by Stephen P. Halbrook, PhD., J.D.
New research on the Nazi confiscation
of registered guns--and execution of
gun owners--provides a poignant lesson
on why Americans have always opposed
the registration of peaceable firearms owners.
President Bill Clinton has come out in favor of the registration of all law-abiding American gun owners. "People ought to have to register guns like they register their cars," he said.1 Already, the Clinton-Gore administration is misusing the national instant check system to retain the identities of firearms purchasers. Government records on gun owners supposedly protect society.
It would be instructive at this time to recall why the American citizenry and Congress have historically opposed the registration of firearms. The reason is plain. Registration makes it easy for a tyrannical government to confiscate firearms and make prey of its subjects. Denying this historical fact is no more justified than denying that the Holocaust occurred or that the Nazis murdered millions of unarmed people.
I am writing a book on Nazi policies and practices that sought to repress civilian gun ownership and eradicate gun owners in Germany and occupied Europe. The following sampling of my findings should give pause to the suggestion that draconian punishment of citizens for keeping firearms is necessarily a social good.
The Night of the Broken Glass (Kristallnacht)Ðthe infamous Nazi rampage against Germany's JewsÐtook place in November 1938. It was preceded by the confiscation of firearms from the Jewish victims. On Nov. 8, The New York Times reported from Berlin, "Berlin Police Head Announces 'Disarming' of Jews," explaining:
After invading, Nazis used pre-war lists of gun owners to confiscate firearms and many gun owners simply disappeared. Following confiscation, the Nazis were free to wreak their evil on the disarmed populace, such as on these helpless Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.
"The Berlin Police President, Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, announced that as a result of a police activity in the last few weeks the entire Jewish population of Berlin had been 'disarmed' with the confiscation of 2,569 hand weapons, 1,702 firearms and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. Any Jews still found in possession of weapons without valid licenses are threatened with the severest punishment."2
On the evening of Nov. 9, Adolph Hitler, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and other Nazi chiefs planned the attack. Orders went out to Nazi security forces: "All Jewish stores are to be destroyed immediately . Jewish synagogues are to be set on fire . The Führer wishes that the police does not intervene. All Jews are to be disarmed. In the event of resistance they are to be shot immediately."3
All hell broke loose on Nov. 10: "Nazis Smash, Loot and Burn Jewish Shops and Temples," a headline read. "One of the first legal measures issued was an order by Heinrich Himmler, commander of all German police, forbidding Jews to possess any weapons whatever and imposing a penalty of twenty years confinement in a concentration camp upon every Jew found in possession of a weapon hereafter."4 Thousands of Jews were taken away.
Searches of Jewish homes were calculated to seize firearms and assets and to arrest adult males. The American Consulate in Stuttgart was flooded with Jews begging for visas: "Men in whose homes old, rusty revolvers had been found during the last few days cried aloud that they did not dare ever again return to their places of residence or business. In fact, it was a mass of seething, panic-stricken humanity."5
Himmler, head of the Nazi terror police, would become an architect of the Holocaust, which consumed 6 million Jews. It was self-evident that the Jews must be disarmed before the extermination could begin.
Finding out which Jews had firearms was not too difficult. The liberal Weimar Republic passed a Firearm Law in 1928 requiring extensive police records on gun owners. Hitler signed a further gun control law in early 1938.
Other European countries also had laws requiring police records to be kept on persons who possessed firearms. When the Nazis took over Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1939, it was a simple matter to identify gun owners. Many of them disappeared in the middle of the night along with political opponents.
Invading troops in Holland in 1940 immediately nail up posters annoucing a ban on all firearms.
From Die Deutsche Wochenschau, May 15, 1940.
Closeup of the Holland poster banning guns. Citizens had 24 hours to surrender all firearms to the Nazis or face the death penalty. Printed in German on the left and Flemish on the right. For translation, see sidebar. From Die Deutsche Wochenschau, May 15, 1940.
Regulations on Arms Possession
in the Occupied Zone
1. All firearms and ammunition, hand grenades, explosive devices and other war materiel are to be surrendered.
.....The delivery must take place within 24 hours at the nearest German military administrative headquarters or garrison, provided that other special arrangements have not been made. The mayors (heads of the district councils) must accept full responsibility for complete implementation. Commanding officers are authorized to approve exceptions.
Imagine that you are sitting in a movie house in Germany in May 1940. The German Weekly Newsreel comes on to show you the attack on Holland, Belgium and France. The minute Wehrmacht troops and tanks cross the Dutch border, the film shows German soldiers nailing up a poster about 2-ft. by 3-ft. in size. It is entitled "Regulations on Arms Possession in the Occupied Zone" ("Verordnung über Waffenbesitz im besetzen Gebiet").6 The camera scans the top of the double-columned poster, written in German on the left and Flemish on the right, with an eagle and swastika in the middle. It commands that all firearms be surrendered to the German commander within 24 hours. The full text is not in view, but similar posters threatened the death penalty for violation.
The film shows artillery and infantry rolling through the streets as happy citizens wave. It then switches to scenes of onslaughts against Dutch and Belgian soldiers and Hitler's message that this great war would instate the 1000-year Reich. A patriotic song mixed with the images and music of artillery barrages, Luftwaffe bombings and tank assaults compose the grand finale.
France soon fell, and the same posters threatening the death penalty for possession of a firearm went up everywhere. You can see one today in Paris at the Museum of the Order of the Liberation (Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération). A photograph of the poster is reproduced here, including a translation in the sidebar.
There was a fallacy to the threat. No blank existed on the poster to write in the time and date of posting so one would know when the 24-hour "waiting period" began or ended. Perhaps the Nazis would shoot someone who was an hour late. Indeed, gun owners even without guns were dangerous because they knew how to use guns and tended to be resourceful, independent-minded persons. A Swiss manual on armed resistance stated with such experiences in mind:
German poster from occupied France imposing the death penalty for not turning in all firearms and radio transmitters within 24 hours. For translation, see the text at upper left. From the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération, Paris. Photo by Philippe Fraysseix, Paris.
Ordinance Concerning the Possession of Arms and Radio Transmitters in the Occupied Territories
1) All firearms and all sorts of munitions, hand grenades, explosives and other war materials must be surrendered immediately.
The Commander in Chief
"Should you be so trusting and turn over your weapons you will be put on a 'black list' in spite of everything. The enemy will always need hostages or forced laborers later on (read: 'work slaves') and will gladly make use of the 'black lists.' You see once again that you cannot escape his net and had better die fighting. After the deadline, raids coupled with house searches and street checks will be conducted."7
Commented The New York Times about the interrelated rights that the Nazis destroyed wherever they went:
"Military orders now forbid the French to do things which the German people have not been allowed to do since Hitler came to power. To own radio senders or to listen to foreign broadcasts, to organize public meetings and distribute pamphlets, to disseminate anti-German news in any form,
to retain possession of firearmsÐall these things are prohibited for the subjugated people of France ."8
While the Nazis made good on the threat to execute persons in possession of firearms, the gun control decree was not entirely successful. Partisans launched armed attacks. But resistance was hampered by the lack of civilian arms possession.
In 1941, U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson called on Congress to enact national registration of all firearms.9 Given events in Europe, Congress recoiled, and legislation was introduced to protect the Second Amendment. Rep. Edwin Arthur Hall explained: "Before the advent of Hitler or Stalin, who took power from the German and Russian people, measures were thrust upon the free legislatures of those countries to deprive the people of the possession and use of firearms, so that they could not resist the encroachments of such diabolical and vitriolic state police organizations as the Gestapo, the OGPU, and the Cheka."10
Rep. John W. Patman added: "The people have a right to keep arms; therefore, if we should have some Executive who attempted to set himself up as dictator or king, the people can organize themselves together and, with the arms and ammunition they have, they can properly protect themselves ."11
Only two months before the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress enacted legislation to authorize the President to requisition broad categories of property with military uses from the private sector on payment of fair compensation, but also provided:
"Nothing contained in this Act shall be construedÐ
"(1) to authorize the requisitioning or require the registration of any firearms possessed by any individual for his personal protection or sport (and the possession of which is not prohibited or the registration of which is not required by existing law), [or]
"(2) to impair or infringe in any manner the right of any individual to keep and bear arms ."12
At the time of the Nazi attack on Jews known as Night of the Broken Glass, Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS and Police, ordered Jews disarmed. People's Observer (Völkische Beobachter), November 10, 1938.
Jews Forbidden to Possess Weapons
Meanwhile Hitler unleashed killing squads called the Einsatzgruppen in Eastern Europe and Russia. As Raul Hilberg observes, "The killers were well armed . The victims were unarmed."13 The Einsatzgruppen executed 2 million people between fall 1939 and summer 1942. Their tasks included arrest of the politically unreliable, confiscation of weapons and extermination.14
Typical executions were that of a Jewish woman "for being found without a Jewish badge and for refusing to move into the ghetto" and another woman "for sniping." Persons found in possession of firearms were shot on the spot. Yet reports of sniping and partisan activity increased.15
Armed citizens were hurting the Nazis, who took the sternest measures. The Nazis imposed the death penalty on a Pole or Jew: "If he is in unlawful possession of firearms, or if he has credible information that a Pole or a Jew is in unlawful possession of such objects, and fails to notify the authorities forthwith."16
Given the above facts, it is not difficult to understand why the National Rifle Association opposed gun registration at the time and still does. The American Rifleman for February 1942 reported:
"From Berlin on January 6th the German official radio broadcastÐ'The German military commander for Belgium and Northern France announced yesterday that the population would be given a last opportunity to surrender firearms without penalty up to January 20th and after that date anyone found in possession of arms would be executed.'
"So the Nazi invaders set a deadline similar to that announced months ago in Czechoslovakia, in Poland, in Norway, in Romania, in Yugoslavia, in Greece.
"How often have we read the familiar dispatches 'Gestapo agents accompanied by Nazi troopers swooped down on shops and homes and confiscated all privately owned firearms!'
"What an aid and comfort to the invaders and to their Fifth Column cohorts have been the convenient registration lists of privately owned firearmsÐlists readily available for the copying or stealing at the Town Hall in most European cities.
"What a constant worry and danger to the Hun and his Quislings have been the privately owned firearms in the homes of those few citizens who have 'neglected' to register their guns!"17
Resistance to Nazi oppression was hampered by the lack of civilian arms possession. One of the most notable exceptions was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, which began with a few incredibly brave Jews armed with handguns. They were able to temporarily stop deportations of Jews to Nazi extermination camps.
During the war years the Rifleman regularly included pleas for American sportsmen to "Send a gun to defend a British home. British civilians, faced with the threat of invasion, desperately need arms for the defense of their homes."18 Indeed, The New York Times carried the same solicitations. After two decades of gun control, British citizens now desperately needed rifles and pistols in their homes, and they received the gifts with great appreciation. Organized into the Home Guard, armed citizens were now ready to resist the expected Nazi onslaught.
With so many men and guns sent abroad to fight the war, America still needed defending from expected invasions on the East and West coasts, domestic sabotage, and Fifth Column activity. Sportsmen and gun clubs responded by bringing their private arms and volunteering for the state protective forces.19
Switzerland was the only country in Europe, indeed in the world, where every man had a military rifle in his home. Nazi invasion plans acknowledged the dissuasive nature of this armed populace, as I have detailed in my book Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II (Rockville Center, New York: Sarpedon Publishers, 1998).
Out of all the acts of armed citizen resisters in the war, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 is difficult to surpass in its heroism. Beginning with just a few handguns, armed Jews put a temporary stop to the deportations to extermination camps, frightened the Nazis out of the ghetto, stood off assaults for days on end, and escaped to the forests to continue the struggle. What if there had been two, three, many Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings?20
The NRA trained hundreds of thousands of Americans in rifle marksmanship during World War II. President Harry Truman wrote that NRA's firearms training programs "materially aided our war effort" and that he hoped "the splendid program which the National Rifle Association has followed during the past three-quarters of a century will be continued."21 By helping defeat the Nazi and Fascist terror regimes, the NRA helped end the Holocaust, slave labor and the severest oppression.
Those tiny pacifist organizations of the era that called for gun registration and confiscation contributed nothing to winning the war or to stopping the genocide. Their counterparts today have nothing to offer that would enable citizens to resist genocide.
Individual criminals wreak their carnage on individuals or small numbers of people. As this century has shown, terrorist governments have the capacity to commit genocide against millions of people, provided that the people are unarmed. Schemes to confiscate firearms kept by peaceable citizens have historically been associated with some of the world's most insidious tyrannies. Given this reality, it is not surprising that law-abiding gun owners oppose being objects of registration.
BAGDAD VIDEO - MUST SEE
JIMMY JUSTICE VIDEOShttp://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jimmy+justice+videos&search_type=&aq=3&oq=jimmy+j
State: Just in case, we'll take your gun
Cops allowed to seize firearms even before crime is committed
Posted: August 04, 2008
10:05 pm Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A new report to the Connecticut state legislature shows police have used the state's unique gun seizure law to confiscate more than 1,700 firearms from citizens based on suspicion that the gun owners might harm themselves or others.
The state's law permits police to seek a warrant for seizing a citizen's guns based on suspicion of the gun owner's intentions, before any act of violence or lawbreaking is actually committed.
The law was first proposed in 1998, following a mass shooting at the Connecticut Lottery Corporation that left five dead, including the gunman. Since the law went into effect Oct. 1, 1999, according to new Office of Legislative Research report, police have made more than 200 documented requests for warrants to seize firearms from citizens, and only two of the requests have been denied.
The law has remained hotly debated since its passage, as some point to possible murders and suicides it may have prevented, and others worry that police would abuse the law.
"It certainly has not been abused. It may be underutilized," Ron Pinciaro, co-executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, told the Waterbury Republican American. "The bottom line from our perspective is, it may very well have saved lives."
Attorney Ralph D. Sherman, who has represented several of the gun owners whose firearms were confiscated under the law, disagrees.
"In every case I was involved in I thought it was an abuse," he told the newspaper. "The overriding concern is anybody can report anybody with or without substantiation, and I don't think that is the American way."
Joe Graborz, executive director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, an affiliate of the ACLU, told WND the law "continues to invest unusual and far-reaching powers in police authority that does not belong there" by requiring "police to act as psychologists in trying to predict and interpret behavior."
"What is the standard of proof on this?" he asked. "The way this law is written, it can and will be easily abused by police."
Ankara played key role in validating Damascus-Tehran pact and marketing a nuclear Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report and Analysis
August 5, 2008, 6:46 PM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad laughs all the way from Tehran to Bordum
The intense exchanges afoot between Ankara, Damascus and Tehran in recent months burst into the open Tuesday, Aug.5 at the south Turkish Aegean resort town of Bodrum, when Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan entertained Syrian president Bashar Assad and a large party of notables. This is revealed by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources.
Assad came fresh from his triumphant talks in Tehran three days earlier. The two leaders’ Aegean lunch was followed on cue by Tehran’s announcement that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would visit Ankara for talks with president Abdullah Gul on August 14.
Screened by his role as broker of indirect Syrian-Israeli peace talks, Erdogan had been busy raising the Syrian president’s credentials from international pariah to respected regional player and partner in the secret dialogue between the United States and Iran.
This was not a solo venture into backdoor diplomacy. The Turkish prime minister was quietly cheered on by US president George W. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert were also in on the ploy.
Sarkozy put the plan to them both in mid-June when they visited Paris. He asked Assad to mediate between Iran and the West on the nuclear impasse, a role which Assad was happy to accept. He made a point of snubbing the Israeli prime minister to show how far he had gone up in the world. Olmert went along with his part of the plan, indirect peace talks with Damascus, heedless of warnings from his intelligence advisers that he was being set up to serve Iranian and Syrian interests at Israel’s expense.
Assad may be sitting pretty internationally but his regime at home is far from steady, DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report. The large party he brought to Turkey was led by foreign minister Walid Mualem, the leading proponent of a pro-Washington foreign policy, and its fiercest opponent Buthaina Shaaban, who is especially resentful of any sort of dialogue with Israel.
That sharp division in Assad’s immediate circle has not been bridged.
Assad’s affectionate talks in Tehran Saturday were clouded by the assassination earlier in the day of a most trusted aide, Brig. Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, his key liaison agent with Tehran, Pyongyang and Hizballah. There are signs in Damascus pointing to Suleiman having fallen victim to internal rivalries in the Assad regime, which would show his murder up as another symptom of a storm brewing up in Damascus.
The three lead players in this emerging scenario are now poised on a threshold with a number of options:
1. The Erdogan-Assad talks may end without agreement on the next moves.
2. Assad may have brought with him Tehran’s reply to the six-power incentives offer for suspending uranium enrichment, delivered three days late. Thus, instead of addressing its reply to the European Union foreign affairs executive Javier Solana, spokesman for the US, EU, UK, France, Russian, China and Germany, Iran would be relaying it through Assad to strengthen his position.
3. The next round of the trilateral discussions begun by Assad at Bordum will take place during Ahmadinejad’s visit to Ankara.
4. Assad will brief Erdogan on the next steps planned on the Syrian-Israeli track following the go-ahead he received in Tehran from Iranian leaders.
5. Assad’s large entourage in Turkey may signal a surprise development.
Why Jews Must
Oppose Gun Control
Oppose Gun Control
|"Every Jew a .22" was the slogan of Rabbi Meir Kahane, pictured as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces|
"Every Jew a .22" was a slogan coined by HaRav (The Rabbi) Meir Kahane, zecher tzadik livracha (may the memory of this saint be immortalized). HaRav Kahane actually preferred other guns to the small-caliber .22, but used this slogan because it rhymes.
The concept that every Jew must possess firearms and know how to use them is not a new one.
|"Jews, learn to shoot!" - Right-wing Jewish activist Zeev Jabotinsky vainly pleaded with Europe's Jews to arm themselves on the eve of the Holocaust|
"Jews, learn to shoot!" right-wing Zionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky exhorted the Jews of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.
But many European Jews were horrified with the notion of Jews bearing arms. So European Jews remained unarmed and defenseless, and when the Germans and the many other European Jew-killers came to murder them in the Holocaust, the Jews were easy targets as usual.
|Because they had no guns, millions of European Jews were led to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter|
In pre-Hitler Weimar Germany, the Jews frantically pushed for strict gun control legislation.
Germans, especially in rural areas, were enraged over this attempt to take their weapons. Hitler and the Nazis campaigned on a promise to protect the "historic German right to bear arms."
Hitler promised that he would void all "Jew-inspired anti-gun laws" if elected Chancellor.
Of course, Hitler and the Nazis broke their promise when they did actually seize power in 1933. One of the first things the Nazis did was to seize the vast majority of guns which law-abiding citizens had in their possession.
But the point here is that gun control efforts by the Jews were instrumental in giving Hitler crucial ammunition which helped him to take over Germany and implement the Holocaust.
Furthermore, if the Jews had listened to Jabotinsky and were all armed and fully trained, it would have been far more difficult to annihilate them.
When there were only 50,000 Jewish men, women and children left in the Warsaw Ghetto, these heroic Jews who finally decided to resist held out longer against the German Wehrmacht than all of cowardly France, which had a larger standing army than Germany but surrendered almost immediately to the Nazis. Even though the Jews were divided and fighting among themselves until the end, with their home-made weapons they killed several thousand German soldiers and bogged down the German Army for weeks.
Imagine if millions of Jews, fully armed and trained, had put up this type of resistance.
We know from the resistance put up by other groups targeted for annihilation during World War II, such as the valiant Serbs, that ferocious
armed struggle frustrated German plans to wipe them out.
Armed Serbian resistance fighters ferociously struggled against the Nazis,preventing them from completely exterminating the Serb population
But the Jews always trust those that come to destroy them.
When Rabbi Kahane urged Jews in America to arm and train themselves, he was condemned in the same manner as Jabotinsky.
Imagine if during the Crown Heights pogrom, the Hassidic Jews had listened to Rabbi Kahane. Would the black Jew-haters have been able to rampage and murder in a Jewish community for four days and nights with no resistance? Would Yankel Rosenbaum have been murdered if he had drawn a .45 on the black Nazi mob that came to murder him?
Gun control laws accomplish a number of things, and all of them are terrible. They take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens so that it becomes impossible to defend one's home or business from murderous criminals. These fascistic laws also ensure that the only people in society who will be armed will be the violent criminals, since they will obtain their illegal firearms no matter what the law says.
These laws, which self-hating Jewish traitors like our new Judenrat Senator, Schmuck Schumer, play such a prominent role in passing, also cause tremendous anti-Semitic resentment.
Worst of all, these laws render Jews who wish to defend themselves helpless in the face of numerous mortal threats that very much endanger the American Jewish community.
|Would criminal black mobs have rampaged in the peaceful Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn's Crown Heights if every Jew there had been armed? - The New York Post featured a picture of an Orthodox boy squatting next to his father, beaten senseless by bestial black Jew-haters. (The "fair and balanced" headline reads: "Blacks, Jews and cops battle in the streets".)|
The Kahanist Jews and righteous Gentiles of JTF oppose all laws that in any way limit the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Such laws are unconstitutional, un-American and immoral.
Isn't it a disgrace that JTF does not have millions of dollars to reach all of the Jews in Israel with this vital message?
Especially now when most Israeli Jews are very disappointed with how the war in Lebanon was conducted, and are very fearful about the future. The time is ripe for JTF's message.
Now more than ever, we must reach as many Israeli Jews as possible with our vital message of truth.
The more money we raise, the more Jews we reach.Jewish advocacy of gun confiscation in the United States causes tremendous anti-Semitism - Senator Charles Schumer hypocritically enjoys the armed protection from crime which he denies "ordinary" Americans. (During a 1990s Congressional investigation into gun confiscation, Schumer joined black Congressman Mel Reynolds (D-IL), later convicted of pedophilia, in verbally attacking a young woman, the survivor of a Texas restaurant massacre, who testified that, had she been armed, her parents might still be alive.)