If Ernst Zundel is the German Braveheart, Germar Rudolf the Galileo and Sylvia Stolz the Joan of Arc who then is Reinhold Elstner?
I'd never heard of Reinhold Elstner until a couple of years ago when I received an email entitled "In memoriam: Reinhold Elstner" and that was that. No message, no attachment, nothing. So I assumed that whoever sent it must have forgotten the attachment or something and in a few seconds I'd get another email saying "Whoops. Sorry. Here it is.". But then I saw that the person who sent me the email was Professor Robert Faurisson - a man not known for saying 'whoops' or 'sorry", and certainly not known for forgetting things.
So I googled 'Reinhold Elstner' and found that on April 25, 1995 (Today is the twentieth anniversary) Reinhold Elstner, a 75 year-old veteran of the Second World War, walked to the steps of Munich's historical Feldherrnhalle, doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire to protest against what he called "the ongoing official slander and demonization of the German People and German soldiers 50 years after the end of World War II". In his parting letter he wrote:
Fifty years of unrelenting smear campaigns and demonization of an entire people are enough.
Fifty years of incessant insults hurled at German war veterans are enough.
With my 75 years of age, all I can do is to set a final sign of contemplation with my death in flames. And if only one German comes to consciousness and finds his way to the truth, then my sacrifice will not have been in vain.Then I scrolled down a bit and found this video with the warning: This video is blocked in Germany. Well I couldn't open it quick enough.
It was the music that got me - I was hooked - So I asked if anyone could tell me what it was and this came from a reader:
"The music is called "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden (I once had a comrade)". It goes back to the 19th century I believe."So I googled it and came across a load of videos with the song. I've chosen this one which very much features National Socialist imagery (though the song long pre-dates National Socialism).
I also found that the text was a poem from 1809 and set to music in 1825. Here's the original poem and and an English translation.
Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,Einen bessern findst du nit.Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,Er ging an meiner SeiteIn gleichem Schritt und Tritt.Eine Kugel kam geflogen:Gilt’s mir oder gilt es dir?Sie hat ihn weggerissen,Er liegt zu meinen FüßenAls wär's ein Stück von mir.Will mir die Hand noch reichen,Derweil ich eben lad'."Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,Bleib du im ew'gen LebenMein guter Kamerad!"
I had one faithful comrade'Ere we heard the trumpet's call,And we pledged our hearts foreverIn battle joined togetherTo beat the foe or fall.A musket shot came screamingTo seal his fate or mineRight at my feet he stumbled,And friendship's shrine it crumbledAround that friend of mine.His hand is blindly seekingThe clasp I cannot giveFor duty calls me onwardFarewell my dying comrade,Our love shall ever live.
Now I'm not a great one for military display (though I do love a parade) and perhaps, in a perfect world, there would be no soldiers to be honoured. But if any soldiers should be honoured then why should German soldiers not be honoured? And I'm glad to say the song is often played on the German Remembrance Day and at memorials for the fallen. I'm also glad to have posted this small memorial to Reinhold Elstner
Finally, here's the complete text of Reinhold Elstner's last letter, translated by Hans Schmidt
In Germany, in Austria, in Switzerland, and everywhere else in the world: Please awaken!
50 years of never-ending defamation, ugly lies and the demonization of an entire people are enough,
50 years of incredible insults to former German soldiers, of blackmail that costs billions, and of "democratic" hate, are more than one can take,
50 years of judicial Zionist revenge are sufficient,
50 years of trying to create rifts between generations of Germans by criminalizing the fathers and grandfathers are too much.
It is incredible what we have to take in this anniversary year. A Niagara-like flood of lies and defamations inundates us. Since I am now 75 years of age, I cannot do much anymore but I can still seek death by self-immolation; one last deed that may act as a signal to the Germans to regain their senses. Even if through my deed only one German will awaken, and because of it will find the way to the truth, then my sacrifice will not have been in vain.
I felt I had no other choice after I realized that now, after 50 years, there seems a little hope that reason would gain the upper hand. As someone who was driven from his home after the war, I always had one hope, that that which was granted the Israelis after 2,000 years, namely the right to return to "home" would also be granted German expellees. What happened to the promise of self-determination that was promulgated in 1919, when millions of Germans were forced to live under foreign rule? To this day we have to suffer from these wrongs, and I can state that it wasn't the Germans who can be held responsible for it.
I am a Sudeten German. I had a Czech grandmother, and from the other side Czech and Jewish relatives, some of whom had been incarcerated in concentration camps like Buchenwald, Dora (Nordhausen) and Theresienstadt. I never belonged either to the Nazi party or even to any other group that was in the slightest tainted by the association with national socialism. We always had the best of relationship with our non-German kin, and, when necessary, we helped each other. During the war, our food market with bakery was responsible for the distribution of food stuffs to the French POWs and Ostarbeiter living in the town. Everyone was dealt with fairly, and this assured that at war's end our business was not plundered because the French POWs guarded it until they were repatriated to their own country. Our relatives who had been prisoners in the concentration camps came already home on the 10th of May, 1945 (two days after the hostilities had ceased), and offered their help. Of special assistance was the Jewish uncle from Prague who in the Czech capital had seen the horrible blood bath Czech partisans had caused among the Germans left there. The horror of these cold-blooded killings could still be seen in the man's eyes, obviously a horror the likes of which this former prisoner of the Reich had not experienced during his incarceration.
I was a soldier of the Wehrmacht of the Greater German Reich, fighting, from day one on the Eastern front. To this one must add a few years of slave work as a POW in the Soviet Union.
I well remember the Kristallnacht of 1938 because on that day I met a crying Jewish girl, a girl with whom I had been studying. But I was much more shocked when I saw in Russia how all churches had been desecrated, how they were used for stables and machine shops; I saw the pigs grunt, sheep bleat, machines hammering in holy places. Yet, for me the worst was when I saw churches being used as museums for atheism. And all this occurred with the active connivance of the Jews, that very small minority of which so many members were the executing goons of Stalin. Foremost amongst these people was the Kaganovich clan, seven brothers and sisters, who were such mass murderers that alleged SS-killers can be called harmless by comparison.
After I was permitted to go "home" after my discharge from Russian POW camps (what a mockery to say to go "home" to a POW who has been expelled from his ancestral homeland), I heard for the first time of the brutalities of the German concentration camps but at first nothing of any gas chambers and of the killing of human beings through the use of poison gas. On the contrary, I was told that the concentration camps at Theresienstadt and Buchenwald (Dora) even had bordellos for the inmates within the confines of the camp. Then, on the occasion of the "Auschwitz trials", and not only at the Nürnberg trials, Herr Broszat of the "Institute for Modern History" stated that the famous "six million" figure is only a symbolic number. In spite of the fact that Herr Broszat had also declared that there had been no gas chambers used for the killing of human beings in any camps on German Reich soil, for years alleged gas chambers were shown to visitors at Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen, and the like. Lies, nothing but lies to this day.
Everything became very clear to me when I read dozens of books written by Jews and so-called anti-fascists. In addition, I was able to draw upon my own experience in Russia. I lived for two years in the hospital town of Porchov, where already in the first winter the danger of typhus epidemic arose, and all the hospitals and first-aid stations were deloused with what we called then "K.Z.Gas" (concentration camp gas), namely "Zyklon-B". There I learned how dangerous it was to handle this poison gas even though I did not belong to the teams that defumigated the buildings. At any rate, ever since then I have had no choice but to regard all concentration camp memoirs that describe the alleged "gas chambers" as fairy tales. This may be the real reason why all concentration camp reports (by the victims, the translator) are being accepted as true under a so-called "Judicial notice" and need not to be proven.
In 1988 the German TV brought a report on Babi Yar (the ravine near Kiev in the Ukraine, the translator) where it was stated that the SS had killed 36,000 Jews by stoning them. Three years later, a Mrs. Kayser wrote a report for the newspaper "tz" in Munich stating that these Jews had been killed by shooting, and that their bodies had then been burned in the deep crevasses. Asked about it, Dr. Kayser pointed to a bookstore in Konstanz that sells the book "Shoa at Babi Yar". On the day that book arrived at my home, the German TV brought a report from Kiev telling of the findings of a Ukrainian commission: at Babi Yar where the remains of about 180,000 murdered human beings, all killed on orders of Stalin (before 1941, the translator). The Germans were not responsible at all. But everywhere in the world one can still find Babi Yar monuments blaming the Germans for the killings there. (Note by the translator: President Clinton visited Babi Yar on 10 May 1995, and spoke, in front of a menorah, of the Jews the Germans had allegedly killed there. An outright lie.)
Due to the facts as told by Herr Broszat, that we had been lied about the occurrences in a dozen concentration camps, I myself am unwilling to believe the fairy tales that are being told about the alleged happenings in the camps in Poland. I also do not believe the postwar accusations that we Germans are particularly aggressive. After all, it was Germany that kept the peace from 1871 to 1914, while England and France, the foremost democracies, conquered most of Africa and expanded their colonies in Asia. At the same America fought Spain and Mexico, and Russia battled Turkey and Japan. In these matters I consider the government of the United States particular cynical since it was that country which twice this century crossed the ocean to attack Germany and turn us towards "democracy". One must consider that this was a government whose nation eradicated the original inhabitants, and to this day treats its black population as second class citizens.
During my years I met nice and helpful Jews not only among my relatives but also as a POW in Russia. In Gorki a female Jewish professor helped me back to health when I suffered from pleurisy and severe eye problems. But I also had heard many bad things about this small minority. Did not Churchill write in the London Sunday Herald ( 8 February 1920) as follows:
"From the days of the Spartakus Weishaupt to Marx, Trotzky, Bela Khun, Rosa Luxembourg and Emma Goldmann, there is a worldwide conspiracy busy to destroy our civilization, and to change our society on the basis of unhampered developments of ugly greed, and an impossible dream of equality of all. This conspiracy with its relentless undermining of every existing institution was able to engage a gang of unscrupulous people from the underworld of the larger cities of Europe and America to take over Russia, and make itself masters of this large empire. It is not necessary to overestimate the role which these godless Jews played in the establishment of Bolshevism."
I hope I am entitled to quote the recipient of the prestigious German Karls-Prize. [With this sentence Mr. Elstner alluded to the fact that in "free" and "democratic" Germany there are now many taboos in force, particularly in the political and historical fields. Even quoting Churchill's sentences from 1920 may land a person in jail for "inciting hate against another group", namely, the Jews. The truth of a statement is no defense. -- The translator]. In the XVIIIth Century, Samuel Johnson wrote: "I am not certain what we should fear more, a street full of soldiers who are out to plunder, or a room full of writers who are used to lie."
Considering our experience after 1918 and after 1945, we Germans ought to know what we have to fear most!
München, 25 April 1995