Old Nazis and New Dreams


The author, Dennis King has generously agreed that we include in our website:

Chapter 10. “Old Nazis and new dreams”

All copyrights remain with the author. 1989


While speculating on total war in the late 1970s, LaRouche had to concede that an American-Soviet nuclear showdown was too danger­ous. Between 120 and 180 million Americans would die in the initial exchange alone. This threatened his entire dream of world conquest. His solution was a multitrillion-dollar crash mobilization to build a space-based particle-beam missile shield. Naturally he said it would be a defensive system. The FEF's airport literature tables displayed "Beam the Bomb" posters. Dr. Steven Bardwell urged audiences to join the " 'higher' peace movement." But Bardwell quit the LaRouche organization in early 1984 and stated bluntly, in a letter to his former comrades, what many of them had known but ignored: LaRouche's goal was not a defensive system such as President Reagan's SDI, but a "first strike" system predicated on a denial of "the right of the Soviet Union to exist" in its present form. Indeed, Bardwell claimed, the LaRouchians had privately discussed "Doomsday weapons," such as "cobalt bombs with fans."


In the early and middle 1980s LaRouche utilized SDI and beam weapons to draw together the scattered forces of European and American neofascism to defend Nazi war criminals and promote revanchism. This effort was symbolized by a photograph of a four-pronged object, glowing with light, that appeared from time to time in Fusion and New Solidarity. Its shape was reminiscent of the swastika. A caption in a 1978 issue of Fusion said it was a plasmoid created at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the 19508, when a scientist supposedly collided four plasma beams to "form a rotating plasma structure whose dynam­ics are governed by a 'balancing' offerees." In later articles the object was identified as a model of a barred spiral galaxy. "The spiral geome­try of many galaxies coheres with the spiral shape found in living biological processes," readers were told. Finally, in a LaRouche article urging total mobilization for SDI, the ghostly object represented "har­monic patterns" while SDI itself was said to be the precursor of a "hyperbolic flaring" based on "triply self-reflexive" spirals.


The reference to cosmic spirals in an article on advanced weapons systems was something which SS veterans in Germany could under­stand. During World War II the theory of spiraling expansion/conquest had been a staple of Nazi propaganda. As a 1942 tract put it, "The living space of the Third Reich can be enlarged only by moving out from a powerful territorial hub and by accomplishing this conquest progressively, step by step, following the accelerating movement of a spiraling dextrogyre."


In the postwar period, neo-Nazis developed various forms of swas­tika mysticism; for instance, the late James Madole of the New York-based National Renaissance Party, taught during the igyos that the swastika represented "undefiled cosmic energy and hydrogen . . . flowing into the spiral arms of our mighty galaxy from the hidden galactic heart." But LaRouche developed a more sophisticated spiral mysticism embracing biology as well as cosmology, in which "manifold leaps" produce higher and higher stages of consciousness, racial types, superhuman species, and weapons systems.


The LaRouchians reached out to former Nazi scientists who had worked on V-2 rockets, jet aircraft, and the Nazi version of the atom bomb at research centers like Peenemunde. They also approached West German military officers, using a sales pitch which glorified "clas­sical German culture" as the high point of world civilization while vilifying Russian culture. LaRouche developed a new version of the Grand Design featuring forced-draft development of SDI, under­ground factories on the moon, Lebensraum on Mars, and electromag­netic weapons capable of turning the Soviet Union into a vast micro­wave oven.


LaRouche and his wife, Helga, quickly developed a following among retired West German military men. Admiral Karl-Adolf Zenker, former head of the West German Navy and a World War II veteran, joined Patriots for Germany and met with LaRouche on many occasions. As a Navy captain in 1956 Zenker had created a furor by telling cadets they should respect Admirals Erich Raeder and Karl Doenitz, Nazi war criminals convicted at Nuremberg. Zenker said the two were blameless men who had merely done their "duty to their people." When La­Rouche was indicted for obstruction of justice in a credit-card fraud case in 1987, Zenker called him an "honest defender of a strong West­ern alliance."


Brigadier General Paul-Albert Scherer, former chief of West German military counterintelligence, also joined the bandwagon. After La­Rouche's indictment, he testified before a Schiller Institute-sponsored commission set up to prove that the U.S. government was violating LaRouche's civil rights. He praised LaRouche's warm heart, "gentle humor," and devotion to the Western alliance.

LaRouche's New Benjamin Franklin Publishing House issued a trans­lation of Modern Irregular Warfare by Brigadier General (Reserves) Freiherr von der Heydt, a Bavarian professor and longtime ultra nationalist. New Solidarity said the book presented a model of "total violent confrontation, involving the totality of the state and people." Sug­gesting this model might be useful in handling left-wing opponents of SDI, the NCLC newspaper urged the public to make bulk purchases "so that we can provide military, educational, and government institu­tions with the copies they need."


The list of those who endorsed LaRouche's various public appeals included a former Frankfurt police chief, a vice president of the Bavar­ian Soldiers Association, a Kiel University professor who had worked on Hitler's uranium bomb, and various ultra rightist generals in France, Italy, and Spain. The LaRouchians also cultivated former Nazi scien­tists brought to the United States after the war as part of the Army's Operation Paperclip to work on defense projects. They included the survivors of Wernher von Braun's team who designed missiles at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.


For decades the wartime deeds of these "old-timers" (as they call themselves) appeared to be a closed book. Former SS general von Braun became an American hero for his work on the space program. But in the late 19708, after von Braun's death, the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) began to examine the records of alleged Nazi war criminals in this country, with the aim of deporting the guilty ones. When the investigators nibbled at the edges of the Paper­clip crowd, the latter felt angry and betrayed. Had they not wiped the slate clean by their contributions to America's fight against commu­nism?


LaRouche told them the slate never needed any wiping in the first place. In a 1981 EIR article praising Nazi Germany's work on jet air­craft, he distinguished between bad Nazi politicians and good Nazi scientists. "Although the Nazis commanded the German state," he said, "it was the German nation which deployed its non-Nazi resources to fight the war." The Peenemunde scientists were part of this healthy German nationalism. The crimes of the Nazi regime thus were "irrele­vant" to any judgment of their wartime role. Fusion and New Solidarity published adulatory articles about how Peenemunde had paved the way for fusion energy and SDI. It was said to represent the "classical Ger­man tradition," the path to true progress as opposed to the degenerate science of the "British."


In November 1981 the FEF held a special dinner and awards cere­mony for the University of Colorado's Adolf Busemann, who had worked at Peenemunde. In an interview with Fusion he criticized Hitler for not giving Germany's rocket scientists enough resources to do their job properly. When he died in 1986, New Solidarity urged its readers to "reflect on his life with joy" and bemoaned the fact that so few old-timers were left to "carry on the great traditions of the German scien­tific school."


The LaRouchians also developed close ties with Krafft A. Ehricke, a member of the von Braun team widely known for his visionary ideas on space travel. He had served in World War II as a tank platoon leader on the Eastern Front before being assigned to Peenemunde. Brought to the United States in 1947, he helped develop the Atlas rocket, Ameri­ca's first intercontinental ballistic missile. Retired and living in Lajolla, California, in the early 19805, Ehricke dreamed of colonies on the moon. He wrote articles for Fusion, served on its editorial advisory board, and spoke at FEF and Schiller Institute events. In a 1984 phone interview shortly before his death, he praised LaRouche's followers as "open, clean-cut, and positive," in contrast to Jane Fonda and the environmentalists with their "African grass hut technology." He said he had spent many an evening with his friends Lyndon and Helga LaRouche discussing Star Wars and the Soviet Union's plan to become the neo-Byzantine "Third Rome." Ehricke said he agreed with La­Rouche's assessment of the Soviet menace because of his own observa­tion of their murderous qualities during World War II.


Another LaRouchian role model was Arthur Rudolph, the Paperclip engineer who developed NASA's Saturn V moon rocket. When he was accused by the Justice Department of working thousands of slave labor­ers to death at a V-2 factory in 1943-45, the LaRouchians and the old-timers launched a campaign to depict him as the innocent victim of a Communist plot. Yet his Nazi activities were extremely well documented. He had joined both the Nazi Party and the SA storm troopers in 1931, before Hitler came to power. After serving as an SA Ober-scharfuhrer and then as a Peenemunde engineer, he became produc­tion manager of the underground Mittelwerk factory in the Harz Moun­tains. Mittelwerk used slave labor from the nearby Dora-Nordhausen concentration camp. A third to a half of the camp's 60,000 inmates died from disease, starvation, and mistreatment. Approximately 5,000 died while working for Rudolph, who once stood by while SS men lynched twelve of his slaves. In 1945 a U.S. Army report called him a "100 percent Nazi, dangerous type" and recommended that he be interned. But after he joined Operation Paperclip a revised security report said he was "not an ardent Nazi." In the early 19805, having long retired from NASA, he was investigated by the OSI. He admitted in a 1983 interview with OSI attorneys that he had been fully aware of the inhu­man working and living conditions of the Dora-Nordhausen laborers. The following year he returned to Germany and agreed to give up his U.S. citizenship rather than face deportation proceedings. OSI prose­cutor Eli Rosenbaum later described him as having an "almost unbe­lievable callousness and disregard for human life."


The FEF, the Schiller Institute, and the Huntsville crowd cam­paigned to restore Rudolph's citizenship. The old-timers were increas­ingly nervous because two more from their ranks, Dieter Grau and Gunther Haukohl, had come under OSI investigation for their role at Mittelwerk. The FEF warned that "hundreds" of Operation Paperclip scientists were under investigation, but this was denied by the OSI.

An Old-Timers' Defense Fund was established, and a petition was sent to President Reagan asking him to help Rudolph. Major General J. Bruce Medaris (ret.), former chief of the U.S. Army Ordnance Com­mand, Baltic and Ukrainian émigré groups, The Spotlight, and the neo-Nazi magazine Instauration all lent their support. A delegation from Huntsville met with White House communications director Patrick Buchanan.

Rudolph's most outspoken supporter was Friedwardt Winterberg of the FEF. A student of former Nazi physicist Erich Bagge after the war, Winterberg felt strongly that Rudolph was a victim rather than a victim-izer. He launched his own investigation and sent letters of protest to Ed Meese and other administration officials on Desert Research Institute stationery.


He also gave an interview to The Spotlight repeating the LaRouche line that an attack on Rudolph was an attack on NATO. Winterberg also sent handwritten notes (he called them "brainteasers") to OSI prosecutor Rosenbaum. With themes such as: Israel is guilty of Nazi-style crimes, Simon Wiesenthal was a Nazi col­laborator, Zionism is a form of Nazism that has "infected" world Jewry.


EIR published an article by General Medaris: "Stop the OSFs As­sault against German-American Scientists!" Editorials in New Solidarity described Rudolph as an American "patriot" and suggested that OSI prosecutors were Soviet agents and "traitors" who perhaps should be executed for treason. Their activities were said to be a plot to under­mine the SDI by demoralizing and deporting America's brilliant cadre of Peenemunde scientists. The Schiller Institute expanded the list of patriotic martyrs to include John (Ivan the Terrible) Demjanjuk of Treblinka fame; Karl Linnas, the butcher of the Tartu death camp; and Tscherim Soobzokov, a Waffen SS mass murderer whose attorney, Michael Dennis, was also LaRouche's attorney. (Just why auto worker Demjanjuk, construction surveyor Linnas, and Paterson, New Jersey, ward heeler Soobzokov were vital to SDI was never explained.)


In 1985 the old-timers held their fortieth reunion at the Alabama Space and Rocket Museum beneath a giant picture of von Braun. Linda Hunt, a former Cable Network News reporter, recalled a darkened auditorium full of aging Nazis eagerly watching a slide show of the latest laser-beam weapons. She said that when the lights went on, the FEF's Marsha Freeman went to the front and delivered a tirade against the OSI to hearty applause.


This event was mild compared with the Krafft Ehricke Memorial Conference held that year in Reston, Virginia. Sponsored by the FEF and the Schiller Institute, it united support for SDI, defense of Nazi war criminals, glorification of Peenemunde, and a messianic vision of the conquest of outer space. Fusion boasted that participants included "mil­itary, scientific, and diplomatic representatives from four continents." Former top Nazi scientist Hermann Oberth sent greetings from West Germany hailing Ehricke's "vision of' Homo Sapiens Extraterrestris,' " the New Man who would leave behind the "flaming harbors of the Earth." Speakers included Admiral Zenker and Peenemunde rocketeer Konrad Dannenberg. LaRouche gave the keynote address, entitled "Krafft Ehricke's Enduring Contribution to the Future Generations of Global and Interplanetary Civilization." Resolutions were passed call­ing on President Reagan to adopt LaRouche's crash program for SDI and halt the Justice Department's investigation of the old-timers. Since the only old-timers being probed were those who allegedly served at Mittelwerk, the FEF/Schiller Institute's hoopla about underground factories on the moon and the spirit of Peenemunde in space technol­ogy was suggestive, at the least.


Over the next two years LaRouche assumed Krafft Ehricke's mantle. He outlined plans for cities on Mars and in the asteroid belt—an exten­sion of his earlier earthbound citybuilding schemes so reminiscent of the SS plans for Aryan colonies in occupied Russia. His prototype design for a space city was based on the geometry of cosmic spirals. He said his inspiration had come from the work of German scientists who, at the end of the war, while "awaiting reassignments" (presumably to the Redstone Arsenal) had amused themselves by drawing up plans for rebuilding the Ruhr.


While thus dreaming of a new Ruhr on Mars, LaRouche did not forget the Green Steppes of Earth. In a speech at a September 3, 1987, EIR seminar in Munich, he claimed that when he promoted SDI in the early 19805 he had intended it only as the first stage in the most awesome revolution in the history of military technology—the develop­ment of "mass-killing" weapons using the "full range of the electro­magnetic spectrum." Such weapons would make possible the "true total war." Turned east, they could fry the entire Soviet population while leaving Soviet factories and railroads intact. LaRouche told his audience of military officers and Bavarian defense contractors that whoever develops microwave weapons first can "dominate this planet."


BARDWELL SPEAKS OUT: Steven Bardwell, "Third Rome Hypothesis," ICLC internal, Jan. 13, 1984.

RECURRENT PHOTOGRAPH SUGGESTING A SWASTIKA: Fusion, May 1978, p. 40; NS, Sept. 3, 1984; NS,
Feb. 22, 1985; Fusion, July-Aug. 1985, p. 25.

LIVING SPACE OF THIRD REICH: Deutsche-Bergwerks Zeitung, March 8, 1942, cited in Jean-Michel
Angebert, The Occult and the Third Reich (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1974), p. 227.

MADOLE'S SWASTIKA MYSTICISM: "NRP Leader Gives Lecture on 'The Occult & Fascism' at New York's
Warlock Shop," The National Renaissance Bulletin, June-July-Aug. 1977.

LAROUCHE'S GRAND DESIGN, SDI-STYLE: LHL, "Wassily Leontief Acts to Block Effective Implementation
of the SDI," Fusion, July-Aug. 1985.

ZENKER'S DEFENSE OF NAZI WAR CRIMINALS: Kurt P. Tauber, Beyond Eagle and Swastika: German
Nationalism Since 1945 (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1967), Vol. I, pp. 309-10;
Vol. II, pp. 1152-53 (nn. VIII, 173-75).

SCHERER'S DEFENSE OF LAROUCHE: "Poison Weapons of Psychological Terror Against Lyndon LaRouche,"
testimony of Brig. Gen. Paul-Albert Scherer at LaRouchian hearings, Sept. 1987, published in EIR,
Sept. 25, 1987.

of Nazi Jet Aircraft Development," EIR, Aug. 11, 1981.

GLORIFICATION OF PEENEMUENDE: LHL, "The Lesson of Nazi Jet Aircraft Development"; Marsha Freeman,
"The Truth About the German Rocket Scientists: The Men Who Built America's Space Program," NS,
four-part series, May 20, 1985-June 21, 1985.

LAROUCHE'S FRIENDSHIP WITH EHRICKE: Ken Kelley, "The Interview: The World According to Lyndon
LaRouche," San Francisco Focus, Nov. 1986, p. 155.

German Scientist," NS, Apr. 1985.

OPPOSITION TO OSI: "Stop OSI Assault on German-American Scientists!," MS, July i, 1985;
"Schiller Meet: Drop OSI, Start Crash SDI Effort," JVS, June 24, 1985; "Disband the OSI!,"
MS, July 1, 1985.

LIST OF MARTYRS EXPANDS: "Demjanjuk Frame-up Flounders as New Evidence of KGB Fraud Emerges,"
EIR, Feb. 5, 1988; "Brief Case Histories of Some Recent Examples of KGB Justice Against Some
Other American Citizens," fact sheet of the International Human Rights Commission, c/o Schiller
Institute, Nov. 1986.

PROCEEDINGS OF KRAFFT EHRICKE CONFERENCE: Colonize Space! Open the Age of Reason (New York:
New Benjamin Franklin Publishing House, 1985); see esp. LHL, "Krafft Ehricke's Enduring Contribution
to the Future Generations of Global and Interplanetary Civilization," pp. 27-54.

LHL, "Design of Cities in the Age of Mars Colonization," EIR, Sept. 11, 1987.

DEATH-RAY SEMINAR IN MUNICH: LHL, "Nonlinear Radiation: The True Total War," EIR, Sept. 18, 1987.