Andrew Wilkie accused of ordering teen cadets to salute Hitler

INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie says he cannot remember ordering military cadets to commemorate Adolf Hitler’s rise to power so he won’t be apologising for that specific incident.

But he says he is regretful of other inappropriate behaviour when he was at Duntroon Military College.

The Herald Sun today said Mr Wilkie had forced his juniors to salute the 50th anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power while he was a senior cadet in 1983.

“I honestly cannot remember anything about that specific allegation,” Mr Wilkie said in Hobart.

“But I have never made a secret of the fact that I was one of many cadets involved in the bastardisation scandal at the Royal Military College Duntroon. In fact I was disciplined for misconduct at the time.”

It comes as the clubs industry says it had no prior knowledge of the allegations and demanded he apologise after insisting he had accused the industry of orchestrating a smear campaign against him.

Mr Wilkie has questioned why the story, that alleges he bastardised junior cadets in the early 1980s when he attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon, has suddenly appeared during his fight against poker machines.

However, he has not directly accused the clubs of being behind the mysterious appearance of the story overnight.

Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball said: “I think it’s disgraceful that someone could lob that hand grenade in and really smear an entire industry who are just going about their business.

He also claimed Clubs Australia is only engaged in an ethical debate over poker machine policy reform.

“But there’s nothing underhanded about our campaign,” Mr Ball said.

Meanwhile Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, came to Mr Wilkie’s defence this morning, saying he was a passionate politician.

“I didn’t know the Andrew Wilkie of 30 years ago,” she said. “What I know of Mr Wilkie is of course the work I do with him today. He is passionately motivated to make a difference on poker machines.

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Nazi medical experiments exhibit opens today in Boston

BOSTON — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Harvard Medical School are set to open a Boston exhibit on the effects of deadly Nazi medical experiments during the Holocaust.

The traveling “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” is scheduled to open Thursday at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine in Boston.

Organizers say the exhibition will reveal the role scientists, physicians, public health officials, and academics played in implementing the Nazis’ program of “racial hygiene.”

Irene Hizme, a Holocaust survivor who was also a victim of the medical experiments, is scheduled to speak at the Joseph Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School after the exhibit opens.

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FBI report calls Demjanjuk evidence a forgery

(JTA) — A secret FBI report from 1985 suggests a key piece of evidence in the trial of accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk in Munich may have been a KGB forgery.

The German court announced Thursday that it would not suspend the trial over the document, and critics say the old report reflects outdated information.

“The facts show that the report of the Cleveland office are an irrelevant — and dangerous — basis for any consideration in the Demjanjuk case,” Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement April 13.

Steinberg said those who wrote the report in 1985 had not even examined the ID card. But in subsequent years, “the original ID has been subjected to the most intense scrutiny by courts and investigators on three continents” — including in the current case.

The Associated Press obtained the formerly classified Cleveland FBI report from the National Archives in Maryland suggesting that ID card 1393, which allegedly indicates Demjanjuk was transferred from the SS Trawniki training camp to the Nazi death camp Sobibor, might be a forgery by the KGB, the Soviet-era secret service.

Last year, a technical expert from the Bavarian Criminal Police Office testified that he had compared the ID with four other original cards and determined it was authentic. The same card reportedly also was analyzed by U.S. and Israeli authorities in earlier trials of Demjanjuk.

The FBI statement had not been seen by the defense or prosecutors in the Munich case, or in the trials in Israel and the U.S., according to the AP. Demjanjuk’s attorney, Ulrich Busch, requested a pause in the trial, which is supposed to conclude with a verdict in mid-May.

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Sonar vessel surveys buried Nazi Dornier 17 plane


A Port of London Authority’s sonar survey of a wrecked Nazi bomber has revealed the rare and historic plane to be almost entirely preserved by the ocean sands.

The plane is a Dornier 17. Once a freight plane for German mail and cargo, it was transformed into a bomb-dropping war machine when the Nazis took power in 1933. By the summer of 1940 it was a mainstay in the Battle of Britain, assaulting cities and RAF airfields with a barrage of bombs.

This particular aircraft — Dornier 17 Z-2, serial number 1160, of number 7 squadron, 3 Group, third Bomber Wing — was shot down on 26 August 1940 and landed, belly-up, in the seas just off the Kent coast. Two of its four crew members were killed while the other two survived to become prisoners of war.

The wrecked aircraft first emerged from the ten-mile long sandbank of Goodwin Sands in 2008. Since then, the RAF Museum and Wessex Archaeology have worked to survey the site and identify the plane. Earlier this month, the Port of London Authority headed out on it’s survey vessel Yantlet to get the most detailed shots of the bomber, yet.

What they found was a plane in remarkably good condition, with its wings intact and some of its undercarriage tyres still inflated. Aside from damage to the forward cockpit, observation windows and propellers, the shifting tidal sands have kept the plane preserved.

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Miniature Town Brings Its Creator a New Life

A wedding takes place in front of strung-up S.S. infantry. Topless women bathe in a river and are discovered by a Nazi soldier. What appear to be oddball scenes from World War II staged with action figures are actually one man’s attempt to rebuild his life.

These images come from the mind of Mark Hogancamp, who was beaten and repeatedly kicked in the head by five men outside a bar in Kingston, New York eleven years ago. The attack was so brutal that afterwards his mother Edda did not recognize him. When Hogancamp emerged from a 9-day coma, he had no language, he could not walk and he could not eat without assistance.

For twelve months, the ex-Navy man received state-sponsored physical and occupational therapy and regained many of his motor skills. Without medical insurance, however, Hogancamp was soon unable to afford the treatments. Lacking conventional rehabilitation, Hogancamp devised his own, unknowingly embarking on an art project that would be featured in high-profile exhibits and make him the subject of a hit indie documentary.

As a way to cope with his new life after the attack, Hogancamp built a Nazi-besieged, World War II era town in his backyard at 1/6 scale and resurrected his childhood love for action figures. He populated the model town with miniature alter egos of him and his friends. Each one is a personality in his anachronistic narratives, which he tells through staged photographs that read like frames in a comic book.

The town Hogancamp has created is called Marwencol. The name is a combination of three names of real people: Mark (Hogancamp), Wendy, and Colleen (two of his crushes).

In Marwencol, Hogancamp’s avatar, Hogie, is assassinated and brought back to life by the town witch. He is tortured by the S.S. and then rescued at the last minute by three gun-toting women. Hogie is saved in a way Hogancamp could not be in real life. In place of real-world counselors and therapists, Hogancamp has created hundreds of imaginary ones.

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Eichmann craved post-war German recognition-book

(Reuters) – Adolf Eichmann, a major organizer of the Nazi Holocaust, longed to leave hiding and return to Germany to get recognition for sending millions of Jews to their deaths, according to a new German book.

Tired of farming rabbits in anonymity in Argentina after World War Two, Eichmann came forward in 1956 in a recently discovered letter, asking West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer if he could return so he could claim his place in history.

The letter, along with hundreds of other uncovered documents in German archives, forms the basis of author Bettina Stangneth’s book “Eichmann vor Jerusalem” (Eichmann before Jerusalem), which will be released here on April 18.

Stangneth told Reuters she was stunned when she found the typed letter from Eichmann in a mis-identified state file.

“It’s a tactical letter from Eichmann,” Stangneth said. “He wanted his place in history. He always thought he could be the redeemer of the German people. He wanted to relieve them of their (post-war) guilt.”

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Demjanjuk Seeks Halt to Nazi Trial After Accuracy of Evidence Questioned

A lawyer for John Demjanjuk, who is on trial over charges he aided in the murder of 27,900 Jews as a Nazi death camp guard, sought a halt to the proceedings after U.S. documents indicated evidence in the case may be forgeries.

A report prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Demjanjuk indicates an identification card relied on by prosecutors may have been forged by the Soviet Union, Ulrich Busch told judges in Munich today. The 26-year-old documents were uncovered by the Associated Press.

“We always took the view that the ID card is a forgery,” Busch said in an interview.

Busch’s motion may interrupt the trial of the 91-year-old Demjanjuk, which has dragged on for more than 17 months due to health issues and disputes over evidence. Demjanjuk, a Ukraine native and former U.S. citizen, was extradited in May 2009 to Germany to stand trial in what is likely the country’s last case linked to the Holocaust.

The report found by the AP in the National Archives College Park, Maryland, said that FBI agents in Cleveland, where Demjanjuk lived, believed the ID card may have been forged by the Soviet Union after World War II. Prosecutors said at trial that the identification card was among evidence that proved Demjanjuk was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in 1943.

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