RE: Glenn Beck Show Hilariously Mocks Alex Jones Fawning Over Charlie Sheen
Actually even the more well-known completely conformist so-called 'historians' such as Evans and Shirer don't claim it was a Nazi False Flag but only that the Nazis took advantage of the event after the fact. That's because they have to use their willingness to tackle this particular lie head-on and get to the truth to establish their so-called 'street credibility' as 'real historians' so that they can later refuse to admit any conclusive proofs found by revisionists about the holohoax. The sacred cow is their holycost industry which they must maintain at all costs.
Quote:April 12, 2011
The Reichstag Fire Was NOT a Nazi False Flag Operation
Posted by David Kramer on April 12, 2011 12:08 AM
As much as I admire the work that Jesse Ventura is doing uncovering evidence of U.S. government conspiracies, he unfortunately repeats a “History is written by the winners” myth that has been around since Bankster War II. Today’s lewrockwell.com posted a recent interview that Jesse did with The Daily Bell. In Jesse’s own words:
“Likewise the Reichstag Fire in Germany in the 1930s. They burned down the congressional building and blamed it on the Communists, which set the stage for war. It turned out that the Nazi’s had done it themselves.”
This is not true. But don’t take my lunatic fringe word for it. Here’s the word from one of the greatest living Austrian economists and historians, David Gordon:
“This of course changed when Hitler used the crisis brought about by the burning of the Reichstag building to secure passage of the Enabling Bill, giving him dictatorial powers. (Contrary to a popular belief, the Nazis did not start the fire themselves. See on this Fritz Tobias, The Reichstag Fire, Putnam, 1964.)”
What happened was that when the Nazis first learned of the fire, they assumed that it was carried out by the Communists and, therefore, that it would be a great piece of political propaganda to use to go after the Communists. When they later learned that it was a lone arsonist, they decided to ignore the truth and still claim the Communists were behind the fire. And that is the lie about the Reichstag Fire—not that it was a False Flag operation carried out by the Nazis.
This next one is from one of those close-minded idiot savants who tries to prove 9/11 truthers BS by opening his mind just enough to come up with the facts on the Reichstag fire and then close it promptly lest any 9/11 truth get through. He did this to discredit 9/11 half-truth by discrediting 'the Reichstag Fire' portion of their claims and comparisons that they have been uncritically parotting courtesy of Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura.
MYTHS, WARTIME PROPAGANDA AND THE BURNING OF THE REICHSTAG
By FRED BLAHUT
If the burning of the German Reichstag brought the National Socialists to power in 1933, were the Nazis responsible for the arson? If not, who was?
By 1933, Germany was ripe for another revolution. The Moscow-backed communist revolutions of 1919 had been put down at awful cost. And then the Allies imposed "reparations" that stripped the country of its ability to employ its workers and feed its people, including a British-engineered blockade that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Germans by starvation.
The worldwide depression of 1929 hit the country, still staggering under the yoke of the Treaty of Versailles, in the gut. Food was scarce. Jobs were disappearing. Those who had jobs earned money that was close to worthless.
It was clear that the centrist government of President Paul von Hindenburg and Chancellor Heinrich Bruning, under extreme pressure from both the left and the right, could not hold. Fearing civil war, Hindenburg dismissed Bruning and in January of 1933 appointed Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialists, as chancellor, even though Hitler had no absolute majority in the lower chamber of the German Parliament-the Reichstag.
And then, on the night of February 27, the Reichstag building burned.
It is important to note that, following the armistice of 1918, British Prime Minister lloyd George had promised the British voters "to squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeaked." Germany had been stripped of its industry, its coal reserves in the Saar and the manufacturing capacities of Alsace-Lorraine.
The German Navy and merchant fleet had been seized; export barriers had been established for German products while free trade was imposed on imports produced by the Allies.
According to Leon Degrelle: "Germany was experiencing near-famine conditions. It was at this moment the Allies decided to confiscate a substantial part of what was left of Germany's livestock." (Hitler: Born at Versailles; Institute for Historical Review, 1987.)
Thomas Lamont, the American representative of the Allied powers "overseeing" Germany, was quoted: "The Germans were made to deliver cattle, horses, sheep, goats etc .... A strong protest came from Germany when dairy cows were taken to France and Belgium, thus depriving German children of milk."
According to Degrelle, "The question was now: Who was going to break the chains?
"Germany looked for an avenger to smash the Treaty of Vengeance. The avenger could not belong to the conventional right and left wings of German politics or any other Establishment entities, whether financial, military or religious."
In 1925, following the death of German President Friedrich Ebert, Hindenburg, a hero of World War I, was persuaded to run for president. He won easily. But, aging and ill, Hindenburg was not the national leader to bring Germany back from the abyss.
Prior to Hitler's appointment, the Reichstag had been suspended several times with rule by presidential decree. Neither the left nor the right believed it was Hindenburg himself who was running the country, which staggered on ineffectually. By 1933, Hindenburg had become senile.
On this point, European newsman Alec de Montmorency tells a story that was making the rounds in the Paris clubs frequented by journalists. Hindenburg, the story goes, asked one of his close aides in early 1933: "Who is that young man with a mustache who keeps bringing me papers to sign?"
Immediately after Hitler's appointment, the Reichstag was dissolved and new elections set for March 5. A violent election campaign ensued.
On February 24, the police raided Communist Party headquarters. It was announced that they had discovered plans for a new communist revolution. But they either didn't discover what they said that they had, or the evidence, for unknown reasons, was suppressed, because such documentation was never made public.
Then came the Reichstag fire. Hitler immediately blamed the communists. Hindenburg proclaimed a state of emergency and issued decrees suspending freedom of speech and assembly. Thanks to the "Red scare," the National Socialists and their allies, the German Nationalists, won a bare majority in the general election of March 5.
Shortly thereafter, first the Communist Party, and then all other parties except the National Socialist,were made illegal. The burning of the Reichstag was the spark that set the country ablaze. If, then, the fire was what catapulted Hitler to power, is it not reasonable to assume that the National Socialists had a hand in it? That was the consensus of propaganda in the United States, France and Great Britain.
The National Socialists blamed the communists, and tried to establish the guilt of Communist Party leaders in a trial at the High Court at Leipzig.
That led to the generally accepted theory that the National Socialists themselves torched the building. This version has been generally accepted. It appears in most textbooks and many reputable historians repeat it. According to A.J.P. Taylor in History Today, "I myself accepted it unquestioningly, without looking at the evidence."
But someone did look at the evidence: A retired civil servant-and anti-Nazi named Fritz Tobias. He began his project, it is reported, with the idea of settling once and for all the fact that the Nazis had been responsible for the fire. But that's not what he discovered. The results of his investigation were serialized in the German weekly Der Spiegel in 1950.
Here's the story as detailed by Tobias.
At just about 9 pm on February 27, a theology student -later a lecturer at Bremen-named Hans Floter was on his way home after a day of research and study at the library. As he crossed the open space in front of the Reichstag, he heard the sound of breaking glass. He looked up and saw someone climbing into the building through a window on the first floor. The building was otherwise deserted except for a night watchman who apparently did not hear the breaking glass.
Floter ran to the comer and found a policeman. "Someone is breaking into the Reichstag," he reported. The two men ran back to the building. Through the window they saw a shadowy, unidentifiable figure and something more ominous-flames. It was 9:03 pm. Floter, having done his duty, went home. He had not yet had supper and was hungry.
At this point, another passer-by joined the policeman, a young printer called Thaler, who was, incidentally, a Social Democrat, and definitely no supporter of the National Socialists. Thaler shouted: "Shoot, man, shoot." The policeman fired his revolver into the building and the shadowy figure disappeared.
The policeman ran to the nearest police post and gave the alarm. The time recorded was 9:15 pm. Within minutes police backup arrived at the Reichstag, At 9:22, a police officer tried to enter the Debating Chamber. He was driven back by the flames. At 9:27, the police discovered and arrested a half-naked young man. He was a Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe.
Meanwhile, the fire brigade had also been alerted. The first report is recorded at 9:13. The first engine reached the Reichstag at 9:18. But the firemen had problems entering the building to fight the blaze. Only one side door was kept unlocked after 8 pm. The firemen, not knowing this, went to the wrong door.
Gaining entrance, the firemen fought the first fires they came to-small blazes in the corridors, it turns out, and not the main fire. Eventually, the full strength of the Berlin fire brigade was mobilized, a force of some 60 engines. The time was 9:42. But by then, the building was beyond help.
Seen as evidence of Nazi involvement in the blaze was the fact that across the street from the Reichstag building was the residence-sometimes called a palace-of its president. The National Socialists being in charge of the legislative body, the president of the Reichstag on February 27, 1933 was Nazi leader Hermann Goering. But Goering had not yet moved in.
The building was unoccupied except for an apartment on the top floor which Goering had lent to "Putzi" Hanftstaengl, Hitler's foreign press chief. Hearing a commotion, Hanftstaengl looked out the window and saw the Reichstag burning. He knew that Hitler and Josef Goebbels were at a party nearby. He phoned Goebbels, who thought Hanftstaengel was playing some sort of practical joke and hung up. Hanftstaengel called back. Goebbels checked with the police and found the report was true.
Within a few minutes he, Hitler and a large group of National Socialists who had been at the party arrived at the Reichstag. An English journalist, Sefton Delmer, managed to join the crowd. Hitler, he reported, was very upset certainly not the demeanor of a man responsible for the action. "This is a communist plot, the signal for an uprising," Delmer reported Hitler yelling to his supporters. "Every communist official must be shot. The communist members [of the Reichstag] must be hanged."
Van der Lubbe, meanwhile, had been taken to the nearest police station. He was interrogated until 3 am of February 28. He was allowed to sleep for a few hours, awakened, given breakfast and, at 8 am, the questioning resumed. He gave clear, coherent answers. He described how he had entered the Reichstag and started a series of fires, even using some of his clothing to help the blazes get going.
The police, thoroughly and methodically, checked his story. They retraced his route through the Reichstag with a stopwatch and determined that the timing was correct for his entrance through a window to the time of his arrest. Van der Lubbe was clear about his motive. He had hoped that the entire German people would protest against the Nazi government. When this did not happen, he determined that he would protest individually.
Although the burning of the Reichstag was certainly a signal for revolt-he called it a "beacon" -he had given the signal alone, he insisted. He denied that he had any associates or fellow plotters. He said he knew no Nazis. He was not a member of the Communist Party. He was a socialist, more politically in tune with the left wing of the centrist government.
Van der Lubbe proved a willing witness against himself. He traced his movement for police during the weeks prior to the arson. He had drifted across Germany, apparently searching for anti-Nazi sentiment and finding nothing approaching the mass revolt he had hoped for. He even told police where he had purchased "fire-starter," a petroleum-based liquid used, as its name implies, to start fires, and matches. The police checked his story. Everything he said proved to be correct.
The police officials conducting the investigation concluded that van der Lubbe was deranged-but above average in intelligence, with an exceptionally accurate sense of place and direction. He knew where he had been and what he had been doing and remembered even small details of his wanderings, purchases and arson.
His interrogators were experienced men, professionals with no political connections. They became convinced that he was telling the truth and that he had set the fire at the Reichstag all by himself, with no outside help or even encouragement. Firemen who had been at the scene agreed that the sequence of arson events detailed by van der Lubbe matched their investigation results.
That conclusion didn't sit well with Hitler and the upper cadre of the National Socialists,locked in a bitter battle with the communists to gain control of the Reichstag. They had committed themselves to the proposition that the fire was a communist plot. Whether or not they believed this, it was the story that had to be sold to the German public if they were to defeat the communists at the polls.
Van der Lubbe and four others were tried for the arson; a man named Torgler, the leader of the communist bloc in the Reichstag, and three Bulgarian communists including Georgi Dimitrov.
Van der Lubbe's guilt was beyond question. He had been found in the Reichstag and he admitted starting the fires. But that wasn't what was worrying the Nazis. Everyone accepted van der Lubbe's guilt. It was the communists the Nazis wanted convicted.
A number of "expert" witnesses were produced-with Nazi help-by the prosecution with the intention of proving that the fire could not have been started by one man. But van der Lubbe proved to be the best witness for the other defendants. Testifying for hours, he told the judges that it was he, and he alone, who was responsible. He was quoted: "I was there and they [the other four defendants] were not. 1know how it was done because 1did it."
The High Court arrived at a complex verdict. First, van der Lubbe was found guilty. He was subsequently executed. (Arson was not a crime punishable by death. But Hitler managed to shove through a law to that effect and make its ramifications retroactive, a decision that would come back to haunt him.)
The other four defendants were found innocent. But, the court agreed with the Nazi-provided "expert" witnesses that the Dutchman could not have done it alone and that, therefore, the Reichstag had been torched by van der Lubbe and "persons unknown."
The Nazis had been hoist by their own petard. If van der Lubbe had accomplices, and the accomplices were not communists, who were they? The implication was that the accomplices must have been National Socialists, a point made repeatedly in court by Dimitrov, and echoed by the Establishment media throughout the Western world.
(Dimitrov, incidentally, fled Germany following the trial to the USSR where he rose in the ranks of Soviet officialdom and later returned to Bulgaria to take over leadership of the communist government there.)
The propaganda possibilities of the High Court decision were not lost on the communists. Enter a man named Willi Munzenberg, a German expatriate communist popular with the media and the pro-communists in the West, particularly Great Britain. The communists published what was called the Brown Book about the fire, filled with alleged evidence of National Socialist complicity in the arson. That the communist evidence of Nazi involvement was no more convincing than the Nazis' evidence of communist complicity was lost on the popular press.
Subsequently, the communists staged a counter-trial in London that, not unexpectedly, brought in a guilty verdict against the Nazis. Considered vital evidence in the counter-trial was the existence of a tunnel between Goering's residence and the Reichstag which carried electric and telephone cables and pipes for central heating.
According to the communists, a group of Brown Shirts had used the tunnel to enter the Reichstag and soaked the curtains and woodwork with a flammable liquid which caught fire when 'van der Lubbe struck the match or, alternately, they set the fire themselves. According to the latter version, when all was ready, van der Lubbe was pushed through the window into the Reichstag by an unnamed accomplice of the Brown Shirts, there to be found and arrested.
The Brown Book also alleged that, far from being an intelligent Socialist, Van der Lubbe was a degenerate half-wit and a homosexual prostitute, kept by Brown Shirt leader Ernst Roehm. This was the story accepted by the Western press in 1933 and, subsequently, historians. It became something "everyone knows," without anyone actually examining the facts.
There were allegations that the fire brigades were deliberately delayed by the Nazis. But the record books of the aforementioned brigades disprove this. And, almost all history books say the records of van der Lubbe's interrogation by the police had mysteriously disappeared. But again, that isn't true. Tobias found them where they were supposed to be-in the office where they had always been-in eight copies.
Van der Lubbe, having been characterized by the Nazis as a communist dupe, was treated even more harshly by the communists. Included in the Brown Book is a statement by a Dutch friend of the arsonist. One sentence reads: "I often spent a night in the same bed with him." This was used by the communists as proof of his homosexuality. But, according to Taylor, the sentence originally went on: " ... without observing any homosexual tendencies in him."
Taylor goes on to point out that all the stories about van der Lubbe's bad upbringing, about his disreputable family and his lack of friends "were in fact lies; communist forgeries."
The most vital evidence produced by the communists was the tunnel and the allegation that it had been used by the Brown Shirts. This, the communists alleged, had been revealed by repentant Brown Shirts to communists in Paris. One alleged Brown Shirt appeared at the counter-trial with a muffler wrapped around his face to conceal his identity. It was a wise precaution, according to Taylor, because the witness "was, in fact, a well-known communist and unmistakably Jewish."
Another confession supposedly came from one Karl Ernst, Brown Shirt leader in
Berlin. Conveniently, the "confession" turned up after Ernst was dead, killed in the purge of June 30, 1934. Even more convenient, Ernst cleared up any items in the earlier communist versions of the arson where inaccuracies had been proven. But one point Ernst got wrong.
His post-mortem "confession" agreed with other "confessions" that the Brown Shirts entered the Reichstag at 8:49 pm. This had to be the time if they were to do their work before van der Lubbe was "pushed through the window" at 9:03. Unfortunately, Ernst (or the communist forgers) were unaware of one item in the Reichstag routine. At 8:45 pm, a postman came through the side door to collect the deputies' mail.
On February 27, he entered as usual, walked through the deserted building and left at 8:55 pm. He found nothing out of the ordinary-no shadowy figures, no smell of flammable liquid. In fact, the postman disproves the "accomplices" theory, no matter who those accomplices were alleged to have been, because of the time sequences.
And then there is the small fact overlooked by historians-that when Goering arrived at the Reichstag at 9:35 pm, having been alerted by his friend, he immediately thought entrance might have been gained through the tunnel. He was quoted: "They [the arsonists] must have come through the tunnel." He immediately went off with several policemen-not Nazis-to examine it. They found the doors at either end securely locked.
Would Goering have called for a search of the tunnel if he or his compatriots had been responsible for the fire? Hardly likely. He and the police might have caught the conspirators exiting on the Goering residence side.
In non-ideological retrospect, the same lack of evidence that exonerates the communists serves to also exonerate the National Socialists. If the Nazis had set fire to the Reichstag they would have manufactured evidence against the communists, just as the communists manufactured evidence against the Nazis in the Brown Book and the counter-trial.
The Brown Book was not intended to be closely examined. If it achieved its propaganda purpose-which it did, in the UK and the United States, at least- Munzenberg and his associates were satisfied.
Here is what can be determined from the facts that can be proved. No one came through the tunnel. There was no other way to enter the Reichstag, except past the night watchman or by breaking the window. Only van der Lubbe broke a window. Those who want to stick to the communist version, although they admit they can't prove how the Nazis got into the Reichstag, point to the trial testimony that van der Lubbe had to have had help.
But this evidence is the most unreliable of all. The most emphatic "expert" was, according to Taylor, "a crank distrusted by his colleagues." He claimed to be an authority on a strange "fluid" which, he said, was necessary for starting fires, He alleged that this "fluid" had a distinctive smell. But no policeman or fireman at the scene noticed any smell except smoke-no "fluid"; not even gasoline.
How could van der Lubbe have set the fire himself? These old, grandiose buildings were fires waiting to happen. There were heavy, dusty curtains everywhere; wooden paneling, high ceilings, drafts under the doors; everything capable of supporting a fire.
In 1834, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster in the UK were entirely destroyed by fire, Simply by a stove pipe becoming too hot. If this is too "historical" for today's reader, in 1956, the Vienna Stock Exchange was gutted by fire as the result of one smoldering cigarette in a wastepaper basket. Van der Lubbe had over 20 minutes to start fires; more than enough time.
One point: the postman left the building at 8:55 pm. How did van der Lubbe know it was safe to break in? He couldn't have; it was a lucky break, a coincidence. In any event, Hitler was well known for his penchant to improvise and it is obvious that is what he did while watching the Reichstag burn. Here was his chance to demonize the communists to his own advantage. He couldn't have known the outcome of that decision.
That van der Lubbe was guilty is beyond question. There is more evidence to acquit both the communists and the National Socialists of complicity than evidence to convict either group. But Germany lost the war and the communists won; and the winners write the history books.
• Davidson, Michael worth, MA, Editor. "Hitler Soars to Power." When, Where, Why & How It Happened. Readers Digest Association limited, London, New York, Sydney, Cape Town, Montreal, 1995.
• Degrelle, Gen. Leon. Hitler: Born at Versailles: lnstitute for Historical Review, Torrance, California, 1987.
• Degrelle, Gen. Leon. Hitler: Democrat. Unpublished manuscript.
• Montmorency, Alec de. Interview by the author, November, 1995.
• Taylor, A.J.P. "Who Burned the Reichstag?" History Today, London, June, 1956.
Fred Blahut has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years and currently is managing editor of The SPOTLIGHT and assistant editor of TBR.
Skepticism undermined by an insufficient knowledge of history
Category: History • Holocaust • Skepticism/critical thinking • World War II
Posted on: May 9, 2007 9:01 AM, by Orac
I'll admit it.
There have been at least two times since I started blogging that I fell for a dubious story because I exercised insufficient skepticism. The first time occurred very early on in my blogging history when swallowed a story about how legalization of prostitution was claimed to lead to the requirement that unemployed women take jobs as prostitutes or lose their unemployment benefits. More recently, I backpedaled a bit over a story about how supposedly history teachers in the U.K. were not teaching about the Holocaust out of concern for offending the sensitivities of certain of their constituents. Generally, I'm harder on myself than most of my critics, but I also realize that my record is probably not bad for over two years of continuous blogging.
Basically, there are two ways to get burned while exercising critical thinking. One way, which the two examples above illustrate, is simple laziness, to accept a report at face value without digging a little deeper. Another way is to have insufficient background knowledge to critically examine the report. For example, there's a reason why I rarely comment on global warming. Even though I generally accept the scientific consensus that human activity is causing global warming, I don't have sufficient background in the science to match the level of commentary that I can provide on alternative medicine, Holocaust denial, or my other usual topics. That reticence may change as I learn more about the issue, but for now it has served me well to be cautious. It is the cranks who tend to jump into discussions of fields that they clearly do not understand and make proclamations with unjustified confidence. All of this is my not-so-subtle way to introduce a discussion of how even die-hard skeptics can be burned. The example I happened to come across that disappointed me came, surprisingly, from my favorite skeptical podcast, The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, the most recent episode of which I was a bit late getting around to listening to. I don't do this as a "gotcha" exercise, but merely as a cautionary tale that even the best skeptics can be burned if they have insufficient knowledge of a topic. In this case, it was knowledge of history, specifically Nazi history.
Basically, during the podcast, Steve Novella and crew were doing a fine job of debunking some of the sillier 9/11 conspiracy myths, in particular the analogy often cited that "9/11 was Bush's Reichstag fire." For those not familiar with the history, on February 27, 1933, only four weeks after Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor of Germany and before he had consolidated his power, the Reichstag (the German parliament building) burned. The man caught, convicted, and eventually executed by beheading for the crime (the favored method of execution in Germany at that time) was self-styled revolutionary and rabble-rouser, Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch council Communist, who was caught at the scene and who proudly confessed to the crime. In the days before that he had tried to burn down an unemployment office and other buildings but had not succeeded. He thought that his arson at the Reichstag would be the spark that would cause the workers to rise up and throw off the Nazi yoke. Not surprisingly, Hitler, blaming it all on the Communist Party, used the Reichstag fire as a pretext for rounding up his hated enemies, particularly Communist leaders, and for persuading President Hindenberg to sign the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended the remaining civil liberties in Germany and set the stage for Hitler's becoming absolute dictator. From the very day after the fire, not surprisingly, suspicions swirled that the Nazi Party was somehow involved and that van der Lubbe was a dupe.
This is what the letter by Patrick Pricken, to which our intrepid skeptics responded, said about the event and 9/11:
I just wanted to follow up on the (ridiculous) argument by 9/11 conspiracy theorists that Hitler burned the Reichstag, so Bush might as well have hijacked the planes.
First off, the Reichstag burned in the night, when nobody was in it. Also, as you can read for example in Sebastian Haffner's account of his youth in Germany up to 1933, the general populace was very aware of what had really happened with the Reichstag; or at least, they knew it wasn't the poor sod the Nazis said who did it. It's just that a mixture of fear and carelessness (and of course people who approved of Hitler's course) was stronger than any anger the people might have felt at some building burning down. Hitler not only burned the thing, but it was also he who instilled the symbolism into it. That was even a matter of some jokes, according to Haffner, of how Hitler didn't respect the Republic at all, but then gets all puffed up when the Reichstag burns.
So this analogy doesn't hold up, no matter where you're coming from. It's simply STUPID.
I agree that the analogy is definitely exceedingly stupid, but for far more reason than the reasons above. Indeed, discussion of the letter on the podcast appropriately pointed out the logical fallacy in this line of argument and how ridiculous it is to have thought that President Bush or someone in the administration had been the "real" culprit behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The problem is, our skeptics missed the two biggest problems with Patrick's characterization of this 9/11 Truther canard:
1. No historian (or even proponents of the viewpoint that the Nazis were involved) seriously proposes that Hitler was involved. In fact, all the known contemporaneous accounts of what happened when Hitler learned of the fire suggest otherwise, given Hitler's surprise and dismay upon learning of the news. His reaction has to be remembered in the context of the times. The Nazi Party was not yet in full control, and Hitler and his cronies had been fearing since they took power that the Communists would try to incite unrest and overthrow the fledgling goverment. They saw the Reichstag fire as the signal for the long-feared Communist revolt to begin.
2. Although, as Pricken states, it was widely speculated among the populace that van der Lubbe was a dupe and that the Nazis may have planned the fire, more recent scholarship suggests that this was not the case. Most historians these days believe that van der Lubbe probably really did act alone. In other words, just because it was plausible to think that the Nazis were involved does not necessarily mean that they were.
Clearly our skeptics didn't know these things. Consequently, although they criticized it for some good reasons, they missed the biggest flaw in this Truther chestnut: It's based on really bad history to go along with the bad logic.
Perhaps the most famous of the chroniclers of Nazi history who believed that van der Lubbe was not responsible for the fire was American journalist William Shirer, who stated bluntly in his famous book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich that it was "beyond a reasonable doubt that it was the Nazis who planned the arson and carried it out for their own political ends." He went on to say that van der Lubbe was a "dupe of the Nazis" who had been "encouraged to try to set the Reichstag on fire" while the main job was to be "done without his knowledge" by stormtroopers. More recent scholarship casts considerable doubt on this version, however. For example, British historian Ian Kershaw, in the endnotes of part one of his recent (and massive) biography of Hitler, Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris, states with extensive references and documentation:
The question of who set the Reichstag ablaze has provoked the most rancorous of disputes. The Nazi version that it was a Communist plot was widely disbelieved at the time by critical observers and was not even convincing enough to secure the conviction of the leading Communists tried at the show trial at the supreme Reich Court in Leipzig in autumn 1933. The view that the Nazis, with the most to gain, had set fire to the Reichstag themselves was immediately given wide currency among diplomats and foreign journalists, and in liberal circles in Germany...Nazi authorship, as put forward in Communist counter-propaganda, orchestrated by Willi Münzenberg in The Brown Book of the Hitler Terror and the Burning of the Reichstag, Paris, 1933, carried the day for a long time. But the findings of Fritz Tobias in the 1960s, collected in his extensive evaluation and documentation...supported by the scholarly analysis of Hans Mommsen...that Marinus van der Lubbe acted alone, are compelling and are now widely accepted, though not by Klause P. Fischer...The counter claims of the Luxembourg Committee...that the Nazis were indeed the perpetrators, are regarded by most experts as flawed The consequences of the Reichstag fire were, of course, always more important than the identity of whoever instigated the blaze. But the question of authorship was nevertheless of significance, since it revolved around the question of whether the Nazis were following through carefully laid plans to institute totalitarian rule or whether they were improvising reactions to events they had not expected.
Here's what historian Richard J. Evans wrote in the endnotes of the first volume of his recent history of the Third Reich, The Coming of the Third Reich, along with references and documentation:
Subsequently, the Communists attempted to prove that the Nazis had been behind the arson attempt, but the authenticity of van der Lubbe's statement and associated documentation seems beyond doubt. Moreover, numerous forgeries and falsifications have been found among the documentary evidence purporting to prove Nazi involvement...A recent attempt to suggest that the Nazis planned the fire rests on an exaggeration of similarities between earlier discussion papers on emergency powers, and the Reichstag Fire Decree...So far, the conclusion of Tobias and Mommesen that van der Lubbe acted alone has not been shaken.
Finally, it is instructive to look at what Sebastian Haffner himself actually wrote about the Reichstag fire in his memoir about living in the Weimar Republic and his experiences in the early years of the Nazi regime, Defying Hitler. This is a truly fascinating book that I heartily recommend. Particularly fascinating his his first-person account of the hyperinflation of 1923 and of how life continued seemingly normally for a while after Hitler took power, with change only being noticed relatively slowly. Here are Haffner's speculations about the Reichstag fire, apparently written within a day or two of the event:
So the Communists had burned down the Reichstag. Well, well. That could well be so; it was even to be expected. Funny, though, why they should choose the Reichstag, an empty building, where no one would profit from the fire. Well, perhaps it really had been intended as the "signal" for the uprising, which had been prevented by the "decisive measures" taken by the government. That was what the papers said, and it sounded plausible. Funny also that the Nazis got so worked up about the Reichstag. Up till then they had called it a "hot air factory." Now it was suddenly the holy of holies that had been burned down...
More seriously: Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Reichstag fire is that the claim that it was the work of the Communists was so widely believed. Even the skeptics did not regard it as entirely incredible. That was the Communists' own fault. They had become a strong party in recent years, and had again and again trumpeted their "readiness." Nobody believed they would allow themselves to be "prohibited" and slaughtered without putting up a fight. During the whole of February we had been permanently at "eyes left," waiting for the Communist counterstrike...A Communist attack was what we expected. The Communists were determined people, with fierce expressions. They raised their fists in salute and had weapons--at least, they used guns often enough in the everyday pub brawls. They boasted continually about the strength of their organization, and they had probably learned how to do "these things" in Russia. The Nazis left had left no one in doubt that they wanted to destroy them. It was natural, indeed obvious, that the Communists would retaliate. It was only surprising that there had been nothing of the kind so far.
Haffner then goes on to lament how, essentially overnight, Germans had given up their freedoms and privacy. Houses could now be searched without warrants, people arrested and held indefinitely without charges, and mail opened. Freedom of speech and of the press disappeared overnight.
What Haffner's account sounds like to me is not unlike what happens after any major event: A lot of speculation without much real knowledge of what really happened. It is essentially irrelevant to the question of whether the Nazis were or were not involved. Contrary to what Pricken said, Haffner never said that "everyone knew what really happened." He merely speculated about what happened and admitted that even skeptics of official version of what happened found the the Nazis' claim that the Communists were the arsonists at least somewhat plausible. That's because such claims were plausible, given events leading up to the fire. In fact, the question of plausibility is another instructive aspect to fallacious comparisons of 9/11 to the Reichstag fire. Given how much the Nazis benefited from the fire, it was not at all implausible to suspect that the Nazis had planned it. In contrast, to think that the Bush administration, with all its incompetence, could possibly have somehow planned and executed a conspiracy to launch the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and kept the secret is about as implausible as it gets, about as implausible as Kent Hovind suddenly deciding to pursue a real Ph.D. in evolutionary biology.
Finally, one of the more unintentionally amusing (but also infuriating) things about the likening of 9/11 to the Reichstag fire becomes apparent when you consider one little fact about this comparison. The Reichstag was burned at night, when there was no one in it. If the Nazis were involved in its burning, this would imply that even the Nazis shrank at the thought of the carnage that might have resulted from burning a government building during the day or launching some sort of other "black ops" that would cause casualties, even if casualties would strengthen their case for "drastic measures" in response. In contrast, in the 9/11 Truther's fevered world, apparently President Bush has no such scruples. This comparison thus seems to paint him as even worse than Adolf Hitler. (Indeed, where's the Hitler Zombie when you need him?) Of course, it's not entirely unreasonable to draw parallels between the reactions of the Bush administration after 9/11 to the reaction of the Nazi regime to the Reichstag fire, but there remains, as usual, the problem of scale. Bush's actions after 9/11 are to Hitler's actions after the Reichstag Fire as a minnow is to a whale--heck, as an amoeba is to a whale. In other words, the Patriot Act is not the Reichstag Fire Decree.
You may think that I'm being excessively picky here. Maybe so. After all, this happens to be in one of my areas of interest, and not in Steve's or any other of the panel's. Besides, how many people know much about the Reichstag fire, or even anything at all about it? Why should I be annoyed that people whose skeptical skills I respect are unaware of this basic history? The answer is that knowing this little bit of history allows me to be more effective in debunking this particularly idiotic 9/11 Truther gem of argumentum ad Nazi-ium to go along with all their other "Bush = Hitler" idiocy, and I hate to see skeptics that I like and respect reveal an ignorance about history that renders them unable, at least in this one case, to marshal the strongest possible counterarguments to rebut the brain-dead conspiracy-mongering idiocy of the 9/11 Truth movement. The implication that the "fact" that Hitler burned down the Reichstag and then used the event to take total power suggests that it is not so implausible that Bush executed 9/11 and then tried to use it to justify the curtailment of civil liberties is indeed stupid for the reasons discussed by Novella and crew. However, it's stupid for at least one more reason: Although we can never be 100% certain about this and it's impossible to rule out Nazi complicity totally, what we know today is that the Nazis probably didn't burn down the Reichstag. Most likely, they just got very, very lucky that a zealot like van der Lubbe did it at such an opportune time for them.
ADDENDUM: A most interesting first-person account by Sefton Delmer. Some interesting excerpts:
Göring picked a piece of rag off the floor near one of the charred curtains. "Here, you can see for yourself Herr Chancellor how they started the fire," he said. "They hung cloths soaked in petrol over the furniture and set it alight."
Notice the 'they'. 'They' did this, 'they' did that. For Göring there was no question that more than one incendiary must have been at work. It had to be more than one to fit in with his conviction that the fire was the result of a Communist conspiracy. There had to be a gang of incendiaries. But as I looked at the rags and the other evidence, I could see nothing that one man could not have done on his own.
But while the story of the Communist plot to set the Reichstag on fire proved an enormous success in Germany and gave Hitler all the political leverage he hoped for, it was beginning prove a liability abroad. No-one outside Germany would believe that the fire was not a put-up job. The shirtless man who had been captured in the Reichstag while he was trying to spread the flames still further - a young Dutch hitch-hiker named Marinus van der Lubbe - was assumed by the world at large to be a tool of the Nazis.
The insistence of Göring and Hitler that not just van der Lubbe alone, but a whole group of people must have been at work - a theory which they had to maintain and support in order to justify their story of a Communist plot - had just the opposite effect abroad. For people accepted it as a fact that more than one pair of hands was needed to produce such a big fire, and they decided the missing hands must be Nazi hands.
But I have always believed that neither the Nazis nor the Communists laid and lit this fire, but that both exploited it for their political warfare. the Nazis did so for the immediate objective of suppressing all opposition to themselves in Germany, the Communists for the long term objective of rallying the world against the Nazis. My own view I put forward in an article on Hitler and the Reichstag fir in 1939, when I said, "I rather suspect there was really just one incendiary who lit that fire - the lunatic van der Lubbe."
Today I no longer suspect, I am sure of it.
The Nazis had suborned their scientific experts, twisted and faked the evidence, all in order to show that van der Lubbe could not possibly have raised the fire entirely by himself - as he claimed and as the CID men who had checked his story had confirmed. The Nazis insisted that a whole gang of incendiaries must have been at work. Now the Communists joyfully took up the Nazi thesis to use it as the foundation for the accusation that the Nazis were the authors of the fire and van der Lubbe their tool.
It's worth reading the whole account. it gives a plausible account of how the Nazis may well have had no one but themselves to blame for the wide acceptance of the suspicion that the Nazis had either put van der Lubbe up to the job or had used him as a dupe and done it themselves--truly ironic if true.
Quote: "I read for the first time Göbbels' hand-written entry about the Reichstag fire. As he described it, he was at his home with Hitler on that evening of February 27, 1933, when the phone rang at nine o'clock. It was the prankster "Putzi" Hanfstängl, saying: "The Reichstag's on fire." Göbbels remembered that he'd been had twice by Hanfstängl already that week, and he thought this was another prank, so he just put the phone down.
Hanfstängl phoned again and said, "You'd better listen to what I'm saying, The Reichstag's on fire." Göbbels realized this could be serious after all, so he made a phone call to the police station at the Brandenburg Gate, which confirmed that the Reichstag was on fire. Thereupon he and Hitler jumped into a car and drove straight to the Reichstag where they found their worst fears confirmed. This is in the hand-written diary, it is obviously genuine, and it confirms what we know from other sources. "
The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter
LETTER NO. 40
ON ALEX JONES et al.; DID THE NAZIS BURN THE REICHSTAG?
READER: I thought the message below was a good write-up on the "gatekeeping" of info. He mentions Alex Jones. Jones has some good points, but he always cites the Reichstag fire as a classic instance of gov't-run false-flag op, created for the purpose of justifying tighter societal controls. He claims that "post-war German documents prove it". Do you know what he's referring to?
Quote from saveireland blog (person as letter 22):
Ok I am busy so let us be brief. There is a good site by Auzzie Peter Myers which touchs on the points mentioned.
The Internet is here, so old censorship is out and neo-censorship is here. This involves adding a little salt to the message, alloying the truth with enough lies to confuse 90% of people.
An example. Noam Chomsky, a Zionist one day to a gatekeeper for the left, making sure they never really threaten Zionism or it's core myths.He purports to believe in the Holohoax. Anyone who believes in the Holohoax is a Zionist even if they think they are anti-Israel or in favour of "human rights" or something.
Alex Jones and all those American things like Zeitgeist that give a little truth but then go and say the NWO is Fascist and Nazi and not not Jewish and Zionist. Americans are doped up and easily confused.
All the left-wing "Anti-Zionists" are gatekeepers. The Indymedia shower. Same idea: keep people away from Revisionism, which is the only thing that can free both Palestine and Europe. And one won't be freed without the other, hence the Islamophobic gatekeepers targeting our core audience on immigration/colonisation. The Jews have appointed these people to sit upon this weak point in our ideology, this nexus of potential confusion. You have Zionist agents like Arthur Kemp causing as much confusion as possible.
You have left-Zionists like the Socialist workers and right-Zionists like the BNP.
The Jews can't ban everything, so they interpret it and send out their rival interpretations which are always more popular.
The BNP and all the Islamophobes. Jews are murdering innocent Muslims over there, nominally Islamic migrants are stealing and raping here. The Jew conflates the two, to create more Zionist propaganda: suddenly the immigration the Jew created becomes a rationalisation for his murder of the innocents and his power, which is primarily used to keep Whites down.
These parties like the BNP are anti-Nazi, anti-Revisionist etc. This Islam stuff is a smokescreen behind which they move closer to the Zionists. It is for the retard level of the xenophobes who can register dark skin but not the deeper subtleties. This is how the Jew got into Europe after all , just pale enough to confuse the low brows. He plays these kind of games and the retards fall for it again and again.
Basically all Muslims in Europe are Zio-Muslims, because their presence boosts the oriental presence here and helps to screw the free Muslims over in the east. Muslim is not a good term as they have little in common politically or in any other way with say a Turk and Iran. The Turkish freemasonic state is the model all these head scarf bans are based on. Europe is being turned into a big Turkey by the Jews. But we need to be careful not to create Zionist propaganda for the Yids as we talk about this.
It would be nice if those here started a civil war, but the ZOG is busy taming them and turning them into more orthodox niggers who will not be a political threat to it, with the help of the gatekeepers and the xenophobes they fool.
We don't want to fix this system: worse is better, we want it to explode. Right-wing retards in France elected Sarkozy who uses his powers to attack White dissidents and promote mixing.
The Holohoax is the key test for political purity. Griffin even faked that for years to get himself in and then turn the BNP into a ZOG front.
The Jew has his power and media monopoly so he will be one step ahead of our less well-bred brothers even though they now have the internet.
People find themselves out of the old Jewish courtyard and trapped in the next one for the most part and those serious among us have had our rank and file stripped away.
So only by being extreme and simple can we get a message out through the gatekeepers to the people.
Down with ZOG.
COMMENT BY CARLOS: Please see THE REICHSTAG FIRE by Fritz Tobias, published in English in 1964.
In the 75 years since the fire, and in the 45 years since the publication of Tobias' book, not one shred of credible evidence has ever been found indicating that Marinus van de Lubbe did not, in fact, act alone, exactly as he claimed, and as the National Socialists implicitly admitted by acquitting all the other defendants.
A newer publication, available only in German, by the same author in collaboration with a number of other respected German historians, is Reichstagbrand - Aufklärung einer historischen Legende [Reichstag Fire: Explanation of an Historical Legend] (ISBN: 3492030270 / 3-492-03027-0), by Backes, Uwe / Jansse, Karl-Heinz / Jesse, Eckhard / Köhler, Henning / Mommsen, Hans / Tobias, Fritz); same conclusion.)
I like Alex Jones, but it must be admitted that he is barking up the wrong tree on this one, and, I think, deliberately. His "documentary proof" that the Nazis burnt the Reichstag consists of THE VOICE OF DESTRUCTION, the famous forgery and fake by Hermann Rauschning, and a single Nuremberg "affidavit" by General Halder, saying that Göring went through a tunnel and burned the place. This is impossible, totally impossible. It is always implied that the tunnel was a secret, and that the purpose of the tunnel was something very sinister. It conveyed heating pipes. It was locked with 5 doors, there were only 5 keys, kept in 5 separate locked cabinets, and they were all there after the fire. Plus the floor of the tunnel was very uneven, and was covered with iron plates that made so much noise when anyone walked on them that it could be heard all over the Reichstag, which was full of guards all night. Van der Lubbe climbed up a scaffolding. He was spotted by night watchmen almost immediately after climbing through the window and in fact he was shot at from the street. He was pursued by guards through the plenum while setting most of his fires. His "accomplices" did not exit the tunnel, they did not climb out the windows, and they did not leave through any of the entrances. No one saw them. Where did they go?
The Nazis aquitted the other defendants, but then claimed that there were other arsonists "anyway", without ever explaining where the hell they came from or where they went. All the fires set in the restaurant went out immediately. The fires in the plenum destroyed the whole central part of the building very quickly, because the glass dome cracked, creating an updraft. Any fireplace technician can tell you that with a properly functioning chimney with a good updraft, the fire will burn until all fuel is exhausted.
Jones is married to a Jew and his whole operation is aimed at claiming that it's not Jews, not Zionists, not AIPAC, who are responsible for our problems, no, it's the Nazis! Whew, is that a load off my mind! So as soon as the Jews become "Nazis", they're not Jews any more! Good news. Back to sleep.
Jones is a good rabble-rouser, but all this talk about the Illuminati and the Bilderbergers and the Trilateral Commission is a complete waste of time. No Presidential candidate -- much less three of them, over and over again -- every candidate, in every election, decade after decade -- ever promised unconditional support to the "Illuminati" [!].
Either you're part of the solution or you're part of the problem.
…The purpose of the heating pipes was to convey heating pipes from the boiler house into the building, to avoid fire. It is always insinuated that the tunnel was built or dug secretly simply to burn the Reichstag. During the trial, the Nazis sent a party of men through the tunnel in carpet slippers, and they made so much noise that any idea of use of the tunnel for the purpose of setting the fire was abandoned. They bungled very badly, in fact it is an exact parallel with the JFK assassination. All the evidence indicated no conspiracy, so they decided there was a conspiracy anyway, without any evidence. In this case the Nazis were very stupid, incredibly so.
Van der Lubbe was an extraordinary person, not at all an idiot or half-witted tramp. On the contrary, he was extremely intelligent. He was also an experienced arsonist, having successfully set fire to 3 government offices in Berlin that week. There's a lot more but it's lengthy and complicated.
Halder was one of a whole group of anti-German traitors for many years. Blaskowitz, Halder, Weizenäcker, Canaris, and another one, Fritsch, who got fired right before the war, falsely accused of marrying a prostitute, were all traitors. Canaris got caught, of course. The British said, we don't need a Secret Service, the Germans come to us in droves and tell us everything.
Anyway Van der Lubbe was an extremely interesting person, extremely intelligent, with a near photographic memory for some things. Absolutely fearless, very athletic and a very strong swimmer. Somebody offered a cash prize to the first Dutch citizen to swim the English channel, and he was planning to attempt it. He moved someplace where he could swim in the sea every day and actually swam a quite considerable distance along the Dutch coast between two towns. It was not an unrealistic ambition for him at all. He was not blind and was not a half-wit. Very hard worker, very strong physically, experienced Communist speaker and anti-Communist heckler, very well educated by reading in public libraries, spoke very good German, understood it perfectly, many amazing qualities.
It's a shame he was executed, he would have been an extremely valuable witness in the end. He saw through the Communist leadership, left the Party and joined a small splinter group, he may well have seen through Communism itself in the long run. That's what I think. Arson without loss of life was not even punishable by death in Germany, so they passed a special law ex-post facto and executed him. When told he was to be beheaded at 10 o'clock the next morning, he said, "Thank you very much for telling me. I shall see you tomorrow". Wrote no letters, no notes, no last words, showed up next morning as if he was going for a haircut, and was executed as cool as a cucumber.
The court Dutch interpreter (who was never required) said “It is quite a remarkable fact, but van der Lubbe does not speak like an ordinary Dutch workman. He speaks in the idiom of educated people”. Another person said “Because of the damage to his eyesight, he appears to stare vacantly into space at times, but in fact he pays very close attention to everything going on around him and very few things escape his notice”. He understood the slightest nuance of meaning in German and could remember whole sentences word for word, insisting that they be re-worded to reflect some different, but minor, shade of meaning. His eyes had been damaged in two separate accidents with lime, but he was not blind. Because of this problem he developed an extraordinary memory for directions, he could remember everywhere he went in extremely great detail, and never got lost. He had been in Berlin for a week and knew the city almost as well as the police. He described his movements in the Reichstag step by step and never forgot a thing. He could describe long walks in Berlin, street by street. The Nazis “proved” that the curtains couldn't burn by using samples which had been kept in an airtight box for years, forgetting that the fire retardant chemical impregnation evaporated with time, and in Berlin theaters had to be renewed every 2 years!
He lived off public assistance and spent his time in public libraries, working odd jobs or tramping around. He was arrested in Poland trying to enter Russia illegally; but he was not just an ordinary "tramp". When told he could not possibly have caused that much damage all by himself, he calmly replied, "In that case, the plenum must have been far more inflammable that these gentlemen imagine". The plenum was almost 40 years old. The curtains set fire to the woodwork and the dome cracked, creating an artificial chimney.
It's impossible to read about van der Lubbe without a sense of admiration. He was a revolutionary, easily prepared to give his life for a cause. He had a nervous breakdown in jail when he saw that his effort was a total failure: the Communists rejected his gesture, because they wanted to blame the Nazis (which has been the standard propaganda yarn ever since), while the Nazis rejected his confessions because they wanted to blame the Communists! It never occurred to them that it was actually far more important to prove themselves innocent than to prove that the Communists were guilty. As a result of his hopeless position, which lasted for many months, Van der Lubbe became completely apathetic, which is understandable. In one of his last court appearances, Van der Lubbe made a long and impassioned, but lucid, coherent, and very well-spoken appeal to the court to put an end to the proceedings, saying, "All I ask is a verdict". The judges kept on telling him to name his accomplices. He kept on saying he couldn't, because he didn't have any. By the time he died, he was probably completely disgusted with life generally.
Personally, I think the Vollmächtigungsgesetz would have been passed with or without the Reichstag fire because the country was ungovernable.
[READER… Thanks much for this extensive write-up.
Wintersonnenwende.com has a file (Worm in the Apple) that discusses how much German traitors helped the Allies, so much so that WW II would never have happened, or, once started, would never have been won by the Allies, without their help...