PARANOIA ÜBER ALLES: Lies, spies, Trump and Nazi Germany

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”-John 8:32

President Trump excoriates the news media while standing in front of the stars of honor on the north wall of CIA headquarters in Langley, VA.   As he attacked the news media, he received choreographed applause from his entourage.

The love-hate relationship between America’s journalists and its intelligence community may have grown a little more dramatic after the venomous attitude President Donald J. Trump  displayed recently toward both professions, going as far as to wrongly accuse the CIA and its former director John Brennan of deliberately leaking to the press the “Golden Showers” dossier, an action he called akin to that of Nazi Germany of the 1930s.

This squalid comment perhaps tells much more about Mr. Trump and his fears than about the CIA. While under the Nazi regime, the SS and the Gestapo gathered intelligence and compiled dossiers on untold numbers of German citizens, as well as foreigners, only twice were such dossiers used to humiliate and pressure prominent figures of the Third Reich.[i] In the first instance, a dossier filled with ugly fact was created, in the other, one filled with sinister and vile fiction.

After two prominent German military leaders were removed from their posts after damaging dossiers about them were produced, Adolph Hitler assumed direct command of the German military.

In September, 1937, 60-year-old Reich War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg met the 25-year-old Margarethe Gruhn while strolling in Berlin’s Tiergarten. Immediately smitten, Blomberg introduced his young love to Hitler as a “stenographer” and a “girl of the people” and both Hitler and Reichs Marshal Herman Goering served as witnesses at the Blombergs’ January, 1938 wedding. It turned out that Frau Blomberg was well known to the Berlin police, having posed for pornographic photos and had been registered as a prostitute.

The Berlin police president and rabid Nazi, Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf brought these facts to Goering who happened to covet Blomberg’s position as War Minister. Goering sensed the opportunity to eliminate his rival and ordered Helldorf to compile a full dossier with photos which he then presented to Hitler. Hitler was stunned by what he read and saw, and as a germophobe and compulsive hand washer, he immediately washed his hands after touching the photos of Frau Blomberg. He was even more shaken by the fear that if the facts became public, he would be ridiculed for being a witness at the wedding. “If a German field marshal can marry a whore, than anything is possible in this world,” he lamented to his personal assistant. Blomberg was confronted with the dossier and given the choice of divorce or resignation from the Army.  He resigned.

War Minister Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg. He refused to divorce his wife after it was revealed she had once been a prostitute.

In the second instance, Werhmacht commander General Werner von Fritsch, who had wavered over Hitler’s more aggressive moves, was the target. Only a few months before the Blomberg affair, SS Fuehrer Heinrich Himmler showed Hitler a police file accusing Fritsch of having sex with a rent boy named Otto Schmidt, a felony crime under Paragraph 175 of the German penal law, a crime for which Schmidt was reportedly blackmailing Fritsch.  Hitler had sat on the dossier.  Now Hitler, who reluctantly was going to appoint Fritsch as Blomberg’s successor as war minister,  was worried about another scandal.  He ordered the Gestapo to compile a full police record on the matter. This task fell to Himmler’s deputy Reinhard Heydrich, who already had a special dossier tucked away in his office safe and produced it for Hitler the next day.

Fritsch vociferously denied the charges to Hitler and again when confronted by the rent boy whom the Gestapo had extricated from a concentration camp and brought to Berlin for just such an occasion. “Who knows what’s right and what’s wrong here?” wrote Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in his diary. Fritsch was forced to resign his command and retire, but in a touch of irony, Goering did not succeed him as War Minister; Hitler abolished the office, from then on the army, now commanded by the more pliant artillery General Walther von Brauchitsch, would answer directly to the Fuehrer.

Wehrmacht Chief of Staff  Werner von Fritsch, who lost his command after being framed by the SS with a false dossier.

Ultimately standing trial in front of a Reich War Court, presided over by Goering, Fritsch was acquitted of the charges. A former cavalry captain named Fritsch admitted to the court that it was he who had been blackmailed by the rent boy Schmidt and Schmidt, himself, admitted to the court that he had lied in identifying General Fritsch, facts apparently known to both Heydrich and Himmler when they presented their dossier to Hitler. The Fuehrer wrote Fritsch a letter thanking him for his military service but when Fritsch asked for full reinstatement of rank, Hitler ignored him. He had rid himself of a troublesome commander and was going to keep it that way.

Students of history, politics and psychology might be asking: To which of these dossiers was President Trump referring to when he accused the CIA of acting like Nazi Germany?

[i] In a third dossier incident, in 1935, Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, ever the poisonous toad, sought to eliminate Emil Maurice as a rival for Hitler’s ear. Maurice had been with Hitler ever since the beginning of the Nazi movement and was his bodyguard, chauffeur and was SS member No.2, right after Hitler, and far above Himmler’s badge number.  Himmler prepared a dossier that showed that Maurice’s great-grandfather had been a Jewish businessman and demanded that Maurice and his brothers, as mischlings, people of mixed Aryan-Jewish blood, be expelled from the SS. Hitler refused and instead ordered Himmler to make the Maurice brothers “Honorary Aryans.” The following year, Hitler went further, appointing Emil Maurice as a Reichstag deputy.

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