Peter Black, Senior Historian
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Dear Professor Black:
Below you will find a letter by Heinz Bartesch, the son of Martin Bartesch, who you referred to in the talk you gave at Rhode Island College, as reported in the RIC Anchor of 27 March. Mr. Bartesch questions your facts and your moral assumptions as presented there.
This copy of Mr. Bartesch’s letter is for your information.
You may have missed it.
The Anchor, to its credit, posted it on its Webpage.
I will forward this to others at the USHMM and to the press.
News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhode Island College
Providence, Rhode Island
Your article would be considerably more truthful if it was entitled "Incorporating the Holocaust propaganda effectively into lesson plans" as I assure you this workshop, or anything promoted by US Holocaust Museum (USHMM) will be anything but true education as there will be only distorted facts presented and there won't be ANY opportunity for a student scholar to ask questions and present facts that dispute the presenters claims.
Let me explain by using a simple example from the 'facts' you site in the case of Martin Bartesch. I'm painfully familiar with the true facts as Martin was my father. First, let's begin with a little history lesson (which students assuredly won't get from the workshop); Martin was a 16 year old farm-boy living in Transylvania Romania when he was conscripted into the Waffen SS. I'll save you the details of what his life, and those of other ethnic Germans were like and how they were caught in a war they didn't ask for or want for brevity sake.
However, as a 16 year old inductee, he just happened to be stationed in Mauthausen for several weeks before he was shipped off to the Eastern front to fight the Russians. During this time, which was used as training for his anti-tank battalion, he was also stationed as a perimeter guard. He never set foot inside the camp and had no say in what was going on. All he knew was he had orders to shoot anyone trying to escape. And this is unfortunately what happened when he shot Max Ochsorn, who as interned as a money forger, a criminal who would be imprisoned by any government anywhere (another fact that I'm certain this 'workshop' won't bother to cover).
It should be noted (but it won't) that when my father shot the escaping prisoner, he had to fill a complete report and was immediately relieved of duty until it was investigated. Not quite the MO for a regime that was intent on mass genocide, don't you think? It should also be mentioned (but it won't be) that this is the exact same orders that US GI's were given at the Japanese internment (concentration) camps and that US GI's did indeed shoot and kill escaping prisoners (which isn't a war crime only because we won the war).
It should also be noted (but it won't) that even the Judges at the Nuremberg trials ruled that it was NOT a war crime for a perimeter guard to shoot an escaping prisoner.
Next, your comment, undoubtedly fed to you by the USHMM, that my father lied under oath to gain access to the US is blatantly a lie. Any reporter willing to do any real research would be able to reveal the real fact which is my father answered all the questions he was asked on the immigration form; he entered the fact he was in the Waffen SS, the Division he was in, and the dates. He was never asked to state all the places he had served, so saying he lied is nothing but propaganda (ie, a self serving lie to meet a political end).
It should also be noted (but it won't), that even serving at Mauthausen as a guard would not have been grounds for rejection into the US.
It should be noted (but it won't), that it only became a 'crime' with the signing and implementation of the Holtzman Ammendment which created the OSI. In effect, it's an ext post facto law - a law enacted which made something previously legal, illegal.
It should be noted (but it won't) that I won a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the OSI and then Director Neal Sher (who has since been disbarred for other reasons) that proved that the OSI had exculpatory evidence which they withheld from the court.
So, you see, when you say that "the workshop was designed to provide students with reference materials such as The State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda,-- You should say that the real "Power of Propaganda" now belongs to USHMM and that the real "Deception" is on the students.
And, lest you think I'm just a lone voice crying in the wilderness, a son who's angry at what happened to his father, I can assure you that there are countless cases of outright fraud and half truths. I pity the poor students who will be indoctrinated in this special kind of government approved propaganda, it's anything but real education - real education allows for cross examination and questioning of evidence, something our government and the USHMM could never, and will never allow.
"If my heart could do my thinking And my head begin to feel, I would look upon the world anew And know what's truly real." Van Morrison
REAL EYES REALIZE REAL LIES