Lutjens in Austin...

Anything about the crew, families, origins, etc.
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RF
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:50 am

wadinga wrote:RF,

I have read them both, and I can't see how the Wikipedia supports your observation.

This is the paragraph immediately above the Nuremberg Laws:
On April 1, 1933, the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses was observed throughout Germany. Only six days later, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service was passed, banning Jews from government jobs. It is notable that the proponents of this law, and the several thousand more that were to follow, most frequently explained them as necessary to prevent the infiltration of damaging, "alien-type" (Artfremd) hereditary traits into the German national or racial community (Volksgemeinschaft).[5] These laws meant that Jews were now indirectly and directly dissuaded or banned from privileged and superior positions reserved for “Aryan Germans”. From then on, Jews were forced to work at more menial positions, becoming second-class citizens or to the point they were "illegally residing" in Nazi Germany.
OK it's not gassing people in their millions but it is a racially motivated Law passed by the new German government dominated by Hitler after the passing of the Enabling Act . The Trades Unions are abolished in May, all other political parties in July, Germany leaves the League of Nations in October and a one party election gives the NSDAP 92% of vote in November 1933.
The State governments are abolished in January 1934, Himmler becomes Chief of the Gestapo in April, Roehm and 70 other SA leaders are executed without trial in June, and Hindenburg dies in August allowing Hitler to meld Chancellor and President into Fuehrer. The Fuehrer then requires all members of the armed forces to swear a personal oath of loyalty to him. In September the Nuremburg Rally is convened and Triumph of the Will is filmed and Gunter Lutjens is given command of the Karlsruhe on a prestigious "flag-waving" cruise to various parts of the world. It is a promotion of the New Germany to counteract the negative press generated by the afore-mentioned events. As such it is a highly political appointment. Gunter Lutjens gets the job.

According to the Canadian accounts, the Fuehrer's portrait is given the Nazi salute upon entry to the Wardroom, and all Officers (including the Captain?) give the Nazi salute even when the British National anthem is played at events ashore.

Who would make policy in the Karlsruhe except its Commander?

All the best

wadinga

All this is placing a supposition and literal interpretation of events which would require 100% perfect knowledge on the part of the officers and crew of this ship to endorse and actively support such policies. I repeat, until 1935 the anti-semitic pogroms were principally party led rather than state led, the party as you observed controlling the legislature.
Most of the men on the ship wouldn't know the fine detail of everything going on back home. Yes the ship was used for propaganda purposes. But I would suggest that the Canadian accounts require verification, as for one thing the nazi salute only became compulsory in the KM in August 1944, following on from the Bomb Plot on Hitler.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by wadinga » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:21 pm

RF,

We obviously are making a different interpretation here:
I repeat, until 1935 the anti-semitic pogroms were principally party led
Whereas the use of the word LAW in the phrase
the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service
means a government enacted Law, in the legal sense of Law, legally persecuting the Jews, for me :cool: People with Communist leanings had already been locked up which allowed Hitler to dominate the Reichtag and force through the Enabling Act to take total dictatorial control. Brownshirts replaced policemen allowing them to legally beat up and imprison communists, trade unionists, jews and anybody else they didn't like. Concentration camps were already established.

Reading sources like The Coming of the Third Reich Richard J Evans and The Third Reich by Michael Burleigh would seem to support my interpretation.

The same interpretations were made by Australian dockers and US students alike who protested against the 1933 cruise by Karlsruhe, as they realised it was a thinly disguised promotional tour for the New Fascist Germany seeking to appeal to expatriate Germans to either promote the Nazi creed in their new homes or entice them back to the Reich to beef up the Aryan gene pool. US demonstrations were so fierce, students were jailed for their actions.

When Lutjens was entrusted with the 1934 tour to South and North America it was against a backdrop of mounting international concern and condemnation over the savagery of the new dictatorship and about where the regime in Germany was going in terms of rearmament. The events I listed in the last post, including the slaughter of 77 (or 1000) SA opponents in the Night of the Long Knives all happened before Lutjens sailed. Newspapers and radio ensured everybody was aware of what was happening.

I don't know why we should need independent verification of the Canadian reports, tas o me they carry the ring of truth. They accept that Karlsruhe was invited by the Canadian Government and report things that happened subsequently. The San Antonio photo shows the Nazi salute for the Alamo dead.

I think we are all aware the Nazi Salute was made compulsory in the Kriegsmarine in 1944, I think there is plenty of evidence it was pretty compulsory in Karlruhe in 1934.

Can anybody provide text and hard evidence on Lutjens' protest against the Kristallnacht pogrom?

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:10 am

wadinga wrote: Can anybody provide text and hard evidence on Lutjens' protest against the Kristallnacht pogrom?

wadinga
Kennedy states in his book ''pursuit'' that ''Raeder carried the protests of Lutjens and Donitz'' over the Krystallnacht. Now Donitz did of course later join the NSDAP after he succeeded Raeder as KM C in C, but that was in changed circumstances and possibly a tactical pragmatic move than one borne of genuine conviction. Of course it may be that he changed his mind.

Reading Kennedy's description of Lutjen's background, there is nothing to support the character as portrayed by Karel Stepenack in the film ''Sink the Bismarck.'

Things are rarely as ''black and white'' as you portray wadinga.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by Herr Nilsson » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:39 pm

In the Lindemann biography there is a chapter about the Reichsmarine and the election of Hitler and his first years to be in power, which is interesting. We have to consider that Hitler was elected legally by the German people. Therefore there was no reason for German officers, who feel obligated to the German people, not to carry on like before. We also have to consider that the Reichsmarine was limited by the treaty of Versailles. Hitler promised the German re-armament and he did. That opened up undreamt-up possibilities for the officers. Lindemann for example dreamt of becoming commander of a battleship squadron some day.
The Anti-Semitism was considered as mostly harmless. From our point of view and our knowledge what happened this is almost unbelievable. But there was almost no effect from the “Wehrgesetz” from 1935 regarding the Aryan certificate to the Kriegsmarine. According to the biography only two officers had to leave. Backenkoehler for example, Luetjens brother in law, was allegedly not 100% Aryan, but this had no consequences for his career.
Membership in the NSDAP of German soldiers was suspended since 1935. They also did not have the right to vote.

The Nazi salute was depending on the headgear since 1937, probably 1934, if not earlier. Hats on = military salute, hats off = Nazi salute.

An excerpt from the “duty on board” regulation regarding the political activities of the commanding officer abroad:
Propaganda activities
German Warships accomplish their mission to achieve a good reputation for Germany in the world by flying the flag, proper look of the ship and blameless behaviour of the crew on land. Commanding officers of ships abroad have to restrain from any propagandistic promotion for Germany.
Regards

Marc

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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by lwd » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Herr Nilsson wrote:.... We have to consider that Hitler was elected legally by the German people. ...
My understanding of the events is somewhat different. I believe I've read that Hitler wasn't elected by the German people but was chosen to be Chancelor by the German parliment(?) as part of a coallition governement. It does still mean that he was the legal ruler of Germany at that point. From a legal stand point I'm not sure when his position would no longer have been "legal". The activities of Krystalnacht if known might have presented a legal reason to remove him although not necessarily the power to do so. It's an interesting question as to when what parts of his full agenda would or should have been visible to the various flag level officers of the German military.

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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:50 pm

Herr Nilsson wrote: We have to consider that Hitler was elected legally by the German people.
This is incorrect. Hitler was never elected to office.

He was appointed Reichschancellor on 30 January 1933 by President Paul von Hindenburg, acting on advice from Franz von Papen, who was specifically appointed vice Chancellor to keep Hitler under the thumb of the nationalist politicians and industrialists who wanted to use the nazies for their own ends.

Hitler was then later in 1933 voted full legislative powers for four years by the Reichstag. In 1937, 1941 and again in 1945 that prerogative was regranted.

Hitler became Head of State on 2 August 1934 on the death of President Hindenburg, again as a result of an ''agreement'' with Army generals and industrialists that he should do so. At that point Hitler was effective dictator. He was never elected to office and prior to the ''elections'' of November 1933 the NSDAP never had a majority of the popular vote.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:52 pm

lwd wrote: From a legal stand point I'm not sure when his position would no longer have been "legal". The activities of Krystalnacht if known might have presented a legal reason to remove him although not necessarily the power to do so.
All of Hitlers' actions within Nazi Germany were fully legal under German law because Hitler achieved his status by legal means. Strictly speaking, after 1934 Hitler was German Law.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by Herr Nilsson » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:00 am

RF and lwd you’re both right, of course. I wasn’t pedantic enough. Hitler wasn’t elected Reichskanzler directly, but the Reichstag and the Reichspraesident were elected by the German people. The NSDAP was the strongest party and widely accepted.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:11 am

Herr Nilsson wrote:RF and lwd you’re both right, of course. I wasn’t pedantic enough. Hitler wasn’t elected Reichskanzler directly, but the Reichstag and the Reichspraesident were elected by the German people. The NSDAP was the strongest party and widely accepted.
It was only the largest party from 1932. And in the second set of Reichstag elections in that year the NSDAP vote went down, reducing its number of deputies from 230 to 196.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by Herr Nilsson » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:14 am

The largest party in the German Bundestag today has 33,8 percent. So isn't this party widely accepted?
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:44 pm

Europe's countries have been leaded, in many cases, by goverments that are nor majority, but a coalition of lesser parties which was the way Germany has been ruled for several years now. Before Merkel there was a Social Democrat and Greens coalition. And I think that in Great Britain when Hitler started the war Chamberlain leaded a coalition too.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by wadinga » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:57 am

All,

Although this has veered off track a little, at least we are getting a good grip on the overheated, highly charged political environment from which Karlsruhe and her Commander set off on their mission in late 1934.
And in the second set of Reichstag elections in that year the NSDAP vote went down, reducing its number of deputies from 230 to 196.
True enough, but after the little matter of the Reichtag fire, the NSDAP number of representatives went up. Not enough for an outright majority, but then you can lock up some of the opposition before the vote, and flood the substitute auditorium with goons to browbeat the remainder and then you can get four years of power with no more debate or opposition.

When considering popular support, even after the excesses of the post Reichstag Fire witch hunt and the Night of the Long Knives slaughter without trial, Hitler took a plebiscite (referendum) in August 1934 where the German people had to endorse his melding of Chancellor and President into one supreme ruler. The answer was unequivocal. 95.7% of 45 million voters participated , and of those 89.93% said yes, which by implication accepted the actions of the past two years. 4.5 million said no and 870,000 spoiled their papers. Driven by fear, fooled by propaganda or just left with no viable alternatives, this still looks like popular support.

Midshipman Erich Topp, aboard Karlsruhe was quite clear about the propaganda objective of the tour, quoted in the Canadian document " made us representatives and ambassadors of the new Germany"

This contrasts with
Commanding officers of ships abroad have to restrain from any propagandistic promotion for Germany.
but then the timing is critical as to when this instruction was given. Does it refer to the Karlruhe and Emden missions or later when the Spanish War Neutrality Patrols were underway? The German Consul Seelheim, quoted for his racist rants in the Durflinger Canadian paper certainly thought propaganda was the main objective and was forthright in promoting Nazi ideals to any locals who might be receptive. Just before the previous Karlsruhe visit to Boston, another Consul placed a wreath featuring a swastika on Harvard's World War I memorial causing outrage and demonstrations. When Karlsruhe arrived MIT students staged a demonstration against the visit. The Nazi regime must have considered very carefully who would command the 1934 cruise.

I am still searching for any corroberation of Kennedy's statement on the Krystallnacht protest. It seems astonishing that the two most senior personnel in the Kriegsmarine would make such a high profile critiscism of the actions of the Party, and get away with it. Also was it only Lutjens who joined them, as he was a fair way down the pecking order at this stage or were there others? Hitler removed Generals like von Blomberg and von Fritsch and replaced them with Keitel and then Chief of Staff Ludwig Beck resigned, because they didn't approve of his actions (not specifically Krystallnacht) so senior men could be dispensed with.

All the best

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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by Herr Nilsson » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:50 pm

AFAIK you will find some details in Raeder's and Doenitz's memoirs.
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:20 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: .....And I think that in Great Britain when Hitler started the war Chamberlain leaded a coalition too.
The coalition you referred to was the idea of King George V in 1931. The idea then was that the economic crisis was so bad that it needed all the parties in Parliament to join forces to deal with the situation. The result, after a General Election, was a Labour Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer (Ramsey MacDonald and Philip Snowdon respectively) heading a Government with an overwhelming Conservative majority. The policies of this coalition were not surprisingly that of the Conservatives, using ''National Labour'' - a party with just 12 seats, of whom four of its members were in the Cabinet - as the figurehead. Not surprisingly the Labour Party refused to recognise this sham and disowned the ''National Labour'' rump. Similary the Liberal Party was split down the middle by the Coalition policies, leading to its almost self-destruction and electoral oblivion.
By the time Chamberlin became Prime Minister ''National Labour'' had virtually ceased to exist, and it was a Conservative Government in composition that called itself a ''National Government.'' It was very much more true Conservative than the coalition in Britain today. And today's government at least doesn't have the cheek to pretend it is a ''National Government.''
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Re: Lutjens in Austin...

Post by RF » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:30 am

Herr Nilsson wrote:The largest party in the German Bundestag today has 33,8 percent. So isn't this party widely accepted?
In Germany yes, because the largest party always in the past went into coalition with the Free Democrats, a third party with just over the 5% voting threshold for representation in the Bundestag. Essentially that mean't that the Free Democrats were almost permanently in government, you couldn't vote them out of office. Some democracy.

In Britain we usually have had governments achieving a majority in the House of Commons (the lower house and the one that matters) with just over 40% of the vote on a single non-transferable vote system (usually referred to as the ''first past the post'' system, an analogy drawn from horse racing on the flat). More recently the percentage has slipped lower and lower, as more political parties have emerged to reduce the Labour/Conservative duopoly of power. But it is still better than the German system, where you simply can't throw governments out of office.
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