Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Breslau and Dresden to Be Liberated After Berlin

Yuriy RUBTSOV | 06.05.2015 | 00:02

The last days of the Great Patriotic War the Hitler’s troops often fought in despair realizing that the regime they defended was doomed. What could have saved Breslau (Wroclaw, Poland) encircled by the 1st Ukrainian Front on February 14? …Germany was losing one line of defense after another; the government led by Karl Dönitz replaced the government of Hitler who committed suicide. Berlin fell. But the forces concentrated in Breslau continued to resist. There were different reasons. The Goebbels propaganda promised a “miracle weapon” to change the tide of war. There were hopes the anti-Germany alliance would split apart leading to the start of separate talks between Germany and Anglo-Americans.
Hitlerites were dead scared trying to delay the time they will be held responsible for what they have done. The 1st Ukrainian Front refused to storm Breslau immediately. The 6th Army led byLt. GeneralVladimirGluzdovsky had limited strength but it was strong enough to maintain the encirclement. Other forces went to the west crossing the NeisseRiver to approach Berlin. Two and a half months have passed till the 1st Ukrainian Front cracked down on the 40-thousand strong concentration of forces. The Prague Offensive Operation was conducted in a short period of time (5-12 May, 1945). The Front commander Marshall of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev issued an order to launch offensive on May 4. It said the right flank was to rapidly attack along the both shores of the Elbe River in the direction of Prague to strike the enemy’s forces concentrated in the Dresden-Görlitz area.The forces rapidly advanced. The 4th Tank Guards Army of General D. Lelushenko and the 13th Army led by General N. Pukhov led the way. The sudden strike by the Soviet forces allowed to encircle the group deployed in the area of Breslau.
There were strong lines of defense along the Oder River. Everything was turned into fortifications. Trenches allowed the enemy to freely move forces and defend the suburbs, airports and railway stations. Hitlerites organized an air bridge which happened to be ineffective and did not last long.
Artillery and aviation delivered constant strikes. Storm groups fought incessantly. There were tactical units formed especially for urban warfare. Each consisted of an infantry battalion reinforced by two tanks or self-propelled artillery pieces, a battery of 76mm guns, a group of 14-16 sappers with 800-900 kg of explosives and groups armed with flame throwers. Soviet soldiers used captured panzerfausts to strike the enemy’s fortifications.
Trying to evade bloodshed, the Soviet command issued an ultimatum to guarantee life to those who would surrender. German Field MarshalFerdinandSchoerner, who headed the Army Centre Group, issued the orderto General Hermann forbidding to meet the ultimatum. In early May air strikes precisely delivered by Soviet aviation made Niehoff ask the Soviet command to stop fire and send representatives for talks. An ultimatum was issued to demand immediate surrender. There was no timely reply. Soviet soldiers started an offensive. On May 6, white flags were hoisted over Breslau to be replaced by red banners afterwards. The 1st Ukrainian Front started an offensive as part of Prague Operation. The 5th Guards Army of GeneralAleksei Semenovich Zhadov was ordered to take Dresden. The city was in ruins because on February 13-15 the allied aviation delivered a strike that produced the damage comparable with the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. At least 25 thousand lost lives as a result of this barbarous action. There was no reason for this operation from military point of view - there were no elements of defense industry infrastructure in the city overcrowded with refugees. The allied command did not conceal its plans to show Russians when they get to the city (according to the Yalta Conference decisions, the city was to be taken by Red Army) what the Anglo-American air forces could do.
Encircling Dresden from north-west and north-east, the Red Army captured over a hundred of populated areas. On May 7, it appeared at the outskirts of the city. On May 8, the fighting continued all day and night. By 1400 hours, May 8, the garrison was defeated and capitulated.
Right after the Soviet forces entered the city of Dresden devastated by Anglo-America aviation the suffering population received aid. Foodstuffs were distributed among city dwellers. Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union and People's Commissarfor Externaland Internal Trade, was sent to the city in the capacity of Special Representative of the State Defense Committee. The 1st Ukrainian Front filled the storages at the disposal of the city’s Oberburgermaster (mayor)with food. Member of the of the military council of 1st Ukrainian Front Lieutenant-General Krainyukov remembers that around 10 thousand tons of grain, over 1, 1 thousand tons of meat, 512 tons of fat and 30 thousand tons of potatoes were allocated as food aid to city dwellers. The Front’s engineers contributed into the restoration of the communal services.
The Soviet soldiers saved the Dresden Picture Gallery famous throughout the whole world. Many important masterpieces were found in a mine in Gross Cotta.The pictures of Rubens, Rembrandt and Titian were in a narrow gauge railway. They were covered by mould. Water was running from the walls. There was a box with the famous “The Sistine Madonna” by Raphael inside. More masterpieces were found in the town of Pockau -Lengefeld. N. Sokolova, an acting corresponding member of the Academy of Arts, rushed to Dresden from Moscow. She remembers how she went to the mine accompanied by soldiers. “Self-Portrait with Saskia” by Rembrandt came into torchlight. The vets were captivated by the view watching the creation of the famous Dutch. The was a long pause. An old sapper asked “Who does the painter offers to raise glasses to? She said, “Rembrandt raises his glass for you, brave soldiers. He is happy that you saved his picture and returned it to people.” Perhaps that was the moment the soldiers felt they did something important for the whole humanity.
The pictures were taken to the USSR for restoration to be returned to Germany in 1955.
…In 2009 Ted R.Bromund, Senior Research Fellow, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, and Adjunct Faculty, Strategic Studies, published a paper with recommendations for Barack Obama before visiting Dresden. The fighter for freedom wrote the following, “On June 5, President Obama will visit the German city of Dresden. This visit will be intensely controversial. Dresden is most famous for the Anglo-American bombing raid against it on February 13, 1945. The Dresden raid did cause serious loss of life, but in the Second World War it was not unprecedented or unusual. The myths that have grown up about the raid were fostered by the Nazis and spread by post-war Soviet propaganda. Because of this spurious symbolism, President Obama's decision to visit Dresden is ill-advised. During his visit, the President must absolutely reject any equation of the Western Allies and the Nazis. He must avoid accepting as true the claims of the Nazi and Soviet propagandists about the Dresden raid. Finally, he must stoutly defend the Anglo-American air campaign, which served vital military purposes (! –the exclamation mark by author) and which led to the liberation of Western Europe from the Nazis in 1945.”
These are the examples for comparison: the barbarous bombing of Dresden by Anglo-American aviation and saving Dresden Picture Gallery masterpieces by Red Army. Perhaps, TedBromund and the like would perceive it as Russian propaganda. Let them say so! The Bromunds do not represent the whole world…

Once again, the West fails to understand Russia

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 05.05.2015 | 18:02
Why are Western countries by and large so indulgent of the anniversaries that contribute to their own nationhood, and so insensitive towards those of others?
On Saturday, President Vladimir Putin will take the salute at a grand military parade in Moscow’s Red Square. Victory Day – 9 May is when Russia commemorates its part in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany – is at once the most solemn and overtly patriotic occasion. It is one of the few public holidays to have made the transition from the Soviet to the post-Soviet calendar intact.
Victory Day was a highlight of the year I spent as an exchange student in Voronezh – a city rarely mentioned without the accompanying phrase “the last front before Stalingrad”. Preparations took weeks: placards were painted; bunting and flags adorned the streets. It was a huge honour to bear the university standard. Food stocks in the shops miraculously improved.
Reporting from Moscow over a decade later, I recall the barriers piled up around Red Square, the overnight arrival of the tanks and, above all, the suffocating stench of their fuel, as the iron monsters waited to join the triumphal formation. The Victory Day parade was something to cling to, even as the Soviet Union neared collapse.
This year’s commemoration will be second to none. As the 70th, it is a round-number anniversary. As with the plethora of Second World War anniversaries being commemorated this year, this is probably the last time that there will be anything like a quorum of those who actually participated in or witnessed these events able to attend.
Then, of course, there is the trickier, most contemporary and specifically Russian, aspect. This year is an opportunity for the Kremlin to demonstrate that Russia, as a great power, is back. The advance of the decadent West has been halted in Ukraine and the sacred territory of Crimea has been returned to the motherland.
All this is why Western leaders – who went to Moscow en masse for Victory Day’s 60th anniversary – are staying away. They do not wish to associate with Putin – certainly not while Ukraine’s very existence as a sovereign state is under threat. They especially do not want to appear at a Russian military occasion, which could be seen as signalling acceptance of the events of the past 18 months.
Strictly speaking there is no Western boycott, and there are degrees of absence. The Czech president will go to Moscow, but not attend the parade. Angela Merkel will arrive a day later and lay a wreath – an act that might anyway seem more appropriate for a German Chancellor at a wartime anniversary. As for the UK, who knows who the prime minister will be by Saturday? Declining the invitation was excusable, regardless of Ukraine.
Some may see the attendance list, headed by the Chinese and Indian leaders – but not by North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, who has just cried off – followed by the autocrats of Central Asia, as evidence of where Russia’s foreign policy is now heading. Maybe. But the Kremlin’s response to the Western stay-away suggests otherwise. It has been peevish, but also shot through with incomprehension. For Russians, what is happening in Ukraine and Russia’s part in the victory of 1945 are qualitatively and quantitatively quite different things.
Each 9 May, Russia does not just celebrate victory over Nazi Germany; it mourns the loss of more than 20 million war dead, and it reconsecrates the idea of Russian suffering to save Europe. In conversation with Russians in recent weeks, I have had to field a stream of injured questions along the lines of “has the West ever understood Russia’s sacrifice?” and: “Will the West ever appreciate it?” The notion that Ukraine is a real stumbling block here is beyond comprehension; the stay-away is rather seen as further proof that Russia will never, ever, be considered  “one of us”.
Countries keep memories alive, often unrealistically flattering ones, for many reasons. Last June, in a recognition of the wartime alliance, Putin was controversially invited to join the Allied commemoration of the Normandy landings, at a time when Russia’s seizure of Crimea was even fresher in the memory than it is now. But this offered an opportunity for Western leaders and for Putin to speak their minds, while preserving dignity on either side. One result was the first formal meeting between Putin and Ukraine’s newly elected president – without which Ukraine’s situation might be even worse than it is today.
To join Putin on the podium for Saturday’s parade would not be politic; but to dine in the Kremlin or take part in a wreath-laying would surely not be out of place. Most Westerners might not fear any resurgence of fascism in Ukraine, but discussion with Putin and others – whose fathers fought on that front and others – could afford an understanding of why many Russians might. In recent years, the West has missed one opportunity after another to understand how Russia’s past influences its present. And here is another gone. 

Griechenlands aktuelle Entschädigungsforderungen an Deutschland und das Recht

NS-Zwangsanleihe von 1942, staatliche Reparations- und private Schadensersatzansprüche
u.a. mit Prof. em. Dr. Hagen Fleischer
Dienstag, 12.05.2015 von 18.00-21.30 Uhr | Festsaal der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Luisenstraße 56, 10115 Berlin

Wir sind überzeugt, dass es eine friedlichere Welt ohne Stärkung des Rechts nicht geben kann. Dafür setzen wir uns ein – auf vielen Ebenen und Themenfeldern. Dabei bewegt uns auch die Frage, welche Rolle die Geltendmachung und Durchsetzung finanzieller Ansprüche von Opfern militärischer Maßnahmen für die Delegitimierung von Kriegen und die Verhinderung künftiger militärischer Konflikte spielen können.
Dies betrifft nicht nur das Einklagen von Amtshaftungsansprüchen vor deutschen Gerichten, wie im Falle des Kosovo-Krieges ("Brücke von Vavarin") und des Afghanistan-Krieges ("Kundus-Massaker"). Das gilt auch für Entschädigungsansprüche von Einzel-Opfern (wie z.B. im Falle des NS-Massakers in Distomo/Griechenland) und staatliche Zahlungsansprüche. Aktuell geht es dabei u.a. um die Forderungen der neuen griechischen Syriza-Regierung wegen des NS-Zwangskredits von knapp 500 Millionen Reichsmark, der heute umgerechnet einen Wert von ca. 11 Milliarden Euro haben soll. Die deutsche Bundesregierung entzieht sich einer Rückzahlung – wie ihre Vorgängerinnen seit 1949 – weiterhin mit historisch und rechtlich fragwürdigen Argumenten. Das wollen und können wir nicht hinnehmen. Wir suchen deshalb den öffentlichen Dialog mit der Politik.
Die Veranstaltung der IALANA will informieren. Wir wollen ein Forum bieten, kontrovers und öffentlich mit Fachleuten und politischen Entscheidungsträgern über die griechischen Forderungen zu diskutieren.
Anmeldung: kongress@ialana.de, Betreff: Griechenland

18.00 Uhr
Eröffnung und Moderation
RA Otto Jäckel (Vorsitzender IALANA)
Prof. a.D. Dr. Rosemarie Will (Rechtswissenschaftlerin Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
18.15 Uhr
Geklärt und abgeschlossen?
Die deutsche Besatzung in Griechenland 1941-44/45 und ihre problematische „Bewältigung“
Prof. em. Dr. Hagen Fleischer
19.00 Uhr
Völkerrechtlicher Kommentar zum Vortrag
Dr. Dieter Deiseroth (Richter am BVerwG)
19.15 Uhr
Die Position der Bundesregierung
Bundesfinanzminister Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) (aus Termingründen abgesagt)
Staatsminister im Auswärtigen Amt Michael Roth (SPD) (aus Termingründen abgesagt)
19.45 Uhr
Kommentar aus Sicht der Regierung der Hellenischen Republik Griechenlands
N.N. (Zusage des Außenministeriums)
20.00 Uhr
Diskussion mit Abgeordneten des Deutschen Bundestags
MdB Katja Keul (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)
MdB Wolfgang Gehrcke (DIE LINKE)
MdB Dr. Eva Högl (SPD) (angefragt) oder N.N. SPD
21.30 Uhr

Marienstr. 19/20
10117 Berlin
E-Mail: info@ialana.de
Internet: www.ialana.de

Anglo-American Money Owners Organized World War (II)


Anglo-American Money Owners Organized World War (II)

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) played an important role during the Second World War. It was created as an outpost of American interests in Europe and a link between Anglo-American and German businesses...Switzerlandbecame the place where gold seized by Germany in different corners of Europe was transported to for storage. In the March of 1938, when Hitler captured Vienna, part of Austrian gold was transferred to BIS vaults. The same thing happened with the gold of Czech National Bank (48 million USD). As the war started, the flows of gold poured into the Bank of International Settlements. Germany got it from concentration camps and as a result of plundering the wealth of occupied countries... 
Valentin KATASONOV | 05.05.2015

Glenn Greenwald | Samples of Israel's Horrific Brutality and War Criminality in Gaza

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Reader Supported News | 04 May 15 PM
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Glenn Greenwald | Samples of Israel's Horrific Brutality and War Criminality in Gaza
A Palestinian man cries in front of his destroyed house in northern Gaza Strip. (photo: Oliver Weiken/EPA)

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
Greenwald writes: "The Israeli group Breaking the Silence issued a report this morning containing testimony from Israeli soldiers about the savagery and criminality committed by the Israeli military during the attack on Gaza last summer."