An American Biography
September 1, 1997
SECRET LIFE OF AN AMERICAN NAZI
Howard Hobbs , Daily Republican Staff Writer
Interview With Series Author - Transcript
News story on Falk's central role in Fresno redevelopment debacle
Nazi higher education fallout
The moral collapse of the German legal
profession during the German Third Reich played a facilitating role
in the construction and maintenance of the Nazi regime.
Ingo Muller's new book, HITLER'S
JUSTICE: THE COURTS OF THE THIRD REICH translated by Deborah
Lucas Schneider, takes on the philosophic foundations of Hitler's
Third Reich 1932-1945.
The legal professionals sympathetic
to Nazi ideals betrayed their trust as lawyers, prosecutors, and
judges. Lawyers and judges who were trained to serve the Reichsstaat
(a state based on the rule of law) instead subverted it by going
along with Hitler and his criminal regime.
Like physicians, professors, and even
clergymen - members of professions dedicated to serving human needs
- lawyers and judges, far from opposing injustice, actually helped
to perpetuate injustice and unspeakable bestiality.
The German national judiciary's record
of its collusion began during the Weimar Republic when judges antagonistic
to constitutional democracy openly sympathized with Nazi defendants
accused of committing acts of violence against their political enemies.
German lawyers, prosecutors, and judges
subverted the Reichsstaat during the Nazi years from 1933-1945 by:
making a mockery of the Reichstag fire trial;
conducting political trials and bullying
defendants in open court; confining political prisoners to inhuman
driving attorneys who were Jews out of the
bar and off the bench;
depriving them in turn of all other rights
of citizenship, even to the point of imposing the death sentence
for petty differences of opinion;
formulating policies that allowed physicians
to experiment genetically on disabled people and to kill persons
regarded as unworthy of life;
organizing special courts for the prosecution
of 'asocial elements' and political and military enemies of
'correcting' the final decisions of the regular
courts to the disadvantage of defendants or litigants disfavored
by the state.
of justice were real. They happened, and the author hammers home
the reality of what happened by parading before the reader example
after example of judicial lawlessness and legalized terror. These
facts are derived from Nazi court records and other official reports,
and has not been told before.
One 'stout-hearted' judge - Dr. Lothar
Kreyssig - refused to serve the Nazi regime from the bench.
Hitler considered lawyers and judges
'complete fools incapable of recognizing what measures the state
had to take'. The judiciary, and indeed the entire legal establishment,
journalists, and university students succumbed to the temptation
A careful study of the published decisions
of the Reichsarbeitsgericht between 1933 and 1945, appears in Marck
Linder's recent study of the German Supreme Labor Court THE SUPREME
LABOR COURT IN NAZI GERMANY: A JURISPRUDENTIAL ANALYSIS Frankfurt
am Main: Vittoria Klostermann, 1987.
Linder is able to show, for example,
that in the labor contract cases the Court was able to retain a
large measure of its autonomy, resorting in some instances to rigid
formalistic reasoning as a way of ignoring the Volk-consciousness
that was supposed to inform its decisions.
Even Jews who lost their jobs or pension
rights as a result of a company's aryanization were successful
in their civil suits before the special tribunal. In short, Linder's
study supports Ernst Fraenkel's notion of a dual state in which
a system of Nazi justice practiced mainly in special courts
and criminal tribunals, coexisted along side of courts that interpreted
law much as they had done before 1933.
Karl Leonard Falk was an American
citizen and a 1932 graduate of Stanford University who went to work
in Berlin, Germany at the Propaganda Ministry. Falk is directly
implicated in the production and distribution of Deutches Reich
propaganda activities throughout Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia
and inside the United States between 1933-1938.
For example, Falk, while an active
auslander member of the German Nazi Party, was actively engaged
in a propaganda incursion into the Sudetenland in March 1938 through
espionage contacts with the Sudetendeutsche Partei and the
Henlein Group for whom Falk was an American agent.
Falk authored a number of propaganda
tracts and leaflets that were widely distributed along the Sudetic
German belt where he urged German-Czech residents there to engage
in fifth-column political subversion in the overthrow of
the legitimate Czechoslovak government in Prague.
Falk's activities were of eminent
success for the German Reich and within a few weeks of completion
of the Henlein assignment, Hitler was preparing a full-scale military
invasion of the Sudetenland and further military adventures throughout
Joseph Goebbels had more propaganda
work for Karl Leonard Falk. This time the work was in the United
States. Falk went straight to a New York City address. At Eight
West 40th Street Falk reported to the American owned Foreign
Policy Association . They were impressed with his work for the
Third Reich since 1932. Falk's 1937 Nazi economics degree from Berlin
was not questioned. He was quickly assigned a desk and given the
assistance of a research staff. He already knew what his theme would
Falk began writing a pro-Nazi pseudo
political economics analysis that chronicled a struggle of Sudetenland
Czech Bohemian Germans who were engaging in a heroic struggle against
a ruthless Czech government.
Falk's article was published in Foreign
Policy Reports Vol. XIV No. 1 on March 15, 1938, pages 2-12.
The title was Strife in Czechoslovakia: The German Minority
Karl Falk's publication was a blatantly
biased attack on the nation of Czechoslovakia. He presented a naive
and incomplete political analysis. He had been carefully trained
for this work by Goebbels at the Nazi Propaganda Ministry headquarters
Falk enthusiastically justified Hitler's
Czechoslovak ambitions as a 'rescue mission' for oppressed Sudetic
Germans who were being ambushed and held prisoner by the Czech government.
He wrote 'The problem has assumed
international proportions.[T]he German Reich, according to the Czechs,
is merely using the Sudetic minority, as an instrument for its expansionist
He justified Hitler's invasion of
Czechoslovak territory because of '...The grievances of these Germans...discrimination
by the Czechs in violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights.'
He said '...Czechoslovak authorities
admit that some of the German grievances are not unfounded...Recently
six...Sudetic autonomy demands were submitted by the Henlein party
to the Czechoslovakia Parliament...they contend that the alliance
with the Soviet Union has made Czechoslovakia a hotbed of Bolshevism.'
Falk attempted to justify the German
Reich's impending action '...The role of the German Reich in this
dispute is unfortunate but also understandable from the German point
Now Falk turns to a moral claim as
he writes '...Germany claims it wants peace and has no designs on
Czechoslovakia...an injustice was done at the end of the World War
by placing the German minority under Czechoslovak rule.'
Calling upon Americans of German descent
to support Hitler's free-hand in Czechoslovakia, Falk writes '...the
broad masses of Reich Germans feel they should give their moral
support to a movement directed at securing better treatment for
It is not surprising that Karl Falk
would have written a propaganda pamphlet and secured its publication
in New York City. His display of rude cleverness was appropriate
to his aspirations and Nazi training. His graduate work in the racial
science of Nazi economics at the Friedrich Wilhelm Universität
fully prepared him for his future.
In 1938, within one month after Falk's
invidious article appeared in the Foreign Affairs Magazine
Hitler invaded and brutally crushed Czechoslovakia.
It was all down-hill for Hitler and
the Nazi Party after that. As Hitler's war ended in 1945, Hitler
committed suicide. Many of Joseph Goebbels' agents were suicides,
or caught by the German people and put to death, or apprehended
by the allies and held for war crimes trials at Nuremberg.
However, Falk had returned to the
United States taking advantage of his dual German-American citizenship
But, early on, as soon as word of
Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia reached Falk, he decided to
remain in the United states. He headed for the California farming
village of Fresno. He knew that Fresno was a friendly place where
he would find a large German-American colony and where he would
not be noticed.
In Fresno, even membership in the
American Nazi Party was not a disqualifying factor in a teaching
appointment in the Fresno Schools nor in the local College. Fresno's
Edison Technical High School even had a large German Saengerbund
Fresno German-American journalists,
judges, and lawyers had openly joined the American Nazi Party
and did so for a wide variety of reasons ranging from mere
expediency to ideological conviction and family loyalty. It was
the thing to do.
In spite of the transitory popularity
of Nazism in Fresno in the 1930's there were many in that day and
time who saw it differently, but failed to speak-out. History will
not be as short-sighted.
We Knew Him Well
Hitler Knew Him A Lot Better
Official Nazi records, Third
Reich letters of commendations, and a secret Nazi propaganda book
just obtained from Berlin Nazi archives, reveal former Fresno State
College president Karl L. Falk was still a trusted member of Adolf
Hitler's Reichsministry for Propaganda and Re-Education in
1938 when Falk was first hired as a German Language teacher by College
president Frank Thomas in Fresno, California.
Falk's secret Nazi past was carefully
concealed for nearly half a century. But, on March 20, 1970 the
world heard Karl L. Falk, make a rambling admission of his involvement
with the Third Reich as he spoke at a large gathering of Fresno
attorneys. He pleaded and cajoled his audience with a plea for support:
"A week ago I had a so-called confrontation
with a group of minority students from our college and as well as
from surrounding high schools...they were not interested in my answers
to their questions...they told me to 'shut up'...[T]his is one of
the reasons that public discussion becomes...staged demonstrations
with propaganda and political motives...to seize control and to
destroy present academic structure..." The complete text of
the statement of Karl L. Falk, acting president, Fresno State College,
emeritus Head of the Social Science Division, chairman of the Department
of Economics was published in local papers and is on file in the
California State University administration archives.
The story of how Karl L. Falk gained
academic standing, a tenured Professorship and the presidency of
a California institution of higher learning and lost it overnight
is and amazing tale. First, it should be mentioned that Karl L.
Falk did not matriculate through any undergraduate courses in the
Social Science Department nor did he read any academic economics
during his undergraduate years at Stanford, except the complete
works of Karl Marx in the original German dialect. Falk's academic
major at Stanford was German foreign language studies and he graduated
In the Fall, he traveled to Berlin
and applied for graduate admission for study leading to a doctorate
degree in Nazi Economics at the University of Berlin. He was admitted
and he pursued Nazi Economics studies from 1933-1938. He was employed
during those five years in the Reichsministry for the People's Enlightenment
& Propaganda, headed by Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Karl Falk was involved
in assignments under Walter Funk, the Nazi Minister of Economics
and president of the Reichsbank who was sentenced to life imprisonment
at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.
Funk had a lot in common with Falk.
Both Falk and Funk started out in Berlin in obscure roles, and were
friends. Goebbels took Falk into the Propaganda Ministry. Funk rose
to the position of financial editor of a Berlin financial news-letter.
Hitler liked Falk so much that he appointed him to a Fuehrer of
the Germans Abroad Third Reich. Hitler liked Funk so much
that he appointed him to head the Economics Ministry.
Goebbels sponsored Karl Leonard Falk
and paid all his university and living expenses. On November 30,
1933 Karl Leonard Falk received a written commendation from Goebbels
on National Socialistische DAP stationary (bearing the imprint of
the official swastika Seal of Reichsleitung) describing valuable
services rendered on behalf of the Third Reich.
[Source: Berlin Universitatsbibliothek
Archiv certified copies of official documentation of immatrikulation
of Karl L. Falk No. 802 05-10-32; resume; travel records; employment
record; diploma, records, and correspondence,commendations, requests,
In 1937, Goebbels Ministry of Propaganda
paid for and approved the publication of Karl Leonard Falk's dissertation
in a book form. Falk's 1936 doctoral dissertation was a blistering
critique of the American Constitutional protections of freedom of
speech contained in the First Amendment. On his return to California
Fresno State College president, Frank Thomas hired Falk in 1938
to teach courses at Fresno State College in the German language.
[Source: Berlin Universitatsbibliothek
Archiv certified copies of official documentation of Nationalsozialischtische
Deutsche Urbeiterpartei of 30.11.33 re: Falk from Herr Karl Bomer,
Hochschule fur PolitikAusenpolitischen; Zeitung un Zeit Uber Die
Auslandische Publizistik, Herausgegeben Von Karl Bomer. Verlag Moritz
Diesterweg, Frankfurt, 1937, Grundsatz Und Probleme Der Amerikanischen
Tagespresse von Karl L. Falk.]
The 1938 German Language teacher,
Karl L. Falk, was to become the dean of the Social Science Division
and Head of the Economics Department in 1946. Over the time period
from 1938 through 1970, the political economics literature Falk
introduced began to foster an economics curricula focussing on Karl
Marx views of labor and production and social class warfare.
Karl Leonard Falk maintained his close
friendship ties to the presidents and administration of Fresno State
College. He was a close friend of president, Arnold Joyal who, at
one point, asked Falk to step into the role of president of the
college. Falk was undecided.
Joyal left the College, but when Joyal's
replacement came under fire and suddenly resigned, Falk had made
up his mind. When the opportunity presented itself, Falk took over
the College Chancellory as the acting president. The year was 1969.
Since all academic policy issues in
the modern college have an economic dimension, the appointment offered
Karl Leonard Falk the rare opportunity to address the most urgent
and exciting problems facing Fresno State College in its history.
Falk was to confront and be confronted
by run away inflation, staff layoffs, program elimination, collective
bargaining, strikes, and a watered down academic program. Multicultural
diversity was the populist cause for a restless student body and
community. These were the major areas he would seek to control with
the powers of his new office.
All that Karl Leonard Falk knew could
not save him, however. As acting pesident Falk served only a few
months and was summarily removed by the State Chancellor in 1970,
following a widely publicized personal memoir, which he circulated
to the print media in Fresno. Falk delivered the text of the statement
at a time of campus turmoil precipitated by Falk's closing down
of the student newspaper, The Daily Collegian which had
been critical of Falk's leadership style, and heavy handed restriction
of the assembly of students and faculty who were critical of his
tactics, and finally the breaking of windows throughout the campus
and the bombing of the campus computer center.
Falk appeared at a Fresno County Bar
Association meeting and delivered a speech in which he presented
his official plea for support of local lawyers of his policies of
supression of First Amendement freedom of expression, speech
and press as a means of preventing 'a group of minority students'
from distributing 'propaganda' on the college campus.
Falk went on the record when he said:"A
week ago I had a so-called confrontation with a group of minority
students from our college and as well as from surrounding high schools...they
were not interested in my answers to their questions...they told
me to 'shut up'...[T]his is one of the reasons that public discussion
becomes...staged demonstrations with propaganda and political motives...to
seize control and to destroy present academic structure and use
it as a base to overthrow 'bourgeoise' America ...[T]hey know that
I am aware of their motivations and tactics...They also reject forces
of government...falling under the control of Marxist-Leninist and
Maoist influences which have created problems of internal dissension
...In 1932...I witnessed first-hand the power struggle between Communists
and Nazis...on the campus of the University of Berlin..."
[Fresno County Bar Association Speech by Karl Falk on 2/20/1970.]
It is not surprising that Karl Falk
remembered his former life in Nazi Germany. It was surprising that
he chose to publicly admit to any personal involvement with Hitler's
Third Reich, however. He thought he was on safe ground.
That ominous fact survives. He thought the Fresno judges and lawyers
in his audience would support shutting-down student newspapers,
prohibiting student gatherings, and a host of egregious limitations
on free speech of students and faculty at Fresno State College in
The meeting with Fresno judges and
attorneys was supposed to be an easy opportunity Falk might exploit
to advance further incursions on campus. And, that night, there
were no objections voiced. Following his delivery, the audinece
gave Falk a supportive ovation. At Last, it appeared Karl Falk he
had found an audience he deserved - an oasis in a besieged and deserted
Fresno State presidency. He was encouraged.
By the next day, Falk had stepped-up
oppressive policy tactics. Perhaps, the reason his audience seemed
supportive that night was due more to the fact his audience was
already familiar with a great deal of legal controversy in the courts
about the First Amendment. There was wiggle-room for Falk
in there someplace.
Surely, Falk's audience knew the difficulties
of interpretation that arise under abbreviated First Amendment
language finally agreed upon in president Jackson's time.
The First Amendment was proposed
on September 25, 1789 but it was not adpted until December 15, 1791.
adopted, It reads: 'Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom
of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble and consult for their common good, and to petition the
government for a redress of grievances.'
The only authority on the issue at
the time was the common law view of British jurist William Blackstone.
He had written 'The liberty of the press is indeed essential to
the nature of a free state...Every freeman has an undoubted right
to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public. To forbid this,
is to destroy the freedom of the press...necessary for the preservation
of peace and good order, of government and religion, the only solid
foundations of civil liberty.'
The developed legal theory that the
FirstAmendment operates not only to bar most prior restraints
of expression but subsequent punishment of all but a narrow range
of expression, in political discourse and indeed in all fields of
expression, is only of the most recent origin. Yet, the Court's
movement toward that position began with its consideration of limitations
on speech and press in the period following the First World
In Schenck v. United States, the first
of the post-World War I cases to reach the Court, Justice Holmes,
in the opinion of the Court, while upholding convictions for violating
the Espionage Act by attempting to cause insubordination
in the military service by circulation of leaflets, suggested First
Amendment restraints on subsequent punishment as well as prior
restraint. 'It well may be that the prohibition of laws abridging
the freedom of speech is not confined to previous restraints although
to prevent them may have been the main purpose...We admit that in
many places and in ordinary times the defendants in saying all that
was said in the circular would have been within their constitutional
rights. But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances
in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech
would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and
causing a panic...The question in every case is whether the words
used are used in such a nature as to create a clear and present
danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress
has a right to prevent.'
Probably no other provision of the
Constitution has given rise to so many different views with respect
to its underlying philosophical foundations of the U.S. Constitution,
as has the guarantee of freedom of expression, the free speech and
free press clauses.
The argument has been fought over
by some of the greatest lega l scholars in America. However, the
sad truth about the First Amendment today is that the Supreme
Court has never developed any comprehensive theory of what that
constitutional guarantee means and how it should be applied.
Some scholars argue in behalf of a
complex of values, none of which by itself is sufficient to support
a broad-based protection of freedom of expression.
Still others believe that, because
of the constitutional commitment to free self-government, only political
speech is within the core protected area.
Still, there are some who contend
that protecting speech, even speech in error, is necessary to the
eventual ascertainment of the truth, through conflict of ideas in
the marketplace, a view skeptical of our ability to ever know the
In the broader view freedom of expression
is necessary to promote individual self-fulfillment, such as the
concept that when speech is freely chosen by the speaker to persuade
others it defines and expresses the self and promotes his liberty.
The concept of self-realization the
belief that free speech enables the individual to develop his powers
and abilities and to make and influence decisions regarding his
However, Supreme Court decisions consistently
fail to clearly reflect any principled philosophy.
Search For The War Criminal's Bones
On April 4, 1970, Soviet KGB
agents dug up Adolf Hitler's partially cremated remains from a secret
grave in eastern Gemany, burned and pulverized them and then dumped
them into a river, the German language magazine Der Spiegel reported
Saturday. Der Spiegel, quoting a KGB report said that Yuri Andropov,
then head of the KGB, ordered the charred remains of Hitler to be
disinterred from their burial site in Magdeburg, where Soviet military
intelligence hid them in 1946. The operation, code named Archive
aimed to eliminate, once and for all, the remains of Hitler, his
wife Eva Braun, and Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.
The Der Spiegel story said a special
military intelligence unit had found the remains in the burned-out
ruins of the Nazi Reichsministry's Berlin bunker. The remains were
then crammed into ammunition boxes and taken with the Soviet Army
unit as it moved to the cities of Rathenow, Stendall, and Magdeburg.
The unit buried the bodies at Magdeburg on February 21, 1946.
While still at home, Fresno State
College president Karl Leonard Falk, learned the content of that
story from a well placed source inside the Der Spiegel magazine
on February 19, 1970. When he arrived at his Office in the Thomas
Admin. Building he had a 12 page, single spaced, monologue prepared
in all captal letters. As he had done in the Reichsminsitry for
Propaganda. However, he would title it:
"ACADEMIC FREEDOM - ACADEMIC ANARCHY."
When the text was
finally ready it depicted Karl Falk's experience in Nazi Germany
and compared Nazi Germany to the state of war he found on the Fresno
State College Campus that day. He thought to send the text to the
local news media as a press release. His wife advised against it.
Instead of a press release, he decided
to have a copy of the original text placed in his Fresno State personnel
file for presevation. Falk would read the text at a meeting of the
Fresno County Bar Association.
With a full contingent of Fresno attorneys
present, Falk began with a dramatic opening. He told his stunned
listeners: "After three and one-half months of serving as acting
President of Fresno State College ... the college campus is a troubled
place ... America is a troubled place ... these are troubled times...
we have the obligation to protect the majority against the wilful
imposition of the views of the minority ... in staging a revolution
to seize control ... to overthrow 'bourgeoise' America."
The hunt for Nazi war criminals spans
more than half a century and continues to this day.
A recent wire service story proclaimed
that German prosecutors had offered a bounty equivalent to $345,000
for information leading to the capture of "the last top Nazi officer."
Alois Brunner, according to the report, was a senior SS officer
who was at least partially responsible for the deportation and extermination
of more than 100,000 Jews during World War II. Sources said that
Brunner had been living in Syria since 1954 and that requests for
extradition had fallen on deaf ears.
Wolfgang Weber, chief prosecutor in
Cologne, Germany, disclosed that Brunner had moved to South America
and that he was hopeful the Austrian citizen would finally be brought
to justice because of the reward. The report ends with the statement,
"All other top Nazis have died or been arrested." If the report
is correct and Brunner is the last of his breed, we may in fact
be witnessing the end of an era.
Since the end of World War II and
the trials that followed, reports of suspected war criminals living
among us and occasionally being brought to justice have surfaced.
Perhaps the most celebrated such case was that of Adolf Eichmann,
who was the administrator of the so-called Final Solution and who
supervised the transportation of prisoners to concentration camps.
Eichmann eluded justice in Germany for four years, working as a
lumberjack in Hamburg before making his way to Rome. There, a sympathetic
priest gave him a refugee passport bearing the name Ricardo Clement.
He lived in obscurity in Argentina until 1960, when he was snatched
off the streets of Buenos Aires by Israeli agents. Placed on trial
in Israel, Eichmann was convicted and hanged on May 31, 1962.
Most people agree that Adolf Hitler
killed himself in his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, although
the Führer's death has become the subject of a new wave
of investigative journalism since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Nazi Party Secretary Martin Bormann may also have died in the ruins
of Berlin, on May 1, 1945 (West Germany officially declared him
dead in 1973), but his body was never recovered, and some doubt
still remains as to what actually happened to Bormann.
Further, it seems no one can speak
with certainty about the supposed demise of Dr. Josef Mengele, the
infamous "Angel of Death" who conducted heinous medical experiments
at Auschwitz. Reportedly, Mengele escaped to South America a few
years after the war and lived in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.
He is believed to have drowned in 1979.
Since the end of the war, the Jewish
Documentation Center in Vienna, headed by former concentration camp
inmate Simon Wiesenthal, has brought more than 1,000 suspected war
criminals to trial. Others have been required to defend themselves
against accusations of war crimes. In 1986, Kurt Waldheim, former
Austrian president and United Nations secretary-general, denied
allegations that he participated in atrocities as a German officer
in the Balkans. The United States banned Waldheim from entry into
the country the following year.
In 1987, John Demjanjuk, a retiree living in Ohio,
was put on trial in Israel on charges that he was "Ivan the Terrible,"
a harsh prison guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. Also in
1987, Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon," was sentenced to life
in prison for authorizing the torture and murder of members of the
Some members of the 118-man group of German rocket
scientists who were brought to the United States after the war to
work on the fledgling U.S. space program had, to varying degrees,
been aware of or involved in the use of slave labor in the Third
Reich. The most famous of these scientists, who had developed the
V-1 and V-2 rockets for Hitler, was Wernher von Braun. It was von
Braun who led the team that developed the Redstone ballistic missile
and the Jupiter C booster. He also became the first director of
the Marshall Space Flight Center. Nevertheless, von Braun had been
a member of the dreaded SS and had reached the rank of major.
Through five decades, the rumors and
uncertainty surrounding the identification of Nazi war criminals,
the assistance provided to them from various sources, and the efforts
to find justice have created a web of intrigue. Whether or not all
Nazi war criminals are dead or imprisoned, the stain of their shameful
past will not fade with time.
Twenty years before Karl L. Falk's
admission of his personal connection to the Third Reich and his
speech to the Fresno legal community, Fresno State students had
already been wary that professor Karl Leonard Falk was driven by
a hidden authoritarian agenda that ran counter to mainsream American
values. For example, one of Falk's students wrote a secret protest
in 1950 inside the cover and on a page oppisite the title of Part
I of a well-read textbook of the 1947 edition of Ogg & Ray's Essentials
of American Government, the text professor, Karl L. Falk required
for social science courses at Fresno State College between 1938-1959.
Certainly, the penciled protest was
intended to be buried, to be a secret. Ostensibly it was to be read
by other students in Falk's social science and economics classes
at Fresno State College.I ts real objective was, perhaps, to be
an undelivered letter to Karl L. Falk, the Head of the Social Science
Division and Chairman of the economics department. The letter reads,
in part, as follows:
"This is intended for
the next 'sad soul' who is going to take Soc.Sci. [from Karl Falk]--
After taking this course and carefully browsing through this book
I would like to say this -- the United States is in one hellofa
We are on the road to socialism as
sure as this book is printed. Whether that is "good" or "bad" is
for you, 'sad soul' to say. But, attend well in class; listen, learn,
read, and do outside readings and talking( good 'ol bull sessions)
because this is our country -- we have to live in it -- and with
it. You and I must know what this country stands for, what it needs,
what it has (ugh!) love. Please remember this though -- you -- that's
all -- you -- yourself -- the individual! The way things are going,
it looks like the individual is going to be lost in government red
tape. There is no government on earth more important than Man --
don't let them crush him. Sure, I know, this sounds goofy and maybe
mushy, but think back to '47, '48 and even'39 and see what Communism,
Fascism, Nazism, etc. have done to human beings. Look now what the
U.S. is doing! Day by day, the Government is becoming God. Month
by Month the President is becoming the Virgin [M]ary, and year by
year Congress is crushing what freedoms we have left and lousing
up, but good, our economic system of free enterprise. Every day
of your college life you'll learn more about -- 'continentalism'
and the proper stable attitude -- just don't forget that the good
'ol U.S. is still the best damn country in the world. But lets keep
Best of luck to you!
Bob Mackie ( Jan.25, 1950)
Those Who Are Guilty by Their Acts
A new theory of Nazi German
guilt might be of some value in judging whether Karl Leonard Falk
was guilty of Nazi war crimes for the work he did for Hitler. This
new theory of liability implicates the vast majority of the German
people then living in Berlin and other parts of Germany who are
depicted as "exterminationist" both in word and deed. If
the German people are truly guilty under such theories, Karl Leonard
Falk might be considered implicated, as a knowing participant, as
well. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's best selling work propounds a theory
of guilt and of liability holding all German Nationals, even those
with dual citizenship like Karl Falk responsible. The book "Hitler's
Willing Executioners" is worth a read.
Karl Leonard Falk was a willing
participant in Nazi atrocities because as a German-American
citizen he willingly participated in racist instruction at the University
of Berlin and performed valuable work that assisted the leftist
radical Dr. Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry in perpetrating
war crimes. Falk was also known by both the SS and Gestapo who accorded
hom State privileges normally reserved only for high Nazi leaders.
Falk was knowledgeable as to what
the Nazi SS SchutzStaffel was up to in 1932-1938 Berlin.
The SS, with its elite mystique of 'racial purity' was a fearsome
security force used to enforce unquestioned obedience to the Fuehrer.
It was known as a 'state within a state' that had its own
housing settlements, schools, hospitals, and industrial enterprises.
It controlled the concentration camp prisons and kept books and
stats on production, efficiency, and profits.
It was Karl Falk's job at the Reichsministry
to cover-up the work of the SS and conceal it from the foreign press.
For example one of Karl Leonard Falk's assignments was to work as
a Nazi 'public relations writer' while assigned to the chemical
firm, I.G. Farben. He wrote calculated and misleading stories at
I.G. Farben to conceal that the chemical manufacturer was making
the deadly outlawed Zyklon B cyanide poison gas.
The manufacture of poison gas by Germany
had to be a clandestine activity because it was a violation of International
law. But, since Zyklon B was to be used by the Nazi's in
concentration camps to exterminate Jews and other resistors to german
statism and not as a military chemical weapon, Falk believed his
conduct in covering-up the poison gas by writing misleading news
stories was just a job and not a war crime. He hoped it was not
illegal, at least.
Most German people living in Berlin
were aware of those propaganda efforts, though they might not have
been aware that the American Karl Leonard Falk was actively involved.
But, whatever the German people knew, they said nothing. Their lives
depended on cooperation and perpetual silence. Falk's career depended
upon following orders.
Goldhagen's Nazi theory is that the
anti-Semitism of the Germans was deeply rooted in the traditional
Germanic culture and that accounts for the German silence. It was,
perhaps, more deeply anchored than that.
Goldhagen says the German people willingly
went along with Nazi slaughter of non-Jewish citizens when Hitler
invaded Poland. And again when the Nazi's expanded the slaughter
of Eastern Europe to the Ukraine and the Soviet Union. Falk, at
least, did not resist his duties.
Professor Goldhagen's theory is that
most of those people killed between the years 1936-1944 were murdered
by techniques of mass extermination often utilizing I.G. Farben
Zyklon B cyanide canisters.
Such ways of death involved hundreds
or more being killed simultaneously. To accomplish this large scale
extermination it was necessary to construct vast SS prisons and
all of the extensive SS industrial factory needed to supply them.
After Germany's defeat the Nazi Party
was dissolved and any attempt at resuscitation became a crime under
the constitution of the German Federal Republic. Screening of NSDAP
Nazi Party members to place blame was done by international Nuremberg
investigators. They identified 600,000 cases of criminal conduct
by those employed by the Nazi party in uppler and lower echelon
jobs, including staff employed at the Propaganda Ministry.
Only 175,000 Nazi workers were ever
brought to trial and punished for having been directly responsible
for instigating or carrying out 'reprehensible policies'. Another
one million were punished for working with the Nazis in the lower
level positions. One million Germans were acquitted after lengthy
trials. The rest of the possible cases for prosecution either did
not proceed or were held in a state of 'suspension' because the
individuals had fled from Germany and had not been located.
Karl Leonard Falk was one of the cases
in 'suspension' but authorities did not know of his dual Germa-American
citizenship, at the time and time passed.
In 1943 Falk was aware that a request
for access to his Berlin University records had been filed with
the Berlin Archiv by the United States government. But, by that
time Falk had enlisted in the U.S. military forces. The matter was
Falk was never identified nor prosecuted
for his activities with the Nazi Party in pre WWII Berlin, though
he might have been if the record of his Nazi Party activity been
fully disclosed at the time. Instead, that record was only eventually
released to the Daily Republican Newspaper by East Berlin officials
just a few weeks following Karl Leonard Falk's death in September
It is a fortunate turn of events,
however, that the Nazi files were ever opened to Western scholars,
at all. It came about because of president Ronald Reagan's request
of Soviet President, Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. They
did. And the Falk archives were unearthed in the Soviet Sector.
After repeated requests by the writer,
finally, in 1994 the Daily Republican Newspaper obtained officially
certified true photo abstracts of Karl Leonard Falk's 1932-38 Nazi
work experience, and his publications that had been secure against
discovery for 62 years. The Daily Republican Newspaper has now been
able to reveal the portion of the record of the work done by Karl
Leonard Falk for the Nazi Party in Berlin. That record is now public
and has become part of the tragic history of the rise and fall of
the Hitler's Third Reich.
Falk, trying to please his Nazi supervisors
had written a great amount of inflammatory propaganda and anti-Semitic
literature published in Germany by the Dr. Goebbels' Reichsministry
during the key six years just before the wholesale Nazi Holocaust.
By the time Falk was able to find
a cover story and safely get out of Berlin, Hitler was attacking
Europe. Falk wandered into Fresno, California where he thought no
one would guess of his Nazi Party affiliations.
It had become widely known in Berlin
that he was an American of German citizenship assisting the Nazi
war machine in Germany and in the United States.
He took ample advantage of his dual
American-German citizenship and traveled, on behalf on of the Third
Reich, to American cities direct from Berlin on several times between
1933-1938 where he narrated in English the mocve sound track over
the German Language narration of Nazi propaganda films.
The Nazi Party, created by Hitler
to embody the German nation's political will, took precedence over
the government with the slogan 'the part rules over the state'.
The Nazi Party headed a proliferating group of Party organizations
for which Karl Leonard Falk worked, e.g., 1935 Institut fur Knojunkturforschung,
1933-35 Reichsrundfunkgelleschaft, 1933-34 Reichsministerium fur
Volksaufklarung und Propaganda, and 1936-38 Werbefilme der
UFA und Reichsbahnzentrale fur den Deutschen Reiserverkehr,
and others like the 1934 and 1935 public relations work in Berlin
for chemical manufacturerI.G. Farben and the Third Reich's
public relations firmIvy Lee.
Hitler's own autobiography, Mein
Kampf explained his plan to politically exploit Germany . It
was written in 1924 and sold over ten million copies in Germany.
The book acquired scriptural value as the ultimate Nazi doctrine
by the time Karl L. Falk joined Dr. Goebbels in 1932. It was undoubtedly
the most racist anti Jewish material ever distributed in the United
States up to that time.
Thousands of copies of Hitler's book
were supplied to California colleges and universities in pre-WWII
years. Several copies of that work, and the works of Karl Marx were
donated to Fresno State College Library. These and other such materials
have been on the reading lists of former college president and Fresno
State professor of economics and social science department head,
Karl Leonard Falk, from 1938 through the 1960's.
Karl Falk Told German Readers
America's Faults in 1937 Nazi Book
The twenty-one year old Karl
Leonard Falk was the son of a Russian father of German descent,
and a mother from the left bank on the Rhine river near the medieval
City of Cologne. The younger Falk was obliged to work his way through
high school and college. While he worked he learned the trade of
book-binding in a Berkeley, California shop operated by his father.
Karl Leonard Falk graduated Piedmont
High School in the normal 4 year course. At Stanford University,
Falk did not distinguis himself as a scholar. He selected a safe
filed o study when he majored in German. He took the customary courses
and graduated Stanford in four years. It was 1932 and there was
an economic deprssion raging throughout California.
He decided to claim dual German-American
citizenship standing and travel to Berlin, Germany and see Hitler's
thriving Nazi economy, up close and personal. By September 1932
he was in Berlin seeking employment in Adolf Hitler's new Third
Karl Leonard Falk demonstrated his
smooth facility with Volk-duetsch German. Hitler hired him on the
spot. Falk would be admitted to the University. He would take courses
leading to the doctorate in Nazi Economics and with the work for
Hitler, and a promised Nazi stipend, Falk would be able to pay all
his living costs, books, and unversity fees at the Fredrich Wilhelm
University of Berlin.
The Nazis had already set out a secret
campaign of psychological warfare against the United States and
had prepared an organizational framewrork for its prosecution. Falk
was hired and he would act under the general direction of Ernst
Wilhelm Bohle, head of the special Ausland-Organization unit which
directed all subversive activities from Berlin, with the cooperation
of a unique Psychological Laboratory which probed the weaknesses
of Germany's friends and enemies. Karl Falk and scores of other
operatives were sent to the United States from Berlin after 1933
to exploit popular discord. It was Falk's assignment to contact
members of the American press and report to Berlin with respect
to newspaper editors' attitudes bearing on domestic and foreign
policy. Falk's reports were later converted into a dissertation
in support of a Nazi doctoral degree in 1936.
In due course of completing his work
assignments in Jopseph Goebbels' Propaganda and Re-Education Ministry,
Falk had completed the dissertation, but only after he was able
to obtain a waiver through the intervention of a Nazi Party offiial.
That is how Karl Leonard Falk obtained a Latinate doctoral diploma
with his name on it.
He had also arranged for publication
of his dissertation in book form. That small book was written under
the supervision of the Nazi Party who also paid the costs for printing
and publication in a nazi printing house in Frankfurt, the eastern
German city on the Oder River.
The Falk doctoral dissertation and
the book he made from it was a 108 page propaganda tract. It's purpose
was to show the German people how the American newspaper business
was immoral and unethical. That it was necessary to regulate what
is printed in newspapers for the protection of the public interst
For Falk the publication was less
of a triumph and more of a potential embarassment. In later years,
the publication of Falk's propaganda tract carried with it the possibility
of Karl Leonard Falk's exposure as a Nazi agent.
If the American press learned of Falk's
work for the Nazi's and learned of Falk's book, he would be hounded
out of the United States.
Falk's straight forward defense of
Nazi State suppression of a free speech and free press belied his
Nazi conscience. In his own mind he felt he had made the case for
state suppression as being for the good of the German people and
After all, Falk reasoned, the need
to take over and control public speech, newspapers, films, art,
photography, music, radio and magazines was for the higher purpose
of preserving the order and for the cause of suppressing dissent
justifies the ultimate exercise of State police powers through martial
The legal basis Falk's Nazi book was
naive and short sighted. Falk wanted to please Goebbels and had
to come up with what he thought was plausible to the German people.
The Nazi line interpreted the work of the Reichsministry for Propaganda
and Re-Education as coming from the legacy of American suppression
of freedom of speech and press in early American times. In short,
the Third Reich was depicted in Falk's tract as only following the
American precedent set down in the principles and practices of American
jurisprudence from 1690 to 1935.
Falk's tract repeatedly leveled direct
personal attacks on the character and motivation of American newspapers
owners, some of whom were Jewish, their journalists and the American
news reading public.
The list of illustrative examples
from Falk's book is extrensive, however, just a few excerpts will
illustrate the nature and character of Karl Leonard Falk's specious
thinking. These cuts will give the reader a clear impression of
the depth of Falk's psychological commitment to the Third Reich
and Hitler's fascict program. Falk wrote in 1937:
"The American is a curious person -- hot
and heavy in his work, desperate in his desire to get rich,
not quite so fearfully over industrious as he imagines himself
to be ..." (at page 15.)
Of the American Joseph Pulitzer (1918 Pulitzer
Prize in Journalism) Falk wrote"... [N]othing so disgraceful
has ever been known in the history of American journalism ...
and it is a crying shame that such men should work such mischief
simply in order to sell more papers..." (at page 19.)
On the art of newspaper propaganda Karl Falk
wrote "... Propaganda is the giving out (or hiring) of opinions,
or pleas to induce people generally to believe what some organization
wants them to believe ... The successful editor is he who finds
out what the people want, not what they need, and gives it to
them... as best suits his own wishes ..." (at pages 89, 90.)
On the newspapers business in America Falk
wrote "...Any vagabond babbler or unacknowledged genius, any
enterprising tradesman, with his own money, or with the money
of others, may found a newspaper ..." (at page 99.)
Clearly alluding to his own then recent
Nazi Party work experience Falk writes "Experience proves that
money will attract talent under any conditions, and the talent
is ready to write as its paymaster requires..." (at page 99.)
Falk recklessly incriminates himself when
he writes "... Experience proves that the most contemptible
persons, retired money-lenders, Jewish factors, news vendors,
and bankrupt gamblers may found newspapers, secure the services
of talented writers and place their editions on the market as
organs of public opinion..." (at page 99.)
Falk pleased his
Nazi paymaster with the book. That book was but a small portion
of the inflammatory and anti-Semitic literature he was responsible
for in misleading the foreign press through propaganda pieces covering
up the real work of Dr. Goebbels' Reichsministry during the key
six years just before the wholesale Nazi Holocaust. Hitler knew
his man very well.
It is the Nazi genocide of Jewish
people, the handicapped, those with mental disabilities, and political
opponents beginning in 1933 that remains for many the most memorable
act of genocide in recent political history. On the basis of its
systematic, bureaucratic, and technological nature, Hitler's Third
Reich planned, organized and carried out its program in a willful
manner, with the knowledge and collaboration of the vast state bureaucratic
German industry, and the technological
expertise of scientists, news journalists, propaganda writers, and
Nazi Party workers like Karl Leonard Falk were supervised by the
Reichsministry in Berlin. Each and every one of those Nazi Part
workers in high and low level positions who cooperated or collaborated
with Hitler's Reichministry have to answer for their acts in furtherance
of the genocide and for the failure to take action in defense of
individual human beings being murdered by agents of the statefor
the common good.
Karl Falk's Proverbs
the dramatic firing of the House of Representatives historian over
how a Holocaust exhibit should be interpreted shocked the nation.
The House historian, Professor Jeffrey was even a guest on ABC's
Good Morning America where she discussed the issue of freedom of
speech that is at the heart of the dispute.
About the Nazi Holocaust program she
had been working on, Professor Jeffrey said:
'It is a paradoxical and strange aspect of this
program and the methods used to change the thinking of students
is the same that Hitler and Goebbels used to propagandize the German
people. This re-education method was perfected by Chairman Mao and
now is being foisted on American children under the guise of `understanding
Actually, how could one begin to teach
the Holocaust without raising the Nazi point of view, racial ideology,
Weimar republic resentments, Jews in public and professional life,
and more. Jeffreys probably did not intend to argue for the validity
or legitimacy of these Nazi ideas but to simply to inquire into
the underlying meaning of Nazi language used in justification of
the Holocaust, itself.
At various points during the 1980s
the program was denied funding, although it had been accredited
by the Education Department and is now widely taught. It was heavily
criticized by conservative critic Phyllis Schlafly, who asked the
Education Department to reject the grant application and accused
the program of ``psychological manipulation, induced behavioral
change and privacy-invading treatment.''
The National Socialists (Nazi Party)
used a specialized vocabulary and psychological manipulation, induced
behavioral change and invaded the privacy of German citizens to
assure learning was taking place. Certain phrases and words were
evidence of the psychological foundation of Nazi propaganda style.
Since the end of WWII, there have been detailed studies which have
shown this in much detail.
However, it should not be forgotten
that the Nazis also made considerable use of all aspects of German
folk speech. Evidence of this is found in the records of a Nazi
party convention that Karl Leonard Falk attended in 1934. Dr. Joseph
Goebbels called directly for the use of such language when he said:
"We must speak the language which the folk understands. Whoever
wants to speak to the folk must, as Luther says, pay heed to folk
Hitler actually had already said something quite
similar in 1925/26 in Mein Kampf -- "I must not measure the speech
of a statesman to his people by the impression which it leaves in
a university professor, but by the effect it exerts on the people."
What Hitler claimed to be of specific
importance to a speaker addressing the common folk is of equal significance
for the language of propaganda which he analyzes in various sections
of his book -- "All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual
level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those
it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended
to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be."
Little wonder then
that elements of folk speech appear with considerable frequency
in Hitler's "Kampfbuch" (struggle book), in the official Nazi Party
newspaper Völkischer Beobachter, where Karl Falk worked, and in
all the Nazis' other publications, leaflets, and posters.
This linguistic crudity is apparent
particularly in the generous employment of metaphors andword patterns.
The inclination of the Nazis towards the slogan, the headline, the
quotation, the Bible verse has been described as a "Hammerschlagtaktik"
(hammer-blow tactic) to describe the way in which these word patterns
are integrated over-and-over into speeches and written texts.
This went so far that new slogans
were created by Karl Falk while working in the Nazi propaganda machine
which in 1937 were already included in the quickly Nazified standard
collection of quotations. The editors had incorporated quotations,
proverbs, and slogans of National Socialism in their "Nazi-Büchmann".
Some of these Nazi maxims are:
- "Blutzeuge" (blood witness);
"Mit den Juden gibt es kein Paktieren, sondern
nur das harte Entweder-Oder" out of Mein Kampf (There is no
making pacts with Jews; there can only be the hard: either-or);
"der Trommler" (the drummer);
"Wahrer Sozialismus heißt nicht: allen das
Gleiche, sondern: jedem das Seine" (True socialism does not
mean: to everybody the same, but rather: each to his own);
"Nur wer gehorchen kann, kann später auch
befehlen!" (Only he who can obey, can later also command);
"Gemeinnutz [geht] vor Eigennutz" (The common
good takes precedence over self-interest);
"Gleichschaltung" (political coordination),
"Ein Führer, ein Volk, ein Staat" (One leader, one folk, one
"Kraft durch Freude" (strength through joy);
"Die Fahne hoch!" (Raise high the banner!)
at the end even the first stanza of Horst Wessel's Nazi anthem
"Jedem das Seine" (Here are the Jews!) the
main gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp ;
"Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free) at
the main gate at Auschwitz.
"Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free) as
the slogan with a murderous irony.
REDEN IST SILBER, SCHWEIGEN IST GOLD (Speech
is silver, silence is gold) at the crossbeams of the barracks
LEBEN UND LEBEN LASSEN (Live and let live).
"Armut schändet nicht" (Poverty is no disgrace);
"Trocken Brot macht Wangen rot" (Dry bread
makes red cheeks);
"Hunger ist der beste Koch" (Hunger is the
best cook) ;
"Selbst die Sprichwörter entlarven die Ideologie
der jeweils herrschenden Klasse" (Even proverbs unmask the ideology
of the ruling class at any given time)critically analyzed from
a Nazi point of view.
In Mein Kampf Hitler
already knows everything better than anybody else. Whoever attempts
to argue against him is quickly brushed aside as being incapable,
stupid or timid -- "The art of propaganda lies in understanding the
emotional ideas of the great masses The fact that our smart alecks
do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited
they are. To them also belongs the type of lazybones who could perfectly
well think, but from sheer mental laziness seizes gratefully on everything
that someone else has thought, with the modest assumption that the
someone else has exerted himself considerably.
Only a bourgeois blockhead is capable
of imagining that Bolshevism has been exorcised . We were treated
to the spectacle (as we still are today!) of the greatest parliamentary
thick-heads [straw heads] suddenly setting themselves on the pedestal
of statesmen, from which they could lecture down at plain ordinary
Hitler's use of proverbs serves the
important role of convincing the readers of Mein Kampf and above all
the listeners to his speeches of the absolute and final wisdom of
National Socialism. Proverbs are used and misused for the purpose
of propaganda, as is blatantly clear from a speech attended and translated
for short-wave wireless transmission by Karl Falk which was delivered
by Hitler on March 16, 1936:
"German people [...] I am waiting for
your decision, and I know, it will prove me to be right! I will accept
your decision as the voice of the people which is the voice of God".
Hitler interpreted the classical proverb
"Vox populi, vox Dei" (The voice of the people is the voice of God).
The problem with this Nazi proverb is its first two words.
They are quite ambiguous. But, the way that Adolf Hitler and Karl
Leonard Falk saw it, "the voice of the people" refered only to the
National Socialist Party Germans and excluded all other and different
voices. Few popular slogans of the Nazi State were as ambiguous and
had the power to tansfix the populace as this one did. For the ordinary
Germans, for simple krauts, at least, the genius of this proverb was
in its associative powers as a full expression of the authoritative
voice of ther diety in the selection of kings and bishops and Adolf
Hitler. As such the proverb had become a vaunted symbol and final
arbiter of political taste of the times.
It is generally recognized throughtout
the world that Nazi proverbs were intended to take on powerful psychological
overtones. Psychological manipulation played a significant role in
Hitler's shrewd integration of proverbial wisdom and folk wisdom of
simple German citizens and their children.
Upon analyses, it can now be seen that
Nazi proverbs contained the knowledge, experience, and observation
of generations of simple German people, and this distilled wisdom
gives the "proverb" its unchallengable status, character, and claim
This does not mean, however, that Hitler
was always satisfied with the traditional wording of folk proverbs.
He routinely demanded that Karl Falk lengthen the proverb and subtly
change its traditional meaning"Was der Mensch wünscht, das hofft er"
(What people wish they hope for) to "Was der Mensch will, das hofft
und glaubt er" (What people want they hope for and believe. The verb
"wünschen" (wish) is replaced by the stronger verb "wollen" (want)
and the added verb "glauben" (believe) signifies Hitler's insistence
on blind adherence and obedience.
According to this expanded proverb,
Hitler needs only to explain to the people what they should want (i.e.,
National Socialism), and then they will believe with much hope in
its mission. Such "small" alterations of traditional proverbs thus
prove to be subtle propagandistic manipulations of the people that
Karl Falk learned from the master of propaganda, at the feet of Adolf
Hitler. Dr. Joseph Goebbels gave a speech in March 1933 to a gathering
of Nazi Party workers including Karl Leonard Falk. Goebels explained
the aims of the Hitler's new Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment:
"The most important tasks of this Ministry must
be the following. Firstly, all propaganda ventures and all institutions
for the enlightenment of the people throughout the Reich and the
states must be centralized in one hand. Furthermore, it must be
our task to instill into these propaganda facilities a modern feeling
and bring them up to date. We are living now in an age when the
masses must support policies ... It is the task of State propaganda
so to simplify complicated ways of thinking that even the smallest
man in the street may understand."
[Jeremy Naokes & Geoffrey
Pridham, Documents on Nazism, 1919-1945, pp. 333-334, Viking Press,
New York, 1974.]
Even though Hitler
was very much aware of the basic truth of the folk proverb that "der
Prophet im eigenen Lande selten etwas zu gelten pflegt" (the prophet
seldom has any honor in his own country; he nevertheless again and
again moved down the deceptive path of the prophet. Hitler used the
term "grundsätz" (principle) that Karl Falk cryptically incorporated
within the words of the title of his 1937 book, "Grundsätz und
Probleme der Amerikanischen Tagespresse".
Ironically, for both Adolf Hitler and
Karl Falk, they were self acknowledged "simple krauts" and in time,
each would live out a proverbial "big lie" so well exemplified by
a loosely translated Nazi proverb:
"Unmöglich ist gar nichts, und es geht alles, wenn man will"
(Nothing at all is impossible, and you can do everything you want
The College President as Secret
Berlin University Book Burner
well-known Fresno State College professor, Karl Falk often repeated
little folk sayings to his students, and colleagues. One of these
little trademarks went like -- "We do not talk to say something, but
to obtain a certain effect."
Until now, however, it was not publicly
known who the source was for such folk wisdom. The author of this
and most all of Falk's clever sayings was, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. This
particular folk saying was actually Goebbels' "grundsatz" (principle)
of Nazi propagandistic journalism. Karl Falk learned these forms of
thinking directly from their source between 1933-1938.
William Shirer's Berlin Diary
(1940) describes a September 1934 encounter at the Fourth Nazi Party
Rally with a young German-American journalist on the Reichsministry
Propaganda staff who's job it was to welcome American foreign press
correspondents to Germany. German journalists were servants of the
government. To practice the journalist trade in Germany, one had to
be a German citizen of Arayan descent, and more than 21 years old.
They met in Nuremberg at the beautiful old Rathaus Hitler had
just restored. Hitler spoke to hysterical crowds from a balcony in
front of the building.
The young German-American said his name
was "Putzi" (German slang for 'clown') and he spoke both English and
a simple folk German dialect. Shirer depicted him as a ' high-strung,
incoherent clown, who does not often fail to remind us that he is
part American ... graduated from an American university ... obviously
trying to please his boss he had the crust to ask us to "... report
on affairs in Germany without attempting to interpret them. History
alone, can evaluate the events now taking place under Hitler." The
American journalists liked the young German-American with the suspect
name "... in spite of his clownish stupidity." [Shirer, p.14].
I met with Karl Leonard Falk at the
Social Science departmental office located on the Second Floor of
the Fresno State College Social Science Bldg. in 1958. Falk seated
himself behind a large executive desk in a hard executive chair. As
he began telling me about his work with the College, I could not help
but notice the wall behind Falk, where he had placed his doctoral
diploma set in lateinisch (Latin) text of the Frideric
Wilhelm University of Berlin. I read the text on the face of
the diploma, which denoted, in German & Latin text, that Falk's doctoral
dissertation was in the field of of Nazi economics. The date of graduation
was stated as December 10, 1936. An ordinary mind would conclude from
these facts that Karl Leonard Falk matriculated into that university
around the year 1933.
Having plowed my way through professor
Karl Leonard Falk's required student reading list of the works of
Karl Marx, and Hitler's Mein Kampf, I had unearthed a New York Public
Library copy of a book written in German by Falk and published by
the Nazi press in 1937 Frankfurt.
With these facts at hand, and in the
privacy of Falk's college office, I presumed to ask Falk about his
apparent 1933-1938 Nazi relationship with Hitler's Third Reich.
My inquiry clearly angered Falk who
then devoted one full hour raging and castigating his questioner as
a Young Turk, the pejorative term he often used to depict
young university scholars who questioned the Nazi socialist economics
model (corporate statism) Falk propounded in his undergraduate and
graduate Social Science curricula at the College.
Falk's response to questions about Nazi
Party connections in the 1930's was sophomoric and unbecoming to a
California State College department head who had eminent influence
in State and municipal government affairs.
However, when the content of the Falk
Nazi book came up, Falk regained some composure and began speaking
authoritatively, saying, "All the records got burned in the fires
in Berlin. First let me make it clear to you. I was unaware of the
prison camps. I always had my head screwed on right. I was just a
foreign student attending Frideric Wilhelm University of Berlin. I
translated some of Hitler's speeches into English when I was there
and that's all. I am just a simple kraut! I do not know of
any plan and I do not believe there was any plan to exterminate the
Jews. There is no proof that those killings were systematic, at all."
He continued,"I was disgusted when I heard stories of human soap and
lamp shades and that four million died in concentration camps. I did
not see any homicidal gas chambers. There is not even 'just one proof'
of any plan to exterminate the Jews."
This writer pointed out that documentation
had survived. That it was in two forms; the first being in The
Goebbels' Diary (Doubleday 1948) a proof which had survived and
established incontrovertible first-hand evidence that the Nazi Party
intentionally exterminated German Jews and political dissenters; and
second, the documentary proof contained in the records of Berlin in
the hands of the Soviet East Germans.
This writer also pointed out that the
Fresno State College Library had a shelf-copy of Goebbels work with
a Louis Lochner "Introduction" in which he writes: "During the first
year of the Nazi regime... the whole civilized world was shocked,when
on the evening of May 10, 1933, the books of Jewish authors ... including
those of our own Helen Keller Those works were solemnly burned by
University students on the immense Franz Joseph Platz between the
University of Berlin and the State Opera Unter den Linden. I was a
witness to the scene." (p.17).
It was reasonable for this writer to
assume, in the absence of exculpating evidence, that professor Falk,
as a doctoral student in that very University in Berlin for at least
one year prior to the book burning, placed Falk, with reasonable certainty,
at the anti-semitic book burning event. More than that, his general
denial of knowledge of the event suggests his active participant in
those and other Nazi activities of the period.
Goebbels admits in his diary that in
the official Nazi program of Jew hunting 'The evacuation of the Jews
from Berlin[since 1933] has led to a number of untoward happenings.
Unfortunately ... there are now [4000 Jews and Jewesses] wandering
about Berlin without homes, are not registered with the police and
are naturally quite a public danger. I ordered the police, Wermacht,
and the Party to do everything possible to round these Jews up as
quickly as practicable.'
If it is true that history can evaluate
the events in which Karl Leonard Falk participated in Nazi Berlin
it is also true that Falk will be remembered in the context of his
work with the Nazi propaganda Ministry. There he was working every
day of his life on bringing about the racist 'purification' through
the Nuremberg Law.
In search of the unfolding historical
truths of the secret life of this American Nazi, this writer interviewed
Falk asking for his explanation. Falk's response was to attack the
validity of the claim againt Goebbels, the Wermacht, the Nazi Party,
and the University of Berlin students as intimately involved in concerted
anti-jewish activities. The essence of Falk's answer was the standard
Nazi propaganda line, 'The proof you think you have, does not count
as proof. What you say is a mental delusion. It is only a half-truth.
My experience in pre-Nazi Germany taught me how dangerous it is to
go along with half-truths. Remember, that a half-truth is also
a half-untruth. Germany would have been a stupid country to have
any minorities who were dissatisfied and whose capabilities were not
utilized to the maximum degree!'
In the time which has passed since 1958,
this writer has come to think that denial of an individual's or a
group's real involvement in the persecution of political opponents,
suppression of freedom of speech, causing deportation of German Jews,
their degradation, suffering, and confiscation of the real and personal
property, and the indirect support for the holocaust of millions of
victims is a more hideous product of Nazi cruelty. Perhaps it rises
to a higher level of criminal conduct that is worse than the original
conduct itself for it permits the promotion, advancement, and perpetuation
of those crimes upon repeated future generations.
This appears to be especially so with
the revisionist assertion that the Holocaust [the Nazi persecution
of European Jews culminating in the genocide of five to six million]
never happened. This is the essence of Karl Leonard Falk's answer.
In the United States, the First Amendment
protects the right of every citizen to question the very existence
of the Holocaust or anything else. According to FBI Director Louis
Freeh, 'no matter how despicable, it's protected by the 1st Amendment.'
That is not the case elsewhere in the
world. In Canada, anti-hate and pornography statutes and the law against
spreading "false news" have been used against Holocaust revisionists.
In France it is illegal to contest the existence of any of the crimes
against humanity as defined by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal. But,
in Germany it is against the law to 'defame the memory of the dead.'
In the year 1933, book burnings became
commonplace all over Germany. Official estimates place the books lost
to the fires at more than 67,000. An American citizen in Berlin did
his best to help that tragedy along. The Nazis denigrated much of
the Western cultural heritage of Europe and liberal, humanistic values
went up in smoke. That same American citizen was part of the leadership
of that event. On May 10, 1933, at the University of Berlin, the first
of a series of book burnings took place. That American citizen was
present there, as well.
The works the American helped to burn
were those of world-class authors such as Thomas Mann, Erich Maria
Remarque, Ludwig von Mises, Jack London, Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith,
William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, Herbert Hoover, H. G. Wells,
Helen Keller, and Emile Zola as well as those of countless Jewish
writers were burned in huge bonfires under the approving eye of Dr.
Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister and his assistants, including
the young and impressionable German-American, Karl Leonard Falk.
While the books burned, Dr. Goebbels intoned these
'The soul of the German people can again express
itself. These flames not only illuminate the final end of an old
era; they also light up the new.'
Goebbels henceforth nazified German culture, forcing
all of the arts to serve the new regime. Many great writers, musicians,
artists and actors fled Germany or were silenced.
Anti-Semitic hate spewedAnti-Semitic
hate spewed out of the Nazi propaganda press and government information
offices during this period. For example, Karl Falk's favorite Nazi
German newspaper in the 1930's, Der Stürmer published by Julius
Streicher, carried a 14-page special issue which included the age-old
charge that Jews used Christian blood to bake their Passover matzoh.
The newspaper documented two thousand years of Jewish ritual murders.
More than 100,000 copies of the issue were printed and distributed.
Nazi propaganda broadcast via short-wave radio to Palestine exacerbated
Arab hostility toward German Jews who had settled there, and sparked
The German-American Nazi propagandist,
Karl Leonard Falk was to return to America in 1938 after participating
and precipitating Nazi book burnings and other horrific conduct. In
America, Falk would, for a time, successfully conceal his Nazi past,
with the aid and support of his sympathetic academic colleagues and
the negligence of his Administration supervisors. He would eventually
become the head of the department of economics and even rise to head
of the entire social science division of the Fresno State College.
For a brief few months he would become
the acting president of Fresno State College. Soon after taking over
the reins of the College, however, president, Karl Leonard Falk was
removed from office by the Chancellor in a storm of faculty and student
protests and mass demonstrations. As a 'simple' professor, Karl Leonard
Falk would never permit any of the books he burned to be included
on his Fresno State College reading lists. As its president, he made
certain that his German book was never added to the college Library.
Nazi Power Tactics Were Carefully Studied
Karl Leonard Falk cherished his
collection of German currency and banknotes and other memorabilia.
His favorite German newspaper was the porno sheet published by Julius
Streicher, the Der Stürmer. A representative portion of
Karl Leonard Falk's avocation may be viewed at the Fresno State College
Special Collections under the title
"The Karl Falk Collection of German Notgeld".
It includes German postage stamps, currency
from 1904-1924, and of course, facsimilies of two front pages of the
pornographic German newspaper Der Stürmer, from the year,
1931. Incidentally, Julius Streicher was described in The Life
and Death of Adolf Hitler [Robert Payne, The Life
& Death of Adolf Hitler, pages 167-168. Praeger Pub. Co., New York,
1973.] as "remarkable for those qualities of brutality
and bestiality ... in which the Jews were always depicted as sub-human
monsters and perverts."
Streicher was captured in 1945 and held
to answer for his war crimes. He entered a "not guilty" plea. He was
convicted and soon received the death penalty for his propaganda and
related war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.
Karl Leonard Falk would set a high standard
of personal and professional conduct in judging his colleagues. Although,
when he said it, he didn't expect that he would be held to it,as well:
"A faculty member should act as an example through his
own personal life, and his professional life ... to teach intellectual
integrity, honesty, character, and just plain common sense ... and
his professional and personal life are hard to divorce."
American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Supreme Court Justice
Robert H., Jackson said hatred toward the Jews had been fanned by
Karl Leonard Falk's appetites for worthless
German paper, his interest in pornogrphy, and his activities as a
Nazi Party operative in Berlin and all over Gemany from 1932-1938
were carefully guarded secrets and he did not want to be judged by
his own example. In 1970 a new light would be focussed on the secret
Nazi connections and the personal life of Karl Leonard Falk, however.
He would be held accountable for his conduct by that same standard
he advocated for judging the conduct of his friends, faculty, and
It was Karl Falk, the man who wanted
secrecy, who broke his own Nazi story in February 1970. Falk moved
quickly and induced a confused and bewildered Frederic Ness to resign
the presidency and appoint Falk "Acting President" of Fresno State
College. Falk's "acting" leadership style was domineering, authoritative,
dictatorial, and his manner was generally thought to be abrasive to
students and faculty. Falk as a professor and as an Acting President
was seen by many students and faculty members as deceptive, and tending
toward the imposing of martial law on the Campus.
Falk removed faculty opponents, closed
down the College newspaper threw out the Faculty Senate Handbook,
and barricaded his office, installing a secret exit for a quick retreat
to a secure location.
Falk was subjected to threats upon his
life and it was reported in the Fresno Bee newspaper that he was always
accompanied by an armed bodyguard wherever he went. There were riots,
and mass demonstrations when Falk appeared in public. Falk was only
58 years old but his past was rapidly catching-up with him.
On February 20, 1970 Karl Leonard Falk
spoke to a gathering of Fresno attorneys. He said:
" We don't want to be pushed to the point where the
American people have to choose between freedom or the suppression
of freedom in order to combat ... Fascism ... I am afraid if we don't
stop - this is the present trend we are headed for."
Falk was recalling that in 1933 the
Nazi's began arresting and imprisoning Jews in the ten concentration
camps set up in Germany. The first concentration camp was Dachau.
Most German people heard of the camps from the first. They hoped the
camps would be for the purpose of imprisoning Communists and other
trouble makers. They would soon learn the camps were to be used principally
for slave labor of specific victims, such as Jews. Others would be
imprisoned and disappear there, like the disabled, and homosexuals.
Falk turned to the group of stunned
Fresno attorneys and said: "In 1932, a year before the Nazi's came
to power, I witnessed, first-hand, the power struggle between the
Communists and the Nazis. Both on the Campus of the University of
Berlin and all over Germany ..."
Falk spoke to the attorneys from a prepared
text. He read to amazed listeners that some of his German friends
in Berlin had been arrested and imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps.
Some, he went on, had actually survived the Nazi camps. When they
were released, he described how he badgered them with forceful inquiries
reminiscent of Gestapo interrogations.
Falk's questions of Nazi concentration
camp victims were likely a clumsy roose to shift his own guilt to
these victims. For example, he said he asked concentration camp victims:
"Would you still say the Nazis should have been allowed freedom of
speech and action in 1932?"
Falk was mindful that his question was
founded upon the Fascist political philosophy that precluded observing
constitutional due process safeguards to freedom of speech and press.To
conceal his attack upon American citizen's constitutional rights,
president, Falk summed up his manifesto this way:
"I would appreciate your understanding and patience
and support of my efforts ... I am sure that the Bar Association,
because of its training and experience, can appreciate the importance
of not letting freedom degenerate into anarchy."
Never having held elective office and never subjected
to public scrutiny into his Nazi past, Fresno State College president,
Karl Falk became the ultimate "insider" and "architectural meglomaniac"
of what was to become the redeveloped downtown City of Fresno and
the Social Science Division and Economics Department of what is now
known as the California State University, Fresno. His Nazi information
and education models and related political and economics philosophy
and the Nazi racial science were subtly written into his policies
and practices, ideas for the uses of government while working in appointed
positions in government and higher education in the United States
after his Nazi training in Berlin.
A few years later, Dr. Haorld H. Haak,
then president of the California State University Fresno, attempted
to depict college conflicts in his book Parable of a President,
1982 American Assoc. of State Colleges & Universities.
Haak appeared to indirectly address
the legacy of chaos left to him by former acting Fresno State president
Karl Leonard Falk. He wrote of a truly fictional campus where
'...The Social Sciences were in a disarray and was on its third dean
in four years...The young economists wanted to seize control of the
department from their more conservative and quantitatively oriented
senior colleagues. The political scientists were resentful of the
efforts of the School of Business to develop a public administration
option and had temporarily dropped their efforts to oust the public
administration types from their department...The history department
had a splinter group that wanted to join the humanities, led by the
same senior faculty member who was attacking the dean...The urban
planning program did not understand how it fit into the structure
of the School of Social Sciences and was meeting informally with the
public administration types to consider the formation of a new department,
possibly in the School of Business...'
Falk was also the founder of the now
defunct government Home Federal Savings & Loan Association Charter
of Fresno and Hanford. He was the appointed head of numerous government
posts in Fresno City and County planning commissions, housing authorities,
urban renewal, and was appointed by California Governor Edmund G.
"Pat" Brown(D) to state government housing and banking boards and
agencies in 1958. Falk was also appointed as a 1954 Fulbright guest
lecturer at Stuttgart, Germany.
Falk continued his Berlin influence after
the end of WWII, eventually publishing his architectural proposal
for Berlin's government urban renewal program he called the "Falk
Berlin Plan" based upon the 1925 sketches of Adolf Hitler and later
modified in the Speer Obersalzberg architectural plans of Spring 1934.
In 1988, Daily Republican investigative
journalists learned that Falk's mother (Helen S. Rucker) was born
in Cologne (a Rhinelander). At the same time in early 1933 that Falk
was in Cologne visiting his Rhineland relatives, von Papen and Hitler
met in the home of a Cologne banker, Kurt von Schroder, where funds
were pledged to finance the Nazi Party. In exchange for the funds,
a group of Cologne industrialists reassured Hindenburg so as to allow
Hitler to form a cabinet. Reluctantly, Hindenburg agreed, and on January
30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany at the age of 43.
Berlin government sources have revealed
that later, in the same week, Karl Leonard Falk was in Berlin when,
among the first actions of the new Chancellor, was his enactment of
an Emergency Decree directed at eliminating all political opposition
"in the interest of the public good." The Nazis seized the day and
immediately declared Martial Law throughout Germany.
In the midst of Hitler's Martial Law
in 1933, Hitler induced a confused and frightened Hindenburg to sign
a decree euphemistically called, "For the Protection of the People
and State," suspending all of the basic rights, including the freedom
of speech of citizens and imposed the death sentence for arson, sabotage,
resistance to the decree, and disturbances to public order.Arrests
could be made on suspicion, and people could be sentenced to prison
without trial or the right of counsel.
The suspension was never lifted throughout
the entire period of Nazi rule, and the decree of February 28, 1933
destroyed fundamental freedom of speech and press guarantees under
the Weimar democracy.
During the next few days, up to elections
on March 5, 1933, Hitler threw millions of Germans into panic with
arbitrary arrests of hundreds of thousands of Berlin's citizens, journalists,
actors, artists, musicians, university professors, foreign news reporters.
Thousands of Nazi Storm troopers rampaged through the streets of Berlin.
They broke into homes, rounded up many Jews who were beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, or killed.
A decree was issued on April 11, 1933
defining "non-Aryans" as those who were descended from "non-Aryan"
parents or grandparents, even if only one grandparent was "non-Aryan."
The slaughter of animals for food under
Jewish kosher laws was banned on April 21, 1933.
On April 25, 1933, a quota law, limited
admission of Jews to institutions of higher learning to 1.5 % of the
total. On September 28, 1933 Jews were excluded from all artistic,
dramatic, literary and film enterprises. On September 29,1933 Jews
could no longer own farmland.
The Nazi concentration camps were intended
to spread terror among the population. They also provided the Gestapo
with "training." In talks with Nazi leaders even before he became
chancellor, Hitler's architecture for the New World Order was laid-out:
"We must be ruthless...Only thus shall we purge
our people of their softness ... and their degenerate delight in
beer-swilling ... I don't want the concentration camps transformed
into penitentiaries. Terror is the most effective political instrument
... It is my duty to make use of every means of training the German
people to cruelty, and to prepare them for war ...There must be
no weakness or tenderness."
Falk learned much of his leadership technique first-hand,
from Hitler between 1932-1938. The Nazis technological superiority
in electronics equipment, closed-circuit TV and state-of-the-art press
facilities, including a forty-one nation short-wave radio network,
and the first telex transmissions of news copy, and a Zeppelin to
fly newsreel film to other European capitals. Karl Falk even met the
world famous propaganda film maker, Leni Riefensthal who was filming
the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin for newsreel footage. For Karl Falk,
the Nazis were nothing short of amazing.
Falk escaped a formal hearing on his work for the
Nazis. However, a Philadelphia man is to be stripped of his US citizenship
for his service to Nazi Germany.
The Justice Department has formally accused a naturalized
American citizen, Fedir Kwoczak, of acting as a guard for the Hitler's
Third Reich. Kwoczak will likely be deported. He had given a cover
story to US immigration officials that he had worked on farms in Germany
and Poland during World War II. The beat goes on.
NAZI PROPAGANDA FILM
the 1936 film was produced by the Third Reich and directed by
Leni Riefenstahl. Joseph Goebbels hired Riefenstahl to film the Berlin
Olympic Games as a "world statement" of the Third Reich. It is still
a very exciting film record of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. There was
nothing like it, before, or since.
Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia made
a film statement not only about the beauty of the Berlin Olympics
but also, and more subtly, about Berlin political economics. Even
though this two-part, three-and-a-half-hour film, recently released
in a video version, purports to celebrate events that occurred 60
years ago, it still makes a powerful understatement for German State
Caution is advised when viewing this
film.This mysterious and powerful story is celluloid testimony to
the captivating persuasion techniques that Goebbels' propaganda film
maker, Leni Riefenstahl still has on modern viewers of her symbolic
The 1936 classic Reifensthal film will
be released on video to coincide with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.For
years, Riefenstahl's reputation as the creator of the fascist documentary
Triumph of the Will has lead people to criticize Olympia
as another piece of Nazi propaganda. Although the film was originally
commissioned by Hitler, who is prominent in the opening ceremony sequence,
Olympia pretends to be an objective film record of the human
spirit and athletic excellence of the German Arayan superiority. Instead,
it turns out to be the documenting of the achievements of men and
women of all ethnic and racial origin. Note Hitler's absence from
the film clips as the Germans' team starts to lose.
Throughout the film Olympia Leni
Riefenstahl's film direction is technically and artistically perfect.
She uses striking light-shadow cintrasts, slow-motion photography,
low-angle camera placement. Combined with long tracking shots she
is able to portray the Olympic athlete as strong and artistic. The
artistic power of these elements was not seen before nor since in
sports news photography.
Olympia showcases Jesse Owens'
legendary track and field achievements, which shattered sports records
as well as Hitler's lunatic myths of Aryan supremacy. Owens' brilliance,
which outlasted the Nazi policy of racism, is captured here in full,
along with other highlights.
Memorable events are Glenn Morris's
victory in the decathalon and a pole-vault competition lasting into
the night, with athletes charging out of the darkness and flying through
the night sky.
Cheering with each victory and wincing
at each stumble onlookers do not suspect Olympia is very much
a film about political economics.
It is a mistake not to look for hidden
messages in this film. The film subtly promotes Nazi fascism and the
anti-Semitic Nazi "racial science".
Leni Riefenstahl's rights to the film
expired years ago and she is not entitled to any royalties from video
sales or rentals. Following World War II she was cleared by the Nuremberg
courts but has been shunned by the world's film industry and has never
made another film. Olympia is a pitiable celebration of a pre-WWII
Nazi mind-set which worships state power over the individual in the
presentation of a work of art and propaganda which might otherwise
have been, well worth remembering.
[The writer a
Ford Fellow in the California State Legislature, later as chief economist,
and managed the Economics Institute, Washington, D.C. He has
an economics education doctorate from the University of Southern Californiua.
Hobbs' latest book is Thomas Hobbes' Civil Economics, Principles
and Practices 2d ed., 1995. Tahoe Press, Palo Alto.] COMMENTS & ADDITIONS