“They were known as ‘brown priests’ – the small and relatively marginalised group of Catholic priests who joined the Nazi Party. Some were personally close to Hitler, including the Benedictine abbot Albanus Schachleiter, who preached at Nazi rallies flanked by members of the SA, the Hitler youth, and swastika flags. Others left the Church to join the SS. All were a headache for their Bishops. American historian Kevin Spicer is visiting professor at Notre Dame University, and his book Hitler’s Priests follows the careers of a dozen ‘brown priests’, examining their motives, the trouble they caused, and their eventual fate.”
The Nazis and the Australian State
An article in The Sydney Morning Herald in August, 1999 uncovered documents showing that scientists and technicians were brought from Germany to Australia as part of a scheme to bring in highly trained technicians. The Employment of Scientific and Technical Aliens Scheme (ESTEA) operated between 1946 and 1951, bringing in 127 German scientists of whom almost one-third were affiliated with either the Nazi Party or other Nazi groups. In addition some of the remainder had worked for the Nazis in military research or for I G Farben, the notorious chemical firm that used concentration camp inmates as workers.
In addition to individuals such as Konrad Kalejs and Srecko Rover, perhaps the most prominent example of non-Nazi fascist movements and groups operating in Australia is the Ustasha, and the most prominent puppet Lyenko Urbanchich (1923–2006), a key member of the NSW Liberals, mentor to David Clarke (a Tory member of the NSW Parliament). Clarke, in turn, has played a key role in shaping the career of Alex Hawke, the recently-elected member of Federal Parliament for the seat of Mitchell in NSW.
One of the leading experts on the matter of Nazis in Australia is Mark Aarons. In an interview with the AJN, it is written:
Aarons says postwar Australian governments knowingly accepted Nazi war criminals into the country. “The very first ship that brought displaced persons under the displaced persons scheme contained a significant number of people from the Baltic countries who, it was revealed, had fought or served in the SS. The then security service investigated and the file eventually made its way onto the immigration minister’s desk, Arthur Calwell, who shut the whole thing down and told them to stop investigating and that it was an immigration issue, not a security matter.
“That really set the tone,” he says, “the first minister, the first ship, the first Nazis, and he turned a blind eye, knowing that the consequences, and I don’t think there can be any doubt about this, would be a significant movement of ex-Nazis and Nazi collaborators into Australia.
“By comparison, the rules that applied for Jewish refugees were extremely harsh… The number of Jews arriving on any ship was restricted to quite a small percentage of the total passenger list, which meant you couldn’t get large-scale Jewish migration. It meant in many instances that Jewish refugees actually found themselves on the same ships as their former persecutors. There were many people who actually identified an SS guard or a Nazi official who had been responsible in their region for carrying out the Holocaust on the same ship.”
IT is now widely known that British and United States intelligence services actively recruited former Nazis to aide their anti-communist operations. Aarons says some of these recruits were subsequently handed on to Australian authorities and settled here.
“You can trace their war crimes, you can trace their recruitment by US intelligence, you can trace their illegal immigration into Australia, and then you can trace it all the way through to them going onto the payroll of ASIO once they arrived in Australia… The purpose being that they would help ASIO in anti-communist operations, both in the domestic hunt for communist agents, but also in the procurement of international intelligence — particularly of intelligence from behind the Iron Curtain. These people had a range of family and political contacts still living under communism and were thereby seen to be quite capable gatherers of intelligence.”
Australia has welcomed other war criminals to its shores, even since the last World War II criminals arrived, Aarons claims. He says similar black marks on the immigration record occurred throughout the 1980s and 1990s when former Afghan communists were recruited by Australian intelligence agencies and brought into the country.”
Dunno why, but The Age has just published a brief article by Giles-Tremlett-in-Madrid regarding the apparent expansion in the Spanish court system’s (slightly tardy) investigations into mass murder conducted by Spanish fascists. It’s a slightly odd article, in that it contains a reference to “anarchist death squads”; squads which, to the best of my knowledge, never existed. (And yeah, I’ve looked.) Anyway, while his use of the term may be almost unique, that anarchists were responsible for hideous crimes during the civil war is a commonplace of reportage. Thus: “Relations between the Church and the Left have been poisoned since the Civil War in the 1930s, when Communist and Anarchist irregulars burnt churches and killed thousands of priests. The Spanish Church strongly supported Franco’s Fascist dictatorship and some bishops were even pictured in stiff-armed salutes” reads a report in The Times regarding the intervention by the Catholic Church in Spanish politics (Vatican told to stop bishops ‘meddling’ in Spain’s election, February 14, 2008). Which account I’ve read many times before, and occurs in almost all reporting on the Church’s role in the Spanish Civil War and Revolution. Which is also odd, as while I’m aware that anarchist militias and other ‘irregulars’ burnt Churches, as well as shot some priests, I’m also aware that the involvement of the Church in fascist politics went well beyond a few bishops being photographed giving fascist salutes. Some, for example, were photographed carrying rifles. Others even used them. Like, to shoot workers? And peasants? One day I’ll get around to reading Julio de la Cueva, ‘Religious Persecution, Anticlerical Tradition and Revolution: On Atrocities against the Clergy during the Spanish Civil War’, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Jul., 1998), pp. 355-369. According to this source, there was a death toll of 13 bishops, 4,172 diocesan priests and seminarists, 2,364 monks and friars and 283 nuns, for a total of 6,832 victims… although how many of these deaths may reasonably be attributed to anarchists is another matter.
In the meantime…
Judge widens Spanish war probe
September 28, 2008
A JUDGE looking into the brutal repression unleashed by General Francisco Franco’s opponents in the Spanish civil war has widened his investigation. Tens of thousands of people were victims of the so-called “red terror” unleashed by some of the dictator’s opponents. Judge Baltasar Garzon has asked authorities for a list of those killed on the orders of the tribunals set up by the left-wing republicans during the three-year civil war, which ended in 1939. The judge sparked controversy last month when he asked government departments and the Catholic Church to help provide a list of names of those who were put to death by General Franco’s military tribunals, or killed by right-wing death squads. That request followed a petition from campaigners who have been looking for and digging up the hundreds of mass graves. They delivered a list of more than 130,000 victims last week. Judge Garzon’s initial investigation was criticised by right-wing politicians, who claimed he was stirring up old hatreds. Conservative commentators also condemned his latest request. “It is a tactical move because there are doubts about whether the law permits Garzon to do what he is trying to do,” a historian [/barking mad right-wing pundit], Jose Maria Marco, told the right-wing radio station Cope. Campaigners said they saw no conflict. The names of those killed on the orders of republican tribunals or by left-wing or anarchist death squads are readily available, as they were put together during General Franco’s 36-year dictatorship. General Franco’s courts dealt with many of the perpetrators of those atrocities, often sending them to the firing squad. Many say the judge’s moves are too late, as most of the people involved are dead.
Spanish Judge Seeks Names of Victims in Franco Era
The New York Times (AP)
September 1, 2008
MADRID (AP) — A judge began gathering information on Monday about people who disappeared during Spain’s civil war and subsequent dictatorship, seeking to produce a reliable list of those who were killed away from the battlefield. The judge, Baltasar Garzón, issued a ruling seeking information from church leaders, mayors and other authorities about victims of Gen. Francisco Franco’s forces after his military uprising on July 17, 1936, touched off the war against the democratically elected Republican government [aka the conventional bourgeois account. See : Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship by Noam Chomsky]. Atrocities were committed on both sides, although the general’s victorious Fascists are generally considered to have committed the lion’s share…
Fascist wankers in Spain mourn hijo de puta Franco, slackbastard, November 20, 2007 | 16 year-old antifa stabbed to death in Madrid, November 12, 2007 | Anarchy, Memory & ‘Forgetting’: Salvador Puig Antich, February 25, 2007 | Salvador Puig Antich : The Film, October 2, 2006 | The Guardian on the reign in Spain, July 30, 2006 | Barcelona, 1936 : Strangling the life out of fascism : Spain, 1936, July 21, 2006 | The Spanish Revolution and the English Literati, July 16, 2006 | Albert Meltzer: The Fascist Objection to Anarchism, January 6, 2006
“Questions emerge”: RNC 2008 & The Spectre of Anarchism/Terrorism, September 17, 2008…
The study of collectivization published by the CNT in 1937 concludes with a description of the village of Membrilla. “In its miserable huts live the poor inhabitants of a poor province; eight thousand people, but the streets are not paved, the town has no newspaper, no cinema, neither a cafe nor a library. On the other hand, it has many churches that have been burned.” Immediately after the Franco insurrection, the land was expropriated and village life collectivized. “Food, clothing, and tools were distributed equitably to the whole population. Money was abolished, work collectivized, all goods passed to the community, consumption was socialized. It was, however, not a socialization of wealth but of poverty.” Work continued as before. An elected council appointed committees to organize the life of the commune and its relations to the outside world. The necessities of life were distributed freely, insofar as they were available. A large number of refugees were accommodated. A small library was established, and a small school of design.
The document closes with these words:
“The whole population lived as in a large family; functionaries, delegates, the secretary of the syndicates, the members of the municipal council, all elected, acted as heads of a family. But they were controlled, because special privilege or corruption would not be tolerated. Membrilla is perhaps the poorest village of Spain, but it is the most just.”
An account such as this, with its concern for human relations and the ideal of a just society, must appear very strange to the consciousness of the sophisticated intellectual, and it is therefore treated with scorn, or taken to be naive or primitive or otherwise irrational. Only when such prejudice is abandoned will it be possible for historians to undertake a serious study of the popular movement that transformed Republican Spain in one of the most remarkable social revolutions that history records.
Franz Borkenau, in commenting on the demoralization caused by the authoritarian practices of the central government, observes (p. 295) that “newspapers are written by Europeanized editors, and the popular movement is inarticulate as to its deepest impulses . . . [which are shown only] . . . by acts.” The objectivity of scholarship will remain a delusion as long as these inarticulate impulses remain beyond its grasp. As far as the Spanish revolution is concerned, its history is yet to be written.
I have concentrated on one theme-the interpretation of the social revolution in Spain-in one work of history, a work that is an excellent example of liberal scholarship. It seems to me that there is more than enough evidence to show that a deep bias against social revolution and a commitment to the values and social order of liberal bourgeois democracy has led the author to misrepresent crucial events and to overlook major historical currents. My intention has not been to bring into question the commitment to these values-that is another matter entirely. Rather, it has been to show how this commitment has led to a striking fiailure of objectivity, providing a particularly subtle and interesting example of “counterrevolutionary subordination.”