At the CIA headquarters in Langley, one of the most recently uncovered artifacts in the agencyâ€™s private museum is a message from a father to his toddler son. And, get this! The gold-embossed letterhead features a swastika and the name Adolf Hitler.
The letter reads:
â€œDear Dennisâ€¦ The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe â€” three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins.â€
Dennis is the 69-year-old Dennis Helms, intellectual-property barrister in New Jersey. The writer of the letter was his father, Richard Helms, the CIA director during the Vietnam War and Watergate eras, who died in 2002. Directly after Germanyâ€™s surrender, Lt. Helms, an intelligence operative, snuck into Hitlerâ€™s chancellery in Berlin and filched the Fuehrerâ€™s stationery. He dated the letter â€œV-E dayâ€ for May 8, 1945.
The letter flabbergasted the CIA museumâ€™s curatorial staff when it was first acquired in May. Mainly because it also conveyed a certain historical intuition about the evil which one man could do. The letter happened to arrive at Langley only one day after Osama bin Laden was discovered and shot to death in May.
In other news, the cardinal who helms Vatican relations with Jews found himself in hot water during his very first United States visit in his new position. After a speech on theology and Jewish-Catholic dialogue at Seton Hall University, Swiss Cardinal, Kurt Koch, repeated a comment he made earlier this year in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
Rabbi Alan Brill, a Seton Hall professor who assisted in organizing Koch’s talk.
Koch wrote that:
“Since the cross of Jesus erases any desire for vengeance and calls everyone to reconciliation, it rises above us as the permanent and universal Yom Kippur.”
Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni of Rome had erstwhile complained that Koch seemed to be indicating that Jews should consider Christian beliefs as definitive.
Henry Kissinger recently apologized for comments made to former-president Richard Nixon in 1973, saying it wouldn’t be an American concern if the Soviet Union sent its Jews to the gas chambers.
Kissinger also forgives Nixon for anti-Semitic comments made, about him, behind his own back.
The recent apology, to Jews (I guess), appeared in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that appeared on its website Dec. 24 but is dated Dec. 26.
The recently released remarks, recorded in the Oval Office, were taken out of context, wrote Kissinger:
“For someone who lost in the Holocaust many members of my immediate family and a large proportion of those with whom I grew up, it is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions and to my convictions, which were profoundly shaped by these events,” Kissinger wrote.”References to gas chambers have no place in political discourse, and I am sorry I made that remark 37 years ago.”
Kissinger made the remarks after a meeting he and Nixon had with then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1, 1973 in which Meir pleads for the United States to put pressure on the Soviet Union to release their Jews. Kissinger and Nixon, then the secretary of state, dismiss the plea after Meir leaves.
Kissinger is reported as saying on the tapes:
“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policyâ€¦And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
To which Nixon replies:
“I know. We canâ€™t blow up the world because of it.”
Six months later, during the Yom Kippur War, Nixon rejected Kissinger’s advice to delay an airlift of arms to Israel as a means of setting up an Egypt confident enough to pursue peace.
Kissinger writes in the Washington Post piece that his comments were not a “policy statement,” but were made in reply to a request by Nixon that he attempt to encourage various vocal senators to agree to stick with mum diplomacy in order to get Jews out of the Soviet Union.
Kissinger defends his statement and policy by saying that a silent diplomacy about Soviet Union Jews, was setting an Egyptian peace strategy in place:
“The issue became public because of the success of our Middle East policy when Egypt evicted Soviet advisers. To restore its relations with Cairo, the Soviet Union put a tax on Jewish emigration. There was no Jackson-Vanik Amendment until there was a successful emigration effort.”
That is always good advice – BLAMA DE JEWS!
We are well and thank you for the recommendation…
Berlin is a beautiful and edgy city. There is lots to see here. We went to 4 museums so far and today we went for a walk in their Tiergarten park, sort of like central park, beautiful and bigger actually.
The city is huge, its 900 sq. kilometers and has 3.6 million citizens. It also gets 9 million tourists a year…
We took the bus city tour pass, like we always do, and we got a feel for the city. Of course we also got the 3 day museum pass so we can go to as many museums as we want in 3 days. It’s amazing to see how Hitler and the Nazi party fucked this city up in every aspect possible. The city zoo, one of the biggest collection with over 4500 species was cut down to 70. The national museums were all but destroyed and the works of arts they had collected were taken by the allied forces or destroyed. In the center of the city there is a church which was bombed and they intentionally leave it like that, the roof and towers are in pieces and they keep it that way to remember. And of course, the huge mark of shame – the Berlin Wall, that cut this city in half and is still noticeable today.
The city is young but you see older people who have a good life. They go out to restaurants and enjoy the city.
The weather is beautiful, fall and changing colors. Yesterday was sunny and you see the locals all run out and sit along the Spree river and enjoy the last days of sun before the winter. The park was all orange and yellow and it was beautiful.
Yesterday, we went to a shopping areas called Hackensack Market in the Mitte district, what once was East Berlin, and it was great. You walk around between residential buildings in courtyards and each with little boutiques and specialty stores. The area is an East Berlin revamped suburb, young and edgy. We finished the evening in a good Thai restaurant..
We are staying in the Charlottenberg district, right off the Kurfustedam. West Berlin’s very high end street. Sort of the 5th avenue or Madison Avenue of Berlin. We are staying in a very modern hotel called XXX hotel and on the corner of our street is Cartier. The street is 3.5 KM and you can find every major fashion designer and brand on this street. XXX was very busy and visited them all 🙂
We enjoy a great breakfast every morning, salmon, cold meats and cheese, fresh bread and eggs and bacon. We have Wireless Internet everywhere in the hotel and its really great. When you walk into the corridor the lights turn on to conserve energy and the room looks on to a green treed courtyard (since we are here for a week they upgraded our room).
The first place we went to was the Jewish Museum, interesting place and the 3rd most popular museum in the city.. Its a significant part of the Museum trail here. German kids were there and they are all taken there to see and learn. Some don’t want to be there but at least they are taken there. Berlin had 180,000 Jews when the war started. Today there are 14,000 Jews… when you go to the museum and you see some of the pictures and stories of Jews in the city, you start to recognize the names of the streets they mention.. It’s eery..
You come across the effects of the war and that period of shame all the time. We went to the Helmut Newton exhibition, It’s Berlin’s photography museum. He was a Berliner Jew who left to Australia and became one of the best known photographers in the world. He lived in Paris, Monte Carlo and LA but not Berlin. His mother got him out of the country after things got dangerous in Berlin when he was young… Must really burn their ass..
Everything in Berlin is under construction! I mean everything.. They are building all the time and everywhere. It is once again the Capital of Germany and the Bundestag is the parliament. It’s also the festival of lights this week so they light up the main buildings at night and its beautiful. One thing that was a little creepy was the Brandenburg Gate. The gate with the 4 horses at the top and what once had the Nazi emblem. I saw a photo of it in 1945 right at the end of the war, it was completely destroyed and what’s interesting is that the Berlin wall was a few hundred yards from it so it was also in no mans land for 40 years..
When you walk through the areas where the Berlin wall ran, there is a double cobble stone belt in the road to show you the imaginary line of the wall. It’s a permanent scar across the city’s face, like someone slashed it and left the mark. Again, the result of Nazi regime and past mistakes.
All this makes Berlin an interesting city to visit. Food is great and its not very expensive. There are also lots of Israelis and a few times when we spoke, Germans asked if we were Israelis and recognized the lingo.
Yep.. The Jews are back motherfuckers ….
Rafal Betlejewski, a Polish performance artist burned down a barn in the central region of the country in a commemoration of the July, 1941 Jedwabne incident.
In this deadly pogrom, in the presence of Nazi German Ordnungspolizei, approximately 340 Jewish people were locked inside a barn and burned alive by gentile Polish nationals.
“Poland is a completely different country than it was 80 years ago when there was a big and significant Jewish minority, which participated in Poland’s cultural, social and scientific developmentâ€¦These people are gone after the Holocaust and later waves of emigration, and I miss them more and more. This performance is addressed to Poles first and foremost, to those ignorant who know nothing about Jews’ input in Poland’s history.”
A typical shtetl, consisting of 757 Jewish people, that is 61.9% of the town’s total population, Jedwabne was established sometime during the 18th century.
More than 1,000 people were present to witness the barn burning ceremony.
Betlejewski read out the names of people who sent in their thoughts and left their notes inside a barn rebuilt outside of the town of Zawada. He poured petrol inside the structure and lit it.
As the wooden bar went ablaze, the Polish artist rushed out of it.
So today I think of the pressure on the Jewish Country to give up its settlements in the Golan Heights and in east Jerusalem.
I think of Helen Thomas’s recent comments; and I think of the post-Nazi Kielce pogrom on July 4th, 1946 when a false tale of child kidnapping and blood libel allegations resulted in the murder of 39 Jewish Poles.
Let us never allow it to happen again and let us never forget.
Am Israel Chaiâ€¦
The Catholic Church has been in a curious light as of late. The world community was like way grossed-out by several salacious sex scandals. The ball started rolling over in Ireland and the Pope began to sweat — not too sweet. Then more was uncovered from under the covers, that is, in: Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and even Brazil, priests and other members of the Roman clergy were accused of molesting youngsters — and, well the rest is really too terrible to tell.
They say that Pope Benedict, while still a German archbishop, knew of such activities but kept them in the dark. There were rumors that he would be forced to step down now that the past has been brought to the light. The likelihood of that is not good.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is something of a hero â€“ he is to me anyway. His Website calls him, “America’s Rabbi“, and I wonder if that is not untrue, a kind of post-Lubavitch religious hipster with clout and growing at that, minus one red string on wrist â€“ thank God. You had to love his show, Shalom in the Home, on The Learning Channel.
He debates everybody! He debated Christopher Hitches at the 92nd street Y in Manhattan about the existence of God, and sounded like a brilliant post-enlightenment, science age Theologian â€“ an Orthodox rabbi steeped in all kinds of philosophical and scientific fact â€“ cold hard facts. Yes we checked out the Taliban and the current state of extreme Islam, we’ve read Darwin, Einstein and that other loud-mouth Briton with all of the books and documentaries â€“ what’s his name? No we won’t stop believing in God, as Americans, Jews and human beings! And have you reduced your carbon footprint today?
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach knows that Pope Benedict has an ambiguous stance about Jews. The one-step forward, two-step back kind of post-Holocaust Pope. Pro-life and pro environmental reform who was photographed last week dozing off in the middle of Mass. God bless him.
So Boteach’s reaction to the Pope, now sweating in embarrassment over the sex scandal, who brought back to Catholic liturgy a call for Jews to save themselves by converting to the religion of the cross â€“ the old one, the Roman one â€“ has gone to console the panicky Vicar in the Vatican. The Vicar who quietly protests on behalf of Palestinians but kisses Kotels and visits Manhattan synagogues â€“ and who knows what happened to the Jews of Italy during the Second World War? Anyone?
Boteach’s suggestion was that the church â€“ in all of its glory â€“ promote family Shabbat dinners on Friday nights, similar to the Jewish custom. Rabbi Shmuley claimed it would be a good way for the church to re-establish its pro-family image. This initiative, said Boteach, would help the church demonstrate that it is not only concerned with opposing same-sex marriages and abortions â€“ other issues which have found it further damned by disagreers and offendees â€“ (?) and they who hate their family (?)
No real response was received on the matter.
After meeting with the Pope Boteach received an invitation to have lunch with Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is responsible for the Vatican’s relations with Jewry.
During this meeting the rabbi harshly criticized the church for covering-up the sex abuse scandals â€“ surprising, that’s all he could think of criticizing the Vatican for?
This is a greeting sent to us from some friends (Hat Tip: Bili)