Amazingly, good Nazis, like John Rabe, saved hundreds of thousands of civilians during the Second World War.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Did Nazi scientist Otto Ambros save the Allies from Hitler's deadly nerve agent, Tabun
Many think Hitler's reluctance to use chemical weapons originated from his own experiences of being gassed (in 1918 Corporal Hitler faced British mustard gas attack), but chemistry professor Frank J. Dinan disagrees. In May 1943, after the defeat at Stalingrad, Hitler summoned armaments minister Albert Speer and scientist Otto Ambros to Wolf's Lair headquarters to talk about the use of chemical weapons. Hitler feared the Allies also had access to similar weapons, asking Ambros whether his fears were justified. Ambros lied that Allied also had Tabun and Sarin, and disappointed Hitler abandoned the meeting.
John Rabe - The Nazi who saved 250,000 people - proves to be sensitive topic for a film
Films have been made before about Nanking, including "Nanking" (2007), "Black Sun" (1996), and "City of Life and Death" (2009). Now "John Rabe" explores the Rape of Nanking, which is a sensitive topic on multinational level. The Chinese are the victims and need the help of foreigners to survive - A view which is the opposite of what China is trying to project to the world. It's also difficult to cast Japanese actors in a WW2 film about something Japan itself wants to pretend never happened. There was supposed to be a screening in Japan, but just hours before, somebody took the print and said: "No the film can't be screened."
German sailor Heinz Stahlschmidt refused to obey Nazi orders to blow up Bordeaux
A World War II German sailor who refused to obey a command to blow up the French port of Bordeaux has passed away at 91 - in France. Heinz Stahlschmidt - a weapons and demolitions expert - was that rare thing in the Third Reich: a man who followed his morals instead of his orders. He saved thousands of lives, and a key component of the post-war recovery of France, because Bordeaux was the country's most important harbour city. Celebrated as a hero by France - and granted the country's highest civilian decoration of the Legion d'Honneur - he was treated as a traitor in a post-war Germany.
How Sigmund Freud was saved by Nazi admirer Anton Sauerwald
Sigmund Freud was saved from Hitler's persecution of the Jews by a ardent Nazi who was interested in his work, a new book reveals. The fate of Freud and his family in Vienna hung in the balance after Hitler's annexation of Austria in 1938. The psychoanalyst was first protected, then helped to escape to UK, by Anton Sauerwald, a Nazi who had been put in charge of his assets. After World War II Sauerwald was put on trial accused of plundering the Freud family wealth - only to be saved by one of Freud's daughters. The full story has emerged as a result of research by David Cohen, author of "The Escape of Sigmund Freud".
"Righteous gentile" status suggested for top ranking nazi, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris
The Chabad Lubavitch Hassidic movement wants "righteous gentile" status from the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial institute for a top ranking Nazi who saved Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Schneerson during WWII. The campaign is based on information by historian Danny Orbach that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (head of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence) smuggled the rabbi and hundreds of others out of Nazi Germany. Orbach says that Canaris also worked against the Nazi war effort, and his aide Hans von Dohnanyi was named a righteous gentile in 2003. However, Yad Vashem claims Canaris was indirectly responsible for Jewish deaths.
The Good Nazis who saved a Berlin synagogue on Kristallnacht
On November 9-10, 1939, while synagogues across Third Reich were burning and Jews and their property became victims of pogroms, a strange sight took place in Berlin. German police raced to 25 Mintz Street, where they used their bodies as shields to protect the synagogue housing the yeshiva headed by Rabbi Avraham Kuperstock from rioters seeking to harm the rabbi, his family, students or property. The synagogue was saved thanks to the assistance Kuperstock gave German authorities during the Second World War. But his tale begins much earlier, in 1914 Warsaw, when the city was under Soviet control.
Wehrmacht officer Wilm Hosenfeld who saved Jews honored in Israel
Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem has honoured Wilm Hosenfeld, the Wehrmacht officer made famous by the film "The Pianist" for his role in helping Jews during World War II, with the title "Righteous Among the Nations" after new documents back up the German officer's role during the Nazi era. The film depicts how Hosenfeld helped hide musician Wladyslaw Szpilman in the ruins of Warsaw in 1944 and supplied the musician with blankets and food. Another survivor, Leon Wurm, had also testified that Hosenfeld helped him after his escape from a concentration camp. Wilm Hosenfeld perished in a Soviet prison in 1952.
The life of B-17 pilot Charlie Brown was saved by Nazi ace Franz Stigler
Dec 1943, Charlie Brown was piloting a B-17 over Nazi Germany when the plane took heavy fire: nose was shot off, engines damaged. Spiraling toward earth with a dead tail gunner and 9 other crew members, Brown (shot in the shoulder) regained control of the craft, broke formation and continued to take on German fighters. Then a Nazi pilot, flying a Messerschmitt Bf-109, motioned for Brown to land his badly damaged plane. Brown shook his head. Instead of shooting down the bomber, the Nazi pilot escorted Brown to the North Sea, saluted, rolled his plane in tribute and flew off. In 1986 Brown finally identified the Nazi pilot: Franz Stigler (487 flights, 28 kills).
"Silent Heroes" memorial center opened in Berlin for WWII Germans who helped Jews
A new memorial center pays tribute to the thousands of Germans who saved Jews from Nazi persecution and documents the stories of those who spent years in hiding. The "Silent Heroes" center focuses on the legacy of the "good German," who resisted Nazi policies. "Their accomplishments were totally forgotten, and this is an initiative to bring them back into our memory," said Johannes Tuchel, of the German Resistance Memorial Center Foundation. Some 5,000 Jews survived the war in hiding in Nazi Germany but it is not clear how many people were involved in helping them. Research suggests that for each person in hiding, about 10 people were involved in aiding them.
Dutch honor a Wehrmacht soldier with a statue of a soldier with the hated helmet
The image of Germans in Holland is showing a glimmer of hope after the Nazi atrocities: In the village of Goirle, a civil initiative has decided to set up a memorial to the German World War II soldier Karl-Heinz Rosch, who gave his life to save two children. The steel helmet is unmistakable: the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany. Now the artist Riet van der Louw has made a statue of a soldier with the hated helmet. And in spite of protests, Dutch citizens have collected thousands of euros so that the memorial can be cast in bronze and put on display. "We will not be honouring the Wehrmacht, but rather the humanity of a young German soldier."
Did Adolf Hitler think he was doing good - The paradox of evil
The Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany for starting the war, forced it to pay compensations, took land away from it while millions were starving. It was in this context that Adolf Hitler dreamed of making Germany into a great empire based on law and order. He believed that he was making a better world, at least for the Germanic people. Military historian John Laffin thinks the West has an erred image of Hitler, seeing him only as evil. He proves his point in "Hitler Warned Us" by reprinting photos of Hitler from the 1935 Nazi Party book "Adolf Hitler" - filled with pictures of Hitler smiling, embracing the young and elderly, and consoling mourners.
Germany: 25% say there were positive aspects to 1933-1945 Nazi rule (Article no longer available from the original source)
A poll showed a quarter of Germans believe there were some positive aspects to Nazi rule - a finding that comes after a talk show host Eva Herman was fired for praising Nazi Germany's attitude toward motherhood. Pollsters asked whether National Socialism also had some "good sides such as the construction of the highway system, the elimination of unemployment, the low criminality rate and the encouragement of the family." Any praise of the 1933-1945 Nazi dictatorship is taboo in Germany. The poll showed that old people had the highest regard (37%) for aspects of the Nazi era. Those who grew up right after WWII were the least enthusiastic (15%).
Adolf Hitler's plundering helped Germans live the good life
How was it that "the majority of Germans bore virtually none of the costs" of "the most expensive war in world history"? According to the German historian Gotz Aly, "The Holocaust will never be properly understood until it is seen as the most single-mindedly pursued campaign of murderous larceny..." For Aly, the key word is "larceny." The mechanics and motives of Nazi plunder, he maintains in his study "Hitler's Beneficiaries," have never been sufficiently examined. His emphasis is on the socialism in National Socialism, and historians have been arguing about it since 2005, when the book came out in Germany.
Nazi hero: Member of the Nazi party who saved 250,000
There was chaos on the streets of Nanjing in December 1937 when Japanese troops stormed the capital of China, bent on the slaughter still known as the "Rape of Nanking." For some a saviour was at hand: a member of the Nazi party who offered refuge and helped save the lives of more than 250,000 people. With his swastika armband, John Rabe seems an unlikely hero, but his courage and the selfless way he administered the safety zone means for many people here he remains the hero of Nanjing. Rabe's account of the Nanjing in his 1,200-page diary is detailed, and it has become a key account of the time. His story is soon to be turned into a Hollywood movie.
Chinese memorial to the "good Nazi" opens war wounds - John Rabe
A plan by China to honour "the good Nazi", a German who helped to save hundreds of thousands of civilians from Japanese troops, has reopened a dispute with Tokyo over its lack of atonement for the Second World War. The Chinese authorities are drawing up plans for a museum dedicated to the memory of John Rabe, who defied the "Rape of Nanking" - a six-week massacre during which an estimated 300,000 Chinese were slaughtered by Japanese soldiers.
Winifred Wagner saved Jews from her friend Hitler
Winifred Wagner, the composer Richard Wagner's British-born daughter-in-law known for her fanatical admiration of Adolf Hitler, saved Jews, Communists and homosexuals from the Nazi death camps. She started life as an orphan named Winifred Marjorie Williams before marrying the composer's son Siegfried in 1915 and going on to run Germany's Bayreuth festival throughout the Nazi era after her husband's death in 1930. It has long been known that she was a close friend of Hitler, the Nazi dictator, whom she affectionately nicknamed "Wolf" and entertained frequently.