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From: cberlet@igc.apc.org (NLG Civil Liberties Committee)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Subject: Re: Bellant: Old Nazi Networks in US
Message-ID: <1299600111@igc.apc.org>
Date: 12 Dec 92 02:27:00 GMT
References: <1299600110@igc.apc.org>
Nf-ID: #R:cdp:1299600110:cdp:1299600111:000:18058
Nf-From: cdp.UUCP!cberlet    Dec 11 18:27:00 1992

/* Written  9:10 pm  Dec  8, 1992 by cberlet in igc:publiceye */
/* Written  8:30 pm  Dec  6, 1992 by cberlet in igc:p.news */
/* Written  6:16 pm  Mar  4, 1990 by nlgclc in igc:publiceye */
Bellant: Old Nazis/Preface by Berlet
	
     "One of the great lies of this century is that in the 1930's 
Generalissimo Franco in Spain was primarily a nationalist engaged 
in stopping the Reds. Franco was, of course, a fascist who was 
aided by Mussolini and Hitler."
	
     "The history of this period is a press forgery. Falsified 
news manipulates public opinion. Democracy needs facts. Once, 
while I was questioning publisher and editor William Allen White, 
we arrived at a formula that still is the best rule for 
journalists--The facts fairly and honestly presented; the truth 
will take care of itself."
	
(--George Seldes - Hartland Four Corners, Vermont, March 5, 1988)
-------------
	
     "Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary... 
does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal."
	
(--Benito Mussolini)
-------------
	
"Reactionary concepts plus revolutionary emotion result in 
Fascist mentality."
	
(--Wilhelm Reich)
-------------
	
"If fascism came to America, it would be on a program of Americanism."
	
(--Huey P. Long)
-------------
	
"The great masses of people. . .will more easily fall 
victims to a big lie than to a small one."
	
(--Adolph Hitler)
-------------
	
PREFACE by Chip Berlet
	
          In this paper, author Russ Bellant tells us that an 
Eastern European emigre fascist network with direct ties to 
former Nazi collaborators has penetrated the Republican Party 
through its ethnic outreach program. He further argues that this 
network has played a significant role in shaping American foreign 
policy since World War II, with the goal of rolling back the 
borders of the Soviet Union in an inevitable military confrontation.
	
      Mr. Bellant faces a major hurdle convincing us that this 
lurid-sounding tale is true, and he faces this challenge head-on. 
That ultimately he is successful in this task is due to his 
dozens of interviews, hundreds of footnotes, and thousands of 
hours of research.
	
      Perhaps a harder question to address than the validity of 
the charges, is seemingly the simplest: Should we care? To 
understand why the answer is yes, we should care, one must start 
by examining the roots of the nationalist political movements of 
1930's Europe, and the role played by political fascism and 
Nazism in shaping these movements.
	
      We have all heard of the Nazis--but our image is usually a 
caricature of a brutal goose-stepping soldier wearing a uniform 
emblazoned with a swastika. Most people in the U.S. are aware 
that the U.S. and its allies fought a war against the Nazis, but 
there is much more to know if one is to learn the important 
lessons of our recent history.
	
      Technically, the word NAZI was the acronym for the 
National Socialist German Worker's Party. It was a fascist 
movement that had its roots in the European nationalist and 
socialist movements, and that developed a grotesque 
biologically-determinant view of so-called "Aryan" supremacy. 
(Here we use "national socialism" to refer to the early Nazi 
movement before Hitler came to power, sometimes termed the 
"Brownshirt" phase, and the term "Nazi" to refer to the movement 
after it had consolidated around ideological fascism.)
	
      The seeds of fascism, however, were planted in Italy. 
"Fascism is reaction," said Mussolini, but reaction to what? The 
reactionary movement following World War I was based on a 
rejection of the social theories that formed the basis of the 
1789 French Revolution, and whose early formulations in this 
country had a major influence on our Declaration of Independence, 
Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
	
      It was Rousseau who is best known for crystallizing these 
modern social theories in . The progeny of 
these theories are sometimes called Modernism or Modernity 
because they challenged social theories generally accepted since 
the days of Machiavelli. The response to the French Revolution 
and Rousseau, by Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche> and others, poured 
into an intellectual stew which served up Marxism, socialism, 
national socialism, fascism, modern liberalism, modern 
conservatism, communism, and a variety of forms of capitalist 
participatory democracy.
	
      Fascists particularly loathed the social theories of the 
French Revolution and its slogan: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."
	
     *** Liberty from oppressive government intervention in the 
daily lives of its citizens, from illicit searches and seizures, 
from enforced religious values, from intimidation and arrest for 
dissenters; and liberty to cast a vote in a system in which the 
majority ruled but the minority retained certain inalienable rights.
	
     *** Equality in the sense of civic equality, egalitarianism, 
the notion that while people differ, they all should stand equal 
in the eyes of the law.
	
     *** Fraternity in the sense of the brotherhood of mankind. 
That all women and men, the old and the young, the infirm and the 
healthy, the rich and the poor, share a spark of humanity that 
must be cherished on a level above that of the law, and that 
binds us all together in a manner that continuously re-affirms 
and celebrates life.
	
      This is what fascism as an ideology was reacting 
against--and its support came primarily from desperate people 
anxious and angry over their perception that their social and 
economic position was sinking and frustrated with the constant 
risk of chaos, uncertainty and inefficiency implicit in a modern 
democracy based on these principles. Fascism is the antithesis of 
democracy. We fought a war against it not half a century ago; 
millions perished as victims of fascism and champions of liberty.
	
      Fascism was forged in the crucible of post-World War I 
nationalism in Europe. The national aspirations of many European 
peoples--nations without states, peoples arbitrarily assigned to 
political entities with little regard for custom or culture--had 
been crushed after World War I. The humiliation imposed by the 
victors in the Great War, coupled with the hardship of the 
economic Depression, created bitterness and anger. That anger 
frequently found its outlet in an ideology that asserted not just 
the importance of the nation, but its unquestionable primacy and 
central predestined role in history.
	
      In identifying "goodness" and "superiority" with "us," 
there was a tendency to identify "evil" with "them." This process 
involves scapegoating and dehumanization. It was then an easy 
step to blame all societal problems on "them," and presuppose a 
conspiracy of these evildoers which had emasculated and 
humiliated the idealized core group of the nation. To solve 
society's problems one need only unmask the conspirators and 
eliminate them.
	
      In Europe, Jews were the handy group to scapegoat as 
"them." Anti- Jewish conspiracy theories and discrimination 
against Jews were not a new phenomenon, but most academic studies 
of the period note an increased anti-Jewish fervor in Europe, 
especially in the late 1800's. In France this anti-Jewish bias 
was most publicly expressed in the case of Alfred Dreyfus, a 
French military officer of Jewish background, who in 1894 was 
falsely accused of treason, convicted (through the use of forged 
papers as evidence) and imprisoned on Devil's Island. <144>mile 
Zola mile> led a noble struggle which freed Dreyfus and exposed 
the role of anti-Jewish bigotry in shaping French society and 
betraying the principles on which France was building its democracy.
	
      Not all European nationalist movements were necessarily 
fascist, although many were. In some countries much of the 
Catholic hierarchy embraced fascist nationalism as a way to 
counter the encroachment of secular influences on societies where 
previously the church had sole control over societal values and 
mores. This was especially true in Slovakia and Croatia, where 
the Clerical Fascist movements were strong, and to a lesser 
extent in Poland and Hungary. Yet even in these countries 
individual Catholic leaders and laity spoke out against bigotry 
as the shadow of fascism crept across Europe. And in every 
country of Europe there were ordinary citizens who took 
extraordinary risks to shelter the victims of the Holocaust. So 
religion and nationality cannot be valid indicators of fascist 
sentiment. And the Nazis not only came for the Jews, as the 
famous quote reminds us, but for the communists and the trade 
union leaders, and indeed the Gypsies, the dissidents and the 
homosexuals. Nazism and fascism are more complex than popular 
belief. What, then, is the nature of fascism?
	
      Italy was the birthplace of fascist ideology. Mussolini, a 
former socialist journalist, organized the first fascist movement 
in 1919 at Milan. In 1922 Mussolini led a march on Rome, was 
given a government post by the king, and began transforming the 
Italian political system into a fascist state. In 1938 he forced 
the last vestige of democracy, the Council of Deputies, to vote 
themselves out of existence, leaving Mussolini dictator of 
fascist Italy. 
	
      Yet there were Italian fascists who resisted scapegoating 
and dehumanization even during World War II. Not far from the 
area where Austrian Prime Minister Kurt Waldheim is accused of 
assisting in the transport of Jews to the death camps, one 
Italian General, Mario Roatta, who had pledged equality of 
treatment to civilians, refused to obey the German military order 
to round up Jews. Roatta said such an activity was "incompatible 
with the honor of the Italian Army."
	
      Franco's fascist movement in Spain claimed state power in 
1936, although it took three years, the assistance of the Italian 
fascists and help from the secretly reconstituted German Air 
Force finally to crush those who fought for democracy. Picasso's 
famous painting  depicts the carnage wrought in a 
Spanish village by the bombs dropped by the forerunner of the 
 which all too soon would be working on an even larger 
canvas. Yet Franco's fascist Spain never adopted the obsession 
with race and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories that were 
hallmarks of Hitler's Nazi movement in Germany.
	
      Other fascist movements in Europe were more explicitly 
racialist, promoting the slogan still used today by some neo-Nazi 
movements: "Nation is Race." The Nazi racialist version of 
fascism was developed by Adolph Hitler who with six others formed 
the Nazi party during 1919 and 1920. Imprisoned after the 
unsuccessful 1923 Beer Hall putsch in Munich, Hitler dictated his 
opus,  to his secretary, Rudolph Hess.
	
       (My Battle) sets out a plan for creating in 
Germany through national socialism a racially pure  
state. To succeed, said Hitler, "Aryan" Germany had to resist 
two forces: the external threat posed by the French with their 
bloodlines "negrified" through "contamination by Negro blood," 
and the internal threat posed by "the Marxist shock troops of 
international Jewish stock exchange capital." Hitler was named 
Chancellor of Germany by Hindenburg in January 1933 and by 
year's end had consolidated his power as a fascist dictator and 
begun a campaign for racialist nationalism that eventually led 
to the Holocaust.
	
      This obsession with a racialism not only afflicted the 
German Nazis, but also several eastern European nationalist and 
fascist movements including those in Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, 
Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine. Anti-Jewish 
bigotry was rampant in all of these racialist movements, as was 
the idea of a link between Jewish financiers and Marxists. Even 
today the tiny Anti-communist Confederation of Polish Freedom 
Fighters in the U.S.A. uses the slogan "Communism is Jewish."
	
      One element shared by all fascist movements, racialist or 
not, is the apparent lack of consistent political principle 
behind the ideology--political opportunism in the most basic 
sense. One virtually unique aspect of fascism is its ruthless 
drive to attain and hold state power. On that road to power, 
fascists are willing to abandon any principle to adopt an issue 
more in vogue and more likely to gain converts.
	
      Hitler, for his part, committed his act of abandonment 
bloodily and dramatically. When the industrialist power brokers 
offered control of Germany to Hitler, they knew he was supported 
by national socialist ideologues who held views incompatible with 
their idea of profitable enterprise. Hitler solved the problem in 
the "Night of the Long Knives," during which he had the 
leadership of the national socialist wing of his constituency 
murdered in their sleep.
	
      What distinguishes Nazism from generic fascism is its 
obsession with racial theories of superiority, and some would 
say, its roots in the socialist theory of proletarian revolution.
	
      Fascism and Nazism as ideologies involve, to varying 
degrees, some of the following hallmarks:
	
     *** Nationalism and super-patriotism with a sense of 
historic mission.
	
     *** Aggressive militarism even to the extent of glorifying 
war as good for the national or individual spirit.
	
     *** Use of violence or threats of violence to impose views 
on others (fascism and Nazism both employed street violence and 
state violence at different moments in their development). 
	
     *** Authoritarian reliance on a leader or elite not 
constitutionally responsible to an electorate.
	
     *** Cult of personality around a charismatic leader.
	
     *** Reaction against the values of Modernism, usually with 
emotional attacks against both liberalism and communism.
	
     *** Exhortations for the homogeneous masses ( or folk) 
to join voluntarily in a heroic mission--often metaphysical and 
romanticized in character.
	
     *** Dehumanization and scapegoating of the enemy--seeing the 
enemy as an inferior or subhuman force, perhaps involved in a 
conspiracy that justifies eradicating them.
	
     *** The self image of being a superior form of social 
organization beyond socialism, capitalism and democracy.
	
     *** Elements of national socialist ideological roots, for 
example, ostensible support for the industrial working class or 
farmers; but ultimately, the forging of an alliance with an elite 
sector of society.
	
     *** Abandonment of any consistent ideology in a drive for 
state power.
	
      It is vitally important to understand that fascism and 
Nazism are not biologically or culturally determinant. Fascism 
does not attach to the gene structure of any specific group or 
nationality. Nazism was not the ultimate expression of the German 
people. Fascism did not end with World War II.
	
      After Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies, the 
geopolitical landscape of Europe was once again drastically 
altered. In a few short months, some of our former fascist 
enemies became our allies in the fight to stop the spread of 
communism. The record of this transformation has been laid out in 
a series of books. U.S. recruitment of the Nazi spy apparatus has 
been chronicled in books ranging from  by 
Hohne & Zolling, to the recent  by Simpson. The 
laundering of Nazi scientists into our space program is 
chronicled in  by Bowers. The global 
activities of, and ongoing fascist role within, the World 
Anti-Communist League were described in  by 
Anderson and Anderson. Bellant's bibliography cites many other 
examples of detailed and accurate reporting of these disturbing realities.
	
      But if so much is already known of this period, why does 
journalist and historian George Seldes call the history of Europe 
between roughly 1920 and 1950 a "press forgery"? Because most 
people are completely unfamiliar with this material, and because 
so much of the popular historical record either ignores or 
contradicts the facts of European nationalism, Nazi 
collaborationism, and our government's reliance on these enemies 
of democracy to further our Cold War foreign policy objectives.
	
      This widely-accepted, albeit misleading, historical record 
has been shaped by filtered media reports and self-serving 
academic revisionism rooted in an ideological preference for 
those European nationalist forces which opposed socialism and 
communism. Since sectors of those nationalist anti-communist 
forces allied themselves with political fascism, but later became 
our allies against communism,  for collaborationists 
became the rule, not the exception.
	
      Soon, as war memories dimmed and newspaper accounts of 
collaboration faded, the fascists and their allies re-emerged 
cloaked in a new mantle of respectability. Portrayed as 
anti-communist freedom fighters, their backgrounds blurred by 
time and artful circumlocution, they stepped forward to continue 
their political organizing with goals unchanged and slogans 
slightly repackaged to suit domestic sensibilities.
	
      To fight communism after World War II, our government 
forged a tactical alliance with what was perceived to be the 
lesser of two evils--and as with many such bargains, there has 
been a high price to pay. 
	
      This manuscript tallies some of the moral and political 
costs of our government's disquieting alliance with Nazi 
collaborationists and fascists; and follows the trail from the 
bloody atrocities of the Waffen SS to the ethnic outreach arm of 
the Republican Party and even to the paneled walls of White House 
briefing rooms. It is a story many will find unbelievable, yet 
its documentation is thorough and its conclusions 
warranted--leaving only the question of whether or not we as a 
nation find the situation morally tolerable.
	
(Chip Berlet Cambridge, Massachusetts)
	

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