by Kevin Walsh
While browsing through the library, I encountered a book with a most amusing title. It was Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military by Bryan Mark Rigg. From the biography of the author, Dr. Rigg is evidently quite a bad fellow. Though an American, he volunteered for the “Israeli” Army. The biography also boasts he was an officer in the United States Marine Corps. In most sane countries serving in two different countries’ armed forces is considered incompatible and grounds for loss of citizenship in one of the countries, but the USA is so subservient to the Zionist entity, that this is considered grounds for boasting. Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2002. At the time of publication, Dr. Rigg was a professor of history at American Military University.
As is typical of conformist scholars on Second World War history, Rigg is sloppy about verifying his contentions. Footnotes of alleged quotes of Hitler seldom quote an original document, rather an existing work by some other historian. Of course, as is to be expected, Rigg shows no critical examination at all of any aspect of the Holocaust story, assuming that the reader believes the conventional “six million were deliberately massacred by hydrogen cyanide in gas chambers” line. This is not to say that the entire book is a pack of lies. Rigg did go through a rigorous interview process during the 1990s of German war veterans who were of partial Jewish ancestry.
The background of this study is based on the 1935 Nuremberg laws which classified persons in Germany as Aryans, Jews, and “Mischlinge.” Mischlinge were either quarter-Jews or half-Jews (having one or two Jewish grandparents). Those with three or four Jewish grandparents were considered full Jews. First-degree Mischlinge, or half-Jews, could only marry other half-Jews or full Jews. Second-degree Mischlinge, or quarter-Jews, could only marry Aryans. The purpose of these laws was to promote good racial hygiene. Of course there was no such thing as DNA testing in the 1930s and 1940s, and, as Rigg pointed out, this was often an imprecise classification. Sometimes all the authorities had to go on to determine someone’s ancestry were church baptismal records, and since some Jews had converted to Christianity in the 19th Century for political convenience, these were not always reliable. Sometimes physical examinations were used in doubtful cases. This also was doubtful, as quarter-Jews and half-Jews often looked quite Aryan. An example of this from the book are two pictures on the page immediately preceding the start of Chapter Nine (picture pages are not numbered in this book). On the top is a picture of Professor Alexander Czempin, looking quite Jewish with his classic hooked-nose. Immediately below is a picture of his half-Jewish grandson, Corporal Robert Czempin, with a very Aryan-looking face.
Rigg pointed out some cases in which people honestly hadn’t known about having partial Jewish ancestry. There were several cases of Mischlinge being expelled from the Nazi party because their ancestry had been discovered. Apart from Nazi party membership, one privilege open only to pure Aryans, was ownership of farm land. It wasn’t that the Nazis feared that Jews and Mischlinge might become farmers, it was that Jews had a long history of land speculation and usury against German farmers.
The aspect of the Nuremberg laws that mainly concerns Rigg, however, is how to deal with Jews and Mischlinge in the military. It was decided that full Jews were to be completely banned from military service, and this policy was followed fairly consistently throughout the Third Reich, so Rigg doesn’t deal with full Jews in the military, as those who served managed to conceal their identity. The main focus of the book is of half-Jews and quarter-Jews in the German military. Rigg contends their numbers were not small. He estimates that as many as 150,000 German soldiers were half-Jews or quarter-Jews.
Quarter-Jews would be allowed to serve but would not be promoted higher than the rank of corporal without special permission. Hitler often granted special permission, and there were a few instances of officers as high as admirals and generals being partly Jewish.
For half-Jews the policy was less consistent. Prior to 1940, they could be drafted but were usually forbidden from volunteering. In 1940, Hitler ordered all half-Jews discharged from the military. A few exceptions were made for those half-Jews who had distinguished themselves and been decorated. Ironically, these half-Jews were often envied, because this policy allowed them to escape the heaviest fighting of the war, particularly Operation Barbarossa. While the Aryans and quarter-Jews were on the Russian front, these half-Jews were studying at university or working at civilian jobs in Germany. In 1944, their relatively pleasant lives ended, as Hitler ordered half-Jews sent to labour camps in Operation Todt. Rigg admits that these were not “death camps” and that conditions there were reasonably humane by wartime standards.
Rigg observed that one of the great ironies of the war was the attitude of the Mischlinge soldiers. Some of them, who had been ignorant of their Jewish ancestry before 1933, were genuinely supportive of National Socialism. Many others expressed in their journals and in letters home a kind of pro-German chauvinism, celebrating their military triumphs over Poland and France. Some were even driven to excel on the battlefield and be decorated for bravery so that they could prove that they were true Germans and not worthy of being second-class citizens. Generally they were accepted as comrades-in-arms by Aryan soldiers, and unpleasant incidents were the exception rather than the rule.
The one source of anxiety, according to Rigg, was that they would sometimes go home on leave to find their Jewish relatives had been deported. There was one incident of a decorated Wehrmacht soldier visiting Buchenwald in uniform to speak to his Jewish grandmother who was detained there. His grandmother expressed pride in her grandson’s military achievements.
Rigg devotes Chapter Nine, a fairly brief chapter, to what the Mischlinge soldiers knew about the Holocaust. Most he surveyed, he admits, claimed not to have known about it. He observes that this is what most of the Nuremberg trial defendants also contended. Of course Rigg doesn’t go to the logical conclusion that the best explanation for this is that there wasn’t anything for them to have known–that the internment camps were not, in fact, extermination camps. Rigg mentions that there were some cases documented by the Nuremberg tribunals, of Jews or Mischlinge who engaged in wartime atrocities against Jews, including a half-Jewish doctor who supposedly performed diabolical medical experiments on Jews and a Jewess who supposedly helped the Gestapo find other Jews.
While I think Rigg’s book contains enough genuine history to be of historical interest, it is best read with a grain of salt.
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