Today in History – Nazi False Flag Attack

Posted: August 31, 2015 in Today in History
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On August 31, 1939, German SS operatives perpetrated a false flag attack to create an excuse for invading Poland. 

Most of what we know of the attack, known as the Gleiwitz Incident, was revealed in an affidavit by SS-Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks during the Nurumberg Trials. Naujocks admitted that he organized the event under orders from Heinrich Müller, chief of the Gestapo. 

The German radio station, Slender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Germany (part of Poland since 1945) was attacked late at night by men wearing complete polish uniforms, led by Alfred Naujocks. After the invaders took the station, an anti-German message was broadcast in Polish. The content of the broadcast is uncertain and disputed today. 

Afterwards, a body was provided as evidence to local police and press that the attack was the work of anti-German, Polish saboteurs. The body belonged to Franciszek Honiok, a 43-year-old unmarried German Silesian Catholic farmer. Honiok was a known Polish sympathizer. He was not, however, a part of the assault on the station. In reality, he had been arrested by the Gestoapo the previous day. He was dressed in the uniform and murdered via lethal injection by his captors. He was then taken to the scene and shot multiple times and left dead. 

Honiok was not alone, several other prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp were kept for this purpose. These patsies were referred to by the code name Konserve, or “canned goods” in English. 

During the Nuremberg Trials Erwin von Lahousen stated that his division of the Abwehr (one of Germany’s intelligence gathering agencies) was ordered to procure the Polish uniforms, equipment and identification cards used in the operation. 

The Gleiwitz incident was a small part of a larger operation carried out by Abwehr and SS forces, dubbed Operation Himmler. It involved several other orchestrated attacks along the German-Polish border at the same time, designed to give the appearance of Polish aggression. 

Setting up the context for this false flag, Hitler had been claiming for months that Poland was organizing and tolorating the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland. Furthermore, on August 22nd Hitler reportedly told his generals, “I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. (Latin meaning “incident that leads to war”) Its credibility doesn’t matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth.”

The day following the Gleiwitz incident, Septmeber 1st, 1939, Germany launched operation Fall Weiss, the invasion of Poland. Though the incident gave Hitler his casus belli, it did not convince the international public. American correspondents came on the scene the next day but no neutral parties were allowed to investigate the incident in detail, leading to scepticism of Germany’s version of events. At any rate, Germany still invaded Poland and thrust Europe into the Second World War. If not for the Allied victory and the Nuremburg Trials we may have never learned the True Storey of what happened that night 76 years ago. 

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