces, had every reason to fear that Russia would try to steal even more of Germany than had already been the case in 1945. As someone who lived trough the Soviet, French, Moroccan Occupation I find this article not in the least bit disturbing. It is inconceivable that a nation, one that had been so united and so defeated, would not have had both an official and unofficial under-ground movement - possibly sponsored by the West - during the period of Stalinist expansionism and aggression. If there was ignorance on the matter, it was only because no one wanted to know -- not Gehlen, not Adenauer, not Globke and presumably many others as well. Click on the links below for more information about DER SPIEGEL's history, how to subscribe or purchase the latest issue of the German-language edition in print or digital form or how to obtain rights to reprint SPIEGEL articles.
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Um einen Kommentar abzugeben melde Dich bitte zuerst an.Wenn Du noch kein Konto bei uns hast, kannst Du Dich hier registrieren. Some of these ideas were ahead of their time and reached a more advanced design stage, and even affect aircraft today. But US Military Intelligence report EW-Pa 128 is as chilling now as the day it was written in November 1944. Swiss banks, in particular the Swiss National Bank, accepted gold looted from the treasuries of Nazi-occupied countries.
Although they will not reveal the exact location, it is believed the bunker once formed part of the Maginot line - the array of fortifications and defences constructed along France's borders with Italy and Germany after World War One. They made their preparations without a mandate from the German government, without the knowledge of the parliament and, the documents show, by circumventing Allied occupation forces. It collected information about left-wing politicians like Social Democrat (SPD) Fritz Erler, a key player in reforming the party after World War II, and spied on students like Joachim Peckert, who later became a senior official at the West German Embassy in Moscow during the 1970s.

Historian Agilolf Kesselring found the documents -- which belonged to the Gehlen Organization, the predecessor to the current foreign intelligence agency -- while working for an Independent Historical Commission hired by the BND to investigate its early history. Even so, its contents testify to the ease with which democratic and constitutional standards could be undermined in the early years of West Germany's existence. The involvement of leading figures in Germany's future armed forces, the Bundeswehr, are an indication of just how serious the undertaking was likely to have been. Schnez was born in 1911 and served as a colonel in World War II before ascending the ranks of the Bundeswehr, which was founded in 1955.
But the BND has recently released the "Insurances" files, making it possible to paint an independent picture. They helped one another out, supported the widows and orphans of colleagues and spoke about times old and new.
West Germany was still without an army at the time, and the Americans had removed many of their GIs from Europe in 1945.
In the event of a sudden attack from the East, an employee with the Gehlen Organization would later write, Schnez wanted to withdraw his troops and bring them to safety outside of Germany.
Even though it violated Allied law -- military or "military-like" organizations were banned, and those who contravened the rules risked life in prison -- it quickly became very popular. Schnez recruited donations from businesspeople and like-minded former officers, contacted veterans groups of other divisions, asked transport companies which vehicles they could provide in the worst-case scenario and worked on an emergency plan. In 1950, he began his career at the Federal Interior Ministry in Bonn, where he became inspector general and oversaw the coordination of German Police Tactical Units in the German states for the event of war.
According to the lists contained in the documents, the men were all employed: They included businesspeople, sales representatives, a coal merchant, a criminal lawyer, an attorney, a technical instructor and even a mayor. An overview in the documents shows that Rudolf von BA?nau, a retired infantry general, led a "group staff" out of Stuttgart. To call all these, often conscripted, young people Nazis, is more than a deviation of the facts. It has always been a puzzle for us, to see how modern day Germans have been so ready and willing, to believe their own forefathers were little more than a bunch of political criminals.
We need styles that are quick and easy to maintain without having to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get it right. The document, also known as the Red House Report, is a detailed account of a secret meeting at the Maison Rouge Hotel in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. And then they would take over Germany again.The industrialists included representatives of Volkswagen, Krupp and Messerschmitt.
They accepted assets and property titles taken from Jewish businessmen in Germany and occupied countries, and supplied the foreign currency that the Nazis needed to buy vital war materials.Swiss economic collaboration with the Nazis had been closely monitored by Allied intelligence. According to Gizmodo, the bunker has more recently been used by locals for the cultivation of mushrooms.
Similar commissions have been hired by a number of German authorities in recent years, including the Finance and Foreign Ministries to create an accurate record of once hushed-up legacies.
By the end of the 1950s he was part of the entourage of then Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss (CDU) and later served the German army chief under Chancellor Willy Brandt and Defense Minister Helmut Schmidt (both of the SPD). Presumably they were all anti-Communists and, in some cases, motivated by a desire for adventure. There were further sub-units in Ulm (led by retired Lieutenant General Hans Wagner), Heilbronn (retired Lieutenant General Alfred Reinhardt), Karlsruhe (retired Major General Werner Kampfhenkel), Freiburg (retired Major General Wilhelm Nagel) and many other cities as well.
Many of those who died in action had been placed in the front lines for the very reason, that they had not supported Hitler in the way the leadership had required.
These young people were pushed into armed conflict in the name of their country, just as others in many parts of the world were and still are. Ihr Erscheinen setzt ein weitreichendes RA¤tsel in Gang, das auch das FBI auf den Plan ruft. There, Nazi officials ordered an elite group of German industrialists to plan for Germany's post-war recovery, prepare for the Nazis' return to power and work for a 'strong German empire'. Officials from the Navy and Ministry of Armaments were also at the meeting and, with incredible foresight, they decided together that the Fourth German Reich, unlike its predecessor, would be an economic rather than a military empire - but not just German. He ordered the industrialists to 'make contacts and alliances with foreign firms, but this must be done individually and without attracting any suspicion'.The industrialists were to borrow substantial sums from foreign countries after the war. The Red House Report's author notes: 'Previously, exports of capital by German industrialists to neutral countries had to be accomplished rather surreptitiously and by means of special influence. To be posted to areas, in which the worst fighting was taking place, was very often nothing more than a punishment for having a different opinion to those in power. Denn einer der Namen auf ihrem KA¶rper ist vom FBI-Agenten Kurz Weller (Sullivan Stapleton).
The Red House Report, which was unearthed from US intelligence files, was the inspiration for my thriller The Budapest Protocol. They were especially to exploit the finances of those German firms that had already been used as fronts for economic penetration abroad, said Scheid, citing the American partners of the steel giant Krupp as well as Zeiss, Leica and the Hamburg-America Line shipping company.But as most of the industrialists left the meeting, a handful were beckoned into another smaller gathering, presided over by Dr Bosse of the Armaments Ministry. The book opens in 1944 as the Red Army advances on the besieged city, then jumps to the present day, during the election campaign for the first president of Europe. There were secrets to be shared with the elite of the elite.Bosse explained how, even though the Nazi Party had informed the industrialists that the war was lost, resistance against the Allies would continue until a guarantee of German unity could be obtained.
More than two months after D-Day, the Nazis were being squeezed by the Allies from the west and the Soviets from the east. The European Union superstate is revealed as a front for a sinister conspiracy, one rooted in the last days of the Second World War.
But as I researched and wrote the novel, I realised that some of the Red House Report had become fact. The Nazi leadership was nervous, fractious and quarrelling.During the war years the SS had built up a gigantic economic empire, based on plunder and murder, and they planned to keep it.

A meeting such as that at the Maison Rouge would need the protection of the SS, according to Dr Adam Tooze of Cambridge University, author of Wages of Destruction: The Making And Breaking Of The Nazi Economy. The Third Reich was defeated militarily, but powerful Nazi-era bankers, industrialists and civil servants, reborn as democrats, soon prospered in the new West Germany. He cut an imposing figure in his tailored grey-green uniform and high, peaked cap with silver braiding. Ohlendorf's ostensible job was focusing on export trade, but his real priority was preserving the SS's massive pan-European economic empire after Germany's defeat.Ohlendorf, who was later hanged at Nuremberg, took particular interest in the work of a German economist called Ludwig Erhard. Erhard had written a lengthy manuscript on the transition to a post-war economy after Germany's defeat.
This was dangerous, especially as his name had been mentioned in connection with resistance groups.But Ohlendorf, who was also chief of the SD, the Nazi domestic security service, protected Erhard as he agreed with his views on stabilising the post-war German economy. Ohlendorf and Erhard feared a bout of hyper-inflation, such as the one that had destroyed the German economy in the Twenties. The two men agreed that the post-war priority was rapid monetary stabilisation through a stable currency unit, but they realised this would have to be enforced by a friendly occupying power, as no post-war German state would have enough legitimacy to introduce a currency that would have any value.That unit would become the Deutschmark, which was introduced in 1948. The German industrial conglomerates could rapidly rebuild their economic empires across Europe.
By 1948 - despite six years of conflict, Allied bombing and post-war reparations payments - the capital stock of assets such as equipment and buildings was larger than in 1936, thanks mainly to the armaments boom.
Erhard pondered how German industry could expand its reach across the shattered European continent. The answer was through supranationalism - the voluntary surrender of national sovereignty to an international body.
Germany and France were the drivers behind the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor to the European Union. The ECSC was the first supranational organisation, established in April 1951 by six European states.
This set a vital precedent for the steady erosion of national sovereignty, a process that continues today.But before the common market could be set up, the Nazi industrialists had to be pardoned, and Nazi bankers and officials reintegrated. McCloy, the American High Commissioner for Germany, issued an amnesty for industrialists convicted of war crimes.The two most powerful Nazi industrialists, Alfried Krupp of Krupp Industries and Friedrich Flick, whose Flick Group eventually owned a 40 per cent stake in Daimler-Benz, were released from prison after serving barely three years.
Their companies used slave labourers like cattle, to be worked to death.The Krupp company soon became one of Europe's leading industrial combines.
Friedrich Flick remained unrepentant about his wartime record and refused to pay a single Deutschmark in compensation until his death in July 1972 at the age of 90, when he left a fortune of more than $1billion, the equivalent of A?400million at the time. Some of the leading figures in the Nazi economy became leading builders of the European Union.'Numerous household names had exploited slave and forced labourers including BMW, Siemens and Volkswagen, which produced munitions and the V1 rocket.
Many concentration camps were attached to dedicated factories where company officials worked hand-in-hand with the SS officers overseeing the camps.Like Krupp and Flick, Hermann Abs, post-war Germany's most powerful banker, had prospered in the Third Reich.
Dapper, elegant and diplomatic, Abs joined the board of Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, in 1937.
As the Nazi empire expanded, Deutsche Bank enthusiastically 'Aryanised' Austrian and Czechoslovak banks that were owned by Jews.By 1942, Abs held 40 directorships, a quarter of which were in countries occupied by the Nazis. Farben's bosses hedged their bets.During the war the company had financed Ludwig Erhard's research. Farben executives were indicted for war crimes over Auschwitz III - but only twelve of the 24 were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms ranging from one-and-a-half to eight years.
Farben got away with mass murder.Abs was one of the most important figures in Germany's post-war reconstruction. It was largely thanks to him that, just as the Red House Report exhorted, a 'strong German empire' was indeed rebuilt, one which formed the basis of today's European Union. Abs was put in charge of allocating Marshall Aid - reconstruction funds - to German industry. By 1948 he was effectively managing Germany's economic recovery.Crucially, Abs was also a member of the European League for Economic Co-operation, an elite intellectual pressure group set up in 1946. Behind the scenes Abs was working hard for Deutsche Bank to be allowed to reconstitute itself after decentralisation. That same year the six members of the ECSC signed the Treaty of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community.
The treaty further liberalised trade and established increasingly powerful supranational institutions including the European Parliament and European Commission.Like Abs, Ludwig Erhard flourished in post-war Germany. In 1963 Erhard succeeded Adenauer as Chancellor for three years.But the German economic miracle a€“ so vital to the idea of a new Europe - was built on mass murder. The number of slave and forced labourers who died while employed by German companies in the Nazi era was 2,700,000.Some sporadic compensation payments were made but German industry agreed a conclusive, global settlement only in 2000, with a A?3billion compensation fund. There was no admission of legal liability and the individual compensation was paltry.A slave labourer would receive 15,000 Deutschmarks (about A?5,000), a forced labourer 5,000 (about A?1,600).
To put this sum of money into perspective, in 2001 Volkswagen alone made profits of A?1.8billion.
Next month, 27 European Union member states vote in the biggest transnational election in history. But these three typewritten pages are a reminder that today's drive towards a European federal state is inexorably tangled up with the plans of the SS and German industrialists for a Fourth Reich - an economic rather than military imperium.a€? The Budapest Protocol, Adam LeBor's thriller inspired by the Red House Report, is published by Reportage Press.

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