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 prison conditions;
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 the state;
'correcting' the final decisions of the regular courts to the disadvantage of defendants or litigants disfavored by the state.
These perversions 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 of evil.
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.
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 Central Europe.
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 be.
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 Question.
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 in Berlin.
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 aims.'
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 of view.'
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 Sudetic Germans...'
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 status.
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 Club.
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 1932.
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.
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 inself, 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 previous weeks.
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 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 War.
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 leagl 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 truth.
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 economic freedom.
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.
"ACADEMIC FREEDOM - ACADEMIC ANARCHY."
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:
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 French Resistance.
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 mess!
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 it so.
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 Archive by the United States government. The matter was not pursued, however.
Falk was never publicly 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 1988.
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 movie 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 manufacturer I.G. Farben and the Third Reich's public relations firm Ivy 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 four year course. At Stanford University, Falk did not distinguish himself as a scholar but selected a safe field. He majored in German Language study. 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 Reich.
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 from rabble-rousers.
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 for America.
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 and justified the ultimate exercise of State police powers through martial law.
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 extensive, 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 that:
- " The American is a curious person -- hot and heavy in his work, desperate in his desire to get rich, not quite so fearfully overindustrious as he imagines himself to be ..." (at page 15.)
- Of the American Joseph Pulitzer (1918 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism) Falk said "... [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 propaganda Karl Falk wrote of what he depicted as the use of it in the American press when he said "... 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 experience Falk states "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 apparatus.
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
Recently 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 history.'
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 speech".
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 state);
- "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 at Auschwitz;
- 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 mortals.
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 way that only he 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.
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 to authority.
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
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".
"Unmöglich ist gar nichts, und es geht alles, wenn man will"
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:
(Nothing at all is impossible, and you can do everything you want to!)
The College President as Secret
Berlin University Book Burner
The 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 this:
"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 words:
'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 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 anti-Jewish riots.
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 Sturmer, 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 set 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 Goebbels' propaganda.
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 students.
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 Paraple 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
Olympia, 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.
nbsp; 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 nationalism.
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 work.
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.
[Note: The writer, Howard Hobbs, J.D., Ph.D. is a Ford Fellow (1958) in the California State Legislature, later as chief economist, at the Economics Institute, Washington, D.C. He has advanced degrees from The University of Southern California, and Blackstone School of Law. Hobbs' latest book is Thomas Hobbes' Civil Economics, Principles and Practices 2d ed., 1995. Tahoe Press, Palo Alto.]
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