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August 10, 2009

The Story Chabad Doesn't Want You To Hear: An Interview With Historian Bryan Mark Rigg

Admiral Wilhelm Canaris Chabad wants the head of Nazi Germany's Military Intelligence to be granted Righteous Gentile status by Yad Vashem.

Here is a no holds barred interview conducted this evening with the historian who wrote the groundbreaking book on the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe's rescue from the Reich:

If the above player doesn't work for you, right click to download.

The Book Published By Yale University Press: Rescued From The Reich.

Other books by Bryan Mark Rigg.

Chabad's Bid To Make Admiral Canaris a Righteous Gentile.


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I just read this book on my Kindle and was shocked at how Lubavitch modifies history (kind of like the North Koreans) to present their accursed cult leader as a flawless human being incapable of making mistakes.

This book is definitely worth reading for those Lubavitcher "chassid'im" who are not totally indoctrinated into this hellish cult. It seems that Joseph Schneerson shed a lot of crocodile tears over the fate of European Jewry, but did little to attempt saving some of their lives. I'm glad though that he was so concerned over the fate of his books, dishes and silverware.

Shmarya, you interview link does not work. Do you know what is the problem?

I don't know. It works for me.

I posted a link below the audio player for the mp3 file. Click that. It will work for sure.

"(kind of like the North Koreans)"
indeed, though they preceed the NoKor's
they possibly invented the trade and passed it on to the stalinists. :-)

I changed the audio player. It should work now.

Thank you Shmarya. This is an amaizing interview.

Maybe I'm not understanding something here. I don't see what is objectionable about putting Wilhelm Canaris as a righteous gentile.

He was the one who made the various decisions about whether to save this group of Jews and what effort to put into the task.

He also was martyred as being part of the Von Stauffenberg group who attempted to assasinate Hitler.

Just because he saved a self-important and self-serving Jew (J.I. Schneerson) who committed unrighteous acts once he was safe in the U.S. does not make Canaris's participation any less important or heroic.

Shmarya, Perhaps your disdain for naming Canaris as a righteous gentile is colored by your understandable distaste for the cowardly and foolish acts perpetrated by J.I. Schneerson and his wicked son-in-law (setting himself up as a false messiah etc) after the rescue?

A Righteous Gentile in Yad Vashem classification has to:

1. Save at least one Jew

2. Do so at extreme risk to himself (and, often, others).

Canaris doesn't fit that bill.

it is inserting, the ultra orthodox seem to attack the people that help them either in this story or satmer who was saved my Zionist and them went on to hate them

it is inserting, the ultra orthodox seem to attack the people that help them either in this story or satmer who was saved my Zionist and them went on to hate them

Did Oscar Schindler save Jews at extreme risk to himself? In the Spielberg movie, it seemed that Schindler's life and liberty were never ask risk. He always seemed to be able to ingratiate himself and stay on good terms with those who persecuted the Jews and therefore was able to save his Jews by means of smooth talking etc.

Reading the Rigg book, it seems that Canaris and his charges in the Abwehr organization had to use the same amount of gentle deception and "pulling strings" that Oscar Schindler did in order to accomplish his task of saving the Schneerson clan.

Shmarya, sorry all that shit happened to you, however, their action make sense.

people who have a very strong believe system, when confronted with evidence that maybe their believe system is wrong. will not change their believe, they will attack, make up stories what ever.

So as they say it not you its them.

This is why they the frum go to great lengths and bazaar excuse and conspiracy when confronted with truth that clashes with their believes.

You I and others that are secular our whole existence is not based on a believe so we can change if needed or evidence proofs others. we do not not have as much invested in out believes they have everything invested in their believes.

I feel sad for them.

On a side note I have officially been labeled an abekores on Vin. Since i said we have evolved since bible times that we no long have slaves and go out and kill during wars man woman children animal babies.
The answer was is that it is false pity, secular pity since god says otherwise. If hashme said you need not pity you need not pity. Of course I answered your version of how to interpert certain things in the torah.

wonder if they will take my post anymore.

PS for those who say my writing is bad I will use the unversail excuse.

I went to black hat

How about Eichmann as a righteous gentile?
He saved the holy Satmar Rebbe and 1200 more on Kasztner train. Canaris only saved one person (and his entourage).
I think Satmar hassidim should start a campaign.

Did Oscar Schindler save Jews at extreme risk to himself?

Schindler risked his life.

Canaris – at least in the case of the rescue of the Lubavitcher Rebbe – did not.

Reader –

It was 1600 plus, not 1200.

Eichmann did it to get truck and supplies from the Allies. He murdered millions of Jews – including hundreds of thousands while the Kasztner train was headed to safety.

Canaris was, at least, not actively involved in the murder of Jews.

Read the biography of Wilhelm Canaris on WikiPedia and you'll see that he was responsible for the saving of hundreds of Jewish lives in addition to that of Schneerson and his entourage (and his pots and pans).

Canaris's biography is a very heroic story of a very principled man who risked his life many times in order to overthrow the Nazi regime. In addition to the famed conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, this man Canaris is emerging as one of my new heroes thanks to Rigg's book.

I think that despite the unrighteousness of Chabad's self-serving petitioning, Wilhelm Canaris really does merit recognition as a great and unusual figure during the Nazi era.

I think the story is more complicated than presented there.

Canaris saved Jews after it was clear to him that Hitler was destroying Germany and had to be overthrown.

He really didn't do much before that.

In other words, what he did, he did – at least in significant part, I'd say – to both ingratiate himself with the Allies and to repair Germany's stained image.

to M. Wisler

if that is true then you can make a case

How about Eichmann as a righteous gentile?
He saved the holy Satmar Rebbe and 1200 more on Kasztner train. Canaris only saved one person (and his entourage).
I think Satmar hassidim should start a campaign.

Posted by: Reader | August 10, 2009 at 01:33 PM

never to many uncomfortable questions would arise and the satmer rebbie will look like a self serving soul that I think he was

M. Wisler –

The Wikepedia source for that figure is an Ha'aretz article that mentions Canaris in passing and does not refer to hundreds saved.

Likewise, the Virtual Jewish Library source for the figure is another website that does not cite a source.

Canaris did save Jews – perhaps even 500 – but he did so for complicated reasons that really don't fit with the Righteous gentile profile.

The best solution would be to have a monument for 'all the rightious gentiles that saved 1 or more Jew'..whenever..where ever. Than people can interpretate it for themselves ,which they will do anyway and this way we can't forget anybody that otherwise wont be mentioned at all...
Something like the 'unknown soldier'..
Controversies will excist anyway .
And in forming out opinion on a potential candidate we cannot rely on sources like wikipedia etc..only because many times their info is laughable (to say the least..).
One should do deep research on every subject (most will take the easy way out to suit themselves..) so like SEYMOUR wrote :

'This is why they the frum go to great lengths and bazaar excuse and conspiracy when confronted with truth that clashes with their believe..'

May I add to that also the NON-frum/religious. Everyone has his own interest...

Seymour, if you were attacked on VIN, then you are MY hero, and I will enshrine you in the WSC Pantheon of Righteous Jews.

Don't worry about your writing style; it flows like sweet poetry. Better to have good content and faulty syntax, than the other way around.
You can always take a course in your spare time.

There's just something very discomforting about a 'righteous gentile' or whatever heroic title someone wants to give this guy, wearing a nazi uniform. Perhaps he can fall into an 'also ran' category, along with others of dubious merit, for which a monument can exist, as suggested by Dorian.

Shmarya wrote:
.."Canaris did save Jews – perhaps even 500 – but he did so for complicated reasons that really don't fit with the Righteous gentile profile...

Evenso, Shmarya, imagine he saved your grandfather; because of that your father was born and so were you. You live to see your kids and grandkids etc..etc..
Clearly he saved a life and therefore..a world as we say..
Than left is WHY did he do it..WHERE..HOW?
Was he himself at risk..?
But that is not limited only to those wearing a (nazi) uniform.
A friend's parents were saved in Holland by the underground. They were hidden with farmers.Were these farmers at risk: YES because they and their whole family would have been shot right away if discovered by the Germans...Did they save one or more Jews? YES...
But some of these farmers also 'kept' the gold/silver etc..that was given to take care for by 'their Jews'.
Gentile? YES...Rightious? Who fits the bill really? What were his/her reasons to rescue really? We may never know...

I say again: ONE monument for all those that saved Jews. Is there already a monument for Jews that saved Jews...?

Would it be so wrong to classify the number of Chabad and Hasids in the shoah differently from the number of Jews? As in 6 minus the number of Hasids?

I know this may seem radical but I'm Jewish and just because the Germans confused my people with these chabad hasids doesn't mean we have to replicate that confusion.

Shmarya, Why would you treat the Chabad Chasids different from other Jews? In other words, Chabad may be pushing the right action based on the wrong reasons (putting to much emphasis on Chabad leadership). The bottom line is that this man saved Jews, by putting his own life at risk,
From http://www.deathcamps.info/Canaris/new_page_3.htm

The rescue of five hundred Dutch Jews by Abwehrstelle den Haag in May 1941 .. would have been impossible without the Admiral's consent .. Even in late summer 1942 Canaris had mounted an audacious rescue operation by securing exit permits for twelve elderly Berlin Jews .."

When and where did ernst bloch die ?

Shmarya, Seymour,
What if Hitler saved a few Jews somehow, would it justify glorifying him or thinking of him as a nicer person? It might have lowered the roasting temperature for him in hell but it wouldn't transform him into a tzadik.
The reason Chabad is doing it is because Canaris saved THE REBBE. If he saved several thousand other Jews but not THE REBBE, he wouldn't be worthy in their eyes.
Besides, why saving Jews seems to be so much more important (I am not saying it's unimportant - Jews were being exterminated) than saving gentiles (like, for example, almost a million ethnic Serbs who were exterminated in wartime Croatia) , and saving THE REBBE - so much more important than saving some unknown Jew?

You also have to take into account the dates. After the battle of Stalingrad had ended on Februar 27th, 1943, and it became increasingly clear that Germany had lost the war, a few people with blood on their hands decided to create a record for themselves so they wouldnt have to hang after the war.

About the logistics of "hiding Jews".
The people who were hidden had to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, have their laundry done at least occasionally, there were food shortages/rationing throughout the war. If there were small children there were additional dangers of them attracting attention by making loud noises, or running into the street. Moreover, the population of Europe before the war was generally poor to start with.
Therefore, Jews who had money stood a better chance of being saved than the ones who didn't, for the simple reason that if both the host and the guest family didn't have money they would have starved together.
Even when the Jews could contribute, there was a question of living space and of nosy neighbors who might notice the larger amount of groceries coming in, etc. and report them to the Germans.
So while the motives of some rescuers might not have been pure (we don't know), they did largely deserve the money.

I am not an expert on the history here (so rely on historians), but this guy's actions to save Jews began in 1941. This is different than someone whose actions began after Stalingrad.

As I said before, Chabad's motivation was questionable (saved the Rebbe). However, in my opinion (with the limited historical knowledge that I have), they (Chabad) made the right decision for the wrong reason. Read the link I posted earlier. It is pretty compelling, if accurate.

PLEASE. He was the head of Nazi Intelligence. It is a stain that cannot be removed. The whole idea is so distasteful, I think Chabad has finally lost it. It's even worse than thinking that the rebbe is still alive.

Jerome –

The link you posted cites no sources.

It is completely devoid of context.

Canaris did things at various times to help Jews – but he did them in ways that had other ends, as well.

Listen to Rigg.

What's the difference between Hitler and Shmarya, they both hate Jews vehemently?

Shmarya!! Answer..the Rebbe himself is talking to you my dear!

Here is a more concrete reference. In the book, "On the road to the wolf's lair" By Theodore S. Hamerow published in 1997. The quote is as follows, ' "Never a rapid anti-Semite, he in fact tried on a few occasions to help the victims of Nazi bigotry at considerable risk to himself. In the spring of 1941, for instance, he approved a plan to send some five hundred Dutch Jews abroad, ostensibly as a means of "infiltrating secret agents into South America." This incident contributed to his temporary suspension from the position of head of military counterintelligence.'

Jerome –

The risk was not as serious as you think. He wasn't in real danger of death, for example.

Past that, Canaris was dealing with various foreign intelligence services and did things to get things.

As good as saving those Jews was, it is far closer to what Eicchmann did with Kasztner's train than it is to a German or Pole who hid Jews in his attic.

Found these quotes on the site Soller linked to (look at the page on Schindler)
(BTW it quotes the author of a book):

"Schindler joined The German military intelligence, Abwehr, headed by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, in the autumn 1938..."

..."Schindler was highly esteemed by Admiral Canaris - a fact that was to play a decisive role later in the war for Schindler, when he needed all his contacts to save his Schindler-Jews."

Interesting in light of what's been said about Canaris. Seems Canaris's approval was crucial to Schindler's rescues.

BTW Reader, Caanris was head of military intelligence, not the overall haed of Nazi intelligence.

Canaris seemed primarily interested in saving Germany via negotiated surrender.
I don't see how rescuing jews could help achieve that goal - why would he think it would appease the allies when FDR and Churchill showed little interest in saving jews.

My main criticism here of your position is the same as my criticism of Chabad. Chabad is doing this because the Rebbe was saved. If Hitler himself saved the Rebbe, I fear that there would be some elements in Chabad that might want to declare him a righteous gentile. However, I believe that you are not open to the possibility of Canaris not being what he seems because Chabad is pushing this. I am not a historian, but am willing to consider that possibility. In summary, Chabad may be doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

But that doesn't seem to be true, as Rigg notes.

The following article about Schindler from a 1994 Arlington, Virginia newspaper discussed how Schindler worked closely with Canaris to leak information about concentration camps to the US in 1941. In this situation, why was Schindler any more or less righteous than Canaris, who enabled his actions and ultimately took an even greater risk? http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=972&dat=19940713&id=XiwWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FxoEAAAAIBAJ&pg=691,2842513

Because Canaris wasn't taking the same risk that Schindler was.

Because Canaris did it for many reasons, only one of which involved saving Jews.

Because Schindler went on to take far greater risks and Canaris – at least with regard to saving Jews – did not.

The Rigg interview discusses Canaris and the rescue of YY Schneerson but not Canaris's other rescues of jews. I agree the Schneerson rescue could have mainly ulterior motives (being that there was a high level US request for Schneerson) and was not very hazardous to Canaris.

But the other rescues seem different.
From what little I've had time to read:
1) It seems there's evidence
Canaris had good contacts w/ the British.
2)The St Louis episode in 1939 showed FDR was unlikely to be swayed by someone saving jews.
And if cought rescuing jews Canaris would be in danger of an investigation that might uncover his efforts to depose Hitler.

So it could be argued he put his life (and certainly his goal of saving germany) at risk.

BTW I'm not saying he *should* be in Yad Vashem - that would require much more research, only that I see it as a possibility.

Too bad his execution wasn't delayed by a month - he might have survived and had some interesting stories.

From Jewish virtual library

do not know if this meets the requirements but he does seem a very complex fellow who tried to minimize the damage but was loyal to Germany to a fault

Admiral Canaris was an eye-witness to the killing of civilians in Poland. At Bedzin, SS troops pushed 200 Jews into a synagogue and then set it aflame. They all burned to death. Canaris was shocked. On 10 September, 1939, he had traveled to the front to watch the German Army in action. Wherever he went, his intelligence officers told him of an orgy of massacre. Two days later, he went to Hitler’s headquarters train, the Amerika, in Upper Silesia, to protest. He first saw General Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the Armed Forces High Command. “I have information,” Canaris told Keitel, “that mass executions are being planned in Poland and that members of the Polish nobility and the clergy have been singled out for extermination.”

Canaris told Keitel, “The world will one day hold the Wehrmacht responsible for these methods since these things are taking place under its nose.” But Keitel urged Canaris to take the matter no further.

Soon the Vatican began to receive regular, detailed reports of Nazi atrocities in Poland. The information had been gathered by agents of the Abwehr by order of Canaris, who passed them on to Dr. Josef Muller, a devout Catholic and a leading figure in the Catholic resistance to Hitler. And Muller got the reports safely to Rome.

Canaris sent another of his colleagues, Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, on a flight to Sweden to meet secretly with Bishop Bell of Chichester. Bonhoeffer told Bell of the crimes his nation was committing, and assured Bell of growing resistance in Germany to such acts.

in addition (I will try to do a little research the many books I have)

But even he is eligible (I do not think so since he was to involved in the military, and intelligence, that is for example saying a hit man for the mafia was a good guy since he tip off some of his contract hits so they can get away, but killed 100's) The chabad reason is outrageous and shows how delusional they are and total lack of reality check. Since if the whole story gets out, the rebbie looks really bad and or evil. But I guess not to them, since he was infallible.

a biy More

The Nuremburg Trials reveal Canaris’s strenuous efforts in trying to put a stop to the crimes of war and genocide committed in Russia by Reinhard Heydrich’s Einsatzgruppen forces. It is also revealed that Canaris prevented the killing of captured French officers in Tunisia just as he saved hundreds of Jews during the war.

In one instance he saved seven Jews from being sent to a concentration camp and certain death by going personally to Himmler, complaining that his Gestapo was arresting his agents. The seven were turned over to the Abwehr and taught a few codes, then smuggled out of Germany.

"Canaris seemed primarily interested in saving Germany via negotiated surrender.
I don't see how rescuing jews could help achieve that goal - why would he think it would appease the allies when FDR and Churchill showed little interest in saving jews."
Posted by: JewishCynic | August 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM
FDR and Churchill would not be the ones judged at Nueremberg when Germany lost the war. There are people, especially the ones involved with intelligence who work every side of the question. This is their way of surviving and thriving. And people in power appreciate this kind of chameleon abilities because it shows a total lack of principles. We don't know why Canaris did what he did but in my opinion, any member of Nazi elite is very far from righteousness of any kind, and campaigning for him is crass and incredibly insensitive to anyone who survived the war.

Heinz Guderian was also almost certainly a double agent working for the Allies. He was just about the only high-ranking member of the German General Staff who was acquitted of all charges by the Allies.

Shamya, who claims to be astute observer of Chabad misses the most obvious again. No official Chabad entity, be it Agudas Chassidie Chabad in Israel, Beit Din Rabbonie Chabad in Israel, nor the American groups like Aguch, Merkos etc. have supported this effort. Its a lone wolf, a unofficial Chabad historian, Rabbi Kamnenesky who lives in Kfar Chabad. He sent a letter on the stationary of hte ciyt council of Kfar Chabad in support of this idea. His claim was "adviser to the council". Apparently the locals like the idea and endorsed it.
The media not understanding that the city council is responsible for roads, sewers, buildings etc. grabbed the story.
In fact many of criticism in the interview with Riggs is on mark. Canaris was involved with a noble deed. His motives were clearly to keep in the good graces of the then neutral US Government. The real heroe is Bloch.
A Lubavitcher

Hey! You self-centered yid bastards ever saved a gentile?
I am, sick of your whining. You evil scum!

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