D. Mr. Priebke, years ago you stated that you do not renegade your past. With your one hundred years, do you think the same?
D. What do you exactly mean by this?
Pribke. I chose to be myself.
D. So still today you feel National-Socialist.
Pribke. Loyalty to one’s past is something that has to do with our beliefs. This is the way I see the world, my ideals, what for us was the German Weltanschauung and still has to do with the sense of self-love and honor. The politic is another matter. National Socialism has disappeared with the defeat, and today would not have any chance to come back.
D. Of the vision of the world of which you speak anti-Semitism is also a part.
Pribke. If your questions are to gain knowledge of the truth is necessary to abandon the clichés:
Criticize does not mean that you want to destroy someone. In Germany since the early twentieth century was openly criticizing the behavior of the Jews. The fact that the Jews had accumulated in their hands an immense economic power and in consequence political, while representing a very small part in the proportion of the world population, it was considered unfair. It’s a fact that even today, if we take the thousand richest and most powerful people in the world, we must note that a considerable part of them are Jews, bankers or shareholders of multinational companies. In Germany, then, especially after the defeat of the First World War and the injustice of the Treaty of Versailles, Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe had caused some real disasters, with the accumulation of immense amounts of capital by these immigrants in a few years, while with the Weimar Republic the vast majority of the German people lived in high poverty. In that climate usurers were enriched and the sense of frustration against the Jews grew.
D. The one that Jews have practiced usury permitted by their religion, while being forbidden to Christians, it is a old story. What is true in your opinion?
Pribke. It is certainly not my idea. Just read Shakespeare or Dostoevsky to understand that similar problems with the Jews are actually existed historically, from Venice to St. Petersburg. This does not mean that the only time moneylenders were Jews. I made my the phrase of the poet Ezra Pound: “Between a loan shark Jew and a loan shark orphan I do not see any difference.”
D. For all this, do you justify anti-Semitism?
Pribke. No, look, this does not mean that among the Jews there aren’t decent people. Again, anti-Semitism means hatred, hate indiscriminately. I also in the last few years of my persecution, as an old man, deprived of liberty have always rejected the hate. I never wanted to hate, not even those who hated me. I speak only of the right of criticism and I am explaining the reasons. And I will say more: it must be considered that, for their particular religious reasons, a large proportion of Jews was considered superior to all other human beings. Identified himself in the “God’s Chosen People” of the Bible.
D. Even Hitler spoke of the Aryan race as superior.
Pribke. Yes, Hitler himself fell into the ambiguity of chasing this idea of superiority. This was one of the causes of errors with no return. However, bear in mind that certain racism was the norm in those years. Not only at the level of people’s minds, abut also at the level of governments and even legal systems. The Americans, having deported the people of Africa and having been slave states, continued to be racist, and in fact discriminated against blacks. The first defined racial Hitler’s laws did not restrict the rights of Jews more than those of blacks were limited in several U.S. states. Same thing for the people of India by the British, and the French, who did not behave very differently with the so-called subjects of their colonies. Not to mention the treatment suffered by ethnic minorities at that time in the former USSR.
D. So how things are got worse in Germany, according to you?
Pribke. The conflict has radicalized, has been growing. The German Jews, Americans, British and world Jewry on the one hand, against Germany who was on the other. Of course German Jews have come to be in an increasingly difficult position. The subsequent decision to enact very hard laws in Germany made life really difficult for the Jews. Then in November 1938, a Jew, named Grynszpan, in protest against Germany killed in France a counselor of our embassy, Ernest von Rath. It was followed by the famous “Night of Broken Glass”. Groups of demonstrators broke all over the Reich the shop owned by Jews. Since then, the Jews were considered only and only as enemies. Hitler after winning the election, he had at first encouraged them in every way to leave Germany.
Subsequently, in the climate of suspicion against the German Jews, caused by the war and boycotts and open conflict with the most important Jewish organizations worldwide, locked them in the camps, just as enemies. Of course, for many families, often without any fault, this was disastrous .
D. The fault therefore of what the Jews have suffered in your opinion would be the Jews themselves?
Pribke. The fault is a bit of all parties. Even allies who unleashed the Second World War against Germany following the invasion of Poland to claim territory where the strong German presence was subject to constant harassment . Territories placed under the Treaty of Versailles under the control of the infant Polish state. Against Stalin’s Russia and its invasion of the remaining part of Poland no one lifted a finger. Indeed, at the end of the conflict, officially born to defend independence of Poland by the Germans, was unceremoniously given all of Eastern Europe, including Poland, to Stalin.
D. So, politic aside, you married historical revisionist theories.
Pribke. I do not understand exactly what is meant by revisionism. If we talk of the Nuremberg trials of 1945 then I can tell you that it was an incredible thing, a big stage set up on purpose to dehumanize in front of the world public opinion the German people and its leaders. To rage the defeated now unable to defend themselves.
D. On what basis states this?
Pribke. What can you say about a self-appointed court hearing only the crimes of the vanquished and not those of the winners, where the winner is both prosecutor, judge, and the injured party and where the articles of crime had been specially created after the alleged offenses, just to condemn retrospectively? The same U.S. President Kennedy has condemned the process calling it a “disgusting” thing because “they had violated the principles of the U.S. Constitution to punish a defeated opponent”.
D. If you mean that the offense of crimes against humanity with which sentences have been raised at Nuremberg did not exist before it was challenged by the very international tribunal, it must be said, however, that the allegations related to these facts are however terrible.
Pribke. At Nuremberg the Germans were accused of the massacre of Katyn, then in 1990 Gorbachev admitted that they were the Russians accusers themselves, to kill twenty thousand Polish officers with a shot in the head in the Katyn forest. In 1992, Russian President Yeltsin also produced the original document containing the order signed by Stalin. The Germans were also accused of having made soap with the Jews. Samples of soap that ended up in U.S. museums, Israel and other countries. Only in 1990 a professor at the University of Jerusalem studied samples having to finally admit that it was a scam.
D. Yes, but the concentration camps are not an invention of the Nuremberg judges.
Pribke. During those terrible years of war, locked up in concentration camps civilians who were a threat to national security was a normal thing. In World War II have done this both the Russians that the U.S.. The latter in particular with the American people of oriental origin.
D. In America, however, in the concentration camps for Japanese ethnic populations there were no gas chambers!
Pribke. As I said, at Nuremberg were invented a multitude of charges, as for what to concentration camps there were gas chambers we are still waiting for the evidences. In the camps the prisoners worked. Many came from the camp for the job and you were back in the evening. The need to work force during the war is incompatible with the possibility that at the same time, somewhere in the camp, there were lines of people who were going to the gas chamber. The activity of a gas chamber is invasive in the environment, terribly dangerous even outside it, deadly. The idea of sending to death millions of people in this way, in the same place where other live and work without notice anything is crazy, hardly feasible also on a practical level.
D. But when do you heard for the first time the plan to exterminate the Jews and of the gas chambers?
Pribke. The first time I heard of things like the war was over, and I was standing in a English concentration camp, I was with Walter Rauff. We were both shocked. We could not absolutely believe in facts so horrible: gas chambers to exterminate men, women and children. I spoke with Colonel Rauff and other colleagues for days. Although we were all SS, everyone at our level with a particular position within the National Socialist apparatus, none of us had ever heard things like this. Do you think that years and years later I came to know that my friend and superior Walter Rauff, who had shared with me some piece of hard bread in the concentration camp, he was accused of being the inventor of a mysterious gassing-truck. Things like that can think only those who have not known Walter Rauff.
D. And all the evidences of the existence of the gas chambers?
Pribke. In the camps the gas chambers were never found, except the one built after the war by the Americans at Dachau. Evidences that can be defined reliable on the historical or juridical plan about the gas chambers there are none, beginning with those of some of the last commanders and leaders of camps, such as that of the best known of the commanders of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höß. Apart from the great contradictions of his testimony, before laying in Nuremberg he was tortured and after testimony, by order of the Russians, they closed his mouth killing him by hanging. For these witnesses, considered valuable by the victors, the physical and psychological violence in case of lack of condescension were unbearable; were also threats of revenge on family members. I know from personal experience of my imprisonment and that of my colleagues, as, by the winners, in the concentration camps were extracted confessions from the prisoners, which often do not even know the English language. Then the treatment of prisoners in the camps of the Russian Siberia is well known by now, you had to sign any type of confession application, and that’s it.gl
D. So for you those millions of deaths are an invention.
Pribke. I have personally known the camps. The last time I was at Mauthausen in May 1944 to question the son of Badoglio, Mario, on the orders of Himmler. I turned in that field far and wide for two days. There were huge kitchens in operation for the inmates and also inside a brothel for their needs. No gas chambers. Unfortunately many people died in the camps, but not for a murderous desire. The war, the harsh living conditions, hunger, lack of proper care are often resolved in a disaster. But these tragedies of civilians were commonplace not only in the camps but throughout Germany, especially because of the indiscriminate bombing of cities.
D. So you minimize the tragedy of the Jews: the holocaust?
Pribke. There is little to minimize: a tragedy is a tragedy. If anything arises a problem of historical truth. The winners of the Second World War had an interest in that they should not be called to account for their crimes. They razed entire towns in Germany, where there was not a single soldier, only to kill women, children and old and so sap the will to fight their enemy. This fate befell Hamburg, Lübeck, Berlin, Dresden and other cities. They took advantage of the superiority of their bombers to kill civilians with impunity and with insane ruthlessness. Then came the people of Tokyo, and finally with the atomic to the civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. For this it was necessary to invent special crimes committed by Germany and publicize them much to present the Germans as evil creatures and all the other nonsense subjects horror novel on which Hollywood has shot hundreds of movies.
Moreover since that time the method of the winners of the Second World War has not changed much: to follow their speak they export democracy with so-called peace missions against the rogues, they describe terrorists who have committed acts always monstrous, unspeakable. But in practice they mainly attack with aviation who will not submit to their will. They massacre military and civilian that does not have the means to defend themselves. In the end, between one humanitarian intervention and the other in different countries, they put in the chairs of the governments puppets that follow their economic and political interests.
D. But then some conclusive evidence such as video footage and photographs of the concentration camps as can be explained?
Pribke. Those movies are further evidence of falsification: almost all come from the camp of Bergen Belsen. It was a camp where the German authorities sent from other camps inmates unable to work. Within there was also a ward for convalescents. That alone speaks volumes about the murderous intention of the Germans. It seems strange that in time of war has put in place a structure to accommodate those who instead wanted gassing. The Allied bombing in 1945 have left the camp without food, water and medicines. It has spread typhus epidemic that has claimed thousands of sick and dead. Those movies date back to those facts, when the refugee camp of Bergen Belsen devastated by the epidemic, in April 1945, was now in the hands of the Allies. The shooting was specially filmed for propaganda purposes, by British director Hitchcock, the master of horror. It’s frightening the cynicism, the lack of sense of humanity with which even today is speculation with those images. Projected for years on television screens, with distressing background music, the public has been deceived, linking with incessant cunning, those terrible scenes to the gas chambers, with which they had nothing to do instead. A fake!
D. The reason of all these deceptions, according to you, it would cover up his crimes by winners?
Pribke. At first it was so. A script equal to Nuremberg was also invented by General McArthur in Japan with the Tokyo Trial. In that case were devised to hang other stories and other crimes. To criminalize the Japanese who had suffered the atomic bomb, even at the time they invented accusations of cannibalism.
D. Why in a first time?
Pribke. Because after the Holocaust literature is mainly served the state of Israel for two reasons. The first is well explained by a writer Jew, son of deportees, Norman Finkelstein. In his book “The holocaust Industry” explains how this industry has led, through a campaign of claims, billionaires compensation in the funds of Jewish institutions and those of the state of Israel. He writes of “a real racket of extortion”. Regarding the second point, the writer Sergio Romano, who is not a revisionist, says that after the war of Lebanon, the state of Israel has realized that increase and emphasize the drama of the “holocaust literature” would bring benefits in its territorial dispute with the Arabs and “a sort of diplomatic semi-immunity”.
D. All over the world are talking about the holocaust as extermination, do you have doubts or deny it flatly?
Pribke. The means of propaganda of those who now hold the global power are without limits. Through a historical subculture specially created and popularized by television and film, have manipulated the conscience, working on emotions. In particular, the new generations, beginning with the school, have been subjected to brainwashing, obsessed with gruesome stories to subjugate the freedom of judgment.
As I said, we are waiting for almost 70 years the evidence of the crimes reported to the German people. Historians have not found a single document that was about the gas chambers. Not a written order, a report or an opinion of a German, a report of employees. Nothing at all.
In the absence of documents, the Nuremberg judges have assumed that the project entitled “Final Solution of the Jewish problem” under study in the Reich, which assessed the possibilities of territorial expulsion of Jews from Germany and later from the occupied territories, including the possible shift in Madagascar, was a secret code coverage which meant their extermination. It‘s absurd! In the midst of war, when we were still winners both in Africa and in Russia, the Jews, who were at first simply encouraged, were then up to 1941 pushed all the way to independently leave Germany. Only after two years since the war, the restrictive measures of their freedom began.
D. Let us assume then that the evidence of which you speak are out. I’m talking about a document signed by Hitler or another hierarch. What would be your position?
Pribke. My position is mandatory condemnation for such facts. All acts of indiscriminate violence against the community, without taking into account the actual individual responsibilities, are unacceptable, absolutely to be condemned. What happened to the American Indians, the kulaks in Russia, the Italians thrown in the Foibe in Istria, the Armenians in Turkey, the German prisoners in American concentration camps in Germany and France, as well as in Russia, the first left to die of hardship deliberately by U.S. President Eisenhower, the second by Stalin. Both Heads of State did not respect the Geneva Convention deliberately to punish them until the tragedy. All episodes, I repeat, must be condemned in no uncertain terms, including persecution made by the Germans against the Jews, who were undoubtedly there. However, the real ones, not those invented for propaganda.
D. Do you admit the possibility that these evidences, escaped a possible destruction wrought by the Germans at the end of the conflict, may one day come out?
Pribke. I’ve already said that certain facts must be condemned at all. So, if we admit just for absurd that one day you were to find evidence of the gas chambers, the condemnation of such horrible things, of those who wanted them and who used them to kill, should be unquestioned and total. You see, in this sense, I learned that in life surprises can never end. In this case, however, I think I can rule out with certainty, because for nearly sixty years, the German documents seized by the victors of the war, were examined and evaluated by hundreds of scholars, so, what has not emerged so far is unlikely to emerge in future.
For another reason then I feel it is extremely unlikely, and I’ll explain why: the war had advanced, our opponents had begun to insinuate suspicions about murderous activities in the camps. I speak of the Inter-Allied Declaration of December 1942, which stated generically barbarian crimes against the Jews of Germany and is provide for the punishment of the guilty. Then, at the end of 1943, I knew that it was not generic war propaganda, but even our enemies thought of fabricating false evidence of these crimes. The first had the news from my classmate and close friend, Captain Paul Reinicke, who spent his days in contact with the number two in the German government, the Reichsmarschall Goering: it was his chief escort. The last time I saw him he told me the project of out and out forgeries. Goering was furious because he believed these slanderous misrepresentations in the eyes of the whole world. Just Goering, before committing suicide, violently contested before the court of Nuremberg the production of fabricated evidences.
Another hint I had him later by the police chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the man who had replaced Heydrich after his death and was then sent to the gallows as a result of the Nuremberg verdict. I saw him towards the end of the war to tell him the information gathered on the betrayal of King Vittorio Emanuele (T. N.: the King of Italy). He mentioned that the eventual winners were already working to build false evidence of war crimes and other atrocities that they invented on the concentration camps as a proof of the German cruelty. They were already by coming to an agreement on the details of how to put on a special judgment for the losers.
Above all, however, I met in August 1944, the direct collaborator of General Kaltenbrunner, the head of the Gestapo, General Heinrich Müller. Thanks to him I was able to attend the cadets’ course. To him I owe a lot and he was very fond of me. He had come to Rome to solve a personal problem of my commander, ten. Colonel Herbert Kappler. In those days the American Fifth Army was about to break through at Cassino, the Russians were advancing into Germany. The war was already inexorably lost. That night he asked me to accompany him to the hotel. Since there is a minimum of confidence, I ventured to ask him for more details on the issue. He told me that through the activities of espionage he had received confirmation that the enemy, waiting for the final victory, was attempting to fabricate evidences of our crimes to set up a spectacular judgment of criminalization of Germany after defeat. He had no precise information and was seriously worried. He claimed that these people could not trust, because they had no sense of honor or scruples. Then I was young and I did not give due weight to his words, but then things actually turned out as the General Muller had told me. These are the men, the leaders, as is said today that they had to think and organize the extermination of the Jews with gas chambers! I would consider it ridiculous, if it were not tragic events.
So when the Americans attacked Iraq in 2003 with the excuse that it possessed “weapons of mass destruction”, complete with a false oath in front of the UN Security Council of the Secretary of State Powell, the ones who those weapons were the only ones to use them in war, I said to myself: nothing new!
D. Do you know, as a German citizen, that some laws in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland punished with imprisonment those who deny the holocaust?
Pribke. Yes, the world powers have imposed them and shortly they will impose them in Italy too. The deception lies in making people believe that those who, for example, is opposed to Israeli colonialism and Zionism in Palestine is anti-Semitic, those who dare to criticize Jews is always anti-Semite, who dares to ask for evidence of the existence of these gas chambers in the concentration camps, it is as if approve an idea of extermination of the Jews. It is a shameful forgery. Just these laws demonstrate a fear that the truth comes to the surface. Obviously there are fears that after the propaganda campaign made up of emotions, historians should ask on the evidences, scholars are aware of the misrepresentations. Just these laws will open the eyes of those who still believe in freedom of thought and in the importance of independence in historical research.
Of course, for what I said I can be indicted, my situation could even get worse again but I had to tell things as they really were, the courage of sincerity was a duty towards my country, a contribution, in the fulfillment of my hundred years, for the redemption and dignity of my people.