The Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
by Dr. William L. Pierce
WHAT’S SAID to be the most expensive motion picture ever made was released a few weeks ago and has been earning record money at the box office. The film, of course, is Titanic, and it’s about the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912, with the loss of 1,513 lives, after the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. There are many superlatives in the film. The Titanic was the largest ship ever built at the time. It also was the most luxurious ship, intended to provide high-speed trans-Atlantic transportation in comfort for the rich and pampered. The implication of the film is that the sinking of the Titanic was the greatest maritime disaster of all time. I’m sure that the great majority of the American public believes that to be the case, but it isn’t. Everyone has heard about the sinking of the Titanic, and very few have heard about the sinking of the S.S. Wilhelm Gustloff, which was the greatest maritime disaster. (ILLUSTRATION: The Wilhelm Gustloff: The ship was named in honor of the Landesleiter of the NSDAP in Switzerland, murdered by a Jewish assassin, David Frankfurter, in 1936.)
It is easy to understand why everyone has heard about the Titanic: it was a very big, very expensive ship, claimed to be virtually “unsinkable,” which went down on its maiden voyage with a record number of celebrities and tycoons aboard. The irony of the sinking helped generate public interest and an enormous media coverage. When the Wilhelm Gustloff went down, on the other hand, with the loss of more than 6,000 lives, the controlled media adopted the deliberate policy that it was a non-event, not to be commented on or even reported. The Wilhelm Gustloff, like the Titanic, was a big passenger liner and was reasonably new and luxurious. But it was a German passenger liner. It was sunk in the Baltic Sea on the night of January 30, 1945, by a Soviet submarine. It was packed with nearly 8,000 Germans, most of them women and children escaping from the advancing Soviet Army.
Many of these German refugees lived in East Prussia, a part of Germany that the Communist and democratic Allies had agreed would be taken from Germany and given to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War. Others lived in Danzig and the surrounding area, which the democrats and Communists had decided would be taken from Germany and given to Poland. All of these refugees were fleeing in terror from the Reds, who already had demonstrated in East Prussia what was in store for any German unfortunate enough to fall into their hands.
As Soviet military units overtook columns of German civilian refugees fleeing to the west, they behaved in a way which has not been seen in Europe since the Mongol invasions of the Middle Ages. Often the men, most of them farmers or Germans who had been engaged in other essential occupations and thus exempted from military service, were simply murdered on the spot. The women were, almost without exception, gang-raped. This was the fate of girls as young as eight years old and old women in their eighties, as well as women in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Women who resisted rape had their throats cut or were shot. Very often women were murdered after being gang-raped. Many women and girls were raped so often and so brutally that they died from this abuse alone.
Sometimes Soviet tank columns simply rolled right over the fleeing refugees, grinding them into the mud with their tank treads. When Soviet Army units occupied East Prussian villages, they engaged in orgies of torture, rape, and murder so bestial that they cannot be described fully on this program. Sometimes they castrated the men and boys before killing them. Sometimes they gouged their eyes out. Sometimes they burned them alive. Some women after being gang-raped were crucified by being nailed to barn doors while still alive and then used for target practice.
This atrocious behavior on the part of the Communist troops was due in part to the nature of the Communist system, which had succeeded in overthrowing Russian society and the Russian government in the first place by organizing the scum of Russian society — the losers and ne’er-do-wells, the criminals, the resentful and the envious — under the Jews and setting them against the successful, the accomplished, the refined, and the prosperous, promising the rabble that if they pulled down their betters then they could take the place of the latter: the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.
It was the members of this rabble, this scum of Russian society, who became the bosses of local soviets and collectives and workers’ councils — when the positions had not already been taken by Jews. The Soviet soldiers of 1945 had grown up under this system of rule by the worst; for 25 years they had lived under commissars chosen from the dregs of Russian society. Any tendency toward nobility or gentility had been weeded out ruthlessly. Stalin had ordered the butchering of 35,000 Red Army officers, half of the old Russian officers’ corps, in 1937, just two years before the war, because he did not trust gentlemen. The officers who replaced those shot in the 1937 purge were not much more civilized in their behavior than the commissars.
An even more specific and immediate cause of the atrocities committed against the German population of East Prussia was the Soviet hate propaganda which deliberately incited the Soviet troops to rape and murder — even to murder German infants. The chief of the Soviet propaganda commissars was a hate-filled Jew named Ilya Ehrenburg. One of his directives to the Soviet troops read:
Kill! Kill! In the German race there is nothing but evil; not one among the living, not one among the yet unborn but is evil! Follow the precepts of Comrade Stalin. Stamp out the fascist beast once and for all in its lair! Use force and break the racial pride of these Germanic women. Take them as your lawful booty. Kill! As you storm onward, kill, you gallant soldiers of the Red Army.
Not every Russian soldier was a butcher or a rapist, of course: just most of them. A few of them still had a sense of morality and decency which even Jewish Communism had not destroyed. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was one of these. He was a young captain in the Red Army when it entered East Prussia in January 1945. He wrote later in his Gulag Archipelago: “All of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction.”
In one of his poems, Prussian Nights, he describes a scene he witnessed in a house in the East Prussian town of Neidenburg:
It’s not been burned, just looted, rifled.
A moaning by the walls, half muffled:
The mother’s wounded, half alive.
The little daughter’s on the mattress,
Dead. How many have been on it?
A platoon? A company perhaps?
A girl’s been turned into a woman,
A woman turned into a corpse …
The mother begs, ‘Soldier, kill me!’
And so, German civilians were fleeing in terror from East Prussia, and for many of them the only route of escape was across the icy Baltic Sea. They packed the port of Gotenhafen, near Danzig, hoping to find passage to the west. Hitler ordered all available civilian ships into the rescue effort. The Wilhelm Gustloff was one of these. A 25,000-ton passenger liner, it had been used before the war by the “Strength through Joy” organization to take German workers on low-cost vacation excursions. On January 30, 1945, when it steamed out of Gotenhafen it carried a crew of just under 1,100 officers and men, 73 critically wounded soldiers, 373 young women of the Women’s Naval Auxiliary, equivalent to our WAVES, and more than 6,000 desperate refugees, most of them women and children.
Soviet submarines and aircraft were a constant menace to this rescue effort. They regarded the refugee ships in the light of Ehrenburg’s genocidal propaganda: the more Germans they could kill the better, and it didn’t make any difference to them whether their victims were soldiers or women and children. At just after 9:00 PM, when the Wilhelm Gustloff was 13 miles off the coast of Pomerania, three torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S-13, under the command of Captain A.I. Marinesko, struck the ship. Ninety minutes later it sank beneath the icy waves of the Baltic. Although a heroic effort to pick up survivors was made by other German ships, barely 1,100 were saved. The rest, more than 7,000 Germans, died in the frigid water that night.
A few days later, on February 10, 1945, the same Soviet submarine sank the German hospital ship, the General von Steuben, and 3,500 wounded soldiers aboard the ship, who were being evacuated from East Prussia, drowned. To the Soviets, inflamed by Jewish hate propaganda, the sign of the Red Cross meant nothing. On May 6, 1945, the German freighter Goya, also part of the rescue fleet, was torpedoed by another Soviet submarine, and more than 6,000 refugees fleeing from East Prussia died.
The lack of knowledge in the United States about any of these terrible maritime disasters of 1945 is profound, even among people who consider themselves knowledgeable on naval matters. And this ignorance stems from the deliberate policy of the controlled media, a policy which has relegated these disasters to the category of non-events. The reason for this media policy originally was the same reason which led the Jewish media bosses to blame the slaughter of 15,000 Polish officers and intellectuals in the Katyn woods in 1940 on the Germans. They knew that the Soviets had done it, as part of their effort to “proletarianize” Poland and make the Poles more amenable to Communist rule, but they didn’t want to tarnish the image of our “gallant Soviet ally,” as the Reds were called by the controlled U.S. media during the war. They wanted Americans to think that the Germans were the bad guys and the Soviets were the good guys, so they simply lied about the Katyn massacre.
Likewise, even in the last months of the war, they didn’t want Americans alerted to the fact that our “gallant Soviet ally” was butchering and raping the civilian population of East Prussia and deliberately sinking the civilian refugee ships which were helping the East Prussians escape across the Baltic Sea. That might damage America’s enthusiasm for continuing the destruction of Germany with the help of our “gallant Soviet ally.” So the controlled media simply didn’t report these things.
After the triumph of the democratic and Communist Allies and the unconditional surrender of Germany this reason no longer was valid, of course. But by then another motive had taken its place. The Jews were beginning to build their “Holocaust” story and were demanding sympathy from the world — and reparations money from anyone they could get it from. As they began wailing about the supposed extermination of six million of their kinsmen in “gas ovens” by the wicked Germans and portraying themselves as the innocent and inoffensive victims of the greatest crime in history, they didn’t want any facts getting in the way — and they certainly didn’t want Americans to see both sides of the conflict; they didn’t want the Germans seen as victims too. All Germans were evil, just like Comrade Ehrenburg had said; all Jews were good; and that was it. The Jews suffered, and the Germans didn’t, and so now the world owed the Jews a living for not stopping the “Holocaust.”
It really wouldn’t help their “Holocaust” propaganda at all to have the American public learn about what had happened in East Prussia or in the Baltic Sea — or to learn that our “gallant Soviet ally” had deliberately murdered the leadership stratum of the Polish nation in the Katyn woods, and that some of the murderers involved in that horrendous act were Jews. And so there has been a conspiracy of silence in America on the part of the Jewish media bosses.
That’s why Hollywood was willing to spend $200 million producing the film Titanic but would never consider any film dealing with the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. It’s not that such a film couldn’t make money — I think that a film about East Prussia and the Wilhelm Gustloff could be a real blockbuster — it’s that there must be no sympathy for the Germans. There must be no rethinking of America’s reasons for waging war against Germany, no questioning of whether or not we did the right thing in allying ourselves with Communism on behalf of the Jews. And beside these considerations, the truth simply doesn’t count — at least, not to the Jews who control our mass media.
This bit of history — America’s motivations for engaging in the war in Europe, which really was something altogether separate from the war in the Pacific, despite the alliance between Germany and Japan — this bit of history always has fascinated me. And one of the interesting aspects about it is the unwillingness of so many Americans to examine it. I understand the sentiments of the Clintonista elements. To the kind of people who voted for Clinton, the Soviets were the good guys and the Germans were the bad guys on ideological grounds. Gang-rape, mass murder, and the sinking of refugee ships are not really crimes in the eyes of the Bill-and-Hillary types when they’re done by Communists against “Nazis.”
But there also were a lot of decent Americans who fought in the war in Europe, anti-Communist Americans, and many of them don’t want to think about the fact that they fought on the wrong side. These American Legion and VFW types don’t want to hear about who really killed all of those Polish intellectuals and leaders in the Katyn woods. They don’t want to know what happened in East Prussia in 1945. They hate it when I ask them, why did we fight Germany in the name of freedom and then turn half of Europe over to Communist slavery at the end of the war?
I was far too young for military service in the Second World War, but I am sure that if I had fought in that war, I’d be even more interested in understanding what was behind it. I believe that knowing the truth about these things is far more important than protecting our carefully nurtured belief that we were on the side of righteousness. I believe that understanding how we were deceived in the past is necessary, if we are to avoid being deceived in the future.
The preceding text is an abridged version of the American Dissident Voices broadcast of February 14, 1998.
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