By Irene Eckert
“It would be difficult to overestimate the extent to which liberty and democracy in the United States are currently endangered …” Albert E. Kahn, Treason in Congress, April 1948
“… mankind is threatened with wars, compared with which the past ones look like poor attempts and they will come without a doubt if the hands of those preparing them in public, are not smashed.” Bertolt Brecht , 1952
A Strange Kind of War
A strange kind of war is presently being waged upon us, pattering along on doves feet. In Germany it was on March 13th, exactly one year ago, that a bombardment of measures began to gradually strangle our liberties. Businesses were shut down. Almost all civil activities, apart from wage labor were suffocated. Eventually meetings with our fellow citizens and even with relatives were narrowed down. Every movement of the individual was increasingly controlled. Lothar Whieler, director of the RKI (German Centre for Disease Control) demanded categorically: “These rules must never be questioned”.
In other parts of the world and at other times such phenomena would be qualified “dictatorship” or “fascist intrusion”, but presently such critical attributes are tabooed. In the meantime NATO is getting ready for another war against the eternal Russian bogey man and its Chinese partner.
And a Docile Public
In order to explain the compliance of a vast part of the population confronted with such unheard-of deprivation of civil rights and pushing ever closer towards a global war, we must look back and far. With the financial melt down ahead certain “elites” react in panic mode. For the larger public, social and economic penalties are accompanied by police operations for disobedience.
Due to an oiled brainwashing machine hammering day in day out on the same melody people’s minds get tired and they abide by its monotonous tune.
The incessant work of this well greased PR-machine began in an early stage of WWI. The Austrian-American pioneer of PR-techniques, Edward Louis Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud set its mechanisms going. His book “Propaganda”, a pioneer ‘chef d’oeuvre’ in PR techniques prepared the ground for many evils, among others, NS-Goebbel’s ideological efficiency. With the help of pseudo scientific methods of mass manipulation, Bernays and his ilk managed to completely reverse the American public’s deep reluctance to entering World War I. Not much later women were misled into the emancipatory goodness of smoking using the same techiques.
With the help of a rich tool box of PR devices it became possible to turn peoples minds to any wanted direction. Wording plays a key role in this devilish game.
Brainwashed into a Cold War: As Abroad so At Home
If it was only seducing women into smoking, the damage would be limited, even though there are still considerable health risks at stake and future generations concerned. But undoubtedly, even more damage was done by unleashing the Cold War against America’s major WWII ally, Russia right after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s death on April 12th 1945.
The age of political freeze that came along with the US president’s untimely passing away would cost millions of lives. Suffice it to name Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, African Congo and many more. Considering the present groundswell of Sino- and Russophobia, it is important to understand that there has always been method in this madness. The coining of the enemy image, that is the distortion of realities in revolutionary Russia began long before World War II had even started. Peoples the world over have been entangled in a world wide struggle between imperialistic, narrow minded, pro-fascist forces and socially grounded efforts to overcome this bloody nonsense.
While Hitler was installed into power in Germany in 1933, the US people had managed to corner the fascist forces by electing FDR into the Oval Office. This president managed to stay in power for 12 long years with the help of a wide range of social arrangements based on his forward looking New Deal policy strategies. But the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was inaugurated in 1942 and the man who would become CIA chief after the OSS was disbanded and purged of its anti-fascist loyalists, was named Allen Dulles. Dulles had already spent many years meddling in German politics having first been deployed to Berlin in 1920.
The HUAC (House Committee for the Investigation of Un-American Activities) was formed in 1938. Its first Chief Investigator was Edward F. Sullivan, the ex-director of the Ukrainian-American Educational Institute of 1933 (without speaking a word of the Ukrainian language). Sullivan was also very close to the pro-Nazi and anti Jewish German-American Bund. In August 1936 he agitated against the Roosevelt Administration as a “Jewish Communist Plot” in his function as the keynote speaker at their national gathering in Asheville, North Carolina (see: ‘Treason in Congress, The Record of the House of Un-American Activities Committee’, by Albert E. Kahn, introduced by O. John, former assistant US General Attorney, published by the Publications Committee Literature Division, Arts, Science and Professions, Progressive Citizens of America , 19 Park Avenue, New York 16, N.Y, in 1948)
The NS-like persecutions of alleged inner enemies after WWII, accusing individuals of collaborating with an ex-allied nation did not make sense at all from a Rooseveltian viewpoint. But Roosevelt was threatened himself. He was the declared enemy of those fascist forces who later came after Russia. As abroad so at home, public enemies were made out of nothing. With his popular New Deal policies, FDR was labeled a “dirty commie” from the get go. He had to be done away with.
When President Roosevelt died an untimely death on April 12th 1945 his opponents had a free pass. Albert E. Kahn writes:
“In the months following the V-J Day, the Committee launched an all-out propaganda campaign against the Soviet Union and Moscow’s “Communist fifth column” in the US. In an incessant stream of lurid press releases, “official reports“ and public statements by its members the committee proclaimed that the “Soviet imperialism“ was plotting world domination and that a Kremlin-directed network of saboteurs and atom bomb spies honeycombed the United States“.
Does that not sound familiar?
The primary forces who orchestrated this war mongering between the two nations early in 1945 knew very well, that they dealt with a war-ridden Soviet Union who had suffered enormous losses and was rushing to reconstruct her hard hit country. These fascist left over circles wanted to disrupt friendly relations between the US and the USSR.
“Words like hysteria and paranoia come to mind… The Cold War prism saw the main threat to America in the halls of the Kremlin. The bogey was Stalin, a despot and a devil, a devious plotter with a Blueprint for World Domination… As it turned out the image was an illusion. The spectre of a powerful Russia was remote from reality of a country weakened by war.”
– Harry Rositzke, The CIA’s Secret Operations: Espionage, Counterespionage and Covert Action, New York Reader’s Digest 1977, quoted by Stephen Kinzer, p. 105
Coining the Enemy Image – Shifting the Blame for Partitioning Europe
As soon as the Western allies arrived in Berlin, a witch hunt began against all those who had survived prison and Hitler’s concentration camps. They immediately saw to it, that the constructive Russian hand was pushed back. With the help of their propaganda station RIAS Berlin (Radio in the American Sector) the liberating image of the Russians was painted all in black. With many minds thwarted by NS-anti-Russian-warfare-ideology this seemed an easy task.
After the swift replacement of anti-fascist personnel in key positions whom the Russians had placed there, it was no big deal rubbing the image of the “Russian rapist” into Berlin’s brains.
Nazi propaganda had been working thoroughly for 12 long years. However, social action works better than any ideology, and the first thing the “conquering Russians rapists” had gotten straight was to repair the heavily bombed infra-structure in the City of Berlin. The Red Army soldiers immediately started feeding the hungry population in the NAZI capital, that lay in shambles and they re-opened the theatres. It was the Americans and the Brits that had destroyed the crowded city centers of Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden, whereas Russians soldiers fought and died on the ground. In spite of all their dead bodies still lying around, the Russians posted signs alongside the Hohenzollern Damm, road axes from West to East Berlin reading: “While Hitlers come and go, the German nation will remain”.
My own father, my grandfather and my husband told me the rhymed slogan in German: “Hitlers kommen und gehen, das deutsche Volk aber bleibt bestehen” signed by Stalin. With such a concept in mind, the Soviets re-opened schools, they hastily edited new school books with German classical texts and poetry. The Russian language was taught among others in College and High School. However, after less than a year, a different mindset was infused into every German brain, one imposed under the tutelage of the British and US occupiers. This was done in opposition to the humanistic vision the Russians had tried to offer the German people accompanied by a grand reconstruction effort.
Remnants of these early Russian postwar efforts can still be visited in the Eastern part of Berlin, once the capital of the German Democratic Republic (aka: GDR). In the ‘Park of Treptow‘ (Treptow a district of Berlin) a huge monument expresses the spirit of those early post-war days under Soviet influence, expressing the Russian quest for peace and reconciliation. This monument in stone and garden art is also a graveyard hosting the dead bodies of ten thousands of Russian soldiers. The very special monument was made possible through an international cooperative effort.
Another witness in stone dating from the pre-Cold War period are the Stalin building monuments along the Frankfurter Allee (formerly Stalin Allee). Today those intact and impressive buildings along the axes road towards the East offer expensive housing for better incomes. The Treptow Park antiwar memorial site and the Stalin Allee Building bloc constitute quasi eternal witnesses for mind-modelling. Very few German people remember the story behind this architecture, and many don’t even know of their existence.
The huge and still beautiful monument of the Treptow Park is neglected by the city authorities, while Stalin has become the epitome of evils and his team was turned into a bunch of monsters. This has been purposely done under the influence of actual monsters like the Dulles siblings and their hidden masters. Allan Dulles’ sister Eleanore was instrumental in orchestrating the ‘insurgency’ of the GDR construction workers on June 17th 1953, that helped metaphorically shape the image of an oppressive GDR under the thumb of an even more repressive “Stalinist” system.
[For more see Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers – John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and their Secret World War, New York, 2013 (Times Books). A dual biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles who led the US into an unseen war that decisively shaped today’s world. See p. 47 ff.]
Germany was partitioned in 1949 after an artificial Western allied air-bridge had been orchestrated in order to feed an allegedly starving population, strangled by the Russians. In reality the population of Berlin was fed from the territory of the surrounding GDR. Opposite to the lead narrative the country has been partitioned by the Western allies under the tutelage of Britain and the US. It was these Anglo-Americans who single handedly introduced a new currency in their occupational zones without warning. It was they who imposed a Basic Law (upholding Allied restrictions) to their occupational sectors, without consulting the people nor of course the Russians. They were the ones who integrated West Germany into the Marshall plan economy, which was not accessible to the East.
Popular voting on this quasi constitution for the Federal Republic of (West-) Germany to be, was made illegal. Those who challenged the ban and organised a referendum were put in jail. West-Germany was soon to be integrated into the NATO alliance, even though Adenauer, a close friend of the Dulles family had publicly promised otherwise. Catholic professor Klara Maria Fassbinder who had worked for French-German reconciliation between the wars and who now committed herself to peaceful relations with Russia, was one of hundreds of thousands who suffered dearly for their civil engagement. (See Diether Posser, Anwalt im Kalten Krieg. Deutsche Geschichte in politischen Prozessen 1951-1968, Bonn 2000, Dietz Verlag).
The entry of West Germany into the aggressive NATO “defence” alliance of 1949 did not pass without resistance either. It could only be publicly implemented after the German Communist Party was declared illegal in 1956. In 1952 several Soviet plans for a peaceful re-unification of Germany before it officially joined NATO had been turned down as Stalin’s “propaganda tools”.
When Living Monuments are Destroyed or Collapse, War is in the Air
On March 5th in 1953, Stalin died of a heart attack.
His death had as many immediate political consequences as FDR’s sudden death in 1945. Successor Krushchev turned the wheel around. The GDR government was now pushed to impose unpopular policies from the Kremlin. The manufacturing workers rose in protest. Eleanore Dulles helped to instigate the infamous June 17th upheavals in East Berlin in 1953 into what the CIA would frame as a “revolution”. With more and unpopular decisions coming along especially after the fatal Krushchev “secret speech” at 20th Soviet Communist Party Congress in 1956, which appeared first in the New York Times, the once globally popular image of the Soviet Union, as a hero of WWII and the nation which had defeated Hitler was turned around. Krushchev’s secret “speech” prepared the ground for not only the crushing of Stalin’s image the world over, but eventually gave ground to those same fascist forces who had wanted to destroy Revolutionary Russia from the get go.
GDR academy member and historian Kurt Gossweiler kept a secret political diary showing the fatality of Krushev’s political and economic decision-making step by step. He quotes Allen Dulles as having said in 1956
“The anti-Stalin campaign together with the “liberalisation programme” has caused a chain reaction that cannot be stopped in the long run”
– Archiv der Gegenwart, 11. Juli 1965 quoted in the Taubenfuß-Chronik I, p.101
Elsewhere I have read that ‘With that Krushchev’s secret speech a bomb was planted which will have much longer lasting and more devastating consequences than the explosion of the atom bomb”.
Gossweiler’s two volumes of the Taubenfuß-Chronik were only published much later- in fact after the GDR ceased to exist. The title of the originally private diary “The Dove’s Feet Chronicals” reflects the character of some of the methods the antagonistic forces applied. The strange sounding title was later discussed publicly with the writer Peter Hacks in an exchange of letters, published in “Am Ende werden sie es doch verstehen”. Peter Hacks, who had left West Germany in the 50s in order to work more freely in the GDR, was the only prominent public figure who shared Gossweiler’s insight. The antifascist historian’s observations during the course of a decade show that the Soviet Union was systematically and voluntarily destroyed from within and with it, most of the socialist part of the world.
However, China and Cuba survived miraculously. This goes to prove that fascism, the very antagonism of socialism was not completely defeated in 1945. “The lap was fertile still” as big Bert Brecht put it in 1941 in the epilogue of his play ‘Arturo Ui’ . The inventor of the epic drama, and also holder of the Stalin peace prize was another public figure who died an early death in 1956, as did Johannes R. Becher in 1958, author of the national anthem and first secretary of Cultural Affairs of the GDR. Both writers might have understood how early noble socialist efforts for development and anti-imperial reconstruction were gradually corrupted.
The wheel of history was turned in 1956, but it should take another 34 years before the GDR would be gone for ever. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 the mostly academically trained crowds rejoiced and very few understood, what dynamics were truly at play. No record was kept for those who cried and committed suicide.
But only ten years later we saw the war return to Europe: Belgrade was bombed for the third time in the last century, It was bombed by NATO forces, depleted Uranium was applied. All three wars were waged with German assistance. Yugoslavia was attacked under the pretext of safeguarding human rights and protecting the people from a Hitler-like dictator. A Green German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer had cleared the path for the first postwar war on European soil.
A series of more wars the world over was to follow in the aftermath of the World Trade Centre’s collapsing. War against Afghanistan was the first answer. The Greens and Social democrats then argued that we needed to send soldiers in order to help liberate Afghan women from wearing the Hijab. Wars against other Muslim countries followed: Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Libya (2011), Syria (2012), Yemen (2015) to name only the most prominent ones. In the meantime we all had to cover our faces and wear face masks- formerly the costume of bank robbers. Today the pretentious masters of the universe are imposing a new kind of war on us- a weird hybrid war against an invisible enemy, an ever mutating virus. In order to combat this tricky creature, we are told to sacrifice everything that has been dear to us human beings so far.
Mind you, fascism is on the horizon. War is in the air. But as a German saying goes : “Noch ist nicht aller Tage Abend” (Now is not the end of all days). And:
Wenn die Herrschenden gesprochen haben, dann sprechen die Beherrschten/ An wem liegt es ,wenn die Unterdrückung bleibt? An uns! Bert Brecht, Lob der Dialektik
Let us join hands: Cooperation not confrontation is what we want.
* The classical definition of fascism by Georgi Dimitrov: “the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.”
David Horrowitz, From Yalta To Vietnam. American Foreign Policy in the Cold War 1965, supported by Verdandi in Uppsala, German ed. “Kalter Krieg, Hintergründe der US -Außenpolitik vo nYalta bis Vietnam, Berlin (Wagenbach) 1969
Rena Giefer/Thomas Giefer, Die Rattenlinie – Fluchtwege der Nazis, eine Dokumentation, Frankfurt Main 1991
Grover Furr, Krushchev Lied, February 2011, German ed. Berlin 2014
Julius Mader, Hitlers Spionage Genrale sagen aus, Berlin 1970
Kurt Gossweiler, Die Taubenfuß-Chronik oder die Chrutschschowiade 1953 -1964, BdI München 2002 und Bd II, München 2005 München 2002
Peter Hacks, Am Ende verstehen sie es, politische Schriften 1988-2003, Berlin 2005, Eulenspiegel Verlag
BIO: Irene Eckert is a retired college teacher of English, German language and literature, history and political science. She is a long term peace worker and member of WILPF (Women’s International League For Peace Freedom) and has lectured internationally. Irene also edits the German anti-war magazine Arbeitskreis für Friedenspolitik where this essay was first published.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel at: t.me/RisingTideFoundation.
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly