On this 75th anniversary of the assassination attempt against Hitler led by Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg (above), it is appropriate to ask the question: Why didn't the US government support the anti-Nazi German resistance? The answer, which is shocking, lies in Chapter Ten of American Betrayal, which opens with an epigraph from Gen. Wedemayer: "The irony of it all is that the Soviet empire is largely one of our own creation."
Here are the first pages:
I can hear the carping: But the USSR was our ally against Hitler.
No. The USSR was not our ally. It was our secret master-manipulator. We were secretly master-manipulated, not into defeating the Nazis, who, but for the de facto Soviet occupation of Washington, I now am persuaded could have been eliminated in 1943, but rather into decimating, obliterating, Germany, Soviet Russia’s natural barrier against expansion into its European empire. Japan, very much too, for that matter, in the East.
Of course, D-day was in 1944. I am about to describe another crime of the century, further establishing World War II as the War for Soviet Aggrandizement and Communist Expansion. And somehow, the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” never sounds the same again.
To see how this could be we have to return to the first half of 1943, a busy time, particularly for Harry Hopkins. This is when we know from secret documents written by Soviet agents and gleaned from Soviet archives that “Assistant President” Hopkins twice covertly passed vital secrets to the Soviets. Both inci- dents took place around the time that evidence of Soviet guilt for the Katyn Massacre was being uncovered, then covered up again, even as Stalin was breaking relations with the Polish government in exile over Polish calls for an independent investigation into the massacre. (Not this rift among the Allies and not the Katyn Massacre itself are even mentioned in Sherwood’s “official” Hopkins biography.) These same acts of espionage by Hopkins—which, again, we only know about from chance Soviet sources (Mitrokhin’s archive and Venona interceptions)—were taking place in the same spring that the president’s top adviser called up Major Jordan to ask him to speed a shipment of uranium along to Moscow on the Q.T. Jordan remains the only American to step forward as a witness to testify to Hopkins’s perfidy.
It was also in this same spring of 1943 that Dr. Josef Mengele joined the staff at Auschwitz and began to conduct experiments on prisoners.
Why mention this? It’s important to fill in the timeline of civilization’s destruction, to indicate what horrors had already been unleashed upon the world, and what horrors had not yet been unleashed upon the world—and might never have been.
The spring of 1943 was also, to draw a bright new strand into the loom, when German chief of intelligence Adm. Wilhelm Canaris telephoned George H. Earle, former governor of Pennsylvania and special emissary of FDR (whom we met in chapter 7), now in Istanbul, to inquire what might have come of the peace feelers the Abwehr director had two months earlier clandestinely extended in person to Earle to present to President Roosevelt.
We are now entering more Lost Narrative, and I am wondering if even the notion that Canaris, a high official in the Third Reich, secretly aided British intelligence, let alone freelanced peace negotiations with Americans (and the British), can ever penetrate the obdurate wall sheltering hoary consensus. It’s just that hard to take: Nazi intelligence chief as Good Guy?
In this attempt to rough out a new narrative that more accurately reflects events than the ideologically censored version we are familiar with, there is the risk of oversimplification. At this point, though, the far greater risk is overcomplication. These historical concepts are basic, and they underlie a national scan- dal. There existed many German anti-Nazis, even many high-ranking ones such as Canaris, who wanted to end World War II early; that’s the basic concept. The chapter ahead tells how we ignored them and why, which is the national scandal: Our best interests, once again, were subverted for Soviet ends.
There is a fleeting reference to “the amazing anti-Nazi resistance movement” in Germany in Chesly Manly’s The Twenty-Year Revolution. He mentions in passing Allen Dulles’s 1947 account, Germany’s Underground, a book Dulles wrote about his personal wartime experience as our OSS man in Switzerland. In this slim book, Dulles recounts his extensive secret contacts with members of the anti-Nazi underground, which he kept OSS headquarters in Washington duly apprised of. Like a foreign correspondent whose newspaper never printed his reports, Dulles got nowhere with his work. The German anti-Nazi under- ground, Dulles makes clear, was the only anti-Nazi underground that wasn’t supported by the United States.
The reason is shocking and goes to the heart of the national scandal: This German underground movement was resolutely and operationally anti-Communist just as much as it was anti-Nazi. In Communist-occupied Washington—and London, too—this particular wing of the anti-Hitler resistance was viewed as the enemy just as much as Hitler was. Allen Dulles, future CIA chief, doesn’t paint the problem in the same bold strokes I have chosen, but I think he makes it plain:
The plotters . . . were told clearly and repeatedly that we had made common cause with Russia in the determination to continue together to a complete and united victory . . .
A majority of the conspirators favored England and the United States and some even hoped that after they had removed Hitler they might be able to sur- render to the West and continue the war against the Soviets. This was known in Washington and London and was one of the reasons they received no encouragement from the United States and Britain [emphasis added].
In other words, anti-Nazis who were also anti-Communist need not apply. This meant common cause with the Communist regime superseded all, even German surrender. It was a brilliant strategy—from Stalin’s point of view. A post-Hitler government in Germany that was both anti-Nazi and anti-Communist would have blocked Communist expansion into eastern and central Europe. The conspirators’ general idea was to surrender German forces to Anglo-American armies on the single condition that German forces then be permitted, with undetermined Allied support, to redeploy to fend off a Soviet invasion of Europe and Germany in the east. In one of his many cables home about the German underground, Dulles elaborated:
The principal motive for their action is the ardent desire to prevent Central Europe from coming ideologically and factually under the control of Russia. They are convinced that in such event Christian culture and democracy and all that goes with it would disappear in Europe and that the present dictatorship of the Nazis would be exchanged for a new dictatorship.
Their worst fears would start to come true with the Soviet invasion that rolled all the way to Berlin, as Khrushchev later pointed out in a burst of candor, on half a million trucks and jeeps made in the USA.
Clearly, they must be stopped, was the Washington mantra.
They didn’t however, mean the Red Army....