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Saturday, August 7, 2010

How an Irish soldier saved Hitler's life


I don't know how it is in the Commonwealth nations, but here in the US, one study pegs the the number of Americans that are of Irish descent at well over 40 million. That's alot of Guiness my friends. Included in that number is your's truly, JD Curtis. Curtis is an English last name, however the Irish side of my family is via my mother who had forebearers hace muchos generaciones with the last name Connor.

Although I don't readily identify myself as an Irish-American for obvious reasons (the propensity for alcohol and the reputation for hard-headedness chiefly among them), I still read the Irish newspaper the Independent with regularity. I find the Irish to be a bit left-of-center more often than not, but pretty good thinkers in their own right anyway. Today I came across the following article concerning Mr. Michael Keogh (pictured above on his wedding day) which I found of passing interest and I thought I would just throw it out there for examination and reflection by the ilk....

"The amazing wartime tale of Dubliner Michael Keogh began when he joined the British Army in 1914 and won the George's Cross for bravery before being captured by the Germans in 1916.

While in captivity he was persuaded by members of the Roger Casement Brigade, a group formed to recruit Irish soldiers to fight against the British as a display of Irish republicanism, to join them....

Shortly after the Great War, while Mr Keogh was staying in Munich to fight against the Communist rulers who had declared a short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic in April 1919, he recalls how he led a military operation to save the life of the future German tyrant.

He had earlier met Hitler in September 1918 near Ligny on the French Border, where the pair were in the same Bavarian Regiment.

In his memoirs he describes how, as the officer on duty during the anti-Communist revolution, he received an urgent call about a riot involving 200 men and two "political agents", one of them being Hitler, in a nearby gym.

"I ordered out a sergeant and six men and, with fixed bayonets, led them off on the double."

Mr Keogh explained that two political agents, who had been lecturing from a table top, had been dragged to the floor and were being beaten.

"The two on the floor were in danger of being kicked to death. I ordered the guard to fire one round over the heads of the rioters. It stopped the commotion."

The group of soldiers managed to haul out the two injured politicians.

"The crowd around muttered and growled, boiling for blood," he added.

"The fellow with the moustache gave his name promptly: Adolf Hitler."

"They had come to the barracks as political agents for the new National Socialist German Workers' Party."
So imagine that. Even such a war criminal as Adolf Hitler experienced the luck of the Irish at least once in his lifetime. Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friends.


PS. Yes, I am prepared to shoot down any pitiful "Hitler was a Christian" arguments that some of the less informed might be so dense as to offer up for discussion.



27 comments:

Froggie said...

Hitler was an idealogue.

PS
Good luck with finding any corroboration for the above story.

ATVLC said...

Heh, it's a fun story.

PS
Hitler was a Christian. :-)

zilch said...

Hitler was an equal-opportunity theist, Christian or Pagan or Self-God, as the need arose. He did complain bitterly about the weakness of the Church, but he claimed Jesus and Martin Luther as influences. And I'll match you quote for quote: I've read most of what's available from Hitler in German. I'm reading through his Tischgespräche at the moment- he was a genius, but a pretty weird guy and not very nice...

And yes, that's a fun story.


cheers from cloudy Vienna, zilch

JD Curtis said...

ATVLC, adherents.com has written on their website "We are not aware of any published sources from acknowledged academic historians or writers that identify Adolf Hitler as significantly Catholic or Christian in his motivations as an adult. If anybody writes to us to point out such resources, we will be happy to cite them and refer to them here. Link (emphasis theirs).

So if you really do have this sort of evidence forward it to them and you can make yourself semi-famous.

I think that you have it about right Zilch. Hitler was an opportunist. Of all of the statements concerning his claimed identification as a "Christian" how many of them were made when he was running for office? This may come as a bit of a suprise to some people, but politicians have been known to lie while running their campaigns to garner more votes.

JD Curtis said...

In Januarary of '02, The New York Times reported about the OSS (forerunner of today's CIA) papers that were then just recently released having been made years ago in preparation for the Nuremburg Trials ...

"The outline, ''The Persecution of the Christian Churches,'' summarizes the Nazi plan to subvert and destroy German Christianity, which it calls ''an integral part of the National Socialist scheme of world conquest.''

According to Baldur von Schirach, the Nazi leader of the German youth corps that would later be known as the Hitler Youth, ''the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement'' from the beginning, though ''considerations of expedience made it impossible'' for the movement to adopt this radical stance officially until it had consolidated power, the outline says.

Attracted by the strategic value inherent in the churches' ''historic mission of conservative social discipline,'' the Nazis simply lied and made deals with the churches while planning a ''slow and cautious policy of gradual encroachment'' to eliminate Christianity."

I have yet to have one single skeptic offer up anything close to a coherent rebuttal to this fact.

JD Curtis said...

Zilch, given your interest in the subject and the part of the world that you live in, a couple of questions if you don't mind..

1) Are you familiar with a book titled Hitlers Tischgespräche by Henry Picker? If so, does it vary greatly from the more famous Table Talk?

2) Are there any editions of a Table Talk book around (from Martin Bormann's interviews with Hitler) that you are aware of that were written just from Heinrich Heim's notes? More specifically, before a Frenchman by the name of Genaud got his hands on the texts?

Chris Mackey said...

Does it really matter how Christian Hitler was?
The people who followed him were Christian.
"Gott mit uns"

JD Curtis said...

Chris,

It is my understanding that even Sam Harris has stopped mentioning the beltbuckle example.

Especially since it was pointed out to him that "Gott mit uns" was from the 19th Century Kaiser's Imperial Standard.

WWI era buckles are selling for about 30 bucks in case youre interested. Link

Chris Mackey said...

I think you've missed the point of my last post.
Does it really matter how Christian Hitler was?
The people who followed him were Christian.

It is my understanding that even Sam Harris has stopped mentioning the beltbuckle example.

The phrase wasn't just on beltbuckles. And why should I care that Sam Harris has stopped mentioning it.

Especially since it was pointed out to him that "Gott mit uns" was from the 19th Century Kaiser's Imperial Standard.

So?

Hitler used Christianity and made references to it constantly.

His speeches, books, propaganda are filled with references.

http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/9427/hitlergottmituns.gif

Jquip said...

Chris: So what you're saying is that politicians make appeals to the broader culture based on the cultural norms of that same broader culture. Story old as time.

I recognize that you're trying to make a distinction but I fail to see what it is. Care to clarify?

JD Curtis said...

Does it really matter how Christian Hitler was?

In at least one context, it does. Atheists often try to offer up Adolph Hitler as some sort of example in so far as how a supposedly "Christian" leader can behave when the guy really wasnt a Christian at all. If he was a Christian, then what what his church that he so often attended and what was the name of his most favored parish priest?

The people who followed him were Christian

Since it at least superficially appears that you examined this issue, what percentage of those who "followed" Hitler were Evangelicals and what percentage were merely culturally Christian?

Hitler used Christianity and made references to it constantly. His speeches, books, propaganda are filled with references.

Again, I will ask you the question that I previously put to Zilch, "Of all of the statements concerning his claimed identification as a "Christian" how many of them were made when he was running for office? This may come as a bit of a suprise to some people, but politicians have been known to lie while running their campaigns to garner more votes."

Chris Mackey said...

In a way.
I'm saying it doesn't matter much if Hitler became less Christian in his latter life because the people on the ground were Christian.

After all, if the Christian messages won support it seems likely that most Nazis were Christians too.

Otherwise, what would be the point of delivering statements like:
"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."?

Chris Mackey said...

St. Michael's, in Leonding.

Chris Mackey said...

Then Martin Luther Memorial Church in Berlin if I recall correctly.

JD Curtis said...

I'm saying it doesn't matter much if Hitler became less Christian in his latter life because the people on the ground were Christian

And yet this answer fails to distinguish between those who were "culturally Christian" and "Evangelicals" as previously requested.

Otherwise, what would be the point of delivering statements like...

Just out of curiosity, what was the date of this statement by Hitler?

St. Michael's, in Leonding...Then Martin Luther Memorial Church in Berlin..

These are answers of some sort but what were his attendence figures at these respective churches? Was he a daily communicant? Weekly? Monthly?

Arielle said...

It doesn't matter what he claimed to be. "By their fruit you shall know them."

Also, as I understand it, a large chunk of the vote that put Hitler into office came from women. I'd hazard a guess that the Christian spin was aimed in their direction.

Jquip said...

Chris: "Otherwise, what would be the point of delivering statements like:"

Cultural norms; again, nothing surprising there. Assuming that you're an Atheist or reasonably familiar with it: Then under this all religions are simply cultural morality stories. Little different than Grimm's, Aesop's or similar.

So any distinction here is necessarily one of the cultural moral plays rather than a mere notice that people are, well, people. If we are to note that the Germans were especially prone to follow a course such as set by Hitler and the NSDAP and place notice for such on various cultural norms then a few questions must be asked.

How is Christianity remarkable in this regard? Or is this a facet of a particularly German style of Christianity? We seem to have skipped entirely, in addressing underlying moral tales, any discussion of Odinism or the folks tales contained in the Grimm's collection.

All of which seems to assume that there is an underlying cause in the German culture and character that is somehow uniquely German that goes to the unique consequences of WWII. Certainly, if such a thing was true then, we must ensure that we identify and stomp it out lest the Krauts get all Judenhassen again -- as their race is want to.

zilch said...

JD- the book I have is Hitlers Tischgespräche, by Henry Picker, in German. The story behind how the talks were transcribed is complex, but this version contains table talks notated by Picker and by Heinrich Heim, and also some which were modified by Martin Bormann. The papers Genoud had were only published in English and French translation, but as far as I can tell from the preface, Genoud never had the papers from Picker and Heim in his possession. I'll do some more reading on it if you're interested.

zilch said...

Oh, and Jquip: Martin Luther was indeed German, and indeed responsible for a lot of the virulence of German antisemitism. I've started reading his last book, Von den Jüden und iren Lügen, About the Jews and their Lies. It's a riot.

JD Curtis said...

Zilch, there are some anti-Christian quotes from the English version of Table Talk that Hitler supposedly made. I was wondering if these occurred in Tischgespräche as well.

Chris Mackey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Mackey said...

Since blogger seems to have eaten my first comment.

The quotes were an invention of Genoud. The English version uses these faked quotes from the French.

Genoud later faked parts of some of Hitler's other writing and said: "But it is just what Hitler would have said, isn't it?"

To answer his question; probably not.

zilch said...

JD and Chris- I'll look them up tonight. As far as I recall, though, at least some anti-Christian quotes from Hitler are genuine: that is, they are from Heinrich Heim's stenographic notes and not from Genoud's "translation". But I'll let you know in about eight hours.

cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch

zilch said...

Okay, I've got my Hitlers Tischgespräche out, and here's a sample, from Heinrich Heim's stenographic notes, from the 13th of Dec. 1941:

"I don't care about articles of belief, but I also won't put up with a pastor messing about with earthly things. The organized lie must be broken in such a way that the State is the absolute ruler. In my youth, my position was: dynamite. Not until later did I see that you can't break it over your knee. It must rot off like a burnt limb. One must bring it to the point that only fools stand at the chancel, and in front of them sit only little old ladies. The healthy youth is with us."

This is just a bit- he goes on about how foolish belief is, but he also says:

"Jesus was an Aryan".

Hitler had the theory that Jesus' father was a Roman soldier. Funny, huh?

Anyway, this it probably authentic; it comes straight from Henry Picker's collection, and was never in the hands of Genoud.

cheers from Hitler-free Vienna, zilch

zilch said...

Oh, ps: that's my translation. If anyone has any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them as best I can. In any case, it seems that Hitler went from considering himself a Christian doing the work of Jesus, to someone who hated the Church and made fun of the Bible, but still admired Christ.

cheers, zilch

JD Curtis said...

Zilch,

If you can get your hands on a copy of that book, email me the price (plus the cost to snail mail it to me) and I'll send you the dough.

Some people on my wife's side of the family are from der Vaterland and can translate it for me.

As old a release as possible without getting prohibitively high is what I am looking for. To my knowledge, the info that you just cited is not out there on the web. And I looked for it quite a bit in the past, cramming it into search engines 8 different ways to Sunday.

zilch said...

JD- I'll be glad to do so. I don't know if it is still in print- mine is a paperback edition from 1968- but I can probably dig one up. I'll let you know what I find.

If you're interested, I can also translate some more from mine, as time allows. It's fascinating reading for sure.

The edition I have consists of about half of Picker's collection, and comprises what Picker reconstructed on the same evening based on his notes, and the stenographic records of Heinrich Heim. Picker's reconstructions are considered to be quite accurate, and of course the stenographs are probably nearly perfect. There are footnotes referring to the parallel Genoud editions in French and English, and pointing out some differences in text between them, but Genoud's are not printed here.

And as far as I can tell, the German original that Genoud worked from, by Martin Bormann, has not yet been made public in any form.

cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch