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                I will post two articles on Tim Tebow, who is Pro-Life. He was born on this date, August 14, 1987. 


    Tim Tebow with his mother, Pam (left)


    Football player's mother gives pro-life speech here

    Pam Tebow addresses 250
    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    By IAN YOUNG - Bulletin Staff Writer

    Pam Tebow, the mother of evangelistic NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, brought a pro-life message to Martinsville on Friday.

    About 250 people attended the event entitled, “An Evening with Pam Tebow,” which was sponsored by The Pregnancy Care Center of Martinsville and Henry County, a pro-life organization which assists and educates women with unplanned pregnancies. The event was held at the Church at Mercy Crossing in Martinsville.

    Tebow was there to support the center and speak to the importance of the decisions women make regarding pregnancy.

    She lives in Florida and is a motivational speaker on pro-life and women’s issues. She lived for a number of years as a missionary in the Philippines, preaching with her husband, Bob Tebow, and his ministry, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association. The couple also started an orphanage, called Uncle Dick’s Home, in the Philippines in 1992.

    During Friday’s presentation, Tebow discussed the importance of religion in the family and her experience of deciding not to abort her son “Timmy” after doctors advised her to when she became ill while she was pregnant in the Philippines.

    "Timmy" went on to have a pro football career, playing now for the New York Jets. He has become famous for his devotion as well as his skills on the field.

    Pam Tebow said she hopes her story will affect other women’s decisions about their pregnancies.

    At times she was amusing, joking not to “worry, I am not going to be selling CD’s after this” after she sang Bible verses. Tebow sang, she said, to help her children remember the scriptures.

    At other times, she was blunt about the truth she believes about abortion in this country.

    “Girls can get an abortion an hour away in either direction,” she said. “That is the reality of abortion.”

    Tebow praised the work of the local Pregnancy Care Center for its role in changing women’s minds on the issue. She added that the “impact on each person is for eternity, not just a lifetime.”

    Tebow ended her speech with a prayer and left the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd.

    Also during the program, the Rev. Phil Holsinger of the Blue Ridge Women’s Center in Roanoke, discussed the importance men play in the issue.

    “Why would a man be involved in a women’s ministry,” he asked, referring to himself. “I guarantee that for every woman that walks in the doors (of a women’s center), a man is involved in that.”

    Holsinger added a lesson that he said he had been taught years before: “No man can be a good father unless he himself had been fathered well.”
    Holsinger asked all the men in the audience to offer their help and mentoring to other young men.

    “I encourage all of you (men) in the crowd to lean over and scratch the cash amount off of the donation card your wife is holding,” said Holsinger. “Instead, donate your time to the center and this ministry yourself.”


    Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow and Nathan Whitaker
    ARTICLE TITLE: Doctors Recommended Football Star Tim Tebow Be Aborted
    DATE: January 13, 2012
    AUTHOR: Randy Alcorn
    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Randy Alcorn (born 1954) is an American Protestant author and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to teaching an eternal viewpoint and helping the needy of the world. He has written several novels, including Deadline, Dominion, and Deception. He received a Gold Medallion Book Award in 2003 for his novel Safely Home.He has also written a number of non-fiction books, including Heaven, The Purity Principle, and The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries owns the royalties to his books and 100 percent of them are given away to support missions, famine relief, pro-life work, and other ministries. He and his wife, Nanci, have two grown up and married daughters, Karina and Angela, who assisted him in writing the novel The Ishbane Conspiracy in 2001. Randy and Nanci have four grandsons. They live in Gresham, Oregon. He wrote a book similar to The Screwtape Letters called Lord Foulgrin's Letters. In Alcorn's book, references are made to demons, known only as "ST" and "WW" (for it had become a crime in Hell to even speak their real names), who had their letters found by a human and were punished by Beelzebub for their incompetence. He has also written a sequel to Lord Foulgrin's Letters entitled The Ishbane Conspiracy in which Lord Foulgrin from the first book is put on probation and is receiving letters from a senior demon named Prince Ishbane. In between the letters actual scenes from the humans lives unfold. In November 2009, Alcorn signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.

    Since I’m working on pulling together a prolife message this weekend, filling in for Bob and Pam Tebow who will be in New England instead of at our church, I thought I would say something about Timmy’s entrance into this world.

    I’m pulling from a few different sources, including an interview from Pam and also Tim’s comments in his book, Through My Eyes.

    In 1985, the Tebow family, with four children, was living in the Philippines as missionaries. Pam Tebow contracted amoebic dysentery, likely from contaminated drinking water. She fell into a coma and received strong drugs to combat the infection.

    It turned out she was pregnant with her fifth child. Those drugs caused the placenta to detach from the uterine wall, depriving the fetus—which I prefer to call the child—of oxygen.
    When it was realized that she was pregnant, doctors stopped the drugs but said that the high doses of medicine had already damaged the fetus (you don’t call him or her a baby when you want him aborted, but in fact that “product of conception” was Timmy Tebow, the same person who is now just older and bigger).

    The doctors believed there was danger to Pam and that the baby would not survive, or if he did, would have very serious problems.

    His parents went to the best doctor in their area of the Philippines. The doctor told his mother in a slow monotone that “An abortion is the only way to save your life.”

    As Tim says in his book, “According to [the doctor], the ‘mass of fetal tissue’ or ‘tumor’—me—had to go.”

    Pam refused to have an abortion and asked for God’s help. She was in bed rest at a Manila hospital for the final two months of the pregnancy.

    Bob and Pam prayed for a healthy baby, but left that up to God.

    After Timmy was born, the doctor who delivered him said only a small part of the placenta was attached, but it was “just enough to keep your baby nourished all these months.”

    After birth, both Pam and Tim faced serious challenges. Pam said, “We were concerned at first because he was so malnourished.”

    Looking at this photo of Tim warming up (right) before last week’s game with the Steelers, I’m thinking malnutrition wasn’t a long term problem.

    Okay, so I’ve told the inspiring story about doctors being wrong—wrong about Pam dying if she didn’t get the abortion, and wrong about Timmy’s long-term health. (By the way, as much as I respect the medical profession, physicians are sometimes wrong in their medical predictions, and even when right they’re not always the best moral guides. That’s why I cringe when I hear people say “abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor.” I’ve talked with many women who didn’t have Bob and Pam Tebow’s resolve, but who now wish they hadn’t listened to their doctor when he advised an abortion.)

    Returning to the doctors who recommended Pam to abort, suppose they had been right about Timmy having health problems if he survived. Suppose that instead of looking like he does, Timmy had ended up like this boy:

    Is this child any less precious in God’s sight than Timmy? No. Should he be any less precious in our sight? No. Would the doctor have been right to advise an abortion in the case of this child? No. A child is a child. He doesn’t have to be a superstar, and he doesn’t have to be “normal.”

    Who makes disabled people the way they are? Some people think it’s the devil, many think it’s just a tragic accident. What does the Bible say?

    The LORD said to him [Moses], “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11)

    So let’s celebrate that God preserved Pam Tebow and her son Timmy. But let’s also remember there are countless disabled children and families who need our love and support. (Joni and Friends is one of the wonderful organizations EPM supports that serves them.) And that even if the doctor had been right about Timmy’s prognosis, killing him by abortion would have been just as wrong, and just as tragic.

    Finally, if you want a refreshing view of the heart and priorities of a professional athlete, check out this video link sent to me by our friend Diane Meyer. Tim Tebow talks here for seven minutes, mostly about prison ministry. Whether Tim Tebow and the Broncos win or lose against the Patriots Saturday is insignificant compared to the values reflected in this video.


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    On this date, August 17, 2010, Peter Anthony Cantuwas the third of the three convicted killers of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena on 24 June 1993 to be executed by lethal injection in Texas. Sean O’Brien was the first one and Jose Ernesto Medellin was the second one. I wish there was a Joint Enterprise Law and all six of them would have been executed. Please go to the Unit 1012 Blog to read the article of criticizing the Texan abolitionists.


    Peter Anthony Cantu



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                On this date, 17 August 1987, The Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess, committed suicide by hanging himself in Spandau Prison. I will post information about this war criminal from Wikipedia and other links.


    Rudolf Hess in 1933
    Deputy Führer
    Stellvertreter des Führers
    In office
    21 April 1933 – 12 May 1941
    Deputy
    Martin Bormann
    Führer
    Adolf Hitler
    Preceded by
    Post created
    Succeeded by
    Martin Bormann
    (as Chief of the Parteikanzlei)
    Reichsleiter
    In office
    1933–1941
    Leader
    Adolf Hitler
    Personal details
    Born
    Rudolf Walter Richard Heß
    26 April 1894
    Alexandria, Khedivate of Egypt, Ottoman Empire
    Died
    17 August 1987 (aged 93)
    Spandau, West Berlin, West Germany
    Nationality
    German
    Political party
    National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) (1920–1941)
    Spouse(s)
    Ilse Pröhl
    (22 June 1900 – 7 September 1995)
    married 20 December 1927
    Children
    Wolf Rüdiger Heß
    (18 November 1937 – 14 October 2001)
    Alma mater
    University of Munich

    Rudolf Walter Richard Heß, also spelled Hess (26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987), was a prominent politician in Nazi Germany. Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, he served in this position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. He was taken prisoner and eventually was convicted of crimes against peace, serving a life sentence.

    Hess enlisted in the 7th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment as an infantryman at the outbreak of World War I. He was wounded several times over the course of the war, and won the Iron Cross, second class, in 1915. Shortly before the war ended, Hess enrolled to train as an aviator, but he saw no action in this role. He left the armed forces in December 1918 with the rank of Leutnant der Reserve.

    In autumn 1919 Hess enrolled in the University of Munich, where he studied geopolitics under Karl Haushofer, a proponent of the concept of Lebensraum("living space"), which later became one of the pillars of Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party; NSDAP) ideology. Hess joined the NSDAP on 1 July 1920, and was at Hitler's side on 8 November 1923 for the Beer Hall Putsch, a failed Nazi attempt to seize control of the government of Bavaria. Whilst serving time in jail for this attempted coup, Hess helped Hitler write his opus, Mein Kampf, which became a foundation of the political platform of the NSDAP.

    After the Nazi Seizure of Power in 1933, Hess was appointed Deputy Führer of the NSDAP and received a post in Hitler's cabinet. He was the third most-powerful man in Germany, behind only Hitler and Hermann Göring. In addition to appearing on Hitler's behalf at speaking engagements and rallies, Hess signed into law much of the legislation, including the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, that stripped the Jews of Germany of their rights in the lead-up to the Holocaust.

    Hess continued to be interested in aviation, learning to fly the more advanced aircraft that were coming into development at the start of World War II. On 10 May 1941 he undertook a solo flight to Scotland, where he hoped to arrange peace talks with the Duke of Hamilton, whom he believed was prominent in opposition to the British government. Hess was immediately arrested on his arrival and was held in British custody until the end of the war, when he was returned to Germany to stand trial in the Nuremberg Trials of major war criminals in 1946. Throughout much of the trial, he claimed to be suffering from amnesia, but later admitted this was a ruse. Hess was convicted of crimes against peace and conspiracy with other German leaders to commit crimes and was transferred to Spandau Prison in 1947, where he served a life sentence. Repeated attempts by family members and prominent politicians to win him early release were blocked by the Soviet Union, and he committed suicide, still in custody in Spandau, in 1987 at the age of 93.

    Early life

    World War I

    Relationship with Hitler

    Deputy Führer

    Attempted peace mission

    Flight to Scotland

    Capture

    Trial and imprisonment

    Prisoner of war

    From Buchanan Castle, Hess was transferred briefly to the Tower of London and then to Mytchett Place in Surrey, a fortified mansion, designated "Camp Z", where he stayed for the next thirteen months. Churchill issued orders that Hess was to be treated well, though he was not allowed to read newspapers or listen to the radio. Three intelligence officers were stationed onsite and 150 soldiers were placed on guard. By early June Hess was allowed to write to his family. He also prepared a letter to the Duke of Hamilton, but it was never delivered, and his repeated requests for further meetings were turned down. Dr Henry V. Dicks and Dr John Rawlings Rees, psychiatrists who treated Hess during this period, note that while he was not insane, he was mentally unstable, with tendencies toward hypochondria and paranoia. Hess repeated his peace proposal to John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, then serving as Lord Chancellor, in an interview on 9 June. Lord Simon noted that the prisoner's mental state was not good; Hess claimed he was being poisoned and was being prevented from sleeping. He would insist on swapping his dinner with that of one of his guards, and attempted to get them to send samples of the food out for analysis.

    In the early morning hours of 16 June Hess rushed his guards and attempted suicide by jumping over the railing of the staircase at Mytchett Place. He fell onto the stone floor below, fracturing the femur of his left leg. The injury required that the leg be kept in traction for twelve weeks, with a further six weeks bed rest before he was permitted to walk with crutches. Captain Munro Johnson of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who assessed Hess, noted that another suicide attempt was likely to occur in the near future. Hess began around this time to complain of amnesia. This symptom and some of his increasingly erratic behaviour may have in part been a ruse, because if he were declared mentally ill, he could be repatriated under the terms of the Geneva Conventions.

    Hess was moved to Maindiff Court Hospital on 26 June 1942, where he would remain for the next three years. The facility was chosen for its added security and the need for fewer guards. Hess was allowed walks on the grounds and car trips into the surrounding countryside. He had access to newspapers and other reading materials; he wrote letters and journals. His mental health remained under the care of Dr Rees. Hess continued to complain on and off of memory loss and made a second suicide attempt on 4 February 1945, when he stabbed himself with a bread knife. The wound was not serious, requiring two stitches. Despondent that Germany was losing the war, he took no food for the next week, only resuming eating when he was threatened with being force-fed.
    Germany unconditionally surrendered on 8 May 1945. Hess, facing charges as a war criminal, was ordered to appear before the International Military Tribunal and was transported to Nuremberg on 10 October 1945.


    Nuremberg Trials. Defendants in their dock, circa 1945-1946.

    (in front row, from left to right): Hermann Göring, Rudolf Heß, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel

    (in second row, from left to right): Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel

    Rudolf Hess reading the book Jugend by Ernst Claes in Landsberg Prison.
    Nuremberg Trials

    Further information: Nuremberg Trials

    The Allies of World War II held a series of military tribunals and trials, beginning with a trial of the major war criminals from November 1945 to October 1946. Hess was tried with this first group of twenty-three defendants, all of whom were charged with four counts—conspiracy to commit crimes, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity, in violation of international laws governing warfare.

    On his arrival in Nuremberg, Hess was reluctant to give up some of his possessions, including samples of food he claimed had been poisoned by the British; he proposed to use these for his defence during the trial. The commandant of the facility, Colonel Burton C. Andrus of the United States Army, advised him that he would be allowed no special treatment; the samples were sealed and confiscated. Hess's diaries indicate that he did not acknowledge the validity of the court and felt the outcome was a foregone conclusion. He was thin when he arrived, weighing 65 kilograms (143 lb), and had a poor appetite, but was deemed to be in good health. As one defendant, Robert Ley, had managed to hang himself in his cell on 24 October, the remaining prisoners were monitored around the clock. Because of his previous suicide attempts, Hess was handcuffed to a guard whenever he was out of his cell.

    Almost immediately after his arrival, Hess began exhibiting amnesia, which may have been feigned in the hope of avoiding the death sentence. Medical personnel who examined Hess reported he was not insane and was fit to stand trial. At least two examiners, the British doctor and the Russian one, noted their belief that Hess's amnesia might be fake. Efforts were made to trigger his memory, including bringing in his former secretaries and showing old newsreels, but he persisted in showing no response to these stimuli. When Hess was allowed to make a statement to the tribunal on 30 November, he admitted that he had faked memory loss as a tactic. He spoke to the tribunal again on 31 August 1946, the last day of closing statements.

    The prosecution's case against Hess was presented by Mervyn Griffith-Jones beginning on 7 February 1946. By quoting from Hess's speeches, he attempted to demonstrate that Hess had been aware of and agreed with Hitler's plans to conduct a war of aggression in violation of international law. He declared that as Hess had signed important governmental decrees, including the decree requiring mandatory military service, the Nuremberg racial laws, and a decree incorporating the conquered Polish territories into the Reich, he must share responsibility for the acts of the regime. He pointed out that the timing of Hess's trip to Scotland, only six weeks before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, could only be viewed as an attempt by Hess to keep the British out of the war. Hess resumed showing symptoms of amnesia at the end of February, partway through the prosecution's case.

    The case for Hess's defence was presented from 22–26 March by his lawyer, Dr Alfred Seidl. He noted that while Hess accepted responsibility for the many decrees he had signed, he said these matters were part of the internal workings of a sovereign state and thus outside the purview of a war crimes trial. He called to the stand Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, the man who had been head of the NSDAP/AO, to testify on Hess's behalf. When presented by Griffith-Jones with questions about the organisation's spying in several countries, Bohle testified that any warlike activities such as espionage had been done without his permission or knowledge. Seidl called two other witnesses, former mayor of Stuttgart Karl Strölin and Hess's brother Alfred, both of whom refuted the allegations that the NSDAP/AO had been spying and fomenting war. Seidl presented a summation of the defence's case on 25 July, in which he attempted to refute the charge of conspiracy by pointing out that Hitler alone had made all the important decisions. He noted that Hess could not be held responsible for any events that took place after he left Germany in May 1941. Meanwhile Hess mentally detached himself from what was happening, declining visits from his family and refusing to read the newspapers.

    The court deliberated for nearly two months before passing judgement on 30 September, with the defendants being individually sentenced on 1 October. Hess was found guilty on two counts: crimes against peace (planning and preparing a war of aggression), and conspiracy with other German leaders to commit crimes. He was found not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was given a life sentence, one of seven Nazis to receive prison sentences at the trial. These seven were transported by aircraft to the Allied military prison at Spandau in Berlin on 18 July 1947. The Soviet member of the tribunal, Major-General Iona Nikitchenko, filed a document recording his dissent of Hess's sentence; he felt the death sentence was warranted.

    Rudolf Hess and Joachim von Ribbentrop on trial at the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg

     
    Changing the guard at Spandau Prison
    Spandau Prison

    Spandau was placed under the control of the Allied Control Council, the governing body in charge of the military occupation of Germany. It consisted of representatives from four member states: Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union. Each country supplied guards for the prison for a month at a time on a rotating basis. After the inmates were given medical examinations, Hess refused his body search, and had to be held down—they were provided with prison garb and assigned the numbers by which they would be addressed throughout their stay. Hess was Number 7. The prison had a small library, and inmates were allowed to file special requests for additional reading material. Writing materials were limited; each inmate would be allowed four pieces of paper per month for letters. The prisoners were not allowed to speak to one another without permission and were expected to work in the facility, helping with cleaning and gardening chores. The inmates were taken for outdoor walks around the prison grounds for an hour each day, separated about 10 yards (9 m) apart. Some of the rules became more relaxed as time went on.

    Visits to Spandau of half an hour per month were allowed, but Hess forbade his family to visit until December 1969, when he was a patient at the British Military Hospital in West Berlin for a perforated ulcer. By this time Wolf Rüdiger Hess was 32 years old and Ilse 69; they had not seen Hess since his departure from Germany in 1941. After this illness, he allowed his family to visit regularly. His daughter-in-law Andrea, who often brought photos and films of his grandchildren, became a particularly welcome visitor. Hess's health problems, both mental and physical, were ongoing during his captivity. He cried out in the night, claiming he had stomach pains. He continued to suspect that his food was being poisoned and complained of amnesia. A psychiatrist who examined him in 1957 deemed he was not ill enough to be transferred to a mental hospital. Another unsuccessful suicide attempt took place in 1977.

    Other than his stays in hospital, Hess spent the rest of his life in Spandau Prison. His fellow inmates Konstantin von Neurath, Walther Funk and Erich Raeder were released because of poor health in the 1950s; Karl Dönitz, Baldur von Schirach and Albert Speer served their time and were released, Dönitz in 1956, Schirach and Speer in 1966. The 600-cell prison continued to be maintained for its lone prisoner from Speer and Shirach's release until Hess's death in 1987, at an estimated cost of DM 800,000. Conditions were far more pleasant in the 1980s than in the early years; Hess was allowed to move more freely around the cell block, setting his own routine and choosing his own activities, which included television, films, reading and gardening. A lift was installed so he could more readily access the garden, and he was provided with a medical orderly from 1982 onward.
    Numerous appeals for Hess's release were launched by his lawyer, Dr Seidl, beginning as early as 1947. These were denied, mainly because the Soviets repeatedly vetoed the proposal. Spandau was located in West Berlin, and its existence gave the Soviets a foothold in that sector of the city. Additionally, Soviet officials believed Hess must have known in 1941 that an attack on their country was imminent. In 1967 Wolf Rüdiger Hess began a campaign to win his father's release, garnering support from notable politicians such as Geoffrey Lawrence, 1st Baron Oakseyin Britain and Willy Brandt in Germany, but to no avail, in spite of the prisoner's advanced age and deteriorating health.


    Death and aftermath

    Hess died on 17 August 1987 at the age of 93 in a summer house that had been set up in the prison garden as a reading room. He took an extension cord from one of the lamps, strung it over a window latch, and hanged himself. Death occurred by asphyxiation. A short note to his family, thanking them for all they had done, was found in his pocket. The Four Powers released a statement on 17 September ruling the death a suicide. Initially buried at a secret location to avoid media attention or demonstrations by Nazi sympathisers, Hess was re-interred in a family plot at Wunsiedel on 17 March 1988, and his wife was buried beside him when she died in 1995. Spandau Prison was demolished to prevent it from becoming a Nazi shrine.

    His lawyer, Dr Seidl, felt Hess was too old and frail to have managed to kill himself. Wolf Rüdiger Hess repeatedly claimed that his father had been murdered by the British Secret Intelligence Service to prevent him from revealing information about British misconduct during the war. Abdallah Melaouhi, who served as Hess's medical orderly from 1982 to 1987, was dismissed from his position at his local district parliament's Immigration and Integration Advisory Council after he wrote a self-published book on a similar theme. According to an investigation by the British government in 1989, the available evidence did not back up the claim that Hess was murdered, and Solicitor General Sir Nicholas Lyell saw no grounds for further investigation. Further, the autopsy results support the conclusion that Hess committed suicide. A report released in 2012 again raised the question of whether Hess was murdered. Historian Peter Padfield claims the suicide note found on the body appears to have been written when Hess was hospitalised in 1969.

    After the town of Wunsiedel became the scene of pilgrimages and neo-Nazi demonstrations every August on the date of Hess's death, the parish council decided not to allow an extension on the grave site's lease when it expired in 2011. With the consent of his family, Hess's grave was re-opened on 20 July 2011 and his remains exhumed, then cremated. His ashes were scattered at sea by family members; the gravestone, which bore the epitaph "Ich hab's gewagt" ("I dared"), was destroyed.

    OTHER LINKS:









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               On this date, 19 August 1939, Joseph Stalin gave an alleged Speech. I will post information from Wikipedia and other links.


    Joseph Stalin on Killing People [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.pinterest.com/glachance/quotes/]
    This article covers a speech allegedly given by leader of the Soviet UnionJoseph Stalin on 19 August 1939 to members of the Politburo, wherein he supposedly described the strategy of the Soviet Union on the eve of World War II.

    The historicity of the speech is still the subject of academic debate. Plausible textual evidence of this speech found in various reputable archives has been academically studied and published, however no formal first-hand evidence of a Politburo meeting held on 19 August 1939 or the delivery of the quoted speech has yet been proven. Speeches given in secret were common at the time, the Politburo being a closed and secretive body. There are also contrary views that these copies were intended originally as propaganda and disinformation. Accordingly until consensus is reached by historians, the discussion of the documents supporting such a thesis are described in this article as an "alleged" speech.

    In these reports, Stalin is represented as talking about his strategic view of the growing conflict in Europe, and his view that it would be beneficial for the Soviet agenda, insofar as it would weaken the West, allowing possible territorial expansion.


    LEFT TO RIGHT: Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Joseph Stalin [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/May-2011/Current-Events-Death-of-a-Terrorist.aspx]
    Summary of documents

    In the source material available to historians, Stalin is represented as expressing an expectation that the war would be the best opportunity to weaken both the Western nations and Nazi Germany, and make Germany suitable for "Sovietization". There is also expectation of eventual territorial expansion to the Baltic countries, Finland and Poland, with the approval of either the Western powers or Germany.

    Historians who have studied these documents have suggested that if such a speech took place, which is usually considered plausible but not proven (see below), then this view may have formed the basis for the Nazi-Soviet pact of non-aggression signed in 1939, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which was also signed days later around 23 – 24 August 1939.


    Adolf Hitler (left) & Joseph Stalin (right) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/two-roads-converged_742465.html]
    Source material and timeline

    First published in 1939

    The first version of this speech was published, partially, on 28 November 1939, in the Paris newspaper Le Temps by the news agency Havas despatch from Geneva. Since then several versions, varying in content, have been in circulation.

    Stalin denies the news in Pravda

    In Pravda of 30 November 1939, the day of the outbreak of the Winter War, Stalin was asked for his opinion on the report of "the speech" allegedly made "by Stalin to the Politburo on 19 August", in which he is said to have expressed the thought that the war should go on as long as possible, so that the belligerents are exhausted." Stalin stated this was an incorrect assertion, and was quoted by Pravda as saying:

    1.    that it cannot be denied that it was France and England that attacked Germany and consequently they are responsible for the present war;
    2.    that Germany made peace proposals to France and England, proposals supported by the Soviet Union on the grounds that a quick end to the war would ease the situation of all countries and peoples;
    3.    that the ruling circles of England and France rudely rejected Germany's peace proposals.

    Refound and authenticity issues

    In 1994, Russian publicist Tatiana S. Bushuyeva published an archival reference because of the speech in an article printed in the Novy Mir magazine (#12, 1994), based on what she claimed was recent findings in Soviet Special Archives of a text that according to her was supposedly recorded by a Comintern member present at the meeting.

    The actual original text is not available yet. Bushuyeva also printed a Russian translation of a version available in French. This caused another surge of speculations on the issue. Bushuyeva omitted to mention that the referred archival record was from stock related to the documents of General Staff of the French Army.


    Adolf Hitler (left) & Joseph Stalin (right) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://latvianhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/stalin-and-hitler/]
    Historicity and debate

    Whether this speech was ever given by Stalin is still the subject of dispute by historians and no proof is as yet unanimously accepted. According to Viktor Suvorov's book M-Day, Soviet historians laid special emphasis on proving that no Politburo meeting took place on 19 August 1939. Nevertheless, Suvorov states in his book that Russian military historian Dmitri Volkogonov has found evidence that a meeting really took place on that day.

    An article in the Otechestvennaya Istoriya ((History of the Fatherland), Отечественная история, 2004, № 1) by Sergey Sluch (С.З. Случ) critically reviews the history of "Stalin's Speech", its textological analysis, and possible reasons and sources for the possible forgery. Carl Nordling, a Finnish statistician and amateur historian, pointed out some counter-theses to Sluch's disapproval of the existence of such a speech.

    See also
     

    Pol Pot meets Hitler & Stalin in hell! [PHOTO SOURCE: http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=13753&l=en]

    Stalin's speech to the Politburo on 19 August 1939, reconstructed from renderings in Novyi Mir, Moscow, and Revue de Droit International, Geneva
    Pieced together by Carl O. Nordling, Sweden.

    Boldface = in both versions
    Normal = only in Novyi Mir
    Italics = only in Revue de Droit International

    The question of war and peace has entered a critical phase for us. Its solution depends entirely on the position which will be taken by the Soviet Union. We are absolutely convinced thatif we conclude a mutual assistance pact with France and Great Britain, Germany will back off from Poland and seek a modus vivendi with the Western Powers. War would be avoided, but further events could prove dangerous for the USSR.

    On the other hand, if we accept Germany's proposal,that you know, and conclude a non-aggression pact with her, she will certainly invade Poland, and the intervention of France and England is then unavoidable. Western Europe would be subjected to serious upheavals and disorder. In this case we will have a great opportunity to stay out of the conflict, and we could plan the opportune time for us to enter the war.
    The experience of the last 20 years has shown that in peacetime the Communist movement is never strong enough for the Bolshevik Party to seize power. The dictatorship of such a Party will only become possible as the result of a major war.
    Our choice is clear. We must accept the German proposal and, with a refusal, politely send the Anglo-French mission home.
    It is not difficult to envisage the importance which we would obtain in this way of proceeding. It is obvious, for us, that Poland will be destroyed even before England and France are able to come to her assistance. In this case Germany will cede to us a part of Poland… Our immediate advantage will be to takePoland all the way to the gates of Warsaw, as well as Ukrainian Galicia.
    Germany grants us full freedom of action in thePribaltic/threeBalticStates and recognizes our claim on Bessarabia. She is prepared to acknowledge our interests in Romania Bulgaria and Hungary.
     
    Yugoslavia remains an open question, the solution of which depends on the position taken by Italy. If Italy remains at the sides of Germany, then the latter will require that Yugoslavia be understood as her zone of influence, and it is also by Yugoslavia that she will obtain access to the Adriatic Sea. But if Italy does not go with Germany, then the latter will depend on Italy for her access to the Adriatic Sea, and in this case Yugoslavia will pass into our sphere of influence.

    This in case that Germany would emerge victorious from the war. We must, however, envisage the possibilities that will result from the defeatas well as from the victoryof Germany. In case of her defeat, a Sovietization of Germany will unavoidably occur and a Communist government will be created. We should not forget that a Sovietized Germany would bring about great danger, if this Sovietization is the result of German defeat in a transient war. England and France will still be strong enough to seize Berlin and to destroy a Soviet Germany. We would be unableto come effectuallyto her assistance/to the aid of our Bolshevik comrades in Germany.

    Therefore, our goal is that Germany should carry out the war as long as possible so that England and France grow weary and become exhausted to such a degree that they are no longer in a position to put down a Sovietized Germany. 

    Our position is this. Maintaining neutrality and waiting for the right time, the USSR will presently assistGermanyeconomically and supply her with raw materials andprovisions. It goes without saying that our assistance should not exceed a certain limit;we must not send so much as to weaken our economy or the power of our army.
     
    At the same time we must carry on active Communist propaganda in the Anglo-French bloc, and predominantly in France.We must expect that in that country in times of war, the Party should quit the legal means of warfare and turn underground.We know that their work will demandmuch money/great sacrifices, but we mustagree without hesitating to these sacrifices/our French comrades will not hesitate. Their first task will be to decompose and demoralize the army and the police. If this preparatory work is fulfilled properly, the safety of Soviet Germany will be assured, and this will contribute to the Sovietization of France.

    For the realization of these plans it is essential that the war continue for as long as possible, and all forces, which we have available in Western Europe and the Balkans, should be directed toward this goal.

    Now let us consider the second possibility, a German victory. Some think that this would confront us with a serious danger.There is some truth in this, but it would be a mistake to regard the danger as so close at hand or as great as has been proposed.
     
    If Germany should prove to be victorious, she will leave the war too weakened to start a war with the USSR within a decade at least.She will have to supervise the occupation of France and England and toprevent their restoration/restore herself. 

    In addition, a victorious Germany will have vast colonies/territories;the exploitation of those and their adaptation to German methods will also absorb Germanyduring several decades.

    Obviously, this Germany will be too busy elsewhere to turn against us. There is one additional thing that will strengthen our safety. In a conquered France, the French Communist Party will always be very strong.A Communist revolution will unavoidably break out, and we will be able to exploit the situation and to come to the aid of France and make her our ally. In addition, all the nations that fall under the "protection" of a victorious Germany will become our allies. This presents for us a broad field of action for the initiation of world revolution.

    Comrades,I have presented my considerations to you. I repeat thatit is in the interest of the USSR, the workers' homeland that a war breaks out between the Reich and the capitalist Anglo-French bloc. It is essential for us/Everything should be done so that it drags out as long as possible with the goal of weakening both sides. For this reason, it is imperative that we agree to conclude the pact proposed by Germany, and then work in such a way that this war, once it isdeclared, will be prolonged maximally. We must strengthen oureconomic/propaganda work in the belligerent countries, in order to be prepared when the war ends.

    (For the original text published in Revue de Droit International, see Stalin’s August 1939 Speech, French version; and for the version published in Novyi Mir, see Stalin’s August 1939 Speech, Russian version. The essence of the speech agrees with the arguments presented in the circular published in the Svenska Pressen, Helsinki, on 8 September 1939, see Stalin's politburo explains Ribbentrop pact.)


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                On this date, August 19, 1979, Pol Pot and Ieng Sary was sentenced to death in absentia in the People's Revolutionary Tribunal. I will post information about the event from Wikipedia.


    People's Revolutionary Tribunal
    The People's Revolutionary Tribunal was a tribunal established by the People's Republic of Kampuchea in 1979 to try the Khmer Rouge leaders Pol Pot and Ieng Saryin absentia for genocide.


    LEFT TO RIGHT: Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Joseph Stalin [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/May-2011/Current-Events-Death-of-a-Terrorist.aspx]
    Trial and verdict

    The tribunal began seven months after the overthrow of Khmer Rouge's Democratic Kampuchea and was staffed by both Cambodian and international lawyers. The tribunal was held at Phnom Penh's Chaktomuk Theatre and transcripts of the proceedings were made available in Khmer, French and English. The court heard testimony from 39 witnesses over five days. The verdict, handed down on August 19, 1979, found the two leaders of the Khmer Rouge guilty of genocide, sentenced them to death and ordered the confiscation of their property.

    Pol Pot meets Hitler & Stalin in hell! [PHOTO SOURCE: http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=13753&l=en]
    Defense
    Perceptions of the trial

    At that time many Western countries led by the United States dismissed the People's Republic of Kampuchea as a puppet of Vietnam and the tribunal as a show trial.

     

    Ieng Sary, centre with cap, in 1977. It is estimated that a quarter of Cambodia's population were murdered or perished during the Khmer Rouge's years in power. Photograph: Documentation Centre of Cambodia/AFP
    After the trial

    Ieng Sary was granted a royal pardon by King Norodom Sihanouk in 1996 in exchange for his defection to the government. Pol Pot died in 1998 shortly after he was placed in house arrest by his deputy Ta Mok.






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               On this date, 22 August 1948, Josef Bühler was executed by hanging in Krakow, Poland. I will post information about him from Wikipedia.


    Josef Bühler (middle) in May 1941
    Born
    16 February 1904
    Bad Waldsee, German Empire
    Died
    22 August 1948 (aged 44)
    Kraków, Poland
    Cause of death
    Execution
    Occupation
    Nazi legal officer
    Criminal penalty
    Death by hanging

    Conviction(s)
    Crimes against humanity.


    Josef Buhler
    In office
    20 January 1942 – 6 March 1942
    (Conference Held Two Meetings)

    Josef Bühler(also referred to as Joseph Buehler) (16 February 1904 – 22 August 1948) was a secretary and deputy governor to the Nazi-controlled General Government in Kraków during World War II.

    Josef Bühler

    Background

    Bühler was born in Bad Waldsee into a Catholic family of 12 children, his father being a baker. After obtaining his degree in law he would come to work under Hans Frank, a legal advisor to Adolf Hitler and NSDAP, and a member of the Reichstag.

    Nazi career

    Hans Frank was appointed Minister of Justice for Bavaria in 1933. Bühler became a member of NSDAP on 1 April 1933, according to his own testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, and was appointed administrator of the Court of Munich. In 1935 he became district chief attorney.


    In 1938 Hans Frank, now Reich Minister without portfolio, put him in charge of his cabinet office. After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in September 1939, Frank was appointed Governor-General for the occupied Polish territories and Bühler accompanied him to Kraków to take up the post of State Secretary of the General Government, also serving as Frank's deputy. He was given the honorary rank of SS-Brigadeführer by SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler around this time.

    Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution

    Bühler attended the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942 as the representative from the Governor-General's office. During this conference – which discussed the imposition of the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question in the German Sphere of Influence in Europe'– Bühler stated to the other conference attendees the importance of solving 'the Jewish Question in the General Government as quickly as possible'.

     

    The 15 Attendees of the Wannsee Conference [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.deathcamps.org/reinhard/wannsee/att.html]
    Post war

    After the war, Bühler testified on Frank's behalf at the Nuremberg Trials. He was later extradited to Poland and tried before the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland for crimes against humanity, sentenced to death and the forfeiture of all property on 10 July 1948, and executed in Kraków. His death was announced 22 August by Polish authorities and noted in the New York Times the following day.

    In popular media

    Bühler played a major part in the 1992 alternate history novel Fatherland, written by Robert Harris. In Fatherland's alternate history, Nazi Germany continued to fight the Soviet Union well into the 1960s and had hopes of building an alliance with the United States. In this fiction, Bühler continued to serve in the General Government until 1951, when he was wounded by Polish resistance and was forced to retire. Bühler's main role in Fatherlandis that he was murdered by the Gestapo during April 1964 in an attempt to cover all traces of the Final Solution, which he, Bühler helped to instigate. The discovery of Bühler's corpse in the Havelat the beginning of the novel sparks the investigation by the protagonist Xavier March a major in the now peace-time SS police force. It is this investigation that leads to the discovery of the "final solution".

    In the 2001 HBO film Conspiracy, which portrayed the Wannsee Conference, Bühler was played by the British actor Ben Daniels.

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    On this date, August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland are divided between the two nations. I will post information about this historical event from Wikipedia and other links.


    Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signs the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, August 23, 1939; behind him are Richard Schulze-Kossens (Ribbentrop's adjutant), Boris Shaposhnikov (Generalstabschef der Roten Armee), Joachim von Ribbentrop, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Pavlov (Soviet translator). Alexey Shkvarzev (Soviet ambassador in Berlin), stands next to Molotov.
     

    Stalin and Ribbentrop at the signing of the Non-Aggression Pact, 23 August 1939
    The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotovand the Nazi German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, officially the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and also known as the Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact or Nazi–Soviet Pact, was a non-aggression pact signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939.

    The pact's publicly stated intentions were a guarantee of non-belligerence by either party towards the other and a commitment that neither party would ally itself to or aid an enemy of the other party. This latter provision ensured that Germany would not support Japan in its undeclared war against the Soviet Union along the Manchurian-Mongolian border, ensuring that the Soviets won the Battles of Khalkhin Gol.

    In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland into Nazi and Soviet "spheres of influence", anticipating potential "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany invadedPolandon 1 September 1939. After the Soviet-Japanese ceasefire agreement took effect on 16 September, Stalin ordered his own invasion of Poland on 17 September. Part of southeastern (Karelia) and Sallaregion in Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and parts of Romania (Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and the Hertza region).

    The pact remained in force until the German government broke it by invading the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.

    Of the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1940, the region around Białystok and a minor part of Galiciaeast of the San river around Przemyśl were the only ones returned to the Polish state at the end of World War II. Of all other territories annexed by the USSR in 1939–40, the ones detached from Finland (Karelia, Petsamo), Estonia (Ingrian area and Petseri County) and Latvia (Abrene) remained part of the Russian Federation, the successor state of the Soviet Union, after 1991. Northern Bukovina, Southern Bessarabia and Hertza remain part of Ukraine.


    The picture shows Hitler and Stalin and how they are drinking and cheering and acting all happy together, being the fact that it might have happened after Hitler and Stalin signed the Molotov Ribbentrop Europe treaty. [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.markville.ss.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/history/genocide/genocide_bloodlands_carolynb.html]

    The Government of the German Reich and The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

    Desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April, 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following Agreement:

    Article I

    Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other Powers.

    Article II

    Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third Power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third Power.

    Article III

    The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests.

    Article IV

    Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties, neither shall participate in any grouping of Powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party.

    Article V

    Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.

    Article VI

    The present Treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not advance it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this Treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years.

    Article VII

    The present treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The Agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.

    Secret Additional Protocol

    Article I

    In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party.

    Article II

    In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state, the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San.

    The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.

    In any event both governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.

    Article III

    With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterest in these areas.

    Article IV

    This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

    Moscow, August 23, 1939.

    For the Government of the German Reich v. Ribbentrop

    Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R. V. Molotov

    Microfilm copy of Secret Additional Protocol to Nazi–Soviet Pact


    The secret appendix to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact naming the German and Soviet spheres of interest. The document is signed by Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.


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                Twenty years ago on this date, August 24, 1993, a violent killer, David Edwin Mason was executed by the gas chamber in California. He was the second person put to death by that State since 1976.


    David Edwin Mason
    David Edwin Mason (December 2, 1956 – August 24, 1993) was an American serial killer who was executed in San Quentin's gas chamber in 1993. This marked the second execution in the state of California since 1967, and the last execution by gas chamber in that state. Mason killed four elderly people in 1980, his cellmate in 1982 and is suspected of murdering his male lover.

    Please go to this previous Blog Post to learn more about this serial killer.


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    Mike Huckabee


    Tyler Overman:Hi. This is Tyler Overman from Memphis, Tennessee. And I have a quick question for those of you who would call yourselves Christian conservatives. The death penalty, what would Jesus do?

    Cooper:Governor Huckabee?

    Huckabee:You know, one of the toughest challenges that I ever faced as a governor was carrying out the death penalty. I did it more than any other governor ever had to do it in my state. As I look on this stage, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person on this stage that's ever had to actually do it.

    Let me tell you, it was the toughest decision I ever made as a human-being. I read every page of every document of every case that ever came before me, because it was the one decision that came to my desk that, once I made it, was irrevocable.

    Every other decision, somebody else could go back and overturn, could fix if it was a mistake. That was one that was irrevocable.

    I believe there is a place for a death penalty. Some crimes are so heinous, so horrible that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes truly are beyond any other capacity for us to fix.

    (Applause)

    Now, having said that, there are those who say, "How can you be pro-life and believe in the death penalty?"

    Because there's a real difference between the process of adjudication, where a person is deemed guilty after a thorough judicial process and is put to death by all of us, as citizens, under a law, as opposed to an individual making a decision to terminate a life that has never been deemed guilty because the life never was given a chance to even exist.

    Cooper:Governor?

    Huckabee:That's the fundamental difference.

    (Applause)

    Cooper:I do have to though press the question, which -- the question was, from the viewer was? What would Jesus do? Would Jesus support the death penalty?

    Huckabee:Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office, Anderson. That's what Jesus would do.

    (Applause)

    Cooper:Congressman Tancredo, 30 seconds.

    Tancredo:The question is: What would Jesus do? Well, I'll tell you this. I would pray to him for the wisdom and the courage to do the right thing. And I believe that with prayer, he would give it to me.

    And I believe that justice was done in the situations that the governor has explained. And, as I say, I look to him for guidance in all those kinds of situations.

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    On this date, August 24, 1941 Hitler ordered the cancellation of the T4 programme. I will post information about this Involuntary Euthanasia Program (Adolf Hitler’s Directive) from Wikipedia and other links.



    This poster (from around 1938) reads: "60,000 Reichsmark is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too. Read '[A] New People', the monthly magazine of the Bureau for Race Politics of the NSDAP."
    Action T4(German: Aktion T4, pronounced [akˈtsi̯oːn teː fiːɐ]) was the name used after World War II for Nazi Germany's non-voluntary euthanasia programme under which physicians killed thousands of people who were "judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination". In October 1939 Hitler signed a "euthanasia decree" backdated to 1 September 1939 that authorized Phillipp Bouhler and Karl Brandt to carry out the programme of euthanasia (translated into English as follows):


    "Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. med. Brandt are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the competence of certain physicians, designated by name, so that patients who, on the basis of human judgment [menschlichem Ermessen], are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death [Gnadentod] after a discerning diagnosis."


    In addition to 'euthanasia' various other rationales for the programme have been offered, including eugenics, Darwinism, racial hygiene, and cost effectiveness.

    The programme officially ran from September 1939 to August 1941 during which 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centres located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. After the official termination of the programme physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under the program right up until the defeat of Germany in 1945. This 'unofficial' continuation of the Action T4 policies led to more than 200,000 additional deaths. In addition, technology that was developed under Action T4, particularly the use of lethal gas to effect large scale murder, was transferred to the medical division of the Reich Interior Ministry, along with transfers of personnel who had participated in the development of the technology. This technology, the personnel and the techniques developed to deceive victims were used in the implementation of industrial killings in mobile death vans and established extermination camps.

    The name T4 was an abbreviation of Tiergartenstraße 4, the address of a villa in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, which was the headquarters of the Gemeinnützige Stiftung für Heil- und Anstaltspflege (literally, "Charitable Foundation for Curative and Institutional Care").[11] This body operated under the direction of ReichsleiterPhilipp Bouhler, the head of Hitler's private chancellery, and Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler's personal physician. This villa was destroyed, but a plaque set in the pavement on Tiergartenstraße marks its location and historic significance.


    Language

    Euthanasia (from Greek: εὐθανασία; "good death": εὖ, eu; "well" or "good"– θάνατος, thanatos; "death") refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. Hitler's directive to create the programme uses the German term "Gnadentod" which translates to 'mercy death'.

    The Aktion T4 programme used the term 'euthanasia' as bureaucratic cover and in the minimal public relations efforts (see poster above) to invest what was essentially an outgrowth of eugenics with greater medical legitimacy. It is clear that little, if any of the killing, however, was done to alleviate pain or suffering on the part of the victims. Rather the bulk of the evidence, including faked death certificates, deception to the victims and to the victims families and widespread use of cremation indicates the killing was done solely according to the socio-political aims and beliefs of the victimizers.


    Hitler's order for the „Aktion T4“, which led to 70.000 people being killed.
    Background

    The T4 programme is thought to have developed from the Nazi Party's policy of "racial hygiene", the belief that the German people needed to be "cleansed" of "racially unsound" elements, which included people with disabilities. Historians consider the euthanasia programme as related to the evolution in policy that ordered the extermination of the Jews of Europe.

    Racial hygienist ideas and social Darwinismwere widespread in many western countries in the early 20th century. Emerging information about genetic diseases and conditions led people to think they could prevent their being passed on to future generations. The eugenics movement had many followers among educated people, being particularly strong in the United States. The idea of sterilising those carrying hereditary defects or exhibiting what was thought to be hereditary antisocial behaviour was widely accepted. The United States, Sweden, Switzerland and other countries also passed laws authorizing sterilization of certain classes of people. For example, between 1935 and 1975, Sweden sterilised 63,000 people on eugenic grounds.

    The policy and research agenda in racial hygiene and eugenics were actively promoted by Emil Kraepelin, a convinced social-Darwinist. The eugenic sterilization of persons diagnosed with (and viewed as predisposed to) schizophrenia was advocated by Eugene Bleuler who presumed racial deterioration because of mental and physical cripples in his Textbook of Psychiatry:


    The more severely burdened should not propagate themselves… If we do nothing but make mental and physical cripples capable of propagating themselves, and the healthy stocks have to limit the number of their children because so much has to be done for the maintenance of others, if natural selection is generally suppressed, then unless we will get new measures our race must rapidly deteriorate.


    Hitler's ideology had embraced the enforcement of "racial hygiene" from his early days. In his book Mein Kampf(1924), Hitler wrote:


    He who is bodily and mentally not sound and deserving may not perpetuate this misfortune in the bodies of his children. The völkische [people's] state has to perform the most gigantic rearing-task here. One day, however, it will appear as a deed greater than the most victorious wars of our present bourgeois era.


    The Nazis began to implement "racial hygiene" policies as soon as they came to power. The July 1933 "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring" prescribed compulsory sterilisation for people with a range of conditions thought to be hereditary, such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, Huntington's chorea and "imbecility". Sterilisation was also mandated for chronic alcoholism and other forms of social deviance. This law was administered by the Interior Ministry under Wilhelm Frickthrough special Hereditary Health Courts (Erbgesundheitsgerichte), which examined the inmates of nursing homes, asylums, prisons, aged-care homes, and special schools to select those to be sterilised.

    It is estimated that 360,000 people were sterilised under this law between 1933 and 1939. Within the Nazi administration, some suggested that the programme should be extended to people with physical disabilities, but such ideas had to be expressed carefully, given that one of the most powerful figures of the regime, Joseph Goebbels, had a deformed right leg. Philipp Bouhler was mobility-impaired as a result of war wounds to his legs. After 1937, the acute shortage of labour in Germany arising from the demands of the crash rearmament programme meant that anyone capable of work was deemed to be "useful" and thus exempted from the law. The rate of sterilisation declined.

    As a related aspect of the "medical" and scientific basis of this programme, the Nazi doctors took thousands of brains from euthanasia victims for research.


    Portrait of Karl Brandt as a defendant in the Medical Case Trial at Nuremberg. [Photograph #06231]

    Philipp Bouhler, Head of the T4 programme
    Implementation

    Although officially started in September 1939, Action T4 might have been initiated with a sort of trial balloon. In late 1938, Adolf Hitler instructed his personal physician Karl Brandt to evaluate a family's petition for the "mercy killing" of their blind, physically and developmentally disabled infant boy. The boy was eventually killed in July 1939. Hitler instructed Brandt to proceed in the same manner in similar cases. The Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses was established on 18 August 1939, three weeks after the killing of the mentioned boy. It was to prepare and proceed with the registration of ill children or newborns identified as defective. Secret killing of infants began in 1939 and increased after the war started. By 1941, more than 5,000 children had been killed.

    Hitler was in favour of killing those whom he judged to be "unworthy of life". In a 1939 conference with health minister Leonardo Conti and the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, a few months before the euthanasia decree, Hitler gave as examples of "life unworthy of life:" severely mentally ill people who he believed could only be bedded on sawdust or sand because they "perpetually dirtied themselves", or who "put their own excrement into their mouths, eating it and so on".

    Both his physician, Dr. Karl Brandt, and the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, testified after the war that Hitler had told them as early as 1933, at the time the sterilisation law was passed, that he favoured killing the incurably ill, but recognised that public opinion would not accept this. In 1935, Hitler told the Reich Doctors' Leader, Dr. Gerhard Wagner, that the question could not be taken up in peacetime: "Such a problem could be more smoothly and easily carried out in war", he said. He intended, he wrote, "in the event of a war radically to solve the problem of the mental asylums". The initiation of war also provided Hitler with the possibility of carrying out a policy he had long favoured.

    This issue assumed new urgency in wartime according to the Nazi regime. People with severe disabilities, even if sterilised, still needed institutional care. They occupied places in facilities which, during war, would be needed for wounded soldiers and people evacuated from bombed cities. They were housed and fed at the expense of the state, and took up the time of doctors and nurses. The Nazis barely tolerated this support in peacetime. Few supported care for such people in wartime, especially in the last years of World War II when conditions overall were so terrible in Germany. As a leading Nazi doctor, Dr. Hermann Pfannmüller, said: "The idea is unbearable to me that the best, the flower of our youth must lose its life at the front in order that feebleminded and irresponsible asocial elements can have a secure existence in the asylum".

    Even before the Nazis came to power, the German eugenics movement had an extreme wing, led by Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding. As early as 1920 Binding had advocated killing those with lives judged to be "life unworthy of life" (lebensunwertes Leben). Germany in the years after World War I was particularly susceptible to ideas of this kind. Darwinism was interpreted by people in the movement as justifying the nation's promotion of the propagation of "beneficial" genes and prevent the propagation of "harmful" ones. Lifton notes: "The argument went that the best young men died in war, causing a loss to the Volk of the best available genes. The genes of those who did not fight (the worst genes) then proliferated freely, accelerating biological and cultural degeneration". The government, the eugenicists argued, must intervene to prevent this.

    These views had gained ground after 1930, when the Depression caused sharp cuts in funding to state mental hospitals, creating squalor and overcrowding. Most German eugenicists were already strongly nationalist and anti-Semitic, and embraced the Nazi regime with enthusiasm. Many were appointed to positions in the Health Ministry and German research institutes. Their ideas were gradually adopted by the majority of the German medical profession, from which Jewish and communist doctors were soon purged.

    During the 1930s, the Nazi Party carried out a campaign of propaganda in favour of "euthanasia". The National Socialist Racial and Political Office (NSRPA) produced leaflets, posters and short films to be shown in cinemas, pointing out to Germans the cost of maintaining asylums for the incurably ill and insane. These films included The Inheritance (Das Erbe, 1935), The Victim of the Past (Opfer der Vergangenheit, 1937), which was given a major premiere in Berlin and was shown in all German cinemas, and I Accuse (Ich klage an, 1941), which was based on a novel by Dr Hellmuth Unger, a consultant for the child euthanasia program. Catholic institutions, which could be expected to resist the killing of their patients, were progressively closed and their inmates transferred to already overcrowded state institutions. There the squalid conditions provided further ammunition for campaigns in favour of euthanasia.

    Schönbrunn Psychiatric Hospital, 1934. Photo by SS photographer Friedrich Franz Bauer.
     

    Portrait of Viktor Brack as a defendant in the Medical Case Trial at Nuremberg. [Photograph ##07333], Porträt von Viktor Brack als Angeklagter im Nürnberger Ärzteprozess. [Fotografie#07333]

    Killing of children


    Extermination centres were established at six existing psychiatric hospitals: Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein. They played a crucial role in developments leading to the Holocaust.

    In the summer of 1939, the parents of a severely deformed child (identified in 2007 as Gerhard Kretschmar), born near Leipzig, wrote to Hitler seeking his permission for their child to be put to death. Hitler approved this and authorized the creation of the Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses (Reichsausschuss zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden), headed by Karl Brandt, his personal physician, and administered by Herbert Linden of the Interior Ministry and SS-Oberführer Viktor Brack. Brandt and Bouhler were authorized to approve applications to kill children in similar circumstances, though Bouhler left the details to subordinates such as Brack and SA-OberführerWerner Blankenburg.

    This precedent was used to establish a programme of killing children with severe disabilities; the 'guardian' consent element soon disappeared. From August 1939, the Interior Ministry began registering children with disabilities, requiring doctors and midwives to report all cases of newborns with severe disabilities. Those to be killed were identified as "all children under three years of age in whom any of the following 'serious hereditary diseases' were 'suspected': idiocy and Down syndrome (especially when associated with blindness and deafness); microcephaly; hydrocephaly; malformations of all kinds, especially of limbs, head, and spinal column; and paralysis, including spastic conditions". The reports were assessed by a panel of medical experts, of whom three were required to give their approval before a child could be killed.

    The Ministry used various deceptions to gain consent from parents or guardians, particularly in Catholic areas, where parents were generally uncooperative. Parents were told that their children were being sent to "Special Sections" for children, where they would receive improved treatment. The children sent to these centres were kept for "assessment" for a few weeks and then killed by injection of toxic chemicals, typically phenol; their deaths were recorded as "pneumonia". Autopsies were usually performed, and brain samples were taken to be used for "medical research." This apparently helped to ease the consciences of many of those involved, since it gave them the feeling that the children had not died in vain, and that the whole programme had a genuine medical purpose.

    Once war broke out in September 1939, the programme adopted less rigorous standards of assessment and a quicker approval process. It expanded to include older children and adolescents. The conditions covered also expanded and came to include


    "various borderline or limited impairments in children of different ages, culminating in the killing of those designated as juvenile delinquents. Jewish children could be placed in the net primarily because they were Jewish; and at one of the institutions, a special department was set up for 'minor Jewish-Aryan half-breeds'".


    At the same time, increased pressure was placed on parents to agree to their children's being sent away. Many parents suspected what was really happening, especially when it became apparent that institutions for children with disabilities were being systematically cleared of their charges, and refused consent. The parents were warned that they could lose custody of all their children, and if that did not suffice, the parents could be threatened with call-up for "labour duty". By 1941, more than 5,000 children had been killed. The last child to be killed under Action T4 was Richard Jenne on 29 May 1945 in the children's ward of the Kaufbeuren-Irsee state hospital in Bavaria, Germany, more than three weeks after troops from the U.S. had occupied the town.

    Killing of adults

    Gassing

    Technology and Personnel Transfer

    Victim numbers

    Opposition

    Church action

    Postwar legacy

    The Doctors' Trial

    Others involved in the programme

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                On this date, September 1, 1981, Adolf Hitler’s Chief Architect, Albert Speer passed away. I will post information about him from Wikipedia and other links.  

     

    Albert Speer in 1933.