During the turbulent years of World War II, almost everyone received their information about the war from news reports days after the actual event, during which time they were censored, edited, and sanitized. With each passing year more and more facts would make their arduous way through the various layers of secrecy, all originally imposed for the benefit of national security, and would forever change our views on what actually did happen, and what could have happened. Thirty years after World War II we would get
our” wars” live on CNN via satellite as they were unfolding, minute-by- minute. Today, with almost all of the barriers being torn down, the Freedom of Information Act and the Internet, we have more information now available about World War II than we ever imagined.
In the course of my own research for” A Killer of Lions” I came across more than enough information that convinced me, without any doubt, that the Nazis, had they not made a series of crucial mistakes, could have been the victors instead of the vanquished.
The countless volumes of historical accounts and post war analyses that cram our libraries speak of one battle or another, a particular engagement, a tactical or strategic error, a secret weapon that changed the course of the war, but none of them touch on the single underlying cause of Hitler’ s defeat, the persecution of the Jews.
Why the persecution of the Jews? Had it not been for the maniacal hatred of the Jews by Hitler and his madmen, they surely would have had the Atomic Bomb before we did. Just imagine, V- 1 and V- 2 ( the first ballistic missile) rockets dropping nuclear weapons on enemies of the Third Reich.
Since’ nuclear fission was first discovered in Germany during the twenties, and later developed by Werner Heisenberg, it was a reasonable assumption during World War II that they could be on a par with our own Manhattan Project or possibly far ahead of it. But Hitler considered nuclear physics to be ” Jewish” physics. ” Heisenberg’ s War” by Thomas Powers, Little, Brown and Company, 1993. As a direct result of this official attitude and the ensuing persecutions that would obliterate almost six million lives because of their ethnicity, many Jewish scientists emigrated from Germany, prior to the closing of their borders and the onset of hostilities. It is estimated that perhaps as much as 25% of Germany’ s physicists left the country in 1933. Albert Einstein, already an internationally renowned mathematician, physicist and scientist, although he did not participate directly in the Manhattan Project, was nevertheless a catalyst for its creation when he wrote his now famous letter to then president Roosevelt advising him that it would be in our best interests to implement such a program.
This does not mean to imply that Jewish mathematicians, physicists and scientists were alone responsible for the development of the Atomic Bomb, but their emigration and or expulsion from Germany or its occupied countries during the crucial thirties and early forties certainly contributed to Germany’ s failure to split the atom, the most notable among them being Edward Teller, Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner.
What did Werner Heisenberg confide to Neils Bohr, who was Jewish, and who ultimately escaped to Sweden in September of 1943 and made his way to the U. S. where he served as an advisor on the development of the Atomic Bomb, when they had their meetings in Copenhagen in 1941? Did he confide to Neils Bohr, as implied in the play Copenhagen” by Michael Frayn, April, 2000, or as in, ” Heisenbergs War” that he purposely misdirected the German Atomic Bomb Program by saying that it was not possible to complete such a project under wartime conditions because of the enormous amount of resources that would be required? Or did he travel to Copenhagen on an intelligence mission because the Germans were stymied as inferred in ” Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project: A Study in German Culture” by Paul Lawrence Ross, University ofCalifornia Press, 1998? What did Werner Heisenberg say to Moe Berg, the multi lingual former baseball player turned OSS operative, who was Jewish and was sent on a mission of assassination, when they strolled down a snow covered street in Zurich, Switzerland in December of 1944? Did Moe Berg spare his life because he was convinced that Heisenberg was not on the right track for the successful development of an atomic bomb? We may never know the answers to these questions.
Aside from those who met their doom in the camps, thousands of Jews or those of Jewish descent did serve in the armed forces of Germany, ranging in rank from private to colonel to general and even field marshal, some twenty of them receiving Germany’ s highest decoration, the Knights Cross. ” Hitler’ s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military” by Bryan Mark Rigg, University Press of Kansas, 2002, wherein the author has documented over 1, 200 interviews with said veterans and survivors. A good number of civilians also served in various critical defense positions. What would have happened to those Jews who faithfully served the Fatherland if Hitler had won is anybody’ s guess. Hermann Goering, who attracted Hitler’ s attention because he was a successful World War I fighter pilot, with 22 victories, had a half Jewish godfather, Hermann Von Epenstein who received his knighthood from Kaiser Wilhelm II and was his mother’ s lover. Because he had a good relationship with his godfather he never developed the same fanaticism against the Jews,
as did many of his comrades. ” Eagles of the Third Reich” by Samuel W. Mitcham Jr., Presidio Press, 1997. Erhard Milch, who was tried as a war criminal after World War II, and was sentenced to life imprisonment, but released in 1955, was Goering’ s next in command and was in fact half Jewish. Helmut Schmidt, who from 1974 to 1982 served as chancellor of West Germany, was a Luftwaffe officer during World War II had a Jewish grandfather. Whenever Goering was harangued by some of his more vociferous officers with comments such as ” Goering and his Jew bastards,” his response was simply,
In the Luftwaffe, I decide who is Jewish.” ” Eagles of the Third Reich”.
There are a few who believe that even Hitler had a Jewish grandparent in Austria, where he was born. While there is no solid proof of this allegation there is the case of Reinhardt Heydrich, reputed to be Hitler’ s successor, who did in fact have a Jewish grandparent. I suppose if we go back far enough we will discover some Jewishness in almost all of us. Heydrich, Protector of Moravia, was assassinated by British trained agents in Prague during 1941, the aftermath of which the town of Lidice, where the conspirators formalized their plans, was wiped out in its entirety, so as to teach the surrounding populace a lesson. While wartime assassinations are rare, it is believed by some, that this one was carried out because Heydrich was becoming suspicious of Admiral Wilheim Canaris, Chief of the Abwehr, Germany’ s intelligence service, and that he was in collusion with the British. Canaris was ultimately disposed of by the Gestapo. Instead of trying to destroy an entire people, what would have happened if they were properly integrated and fully utilized without regard to their religion or national origin?
Nevertheless, following the loss of scientists that dabbled in” Jewish’r’ physics, it would
be a foregone conclusion that no matter what Germany would do, they would be deprived
of nuclear weapons and would ultimately lose the war.