September 1, 1997
-Fresno State Breaking Story-
EIGHT PART INVESTIGATIVE SERIES
SECRET LIFE OF
AN AMERICAN NAZI
By Howard Hobbs Ph.D. Staff Historian
Fresno Daily Republican
story on Falk's legacy at City Hall
Transcript of interview
with series author Howard Hobbs
in Nazi slave labor profits
FRESNO - Prior to the recent wave of popular discussions
on the behavior of 'ordinary Germans' under Nazism, this writer
has been attempting to focus public and scholarly attention on the
life of an American Nazi who worked for Adolf Hitler in Berlin between
1933 and 1938.
Karl Leonard Falk, one of the most extraordinary
figures in the history of Fresno State College carried into his
work in Fresno California many of the Nazi values and the folk-tradition
he personified while working for the Third Reich in Nazi Berlin
as a young man.
Falk worked directly under Goebbels, Hitler's Reichs
Minister for Propaganda and Re-Education. While in Hitler's employ,
Falk wrote a series of propaganda tracts widely disseminate in Czechoslovakia's
Sudetenland. Falk even managed to draft an anti-American work of
over 100 pages which was published by Hitler as a Berlin University
text-book on the evils of American newspaper journalism.
Moreover, as a well-known author of numerous anti-semitic
tracts, he had been pondering for a long time the problems of the
Jewish controlled news media in Germany. Falk weaves his own views
into his 'history of the basic problems with American newspapers'
interlacing them with sometimes heavily pedagogical explications
on the nature and pitfalls of greed, monopoly, and the 'appetites'
of American newspaper readers.
Berlin was at that time the preeminent urban renewal site in the
Germany through the late thirties was under continuous
rebuilding. Berlin, with its position at the center of state and
Party architectural policy, experienced Hitler's redesign of the
capital and its centralization under the direction of Albert Speer
who was given authority to control architectural policy as Inspector
General of Building for the Reich Capital in Berlin (Generalbauinspektor
fur die Reichshauptstadt Berlin).
Because of the scale of the urban plan, quarries
and contractors, architects and bricklayers were all mobilized by
Albert Speer's offices, making his proposals the largest single
architectural project in the German building economy.
The actual plan, included a north-south and east-west
axis at the heart of the City, a concentration of subway and train
facilities, a redesign of the Konigsplatz, and a major housing program.
The north-south axis became the core of the urban
design and was meant to function as the main ceremonial boulevard
of the new Aryan Berlin.
The few art historians who have analyzed National
Socialist art and architecture have consistently turned to Speer's
redesign of Berlin as paradigmatic of the overblown schemes of the
Party to project its ideological goals through visual form, to create
literally the "word in stone." Scholars have most often
emphasized three key components of the Berlin redesign: the massive
scale of the plan, the iconography of neoclassical forms, and the
choice of materials, above all stone.
Alex Scobie, for example, has argued that the scale,
materials, and iconography of prestige projects in Berlin were used
by Nazi architects and critics to promote an ideological connection
to classical political and social institutions. Even Speer, in his
Inside The Third Reich memoirs, confirms the following parameters:
The Fuehrer style widely claimed by the Nazi Party press
was neoclassicism multiplied, altered, exaggerated, and often presented
through a distorted point of view. Hitler thought he had found certain
graphical relationship between the Dorians and his own Germanic
Size, the indestructible nature of stone architecture,
and the iconography of neoclassicism were all at play in Speer's
extreme ideological mystifications.
When considered in terms of anti-Semitism, this
scholarly concern with architectural form in general, and with the
urban planning of Berlin in particular, has led to an investigation
of the specific Party and state institutions that used architectural
communication to reinforce a connection to a specious racial history
or some supposed essence of German Arayaness.
The destruction of the European Jews has been amply
linked to pseudo-scientific Nazi racial theories as such propaganda
was reinforced by art and architectural expression in a brutal connection
between architectural history and anti-Semitism.
This writer sees the connection between Karl Leonard
Falk's oppression of the Jews initially characterized by his slurs
and stereotypes that were supported by incessant fallacious racial
propaganda he helped to spew out of the Propaganda Ministry and
the psychological function of Speer's architectural goals that were
integrated into the creation and implementation of state policy
against the Berlin Jews.
But this propaganda set-stage was quickly stage-managed
with brutal tactics that concentrated the Jewish community in Berlin
and eventually led to mass deportation and mass murder.
To grasp how the work of Karl Leonard Falk played
a key role in the decisions made concerning a Nazi policy of extermination
of the Jews requires recognition that the formal design of a monumental
urban plan for Berlin. It functioned as piece of the puzzle for
developing a final soulution through a systematic anti-Semitic
policy. To understand this connection it is important to concentrate
attention on the implementation of particular economic and social
policies aimed at the Jewish population in Berlin during the years
Specifically, anti-Semitic housing policy (concerned
as it was with controlling and then removing the trageted Jewish
population) became a focus of key efforts made by Karl Falk at the
Propaganda Ministry tracts, films, and radio broadcasts, and by
Speer to complete the monumental plans for the rebuilding of Berlin
Since the rapid industrialization of Berlin in
the late Nineteenth Century, housing had been a perennial problem
and concern of the city's building administration and a factor in
every major site plan for monumental architectural projects. A lack
of suitable housing reached crisis proportions with Speer's attempt
to impose a massive urban design on a city that already suffered
from an insufficient number of dwellings for the ever-growing industrial
Within the context of the housing debate, Speer
even interested himself in particular modernist solutions, such
as mass-produced pre-fab housing units.
It is important to remember the clear historical connection between
housing policies in reference to the political uses to which urban
planning was put in Berlin urban renewal during this period.
While the political function of architecture has
been a major focus of a critical discussion of urban planning in
Berlin not widely recognized today, though its study is warranted.
Speer's role in implementing policies against
the Jews in Berlin was apparent from the Third Reich's systematic
anti-Semitic housing policy and systematic development of architectural
interests and the oppression of the Berlin Jews.
For example, documentary evidence indicates that
Speer not only implemented but also attempted to formulate an anti-Semitic
policy to serve his architectural interests.
Hitler's ideas on urbanization are shockingly like
those which were expressed by Karl Leonard Falk in the 1950's in
Falk, by that time had been appointed to head the
Fresno Housing Authority, a key political position at Fresno City
Hall. Like Hitler and Speer before him, Falk's vision for a new
Fresno was not a vision Fresno as a center of a rich and growing
cultural and socioeconomic diversity but as a site of political
Falk's architectural plan for urban redevelopment
of Fresno concentrated on the downtown area adjacent to and with
the City Hall at its apex of political power.
Downtown Fresno, for Karl Leonard Falk would be
transformed into a gigantic government mall housed in monumental
public buildings surrounded by jails and prison buildings, amid
a huge public square, wide expansive walkways, public art, and the
absence of evidence of private property.
Such were the symbols of Falk's dream of obtaining
personal political power. The dream wold be realized through a piecemeal
approach that would eventually extend and broaden the wide ranging
exercise of City Hall's police powers, and a free-wheeling use of
condemnation powers to rid the core of the City of its homes, apartment
houses, and small businesses.
Falk's vision of societal utopia was not one that
saw the democratic participation of free citizens and the trading
of ideas in the political marketplace, but of the exercise of tyranny
of the minority over the majority.
It is true that Falk wanted to create an American-style
Third Reich. That fact is subtly illustrated in his refusal
to buy-American because of his fanatic devotion to Hitler's a mass-produced
people's car the Volkswagen, the only car Karl Leonard Falk
Karl Leonard Falk, then, was at heart, an urban
planner and a modernizer who dreamed of creating a consumer society
in Fresno, California exclusively for Aryans, like himself,
based on conquest by urban renewal funds and block grants from Washington
D.C., the darker side of Fresno City Hall and the U.S. Congress
between the years 1938-1971. Thos were the years of Karl Leonard
Falk's New Reich , and of course made possible by his academic
tenure and Presidency at Fresno State College.
Falk cherished his collection of German newspaper
anti-Jewish propaganda and pornography in Julius Streicher's smutty
German newspaper, Der Sturmer. A representative portion of
Karl Leonard Falk's anti-Jewish smut predeliction, even prior to
his experiences inside Berlin, is available for viewing at the Fresno
State University Madden Library, Special Collections, in Karl
Falk Collection of Nazi Der Sturmer Newspapers & German Notgeld.
That includes facsimilies of two front pages of Der Sturmer,
from the early 1930's. Incidentally, Julius Streicher's work was
described in The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler as 'remarkable
for those qualities of brutality and bestiality ... in which the
Jews were always depicted as sub-human monsters and perverts.'
[Robert Payne, The Life & Death of Adolf Hitler, pages 167-168.
Praeger Pub. Co., New York, 1973.]
Incidentally, Streicher was captured by U.S. Militraty
at the end of the war and held to answer for his war crimes. He
entered a not guilty plea and was subsequently convicted
and received the death penalty at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.
Falk escaped by returning to the U.S. and taking a job from a Fresno
State College president who found Falk eminently qualified to teach
undergraduate courses on the German language and culture.
The moral collapse of the German legal profession
during the German Third Reich played a facilitating role in the
construction and maintenance of the Nazi regime.
Ingo Muller's new book, HITLER'S JUSTICE: THE
COURTS OF THE THIRD REICH translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider,
takes on the philosophic foundations of Hitler's Third Reich 1932-1945.
The legal professionals sympathetic to Nazi ideals
betrayed their trust as lawyers, prosecutors, and judges. Lawyers
and judges who were trained to serve the Reichsstaat (a state based
on the rule of law) instead subverted it by going along with Hitler
and his criminal regime.
Like physicians, professors, and even clergymen
- members of professions dedicated to serving human needs - lawyers
and judges, far from opposing injustice, actually helped to perpetuate
injustice and unspeakable bestiality.
The German national judiciary's record of its collusion
began during the Weimar Republic when judges antagonistic to constitutional
democracy openly sympathized with Nazi defendants accused of committing
acts of violence against their political enemies.
German lawyers, prosecutors, and judges subverted the Reichsstaat
during the Nazi years from 1933-1945 by:
making a mockery of the Reichstag fire trial;
conducting political trials and bullying defendants in open
court; confining political prisoners to inhuman prison conditions;
driving attorneys who were Jews out of the bar and off the bench;
depriving them in turn of all other rights of citizenship, even
to the point of imposing the death sentence for petty differences
formulating policies that allowed physicians to experiment genetically
on disabled people and to kill persons regarded as unworthy of
organizing special courts for the prosecution of 'asocial elements'
and political and military enemies of the state;
'correcting' the final decisions of the regular courts to the
disadvantage of defendants or litigants disfavored by the state.
These perversions of justice were real. They happened,
and the author hammers home the reality of what happened by parading
before the reader example after example of judicial lawlessness
and legalized terror. These facts are derived from Nazi court records
and other official reports, and has not been told before.
One 'stout-hearted' judge - Dr. Lothar Kreyssig - refused to serve
the Nazi regime from the bench.
Hitler considered lawyers and judges 'complete
fools incapable of recognizing what measures the state had to take'.
The judiciary, and indeed the entire legal establishment, journalists,
and university students succumbed to the temptation of evil.
A careful study of the published decisions of the
Reichsarbeitsgericht between 1933 and 1945, appears in Marck Linder's
recent study of the German Supreme Labor Court THE SUPREME LABOR
COURT IN NAZI GERMANY: A JURISPRUDENTIAL ANALYSIS Frankfurt
am Main: Vittoria Klostermann, 1987.
Linder is able to show, for example, that in the
labor contract cases the Court was able to retain a large measure
of its autonomy, resorting in some instances to rigid formalistic
reasoning as a way of ignoring the Volk-consciousness that was supposed
to inform its decisions.
Even Jews who lost their jobs or pension rights
as a result of a company's aryanization were successful in
their civil suits before the special tribunal. In short, Linder's
study supports Ernst Fraenkel's notion of a dual state in which
a system of Nazi justice practiced mainly in special courts
and criminal tribunals, coexisted along side of courts that interpreted
law much as they had done before 1933.
Karl Leonard Falk was an American citizen and
a 1932 graduate of Stanford University who went to work in Berlin,
Germany at the Propaganda Ministry. Falk is directly implicated
in the production and distribution of Deutches Reich propaganda
activities throughout Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and inside
the United States between 1933-1938.
For example, Falk, while an active auslander member
of the German Nazi Party, was actively engaged in a propaganda incursion
into the Sudetenland in March 1938 through espionage contacts with
the Sudetendeutsche Partei and the Henlein Group for
whom Falk was an American agent.
Falk authored a number of propaganda tracts and
leaflets that were widely distributed along the Sudetic German belt
where he urged German-Czech residents there to engage in fifth-column
political subversion in the overthrow of the legitimate Czechoslovak
government in Prague.
Falk's activities were of eminent success for the
German Reich and within a few weeks of completion of the Henlein
assignment, Hitler was preparing a full-scale military invasion
of the Sudetenland and further military adventures throughout Central
Joseph Goebbels had more propaganda work for Karl
Leonard Falk. This time the work was in the United States. Falk
went straight to a New York City address. At Eight West 40th Street
Falk reported to the American owned Foreign Policy Association
. They were impressed with his work for the Third Reich since
1932. Falk's 1937 Nazi economics degree from Berlin was not questioned.
He was quickly assigned a desk and given the assistance of a research
staff. He already knew what his theme would be.
Falk began writing a pro-Nazi pseudo political
economics analysis that chronicled a struggle of Sudetenland Czech
Bohemian Germans who were engaging in a heroic struggle against
a ruthless Czech government.
Falk's article was published in Foreign Policy
Reports Vol. XIV No. 1 on March 15, 1938, pages 2-12. The title
was Strife in Czechoslovakia: The German Minority Question.
Karl Falk's publication was a blatantly biased
attack on the nation of Czechoslovakia. He presented a naive and
incomplete political analysis. He had been carefully trained for
this work by Goebbels at the Nazi Propaganda Ministry headquarters
Falk enthusiastically justified Hitler's Czechoslovak
ambitions as a 'rescue mission' for oppressed Sudetic Germans who
were being ambushed and held prisoner by the Czech government.
He wrote 'The problem has assumed international
proportions.[T]he German Reich, according to the Czechs, is merely
using the Sudetic minority, as an instrument for its expansionist
He justified Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovak
territory because of '...The grievances of these Germans...discrimination
by the Czechs in violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights.'
He said '...Czechoslovak authorities admit that
some of the German grievances are not unfounded...Recently six...Sudetic
autonomy demands were submitted by the Henlein party to the Czechoslovakia
Parliament...they contend that the alliance with the Soviet Union
has made Czechoslovakia a hotbed of Bolshevism.'
Falk attempted to justify the German Reich's impending
action '...The role of the German Reich in this dispute is unfortunate
but also understandable from the German point of view.'
Now Falk turns to a false moral claim as he writes
'...Germany claims it wants peace and has no designs on Czechoslovakia...an
injustice was done at the end of the World War by placing the German
minority under Czechoslovak rule.'
Calling upon Americans of German descent to support
Hitler's free-hand in Czechoslovakia, Falk writes '...the broad
masses of Reich Germans feel they should give their moral support
to a movement directed at securing better treatment for Sudetic
It is not surprising that Karl Falk would have
written a propaganda pamphlet and secured its publication in New
York City. His display of rude cleverness was appropriate to his
aspirations and Nazi training. His graduate work in the racial
science of Nazi economics at the Friedrich Wilhelm Universität
fully prepared him for his future.
In 1938, within one month after Falk's invidious
article appeared in the Foreign Affairs Magazine Hitler
invaded and brutally crushed Czechoslovakia.
It was all down-hill for Hitler and the Nazi Party
after that. As Hitler's war ended in 1945, Hitler committed suicide.
Many of Joseph Goebbels' agents were suicides, or caught by the
German people and put to death, or apprehended by the allies and
held for war crimes trials at Nuremberg.
However, Falk had returned to the United States
taking advantage of his dual German-American citizenship status.
But, early on, as soon as word of Hitler's invasion
of Czechoslovakia reached Falk, he decided to remain in the United
states. He headed for the California farming village of Fresno.
He knew that Fresno was a friendly place where he would find a large
German-American colony and where he would not be noticed.
In Fresno, even membership in the American Nazi
Party was not a disqualifying factor in a teaching appointment in
the Fresno Schools nor in the local College. Fresno's Edison
Technical High School even had a large German Saengerbund
Prominent Fresno German-American educatore, judges,
and lawyers had openly joined the American Nazi Party and
did so for a wide variety of reasons ranging from mere expediency
to ideological conviction and family and 'old-Country' loyalty.
It was done.
In spite of the transitory popularity of Nazism
in Fresno in the 1930's there were many in that day and time who
saw it differently, but failed to speak-out. History will not be
We Knew Him Well
Hitler Knew Him A Lot Better
Official Nazi records, Third
Reich letters of commendations, and a secret Nazi propaganda book
just obtained from Berlin Nazi archives, reveal former Fresno State
College president Karl L. Falk was still a trusted member of Adolf
Hitler's Reichsministry for Propaganda and Re-Education in
1938 when Falk was first hired as a German Language teacher by College
president Frank Thomas in Fresno, California.
Falk's secret Nazi past was carefully concealed
for nearly half a century. But, on March 20, 1970 the world heard
Karl L. Falk, make a rambling admission of his involvement with
the Third Reich as he spoke at a large gathering of Fresno attorneys.
He pleaded and cajoled his audience with a plea for support:
"A week ago I had a so-called confrontation with a group of minority
students from our college and as well as from surrounding high schools...they
were not interested in my answers to their questions...they told
me to 'shut up'...[T]his is one of the reasons that public discussion
becomes...staged demonstrations with propaganda and political motives...to
seize control and to destroy present academic structure..."
The complete text of the statement of Karl L. Falk, acting president,
Fresno State College, emeritus Head of the Social Science Division,
chairman of the Department of Economics was published in local papers
and is on file in the California State University administration
The story of how Karl L. Falk gained academic standing,
a tenured Professorship and the presidency of a California institution
of higher learning and lost it overnight is and amazing tale. First,
it should be mentioned that Karl L. Falk did not matriculate through
any undergraduate courses in the Social Science Department nor did
he read any academic economics during his undergraduate years at
Stanford, except the complete works of Karl Marx in the original
German dialect. Falk's academic major at Stanford was German foreign
language studies and he graduated in 1932.
In the Fall, he traveled to Berlin and applied
for graduate admission for study leading to a doctorate degree in
Nazi Economics at the University of Berlin. He was admitted and
he pursued Nazi Economics studies from 1933-1938. He was employed
during those five years in the Reichsministry for the People's Enlightenment
& Propaganda, headed by Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Karl Falk was involved
in assignments under Walter Funk, the Nazi Minister of Economics
and president of the Reichsbank who was sentenced to life imprisonment
at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.
Funk had a lot in common with Falk. Both Falk and
Funk started out in Berlin in obscure roles, and were friends. Goebbels
took Falk into the Propaganda Ministry. Funk rose to the position
of financial editor of a Berlin financial news-letter. Hitler liked
Falk so much that he appointed him to a Fuehrer of the Germans
Abroad Third Reich. Hitler liked Funk so much that he appointed
him to head the Economics Ministry.
Goebbels sponsored Karl Leonard Falk and paid all
his university and living expenses. On November 30, 1933 Karl Leonard
Falk received a written commendation from Goebbels on National Socialistische
DAP stationary (bearing the imprint of the official swastika Seal
of Reichsleitung) describing valuable services rendered on behalf
of the Third Reich.
[Source: Berlin Universitatsbibliothek Archiv certified copies
of official documentation of immatrikulation of Karl L. Falk No.
802 05-10-32; resume; travel records; employment record; diploma,
records, and correspondence,commendations, requests, academic examinations.]
In 1937, Goebbels Ministry of Propaganda paid for and approved
the publication of Karl Leonard Falk's dissertation in a book form.
Falk's 1936 doctoral dissertation was a blistering critique of the
American Constitutional protections of freedom of speech contained
in the First Amendment. On his return to California Fresno State
College president, Frank Thomas hired Falk in 1938 to teach courses
at Fresno State College in the German language.
[Source: Berlin Universitatsbibliothek Archiv
certified copies of official documentation of Nationalsozialischtische
Deutsche Urbeiterpartei of 30.11.33 re: Falk from Herr Karl Bomer,
Hochschule fur PolitikAusenpolitischen; Zeitung un Zeit Uber Die
Auslandische Publizistik, Herausgegeben Von Karl Bomer. Verlag Moritz
Diesterweg, Frankfurt, 1937, Grundsatz Und Probleme Der Amerikanischen
Tagespresse von Karl L. Falk.]
The 1938 German Language teacher, Karl L. Falk,
was to become the dean of the Social Science Division and Head of
the Economics Department in 1946. Over the time period from 1938
through 1970, the political economics literature Falk introduced
began to foster an economics curricula focussing on Karl Marx views
of labor and production and social class warfare.
Karl Leonard Falk maintained his close friendship
ties to the presidents and administration of Fresno State College.
He was a close friend of president, Arnold Joyal who, at one point,
asked Falk to step into the role of president of the college. Falk
Joyal left the College, but when Joyal's replacement
came under fire and suddenly resigned, Falk had made up his mind.
When the opportunity presented inself, Falk took over the College
Chancellory as the acting president. The year was 1969.
Since all academic policy issues in the modern
college have an economic dimension, the appointment offered Karl
Leonard Falk the rare opportunity to address the most urgent and
exciting problems facing Fresno State College in his brief tenure
as acting Fresno State President 1969-1970.
Falk was to confront and be confronted by run away
inflation, staff layoffs, program elimination, collective bargaining,
strikes, and a watered down academic program. Multicultural diversity
was the populist cause for a restless student body and community.
These were the major areas he would seek to control with the powers
of his new office.
All that Karl Leonard Falk knew could not save
him, however. As acting President Falk served only a few months
and was summarily removed by the State Chancellor in 1970, following
a widely publicized personal memoir, which he circulated to the
print media in Fresno. Falk delivered the text of the statement
at a time of campus turmoil precipitated by Falk's closing down
of the student newspaper, The Daily Collegian which had
been critical of Falk's leadership style, and heavy handed restriction
of the assembly of students and faculty who were critical of his
tactics, and finally the breaking of windows throughout the campus
and the bombing of the campus computer center.
Falk appeared at a Fresno County Bar Association
meeting and delivered a speech in which he presented his official
plea for support of local lawyers of his policies of supression
of First Amendement freedom of expression, speech and press
as a means of preventing 'a group of minority students' from distributing
'propaganda' on the college campus.
Falk went on the record when he said:"A week
ago I had a so-called confrontation with a group of minority students
from our college and as well as from surrounding high schools...they
were not interested in my answers to their questions...they told
me to 'shut up'...[T]his is one of the reasons that public discussion
becomes...staged demonstrations with propaganda and political motives...to
seize control and to destroy present academic structure and use
it as a base to overthrow 'bourgeoise' America ...[T]hey know that
I am aware of their motivations and tactics...They also reject forces
of government...falling under the control of Marxist-Leninist and
Maoist influences which have created problems of internal dissension
...In 1932...I witnessed first-hand the power struggle between Communists
and Nazis...on the campus of the University of Berlin..."
[Fresno County Bar Association Speech by Karl Falk on 2/20/1970.]
It is not surprising that Karl Falk remembered
his former life in Nazi Germany. It was surprising that he chose
to publicly admit to any personal involvement with Hitler's Third
Reich, however. He thought he was on safe ground. That ominous
fact survives. He thought the Fresno judges and lawyers in his audience
would support shutting-down student newspapers, prohibiting student
gatherings, and a host of egregious limitations on free speech of
students and faculty at Fresno State College in previous weeks.
The meeting with Fresno judges and attorneys was
supposed to be an easy opportunity Falk might exploit to advance
further incursions on campus. And, that night, there were no objections
voiced. Following his delivery, the audinece gave Falk a supportive
ovation. At Last, it appeared Karl Falk he had found an audience
he deserved - an oasis in a besieged and deserted Fresno State presidency.
He was encouraged. By the next day, Falk had stepped-up oppressive
Perhaps, the reason his audience seemed supportive
that night was due more to the fact his audience was already familiar
with a great deal of legal controversy in the courts about the First
Amendment. There was wiggle-room for Falk in there someplace.
Surely, Falk's audience knew the difficulties of
interpretation that arise under abbreviated First Amendment
language finally agreed upon in president Jackson's time.
The First Amendment was proposed on September
25, 1789 but it was not adpted until December 15, 1791. adopted,
It reads: 'Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble
and consult for their common good, and to petition the government
for a redress of grievances.'
The only authority on the issue at the time was
the common law view of British jurist William Blackstone. He had
written 'The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature
of a free state...Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what
sentiments he pleases before the public. To forbid this, is to destroy
the freedom of the press...necessary for the preservation of peace
and good order, of government and religion, the only solid foundations
of civil liberty.'
The developed legal theory that the FirstAmendment
operates not only to bar most prior restraints of expression
but subsequent punishment of all but a narrow range of expression,
in political discourse and indeed in all fields of expression, is
only of the most recent origin. Yet, the Court's movement toward
that position began with its consideration of limitations on speech
and press in the period following the First World War.
In Schenck v. United States, the first of the post-World
War I cases to reach the Court, Justice Holmes, in the opinion of
the Court, while upholding convictions for violating the Espionage
Act by attempting to cause insubordination in the military
service by circulation of leaflets, suggested First Amendment
restraints on subsequent punishment as well as prior restraint.
'It well may be that the prohibition of laws abridging the freedom
of speech is not confined to previous restraints although to prevent
them may have been the main purpose...We admit that in many places
and in ordinary times the defendants in saying all that was said
in the circular would have been within their constitutional rights.
But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in
which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would
not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing
a panic...The question in every case is whether the words used are
used in such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that
they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a
right to prevent.'
Probably no other provision of the Constitution
has given rise to so many different views with respect to its underlying
philosophical foundations of the U.S. Constitution, as has the guarantee
of freedom of expression, the free speech and free press clauses.
The argument has been fought over by some of the
greatest leagl scholars in America. However, the sad truth about
the First Amendment today is that the Supreme Court has
never developed any comprehensive theory of what that constitutional
guarantee means and how it should be applied.
Some scholars argue in behalf of a complex of values,
none of which by itself is sufficient to support a broad-based protection
of freedom of expression.
Still others believe that, because of the constitutional
commitment to free self-government, only political speech is within
the core protected area.
Still, there are some who contend that protecting
speech, even speech in error, is necessary to the eventual ascertainment
of the truth, through conflict of ideas in the marketplace, a view
skeptical of our ability to ever know the truth.
In the broader view freedom of expression is necessary
to promote individual self-fulfillment, such as the concept that
when speech is freely chosen by the speaker to persuade others it
defines and expresses the self and promotes his liberty.
The concept of self-realization the belief that
free speech enables the individual to develop his powers and abilities
and to make and influence decisions regarding his economic freedom.
However, Supreme Court decisions consistently fail to clearly reflect
any principled philosophy.
Search For The War Criminal's Bones
On April 4, 1970, Soviet KGB
agents dug up Adolf Hitler's partially cremated remains from a secret
grave in eastern Gemany, burned and pulverized them and then dumped
them into a river, the German language magazine Der Spiegel reported
Saturday. Der Spiegel, quoting a KGB report said that Yuri Andropov,
then head of the KGB, ordered the charred remains of Hitler to be
disinterred from their burial site in Magdeburg, where Soviet military
intelligence hid them in 1946. The operation, code named Archive
aimed to eliminate, once and for all, the remains of Hitler, his
wife Eva Braun, and Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.
The Der Spiegel story said a special military intelligence
unit had found the remains in the burned-out ruins of the Nazi Reichsministry's
Berlin bunker. The remains were then crammed into ammunition boxes
and taken with the Soviet Army unit as it moved to the cities of
Rathenow, Stendall, and Magdeburg. The unit buried the bodies at
Magdeburg on February 21, 1946.
While still at home, Fresno State College president
Karl Leonard Falk, learned the content of that story from a well
placed source inside the Der Spiegel magazine on February 19, 1970.
When he arrived at his Office in the Thomas Admin. Building he had
a 12 page, single spaced, monologue prepared in all captal letters.
As he had done in the Reichsminsitry for Propaganda. However, he
would title it:
"ACADEMIC FREEDOM - ACADEMIC ANARCHY."
When the text was finally ready it depicted Karl
Falk's experience in Nazi Germany and compared Nazi Germany to the
state of war he found on the Fresno State College Campus that day.
He thought to send the text to the local news media as a press release.
His wife advised against it.
Instead of a press release, he decided to have
a copy of the original text placed in his Fresno State personnel
file for presevation. Falk would read the text at a meeting of the
Fresno County Bar Association.
With a full contingent of Fresno attorneys present,
Falk began with a dramatic opening. He told his stunned listeners:
"After three and one-half months of serving as acting President
of Fresno State College ... the college campus is a troubled place
... America is a troubled place ... these are troubled times...
we have the obligation to protect the majority against the wilful
imposition of the views of the minority ... in staging a revolution
to seize control ... to overthrow 'bourgeoise' America."
The hunt for Nazi war criminals spans more than
half a century and continues to this day.
A recent wire service story proclaimed that German prosecutors
had offered a bounty equivalent to $345,000 for information leading
to the capture of "the last top Nazi officer." Alois Brunner, according
to the report, was a senior SS officer who was at least partially
responsible for the deportation and extermination of more than 100,000
Jews during World War II. Sources said that Brunner had been living
in Syria since 1954 and that requests for extradition had fallen
on deaf ears.
Wolfgang Weber, chief prosecutor in Cologne, Germany,
disclosed that Brunner had moved to South America and that he was
hopeful the Austrian citizen would finally be brought to justice
because of the reward. The report ends with the statement, "All
other top Nazis have died or been arrested." If the report is correct
and Brunner is the last of his breed, we may in fact be witnessing
the end of an era.
Since the end of World War II and the trials that
followed, reports of suspected war criminals living among us and
occasionally being brought to justice have surfaced. Perhaps the
most celebrated such case was that of Adolf Eichmann, who was the
administrator of the so-called Final Solution and who supervised
the transportation of prisoners to concentration camps. Eichmann
eluded justice in Germany for four years, working as a lumberjack
in Hamburg before making his way to Rome. There, a sympathetic priest
gave him a refugee passport bearing the name Ricardo Clement. He
lived in obscurity in Argentina until 1960, when he was snatched
off the streets of Buenos Aires by Israeli agents. Placed on trial
in Israel, Eichmann was convicted and hanged on May 31, 1962.
Most people agree that Adolf Hitler killed himself
in his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, although the Führer's
death has become the subject of a new wave of investigative journalism
since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nazi Party Secretary Martin
Bormann may also have died in the ruins of Berlin, on May 1, 1945
(West Germany officially declared him dead in 1973), but his body
was never recovered, and some doubt still remains as to what actually
happened to Bormann.
Further, it seems no one can speak with certainty
about the supposed demise of Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous "Angel
of Death" who conducted heinous medical experiments at Auschwitz.
Reportedly, Mengele escaped to South America a few years after the
war and lived in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. He is believed
to have drowned in 1979.
Since the end of the war, the Jewish Documentation
Center in Vienna, headed by former concentration camp inmate Simon
Wiesenthal, has brought more than 1,000 suspected war criminals
to trial. Others have been required to defend themselves against
accusations of war crimes. In 1986, Kurt Waldheim, former Austrian
president and United Nations secretary-general, denied allegations
that he participated in atrocities as a German officer in the Balkans.
The United States banned Waldheim from entry into the country the
In 1987, John Demjanjuk, a retiree living in Ohio,
was put on trial in Israel on charges that he was "Ivan the Terrible,"
a harsh prison guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. Also in
1987, Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon," was sentenced to life
in prison for authorizing the torture and murder of members of the
Some members of the 118-man group of German rocket
scientists who were brought to the United States after the war to
work on the fledgling U.S. space program had, to varying degrees,
been aware of or involved in the use of slave labor in the Third
Reich. The most famous of these scientists, who had developed the
V-1 and V-2 rockets for Hitler, was Wernher von Braun. It was von
Braun who led the team that developed the Redstone ballistic missile
and the Jupiter C booster. He also became the first director of
the Marshall Space Flight Center. Nevertheless, von Braun had been
a member of the dreaded SS and had reached the rank of major.
Through five decades, the rumors and uncertainty
surrounding the identification of Nazi war criminals, the assistance
provided to them from various sources, and the efforts to find justice
have created a web of intrigue. Whether or not all Nazi war criminals
are dead or imprisoned, the stain of their shameful past will not
fade with time.
Twenty years before Karl L. Falk's admission of
his personal connection to the Third Reich and his speech to the
Fresno legal community, Fresno State students had already been wary
that professor Karl Leonard Falk was driven by a hidden authoritarian
agenda that ran counter to mainsream American values. For example,
one of Falk's students wrote a secret protest in 1950 inside the
cover and on a page oppisite the title of Part I of a well-read
textbook of the 1947 edition of Ogg & Ray's Essentials of American
Government, the text professor, Karl L. Falk required for social
science courses at Fresno State College between 1938-1959.
Certainly, the penciled protest was intended to
be buried, to be a secret. Ostensibly it was to be read by other
students in Falk's social science and economics classes at Fresno
State College. It's real objective was, perhaps, to be an undelivered
letter to Karl L. Falk, the Head of the Social Science Division
and Chairman of the economics department. The letter reads, in part,
"This is intended for the next 'sad soul' who is
going to take Soc.Sci. [from Karl Falk]-- After taking this course
and carefully browsing through this book I would like to say this
-- the United States is in one hellofa mess!
We are on the road to socialism
as sure as this book is printed. Whether that is "good" or "bad"
is for you, 'sad soul' to say. But, attend well in class; listen,
learn, read, and do outside readings and talking( good 'ol bull
sessions) because this is our country -- we have to live in it
-- and with it. You and I must know what this country stands for,
what it needs, what it has (ugh!) love. Please remember this though
-- you -- that's all -- you -- yourself -- the individual! The
way things are going, it looks like the individual is going to
be lost in government red tape. There is no government on earth
more important than Man -- don't let them crush him. Sure, I know,
this sounds goofy and maybe mushy, but think back to '47, '48
and even'39 and see what Communism, Fascism, Nazism, etc. have
done to human beings. Look now what the U.S. is doing! Day by
day, the Government is becoming God. Month by Month the President
is becoming the Virgin [M]ary, and year by year Congress is crushing
what freedoms we have left and lousing up, but good, our economic
system of free enterprise. Every day of your college life you'll
learn more about -- 'continentalism' and the proper stable attitude
-- just don't forget that the good 'ol U.S. is still the best
damn country in the world. But lets keep it so.
Best of luck to you!
Bob Mackie ( Jan.25, 1950)
Those Who Are Guilty by Their Acts
A new theory of Nazi German
guilt might be of some value in judging whether Karl Leonard Falk
was guilty of Nazi war crimes for the work he did for Hitler. This
new theory of liability implicates the vast majority of the German
people then living in Berlin and other parts of Germany who are
depicted as "exterminationist" both in word and deed. If
the German people are truly guilty under such theories, Karl Leonard
Falk might be considered implicated, as a knowing participant, as
well. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's best selling work propounds a theory
of guilt and of liability holding all German Nationals, even those
with dual citizenship like Karl Falk responsible. The book "Hitler's
Willing Executioners" is worth a read.
Karl Leonard Falk was a willing participant
in Nazi atrocities because as a German-American citizen he
willingly participated in racist instruction at the University of
Berlin and performed valuable work that assisted the leftist radical
Dr. Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry in perpetrating war crimes.
Falk was also known by both the SS and Gestapo who accorded hom
State privileges normally reserved only for high Nazi leaders.
Falk was knowledgeable as to what the Nazi SS SchutzStaffel
was up to in 1932-1938 Berlin. The SS, with its elite mystique of
'racial purity' was a fearsome security force used to enforce unquestioned
obedience to the Fuehrer. It was known as a 'state within a state'
that had its own housing settlements, schools, hospitals, and
industrial enterprises. It controlled the concentration camp prisons
and kept books and stats on production, efficiency, and profits.
It was Karl Falk's job at the Reichsministry to
cover-up the work of the SS and conceal it from the foreign press.
For example one of Karl Leonard Falk's assignments was to work as
a Nazi 'public relations writer' while assigned to the chemical
firm, I.G. Farben. He wrote calculated and misleading stories at
I.G. Farben to conceal that the chemical manufacturer was making
the deadly outlawed Zyklon B cyanide poison gas.
The manufacture of poison gas by Germany had to
be a clandestine activity because it was a violation of International
law. But, since Zyklon B was to be used by the Nazi's in
concentration camps to exterminate Jews and other resistors to german
statism and not as a military chemical weapon, Falk believed his
conduct in covering-up the poison gas by writing misleading news
stories was just a job and not a war crime. He hoped it was not
illegal, at least.
Most German people living in Berlin were aware
of those propaganda efforts, though they might not have been aware
that the American Karl Leonard Falk was actively involved. But,
whatever the German people knew, they said nothing. Their lives
depended on cooperation and perpetual silence. Falk's career depended
upon following orders.
Goldhagen's Nazi theory is that the anti-Semitism
of the Germans was deeply rooted in the traditional Germanic culture
and that accounts for the German silence. It was, perhaps, more
deeply anchored than that.
Goldhagen says the German people willingly went
along with Nazi slaughter of non-Jewish citizens when Hitler invaded
Poland. And again when the Nazi's expanded the slaughter of Eastern
Europe to the Ukraine and the Soviet Union. Falk, at least, did
not resist his duties.
Professor Goldhagen's theory is that most of those
people killed between the years 1936-1944 were murdered by techniques
of mass extermination often utilizing I.G. Farben Zyklon B
Such ways of death involved hundreds or more being
killed simultaneously. To accomplish this large scale extermination
it was necessary to construct vast SS prisons and all of the extensive
SS industrial factory needed to supply them.
After Germany's defeat the Nazi Party was dissolved
and any attempt at resuscitation became a crime under the constitution
of the German Federal Republic. Screening of NSDAP Nazi Party members
to place blame was done by international Nuremberg investigators.
They identified 600,000 cases of criminal conduct by those employed
by the Nazi party in uppler and lower echelon jobs, including staff
employed at the Propaganda Ministry.
Only 175,000 Nazi workers were ever brought to
trial and punished for having been directly responsible for instigating
or carrying out 'reprehensible policies'. Another one million were
punished for working with the Nazis in the lower level positions.
One million Germans were acquitted after lengthy trials. The rest
of the possible cases for prosecution either did not proceed or
were held in a state of 'suspension' because the individuals had
fled from Germany and had not been located.
Karl Leonard Falk was one of the cases in 'suspension'
but authorities did not know of his dual Germa-American citizenship,
at the time and time passed.
In 1943 Falk was aware that a request for access
to his Berlin University records had been filed with the Berlin
Archiv by the United States government. But, by that time Falk had
enlisted in the U.S. military forces. The matter was not pursued.
Falk was never identified nor prosecuted for his
activities with the Nazi Party in pre WWII Berlin, though he might
have been if the record of his Nazi Party activity been fully disclosed
at the time. Instead, that record was only eventually released to
the Daily Republican Newspaper by East Berlin officials just a few
weeks following Karl Leonard Falk's death in September 1988.
It is a fortunate turn of events, however, that
the Nazi files were ever opened to Western scholars, at all. It
came about because of president Ronald Reagan's request of Soviet
President, Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. They did. And
the Falk archives were unearthed in the Soviet Sector.
After repeated requests by the writer, finally,
in 1994 the Daily Republican Newspaper obtained officially certified
true photo abstracts of Karl Leonard Falk's 1932-38 Nazi work experience,
and his publications that had been secure against discovery for
62 years. The Daily Republican Newspaper has now been able to reveal
the portion of the record of the work done by Karl Leonard Falk
for the Nazi Party in Berlin. That record is now public and has
become part of the tragic history of the rise and fall of the Hitler's
Falk, trying to please his Nazi supervisors had
written a great amount of inflammatory propaganda and anti-Semitic
literature published in Germany by the Dr. Goebbels' Reichsministry
during the key six years just before the wholesale Nazi Holocaust.
By the time Falk was able to find a cover story
and safely get out of Berlin, Hitler was attacking Europe. Falk
wandered into Fresno, California where he thought no one would guess
of his Nazi Party affiliations.
It had become widely known in Berlin that he was
an American of German citizenship assisting the Nazi war machine
in Germany and in the United States.
He took ample advantage of his dual American-German
citizenship and traveled, on behalf on of the Third Reich, to American
cities direct from Berlin on several times between 1933-1938 where
he narrated in English the mocve sound track over the German Language
narration of Nazi propaganda films.
The Nazi Party, created by Hitler to embody the
German nation's political will, took precedence over the government
with the slogan 'the part rules over the state'. The Nazi Party
headed a proliferating group of Party organizations for which Karl
Leonard Falk worked, e.g., 1935 Institut fur Knojunkturforschung,
1933-35 Reichsrundfunkgelleschaft, 1933-34 Reichsministerium fur
Volksaufklarung und Propaganda, and 1936-38 Werbefilme der
UFA und Reichsbahnzentrale fur den Deutschen Reiserverkehr,
and others like the 1934 and 1935 public relations work in Berlin
for chemical manufacturerI.G. Farben and the Third Reich's
public relations firm Ivy Lee.
Hitler's own autobiography, Mein Kampf explained
his plan to politically exploit Germany . It was written in 1924
and sold over ten million copies in Germany. The book acquired scriptural
value as the ultimate Nazi doctrine by the time Karl L. Falk joined
Dr. Goebbels in 1932. It was undoubtedly the most racist anti Jewish
material ever distributed in the United States up to that time.
Thousands of copies of Hitler's book were supplied to California
colleges and universities in pre-WWII years. Several copies of that
work, and the works of Karl Marx were donated to Fresno State College
Library. These and other such materials have been on the reading
lists of former college president and Fresno State professor of
economics and social science department head, Karl Leonard Falk,
from 1938 through the 1960's.
Karl Falk Told German Readers
America's Faults in 1937 Nazi Book
The twenty-one year old Karl Leonard Falk was
the son of a Russian father of German descent, and a mother from
the left bank on the Rhine river near the medieval City of Cologne.
The younger Falk was obliged to work his way through high school
and college. While he worked he learned the trade of book-binding
in a Berkeley, California shop operated by his father.
Karl Leonard Falk graduated Piedmont High School
in the normal 4 year course. At Stanford University, Falk did not
distinguis himself as a scholar. He selected a safe filed o study
when he majored in German. He took the customary courses and graduated
Stanford in four years. It was 1932 and there was an economic deprssion
raging throughout California.
He decided to claim dual German-American citizenship
standing and travel to Berlin, Germany and see Hitler's thriving
Nazi economy, up close and personal. By September 1932 he was in
Berlin seeking employment in Adolf Hitler's new Third Reich.
Karl Leonard Falk demonstrated his smooth facility
with Volk-duetsch German. Hitler hired him on the spot. Falk would
be admitted to the University. aHe would take courses leading to
the doctorate in Nazi Economics and with the work for Hitler, and
a promised Nazi stipend, Falk would be able to pay all his living
costs, books, and unversity fees at the Fredrich Wilhelm University
In due course of completing his work assignments
in Jopseph Goebbels' Propaganda and Re-Education Ministry, Falk
had completed a dissertation, had obtained a waiver so that he did
not have to take the Latin Examination, and had obtained a Latinate
doctoral diploma with his name on it.
He had also arranged for publication of his dissertation
in book form. That small book was written under the supervision
of the Nazi Party who also paid the costs for printing and publication
in a nazi printing house in Frankfurt, the eastern German city on
the Oder River.
The Falk doctoral dissertation and the book he
made from it was a 108 page propaganda tract. It's purpose was to
show the German people how the American newspaper business was immoral
and unethical. That it was necessary to regulate what is printed
in newspapers for the protection of the public interst from rabble-rousers.
For Falk the publication was less of a triumph
and more of a potential embarassment. In later years, the publication
of Falk's propaganda tract carried with it the possibility of Karl
Leonard Falk's exposure as a Nazi agent.
If the American press learned of Falk's work for
the Nazi's and learned of Falk's book, he would be hounded out of
the United States.
After all, Falk reasoned, the need to take over and control public
speech, newspapers, films, art, photography, music, radio and magazines
was for the higher purpose of preserving the order and for the cause
of suppressing dissent justifies the ultimate exercise of State
police powers through martial law.
The legal basis Falk's Nazi book was naive and short sighted. Falk
wanted to please Goebbels and had to come up with what he thought
was plausible to the German people. The Nazi line interpreted the
work of the Reichsministry for Propaganda and Re-Education as coming
from the legacy of American suppression of freedom of speech and
press in early American times. In short, the Third Reich was depicted
in Falk's tract as only following the American precedent set down
in the principles and practices of American jurisprudence from 1690
Falk's tract repeatedly leveled direct personal
attacks on the character and motivation of American newspapers owners,
some of whom were Jewish, their journalists and the American news
The list of illustrative examples from Falk's book
is extrensive, however, just a few excerpts will illustrate the
nature and character of Karl Leonard Falk's specious thinking. These
cuts will give the reader a clear impression of the depth of Falk's
psychological commitment to the Third Reich and Hitler's fascict
program. Falk wrote in 1937 that:
- " The American is a curious person -- hot and heavy in his
work, desperate in his desire to get rich, not quite so fearfully
overindustrious as he imagines himself to be ..." (at page 15.)
- Of the American Joseph Pulitzer (1918 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism)
Falk said "... [N]othing so disgraceful has ever been known in
the history of American journalism ... and it is a crying shame
that such men should work such mischief simply in order to sell
more papers..." (at page 19.)
- On the art of propaganda Karl Falk wrote of what he depicted
as the use of it in the American press when he said "... Propaganda
is the giving out (or hiring) of opinions, or pleas to induce
people generally to believe what some organization wants them
to believe ... The successful editor is he who finds out what
the people want, not what they need, and gives it to them... as
best suits his own wishes ..." (at pages 89, 90.)
- On the newspapers business in America Falk wrote "...Any vagabond
babbler or unacknowledged genius, any enterprising tradesman,
with his own money, or with the money of others, may found a newspaper
..." (at page 99.)
- Clearly alluding to his own then recent experience Falk states
"Experience proves that money will attract talent under any conditions,
and the talent is ready to write as its paymaster requires..."
(at page 99.)
- Falk recklessly incriminates himself when he writes "... Experience
proves that the most contemptible persons, retired money-lenders,
Jewish factors, news vendors, and bankrupt gamblers may found
newspapers, secure the services of talented writers and place
their editions on the market as organs of public opinion..." (at
Falk pleased his Nazi paymaster with the book.
That book was but a small portion of the inflammatory and anti-Semitic
literature he was responsible for in misleading the foreign press
through propaganda pieces covering up the real work of Dr. Goebbels'
Reichsministry during the key six years just before the wholesale
Nazi Holocaust. Hitler knew his man very well.
It is the Nazi genocide of Jewish people, the handicapped,
those with mental disabilities, and political opponents beginning
in 1933 that remains for many the most memorable act of genocide
in recent political history. On the basis of its systematic, bureaucratic,
and technological nature, Hitler's Third Reich planned, organized
and carried out its program in a willful manner, with the knowledge
and collaboration of the vast state bureaucratic apparatus.
German industry, and the technological expertise
of scientists, news journalists, propaganda writers, and Nazi Party
workers like Karl Leonard Falk were supervised by the Reichsministry
in Berlin. Each and every one of those Nazi Party workers in high
and low level positions who cooperated or collaborated with Hitler's
Reichministry have to answer for their acts in furtherance of the
genocide and for the failure to take action in defense of individual
human beings being murdered by agents of the statefor the common
Karl Falk's Proverbs
Recently the dramatic firing of the House of
Representatives historian over how a Holocaust exhibit should be
interpreted shocked the nation. The House historian, Professor Jeffrey
was even a guest on ABC's Good Morning America where she discussed
the issue of freedom of speech that is at the heart of the dispute.
About the Nazi Holocaust program she had been working on, Professor
'It is a paradoxical and strange aspect of this program and the
methods used to change the thinking of students is the same that
Hitler and Goebbels used to propagandize the German people. This
re-education method was perfected by Chairman Mao and now is being
foisted on American children under the guise of `understanding history.'
Actually, how could one begin to teach the Holocaust
without raising the Nazi point of view, racial ideology, Weimar
republic resentments, Jews in public and professional life, and
more. Jeffreys probably did not intend to argue for the validity
or legitimacy of these Nazi ideas but to simply to inquire into
the underlying meaning of Nazi language used in justification of
the Holocaust, itself.
At various points during the 1980s the program
was denied funding, although it had been accredited by the Education
Department and is now widely taught. It was heavily criticized by
conservative critic Phyllis Schlafly, who asked the Education Department
to reject the grant application and accused the program of ``psychological
manipulation, induced behavioral change and privacy-invading treatment.''
The National Socialists (Nazi Party) used a specialized
vocabulary and psychological manipulation, induced behavioral change
and invaded the privacy of German citizens to assure learning was
taking place. Certain phrases and words were evidence of the psychological
foundation of Nazi propaganda style. Since the end of WWII, there
have been detailed studies which have shown this in much detail.
However, it should not be forgotten that the Nazis
also made considerable use of all aspects of German folk speech.
Evidence of this is found in the records of a Nazi party convention
that Karl Leonard Falk attended in 1934. Dr. Joseph Goebbels called
directly for the use of such language when he said:
"We must speak the language which the folk understands. Whoever
wants to speak to the folk must, as Luther says, pay heed to folk
Hitler actually had already said something quite similar in 1925/26
in Mein Kampf:
"I must not measure the speech of a statesman to his people
by the impression which it leaves in a university professor, but
by the effect it exerts on the people."
What Hitler claimed to be of specific importance
to a speaker addressing the common folk is of equal significance
for the language of propaganda which he analyzes in various sections
of his book:
"All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must
be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is
addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended
to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to
Little wonder then that elements of folk speech
appear with considerable frequency in Hitler's "Kampfbuch" (struggle
book), in the official Nazi Party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter,
where Karl Falk worked, and in all the Nazis' other publications,
leaflets, and posters.
This linguistic crudity is apparent particularly
in the generous employment of metaphors andword patterns. The inclination
of the Nazis towards the slogan, the headline, the quotation, the
Bible verse has been described as a "Hammerschlagtaktik" (hammer-blow
tactic) to describe the way in which these word patterns are integrated
over-and-over into speeches and written texts.
This went so far that new slogans were created
by Karl Falk while working in the Nazi propaganda machine which
in 1937 were already included in the quickly Nazified standard collection
of quotations. The editors had incorporated quotations, proverbs,
and slogans of National Socialism in their "Nazi-Büchmann".
Some of these Nazi maxims are:
"Blutzeuge" (blood witness);
"Mit den Juden gibt es kein Paktieren, sondern nur das harte
Entweder-Oder" out of Mein Kampf (There is no making pacts with
Jews; there can only be the hard: either-or);
"der Trommler" (the drummer);
"Wahrer Sozialismus heißt nicht: allen das Gleiche, sondern:
jedem das Seine" (True socialism does not mean: to everybody the
same, but rather: each to his own);
"Nur wer gehorchen kann, kann später auch befehlen!" (Only he
who can obey, can later also command);
"Gemeinnutz [geht] vor Eigennutz" (The common good takes precedence
"Gleichschaltung" (political coordination), "Ein Führer, ein
Volk, ein Staat" (One leader, one folk, one state);
"Kraft durch Freude" (strength through joy);
"Die Fahne hoch!" (Raise high the banner!) at the end even the
first stanza of Horst Wessel's Nazi anthem ;
"Jedem das Seine" (Here are the Jews!) the main gate of the
Buchenwald concentration camp ;
"Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free) at the main gate at Auschwitz.
"Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free) as the slogan with a
REDEN IST SILBER, SCHWEIGEN IST GOLD (Speech is silver, silence
is gold) at the crossbeams of the barracks at Auschwitz;
LEBEN UND LEBEN LASSEN (Live and let live).
- "Armut schändet nicht" (Poverty is no disgrace);
- "Trocken Brot macht Wangen rot" (Dry bread makes red cheeks);
- "Hunger ist der beste Koch" (Hunger is the best cook) ;
- "Selbst die Sprichwörter entlarven die Ideologie der jeweils
herrschenden Klasse" (Even proverbs unmask the ideology of the
ruling class at any given time)critically analyzed from a Nazi
point of view.
In Mein Kampf Hitler writes that he already
knows everything better than anybody else. Whoever attempts
to argue against him is quickly brushed aside as being incapable,
stupid or timid:
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional
ideas of the great masses The fact that our smart alecks do
not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited
they are. To them also belongs the type of lazybones who could
perfectly well think, but from sheer mental laziness seizes
gratefully on everything that someone else has thought, with
the modest assumption that the someone else has exerted himself
Only a bourgeois blockhead is capable of
imagining that Bolshevism has been exorcised . We were treated
to the spectacle (as we still are today!) of the greatest
parliamentary thick-heads [straw heads] suddenly setting themselves
on the pedestal of statesmen, from which they could lecture
down at plain ordinary mortals.
Hitler's use of proverbs serves the important
role of convincing the readers of Mein Kampf and above all the
listeners to his speeches of the absolute and final wisdom of
National Socialism. Proverbs are used and misused for the purpose
of propaganda, as is blatantly clear from a speech attended
and translated for short-wave wireless transmission by Karl
Falk which was delivered by Hitler on March 16, 1936:
German people [...] I am waiting for your decision,
and I know, it will prove me to be right! I will accept your
decision as the voice of the people which is the voice of God".
Hitler interpreted the classical proverb "Vox
populi, vox Dei" (The voice of the people is the voice of God)
the way that only he and Karl Leonard Falk saw it, "the voice
of the people" refered only to the National Socialist Party
Germans and excluded all other and different voices.
It is generally recognized throughtout the
world that Nazi proverbs were intended to take on powerful psychological
overtones. Psychological manipulation played a significant role
in Hitler's shrewd integration of proverbial wisdom and folk
wisdom of simple German citizens and their children.
Upon analyses, it can now be seen that Nazi
proverbs contained the knowledge, experience, and observation
of generations of simple German people, and this distilled wisdom
gives the "proverb" its unchallengable status, character, and
claim to authority.
This does not mean, however, that Hitler was
always satisfied with the traditional wording of folk proverbs.
He routinely demanded that Karl Falk lengthen the proverb and
subtly change its traditional meaning"Was der Mensch wünscht,
das hofft er" (What people wish they hope for) to "Was der Mensch
will, das hofft und glaubt er" (What people want they hope for
and believe. The verb "wünschen" (wish) is replaced by the stronger
verb "wollen" (want) and the added verb "glauben" (believe)
signifies Hitler's insistence on blind adherence and obedience.
According to this expanded proverb, Hitler
needs only to explain to the people what they should want (i.e.,
National Socialism), and then they will believe with much hope
in its mission. Such "small" alterations of traditional proverbs
thus prove to be subtle propagandistic manipulations of the
people that Karl Falk learned from the master of propaganda,
at the feet of Adolf Hitler. Dr. Joseph Goebbels gave a speech
in March 1933 to a gathering of Nazi Party workers including
Karl Leonard Falk. Goebels explained the aims of the Hitler's
new Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment:
"The most important tasks of this Ministry must be the following.
Firstly, all propaganda ventures and all institutions for
the enlightenment of the people throughout the Reich and the
states must be centralized in one hand. Furthermore, it must
be our task to instill into these propaganda facilities a
modern feeling and bring them up to date. We are living now
in an age when the masses must support policies ... It is
the task of State propaganda so to simplify complicated ways
of thinking that even the smallest man in the street may understand."
[Jeremy Naokes & Geoffrey Pridham, Documents on Nazism, 1919-1945,
pp. 333-334, Viking Press, New York, 1974.]
Even though Hitler was very much aware of the
basic truth of the folk proverb that "der Prophet im eigenen
Lande selten etwas zu gelten pflegt" (the prophet seldom has
any honor in his own country; he nevertheless again and again
moved down the deceptive path of the prophet. Hitler used the
term "grundsätz" (principle) that Karl Falk cryptically
incorporated within the words of the title of his 1937 book,
"Grundsätz und Probleme der Amerikanischen Tagespresse".
Ironically, for both Adolf Hitler and Karl
Falk, they were self acknowledged "simple krauts" and in time,
each would live out a proverbial "big lie" so well exemplified
by a loosely translated Nazi proverb:
"Unmöglich ist gar nichts, und es geht alles, wenn man
(Nothing at all is impossible, and you can do everything you
The College President as Secret
Berlin University Book Burner
The well-known Fresno State College professor,
Karl Falk often repeated little folk sayings to his students,
and colleagues. One of these little trademarks went like this:
"We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain
Until now, however, it was not publicly known
who the source was for such folk wisdom. The author of this
and most all of Falk's clever sayings was, Dr. Joseph Goebbels.
This particular folk saying was actually Goebbels' "grundsatz"
(principle) of Nazi propagandistic journalism. Karl Falk learned
these forms of thinking directly from their source between 1933-1938.
William Shirer's Berlin Diary (1940)
describes a September 1934 encounter at the Fourth Nazi Party
Rally with a young German-American journalist on the Reichsministry
Propaganda staff who's job it was to welcome American foreign
press correspondents to Germany. German journalists were servants
of the government. To practice the journalist trade in Germany,
one had to be a German citizen of Arayan descent, and more than
21 years old. They met in Nuremberg at the beautiful old Rathaus
Hitler had just restored. Hitler spoke to hysterical crowds
from a balcony in front of the building.
The young German-American said his name was
"Putzi" (German slang for 'clown') and he spoke both English
and a simple folk German dialect. Shirer depicted him as a '
high-strung, incoherent clown, who does not often fail to remind
us that he is part American ... graduated from an American university
... obviously trying to please his boss he had the crust to
ask us to "... report on affairs in Germany without attempting
to interpret them. History alone, can evaluate the events now
taking place under Hitler." The American journalists liked the
young German-American with the suspect name "... in spite of
his clownish stupidity." [Shirer, p.14].
I met with Karl Leonard Falk at the Social
Science departmental office located on the Second Floor of the
Fresno State College Social Science Bldg. in 1958. Falk seated
himself behind a large executive desk in a hard executive chair.
As he began telling me about his work with the College, I could
not help but notice the wall behind Falk, where he had placed
his doctoral diploma set in lateinisch (Latin) text
of the Frideric Wilhelm University of Berlin. I read
the text on the face of the diploma, which denoted, in German
& Latin text, that Falk's doctoral dissertation was in the field
of of Nazi economics. The date of graduation was stated as December
10, 1936. An ordinary mind would conclude from these facts that
Karl Leonard Falk matriculated into that university around the
Having plowed my way through professor Karl
Leonard Falk's required student reading list of the works of
Karl Marx, and Hitler's Mein Kampf, I had unearthed a New York
Public Library copy of a book written in German by Falk and
published by the Nazi press in 1937 Frankfurt.
With these facts at hand, and in the privacy
of Falk's college office, I presumed to ask Falk about his apparent
1933-1938 Nazi relationship with Hitler's Third Reich.
My inquiry clearly angered Falk who then devoted
one full hour raging and castigating his questioner as a Young
Turk, the pejorative term he often used to depict young
university scholars who questioned the Nazi socialist economics
model (corporate statism) Falk propounded in his undergraduate
and graduate Social Science curricula at the College.
Falk's response to questions about Nazi Party
connections in the 1930's was sophomoric and unbecoming to a
California State College department head who had eminent influence
in State and municipal government affairs.
However, when the content of the Falk Nazi
book came up, Falk regained some composure and began speaking
authoritatively, saying, "All the records got burned in the
fires in Berlin. First let me make it clear to you. I was unaware
of the prison camps. I always had my head screwed on right.
I was just a foreign student attending Frideric Wilhelm University
of Berlin. I translated some of Hitler's speeches into English
when I was there and that's all. I am just a simple kraut!
I do not know of any plan and I do not believe there was
any plan to exterminate the Jews. There is no proof that those
killings were systematic, at all." He continued,"I was disgusted
when I heard stories of human soap and lamp shades and that
four million died in concentration camps. I did not see any
homicidal gas chambers. There is not even 'just one proof' of
any plan to exterminate the Jews."
This writer pointed out that documentation
had survived. That it was in two forms; the first being in The
Goebbels' Diary (Doubleday 1948) a proof which had survived
and established incontrovertible first-hand evidence that the
Nazi Party intentionally exterminated German Jews and political
dissenters; and second, the documentary proof contained in the
records of Berlin in the hands of the Soviet East Germans .
This writer also pointed out that the Fresno
State College Library had a shelf-copy of Goebbels work with
a Louis Lochner "Introduction" in which he writes: "During the
first year of the Nazi regime... the whole civilized world was
shocked,when on the evening of May 10, 1933, the books of Jewish
authors ... including those of our own Helen Keller Those works
were solemnly burned by University students on the immense Franz
Joseph Platz between the University of Berlin and the State
Opera Unter den Linden. I was a witness to the scene." (p.17).
It was reasonable for this writer to assume,
in the absence of exculpating evidence, that professor Falk,
as a doctoral student in that very University in Berlin for
at least one year prior to the book burning, placed Falk, with
reasonable certainty, at the anti-semitic book burning event.
More than that, his general denial of knowledge of the event
suggests his active participant in those and other Nazi activities
of the period.
Goebbels admits in his diary that in the official
Nazi program of Jew hunting 'The evacuation of the Jews from
Berlin[since 1933] has led to a number of untoward happenings.
Unfortunately ... there are now [4000 Jews and Jewesses] wandering
about Berlin without homes, are not registered with the police
and are naturally quite a public danger. I ordered the police,
Wermacht, and the Party to do everything possible to round these
Jews up as quickly as practicable.'
If it is true that history can evaluate the
events in which Karl Leonard Falk participated in Nazi Berlin
it is also true that Falk will be remembered in the context
of his work with the Nazi propaganda Ministry. There he was
working every day of his life on bringing about the racist 'purification'
through the Nuremberg Law.
In search of the unfolding historical truths
of the secret life of this American Nazi, this writer interviewed
Falk asking for his explanation. Falk's response was to attack
the validity of the claim againt Goebbels, the Wermacht, the
Nazi Party, and the University of Berlin students as intimately
involved in concerted anti-jewish activities. The essence of
Falk's answer was the standard Nazi propaganda line, 'The proof
you think you have, does not count as proof. What you say is
a mental delusion. It is only a half-truth. My experience in
pre-Nazi Germany taught me how dangerous it is to go along with
half-truths. Remember, that a half-truth is also a half-untruth.
Germany would have been a stupid country to have any minorities
who were dissatisfied and whose capabilities were not utilized
to the maximum degree!'
In the time which has passed since 1958, this
writer has come to think that denial of an individual's or a
group's real involvement in the persecution of political opponents,
suppression of freedom of speech, causing deportation of German
Jews, their degradation, suffering, and confiscation of the
real and personal property, and the indirect support for the
holocaust of millions of victims is a more hideous product of
Nazi cruelty. Perhaps it rises to a higher level of criminal
conduct that is worse than the original conduct itself for it
permits the promotion, advancement, and perpetuation of those
crimes upon repeated future generations.
This appears to be especially so with the revisionist
assertion that the Holocaust [the Nazi persecution of European
Jews culminating in the genocide of five to six million] never
happened. This is the essence of Karl Leonard Falk's answer.
In the United States, the First Amendment protects
the right of every citizen to question the very existence of
the Holocaust or anything else. According to FBI Director Louis
Freeh, 'no matter how despicable, it's protected by the 1st
That is not the case elsewhere in the world.
In Canada, anti-hate and pornography statutes and the law against
spreading "false news" have been used against Holocaust revisionists.
In France it is illegal to contest the existence of any of the
crimes against humanity as defined by the Nuremberg Military
Tribunal. But, in Germany it is against the law to 'defame the
memory of the dead.'
In the year 1933, book burnings became commonplace
all over Germany. Official estimates place the books lost to
the fires at more than 67,000. An American citizen in Berlin
did his best to help that tragedy along. The Nazis denigrated
much of the Western cultural heritage of Europe and liberal,
humanistic values went up in smoke. That same American citizen
was part of the leadership of that event. On May 10, 1933, at
the University of Berlin, the first of a series of book burnings
took place. That American citizen was present there, as well.
The works the American helped to burn were
those of world-class authors such as Thomas Mann, Erich Maria
Remarque, Ludwig von Mises, Jack London, Thomas Hobbes, Adam
Smith, William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, Herbert Hoover,
H. G. Wells, Helen Keller, and Emile Zola as well as those of
countless Jewish writers were burned in huge bonfires under
the approving eye of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister
and his assistants, including the young and impressionable German-American,
Karl Leonard Falk.
While the books burned, Dr. Goebbels intoned these words:
'The soul of the German people can again express itself.
These flames not only illuminate the final end of an old era;
they also light up the new.'
Goebbels henceforth nazified German culture,
forcing all of the arts to serve the new regime. Many great
writers, musicians, artists and actors fled Germany or were
Anti-Semitic hate spewed out of the Nazi propaganda
press and government information offices during this period.
For example, Karl Falk's favorite Nazi German newspaper in the
1930's, Der Stürmer published by Julius Streicher, carried
a 14-page special issue which included the age-old charge that
Jews used Christian blood to bake their Passover matzoh. The
newspaper documented two thousand years of Jewish ritual murders.
More than 100,000 copies of the issue were printed and distributed.
Nazi propaganda broadcast via short-wave radio to Palestine
exacerbated Arab hostility toward German Jews who had settled
there, and sparked anti-Jewish riots.
The German-American Nazi propagandist, Karl
Leonard Falk was to return to America in 1938 after participating
and precipitating Nazi book burnings and other horrific conduct.
In America, Falk would, for a time, successfully conceal his
Nazi past, with the aid and support of his sympathetic academic
colleagues and the negligence of his Administration supervisors.
He would eventually become the head of the department of economics
and even rise to head of the entire social science division
of the Fresno State College.
For a brief few months he would become the
acting president of Fresno State College. Soon after taking
over the reins of the College, however, president, Karl Leonard
Falk was removed from office by the Chancellor in a storm of
faculty and student protests and mass demonstrations. As a 'simple'
professor, Karl Leonard Falk would never permit any of the books
he burned to be included on his Fresno State College reading
lists. As its president, he made certain that his German book
was never added to the college Library.
Nazi Power Tactics Were Carefully Studied
Karl Leonard Falk cherished
his collection of German currency and banknotes and other memorabilia.
His favorite German newspaper was the porno sheet published
by Julius Streicher, the Der Stürmer. A representative
portion of Karl Leonard Falk's avocation may be viewed at the
Fresno State College Special Collections under the title
"The Karl Falk Collection of German Notgeld".
It includes German postage stamps, currency from 1904-1924,
and of course, facsimilies of two front pages of the pornographic
German newspaper Der Stürmer, from the year, 1931.
Incidentally, Julius Streicher was described in The Life
and Death of Adolf Hitler [Robert Payne, The
Life & Death of Adolf Hitler, pages 167-168. Praeger Pub. Co.,
New York, 1973.] as "remarkable for those qualities
of brutality and bestiality ... in which the Jews were always
depicted as sub-human monsters and perverts."
Streicher was captured in 1945 and held to answer for his war
crimes. He entered a "not guilty" plea. He was convicted and
soon received the death penalty for his propaganda and related
war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.
Karl Leonard Falk would set a high standard of personal and
professional conduct in judging his colleagues. Although, when
he said it, he didn't expect that he would be held to it,as
"A faculty member should act as an example through
his own personal life, and his professional life ... to teach
intellectual integrity, honesty, character, and just plain common
sense ... and his professional and personal life are hard to
American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Supreme Court Justice Robert
H., Jackson said hatred toward the Jews had been fanned by Goebbels'
Karl Leonard Falk's appetites for worthless German paper,
his interest in pornogrphy, and his activities as a Nazi Party
operative in Berlin and all over Gemany from 1932-1938 were
carefully guarded secrets and he did not want to be judged by
his own example. In 1970 a new light would be focussed on the
secret Nazi connections and the personal life of Karl Leonard
Falk, however. He would be held accountable for his conduct
by that same standard he advocated for judging the conduct of
his friends, faculty, and students.
It was Karl Falk, the man who wanted secrecy, who broke his
own Nazi story in February 1970. Falk moved quickly and induced
a confused and bewildered Frederic Ness to resign the presidency
and appoint Falk "Acting President" of Fresno State College.
Falk's "acting" leadership style was domineering, authoritative,
dictatorial, and his manner was generally thought to be abrasive
to students and faculty. Falk as a professor and as an Acting
President was seen by many students and faculty members as deceptive,
and tending toward the imposing of martial law on the Campus.
Falk removed faculty opponents, closed down the College newspaper
threw out the Faculty Senate Handbook, and barricaded his office,
installing a secret exit for a quick retreat to a secure location.
Falk was subjected to threats upon his life and it was reported
in the Fresno Bee newspaper that he was always accompanied by
an armed bodyguard wherever he went. There were riots, and mass
demonstrations when Falk appeared in public. Falk was only 58
years old but his past was rapidly catching-up with him.
On February 20, 1970 Karl Leonard Falk spoke to a gathering
of Fresno attorneys. He said:
" We don't want to be pushed to the point where the American
people have to choose between freedom or the suppression of
freedom in order to combat ... Fascism ... I am afraid if we
don't stop - this is the present trend we are headed for."
Falk was recalling that in 1933 the Nazi's began arresting
and imprisoning Jews in the ten concentration camps set up in
Germany. The first concentration camp was Dachau. Most
German people heard of the camps from the first. They hoped
the camps would be for the purpose of imprisoning Communists
and other trouble makers. They would soon learn the camps were
to be used principally for slave labor of specific victims,
such as Jews. Others would be imprisoned and disappear there,
like the disabled, and homosexuals.
Falk turned to the group of stunned Fresno
attorneys and said: "In 1932, a year before the Nazi's came
to power, I witnessed, first-hand, the power struggle between
the Communists and the Nazis. Both on the Campus of the University
of Berlin and all over Germany ..."
Falk spoke to the attorneys from a prepared
text. He read to amazed listeners that some of his German friends
in Berlin had been arrested and imprisoned in Nazi concentration
camps. Some, he went on, had actually survived the Nazi camps.
When they were released, he described how he badgered them with
forceful inquiries reminiscent of Gestapo interrogations.
Falk's questions of Nazi concentration camp
victims were likely a clumsy roose to shift his own guilt to
these victims. For example, he said he asked concentration camp
victims: "Would you still say the Nazis should have been allowed
freedom of speech and action in 1932?"
Falk was mindful that his question was founded
upon the Fascist political philosophy that precluded observing
constitutional due process safeguards to freedom of speech and
press.To conceal his attack upon American citizen's constitutional
rights, president, Falk summed up his manifesto this way:
"I would appreciate your understanding and patience
and support of my efforts ... I am sure that the Bar Association,
because of its training and experience, can appreciate the importance
of not letting freedom degenerate into anarchy."
Never having held elective office and never
subjected to public scrutiny into his Nazi past, Fresno State
College president, Karl Falk became the ultimate "insider" and
"architectural meglomaniac" of what was to become the redeveloped
downtown City of Fresno and the Social Science Division and
Economics Department of what is now known as the California
State University, Fresno. His Nazi information and education
models and related political and economics philosophy and the
Nazi racial science were subtly written into his policies
and practices, ideas for the uses of government while working
in appointed positions in government and higher education in
the United States after his Nazi training in Berlin.
A few years later, Dr. Haorld H. Haak, then
president of the California State University Fresno, attempted
to depict college conflicts in his book Parable of a President,
1982 American Assoc. of State Colleges & Universities.
Haak appeared to indirectly address the legacy
of chaos left to him by former acting Fresno State president
Karl Leonard Falk. He wrote of a truly fictional campus
where '...The Social Sciences were in a disarray and was on
its third dean in four years...The young economists wanted to
seize control of the department from their more conservative
and quantitatively oriented senior colleagues. The political
scientists were resentful of the efforts of the School of Business
to develop a public administration option and had temporarily
dropped their efforts to oust the public administration types
from their department...The history department had a splinter
group that wanted to join the humanities, led by the same senior
faculty member who was attacking the dean...The urban planning
program did not understand how it fit into the structure of
the School of Social Sciences and was meeting informally with
the public administration types to consider the formation of
a new department, possibly in the School of Business...'
Falk was also the founder of the now defunct
government Home Federal Savings & Loan Association Charter of
Fresno and Hanford. He was the appointed head of numerous government
posts in Fresno City and County planning commissions, housing
authorities, urban renewal, and was appointed by California
Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown(D) to state government housing
and banking boards and agencies in 1958. Falk was also appointed
as a 1954 Fulbright guest lecturer at Stuttgart, Germany.
Falk continued his Berlin influence after the
end of WWII, eventually publishing his architectural proposal
for Berlin's government urban renewal program he called the
"Falk Berlin Plan" based upon the 1925 sketches of Adolf Hitler
and later modified in the Speer Obersalzberg architectural plans
of Spring 1934.
In 1988, Daily Republican investigative journalists
learned that Falk's mother (Helen S. Rucker) was born in Cologne
(a Rhinelander). At the same time in early 1933 that Falk was
in Cologne visiting his Rhineland relatives, von Papen and Hitler
met in the home of a Cologne banker, Kurt von Schroder, where
funds were pledged to finance the Nazi Party. In exchange for
the funds, a group of Cologne industrialists reassured Hindenburg
so as to allow Hitler to form a cabinet. Reluctantly, Hindenburg
agreed, and on January 30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of
Germany at the age of 43.
Berlin government sources have revealed that
later, in the same week, Karl Leonard Falk was in Berlin when,
among the first actions of the new Chancellor, was his enactment
of an Emergency Decree directed at eliminating all political
opposition "in the interest of the public good." The Nazis seized
the day and immediately declared Martial Law throughout Germany.
In the midst of Hitler's Martial Law in 1933,
Hitler induced a confused and frightened Hindenburg to sign
a decree euphemistically called, "For the Protection of the
People and State," suspending all of the basic rights, including
the freedom of speech of citizens and imposed the death sentence
for arson, sabotage, resistance to the decree, and disturbances
to public order.
Arrests could be made on suspicion, and people
could be sentenced to prison without trial or the right of counsel.
The suspension was never lifted throughout the entire period
of Nazi rule, and the decree of February 28, 1933 destroyed
fundamental freedom of speech and press guarantees under the
During the next few days, up to elections on
March 5, 1933, Hitler threw millions of Germans into panic with
arbitrary arrests of hundreds of thousands of Berlin's citizens,
journalists, actors, artists, musicians, university professors,
foreign news reporters. Thousands of Nazi Storm troopers rampaged
through the streets of Berlin. They broke into homes, rounded
up many Jews who were beaten, tortured, imprisoned, or killed.
A decree was issued on April 11, 1933 defining
"non-Aryans" as those who were descended from "non-Aryan" parents
or grandparents, even if only one grandparent was "non-Aryan."
The slaughter of animals for food under Jewish kosher laws
was banned on April 21, 1933.
On April 25, 1933, a quota law, limited admission
of Jews to institutions of higher learning to 1.5 % of the total.
On September 28, 1933 Jews were excluded from all artistic,
dramatic, literary and film enterprises. On September 29,1933
Jews could no longer own farmland.
The Nazi concentration camps were intended
to spread terror among the population. They also provided the
Gestapo with "training." In talks with Nazi leaders even before
he became chancellor, Hitler's architecture for the New World
Order was laid-out :
"We must be ruthless...Only thus shall we purge our
people of their softness ... and their degenerate delight in
beer-swilling ... I don't want the concentration camps transformed
into penitentiaries. Terror is the most effective political
instrument ... It is my duty to make use of every means of training
the German people to cruelty, and to prepare them for war ...There
must be no weakness or tenderness."
Falk learned much of his leadership technique
first-hand, from Hitler between 1932-1938. The Nazis technological
superiority in electronics equipment, closed-circuit TV and
state-of-the-art press facilities, including a forty-one nation
short-wave radio network, and the first telex transmissions
of news copy, and a Zeppelin to fly newsreel film to other European
capitals. Karl Falk even met the world famous propaganda film
maker, Leni Riefensthal who was filming the 1936 Olympic Games
in Berlin for newsreel footage. For Karl Falk, the Nazis were
nothing short of amazing.
Falk escaped a formal hearing on his work for
the Nazis. However, a Philadelphia man is to be stripped of
his US citizenship for his service to Nazi Germany.
The Justice Department has formally accused
a naturalized American citizen, Fedir Kwoczak, of acting as
a guard for the Hitler's Third Reich. Kwoczak will likely be
deported. He had given a cover story to US immigration officials
that he had worked on farms in Germany and Poland during World
War II. The beat goes on.
NAZI PROPAGANDA FILM
the 1936 film was produced by the Third Reich and directed
by Leni Riefenstahl. Joseph Goebbels hired Riefenstahl to film
the Berlin Olympic Games as a "world statement" of the Third
Reich. It is still a very exciting film record of the 1936 Berlin
Olympics. There was nothing like it, before, or since.
Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia made a film statement not
only about the beauty of the Berlin Olympics but also, and more
subtly, about Berlin political economics. Even though this two-part,
three-and-a-half-hour film, recently released in a video version,
purports to celebrate events that occurred 60 years ago, it
still makes a powerful understatement for German State nationalism.
Caution is advised when viewing this film.This
mysterious and powerful story is celluloid testimony to the
captivating persuasion techniques that Goebbels' propaganda
film maker, Leni Riefenstahl still has on modern viewers of
her symbolic work.
The 1936 classic Reifensthal film will be released
on video to coincide with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.For
years, Riefenstahl's reputation as the creator of the fascist
documentary Triumph of the Will has lead people to criticize
Olympia as another piece of Nazi propaganda. Although
the film was originally commissioned by Hitler, who is prominent
in the opening ceremony sequence, Olympia pretends to
be an objective film record of the human spirit and athletic
excellence of the German Arayan superiority. Instead, it turns
out to be the documenting of the achievements of men and women
of all ethnic and racial origin. Note Hitler's absence from
the film clips as the Germans' team starts to lose.
Throughout the film Olympia Leni Riefenstahl's
film direction is technically and artistically perfect. She
uses striking light-shadow cintrasts, slow-motion photography,
low-angle camera placement. Combined with long tracking shots
she is able to portray the Olympic athlete as strong and artistic.
The artistic power of these elements was not seen before nor
since in sports news photography.
Olympia showcases Jesse Owens' legendary
track and field achievements, which shattered sports records
as well as Hitler's lunatic myths of Aryan supremacy. Owens'
brilliance, which outlasted the Nazi policy of racism, is captured
here in full, along with other highlights.
Memorable events are Glenn Morris's victory
in the decathalon and a pole-vault competition lasting into
the night, with athletes charging out of the darkness and flying
through the night sky.
Cheering with each victory and wincing at each
stumble onlookers do not suspect Olympia is very much
a film about political economics. It is a mistake not to look
for hidden messages in this film. The film subtly promotes Nazi
fascism and the anti-Semitic Nazi "racial science".
Leni Riefenstahl's rights to the film expired
years ago and she is not entitled to any royalties from video
sales or rentals. Following World War II she was cleared by
the Nuremberg courts but has been shunned by the world's film
industry and has never made another film. Olympia is
a pitiable celebration of a pre-WWII Nazi mind-set which worships
state power over the individual in the presentation of a work
of art and propaganda which might otherwise have been, well
[The writer a Ford Fellow in the California
State Legislature, later as chief economist, Hobbs managed the
Economics Institute, Washington, D.C. He has an economics
doctorate from the University of Southern California. Hobbs'
latest book is Thomas Hobbes' Civil Economics, Principles
and Practices 2d ed., 1995. Tahoe Press, Palo Alto.]