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Thread: Herberts Cukurs - "the most famous Latvian"

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    Arrow Herberts Cukurs - "the most famous Latvian"



    Herberts Cukurs
    "The Eagle of the Baltic Sea"



    Herberts Cukurs in pre-World War II Latvian uniform

    Born May 17, 1900(1900-05-17)
    Liepāja, Courland Governorate, Latvia.
    Died February 23, 1965 (aged 64)
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    Occupation -Military aviator, builder of airplanes, aeronautical engineer, journalist, writer.

    Herberts Cukurs as a pioneering long-distance pilot, he won national acclaim for his international solo flights in the 1930s (Latvia-Gambia and Riga-Tokyo).






    In Latvia Mr. Cukurs built at least 3 planes of his own design. In 1937 he made a 45,000 km tour visiting Japan, China, Indochina, India and Russia, flying a C.6 wooden monoplane (YL-ABA) of his own creation. The plane was powered by an 135 HP Gipsy engine. He was awarded the Harmon Trophy No. 6 for this tour. Trophy No. 2 was Santos Dumont, and Lindberg No. 3 or 4. This trophy, founded by Clifford Harmon, was issued by Ligue International d´Aviation (France).


    What differentiates H. Cukurs other aviation pioneers, was the fact that he made cheap long distance aircraft designed and built by himself, and other airmen, aircraft and used the most modern equipment available at the time that someone had developed by this factor the deeds of Cukurs in the history of aviation are insurmountable.


    Biography

    Cukurs was born in Liepaja, some 170 km southwest of Riga, the capital of Latvia. He is famous worldwide for his Raids (long distance flights) in the 30s, where he wrote his name and his parents' in the history of world aviation. He became known worldwide as "The Latvian Lindenberg".


    Herberts in his youth
    At the centre: his mother



    His father

    At different times in its history, Latvia was incorporated into more powerful countries such as Poland, Sweden and Russia. Only at the end of World War I (1914 - 1918) Latvia managed to proclaim its independence (from Russia). November 18, 1918 was the beginning of two years of struggle, which culminated in 1920 with the withdrawal of foreign troops and the country emerging as an independent nation. Herberts Cukurs had enlisted at age 17, volunteered and fought for the liberation of his country. By having demonstrated value in combat, Cukurs was promoted to sergeant and received several awards for acts of bravery.




    In June of 1919, Latvia began to organize a group of army aviation, with aircraft Nieuport 24 Bis, which were taken from renegade Bolshevik pilots. As a national emblem, was adopted the 'Ugunskrusts' (Cross of Fire), a red swastika that had nothing to do with the Nazi swastika. This cross is an ancient symbol of the people of Latvia.


    In 1920 came the Aviation Park with aircraft seized from the Russians, bought from the British or seized from Germany. On September 7th of 1921 , Cukurs, then a sergeant in the Army, entered the park and his talent as a pilot was revealed on September 26th of 1922 when he conducted a solo flight for four hours in a observation biplane, Albatross.

    After the training period on January 13 of 1923, he was promoted to lieutenant, becoming a fighter pilot, flying the German aircraft Fokker DVII and Italian aircraft Balilla. Interested in aerodynamics, he deepened his knowledge in the newly formed School of Military Aviation in Riga, where he was promoted to first lieutenant.

    In 1923 he began his own initiative to design a single-engine airplane. He used an engine Harley Davisson 8 HP, a motorcycle chain for the transmission of the propeller. The plane was named as C-1 (Cukurs-1) prefix YL-AAC, named after Auseklitis, featuring ingenious proposals, such as folding wings that allowed it out of the living room of his house and carry it to an airfield, ready on November 28th of 1925. The flight tests were successful, making at least 100 flights until 1926. On this plane there is a picturesque story that has become well known until today, when Cukurs passed under a bridge with the airplane and the vain of this bridge was practically equal to the wingspan of the aircraft. This bridge is located in the city of Karosta and many people call it "The Bridge of Cukurs" because this episode.




    In 1929 he sold the C-1 to a friend, Karlis Konstants, also military pilot, adapting a more powerful engine, a 3 cylinder 25 HP Anzani. This plane came to be known as C-2, and nicknamed PEKAES-PEKAES. Later Konstants adapted another engine, 6 cylinder 34 HP Anzani. This plane due to its good performance flew until 1937.

    In 1931, a revolutionary single-engine two-seater designed by Cukurs, the C-3, low-wing monoplane with inverted struts and carinated landing gear, engine powered by an old Renault 80 8 HDPE drums. Safe and reliable, among other flights it was used by Cukurs for air pamphleting services.










    In 1930's, nationalist campaigns popped in Latvia and culminated in 1934 with the coup that consolidated the authoritarian regime of President Kārlis Ulmanis. One of these patriotic acts occurred in 1933 when a group of nationalists provided funds to Nikolajs Pulins, pilot of paramilitary Air Force Aizsargu Aviacija (Division Air National Guard), to make a raid in Riga to Gambia in West Africa, country where Duke Jacob Kettler, had founded a colony in the seventeenth century. On June 20th of 1933, along with Nikolajs Pulins R. Celms, took flight to Gambia, but shortly after it crashed in Germany, thus failing in their attempt. This gave a negative repercussion for aeronautical development in Latvia. To change this image, Herbert decided to try the same raid.

    Getting a small sponsorship from the biggest local newspaper, Jaunakas Zinas (The Latest News) in exchange for exclusivity in the publication of accounts of the voyage, the C-3 prefix YL-AAB was adapted for the journey. The rear seat was removed to make room for an extra fuel tank, in August 28th of 1933 at 12 hours and 15 minutes he left for a solo flight of 19,342 km from the Latvian capital Riga for Bathrust capital of Gambia in Africa, that would enshrine him for life.




    His talent was recognized worldwide, Clifford B. Harmon, president of the International League of Aviators, affiliated to the International League of Aviation, based in Paris, France, gave him the Harmon trouphy, the medal for best aviator of 1933 section of Latvia. For this flight was elected honorary member of the International League of Aviators , receiving the honorary plaque with the signature of the foremost aviators of the world, such as Santos Dumont, Charles Lindbergh, Arturo Ferrarini, Francesco de Pinedo, Clarence Duncan Chamberlin and others, making him thus part of this elite aviators.

    The news of his prowess reached the four corners of the world. In 1936, he received an invitation from the Japanese government, to conduct a raid from Latvia up to Japan. At that time he had already designed another aircraft and two gliders, the C-4 and C-5.


    With funding aggregating governmental assistance and support by the journal Jaunakas Zinas, Cukurs designed and built a completely original aircraft in just three months. The C-6 was a low-wing monoplane with a sleek silhouette and wheels keeled. All wood, if not for its underpowered engine (a De Havilland Gipsy Major 130 HP, and four cylinders), which had been taken from another plane, the C-3, could very well be mistaken for a fighter's time. O aparelho levou o nome de Tris Zvaigznes (Três Estrelas), alusão a condecoração recebida anteriormente. The unit took the name of Tris Zvaigzne (Three Star), allusion to previously received award. It received the prefix YL-ABA.

    On October 20th of 1936, Cukurs takes off for his second long-distance flight, heading for Japan. After 227 hours and 45 minutes, flying 40,045 kilometers, a greater distance at 45 km, around the earth at the equator, using 7140 liters of gasoline and 272 gallons of oil, despite the unfavorable weather conditions, against strong winds, monsoons and dust storms, the plane had an excellent hourly average of 190km per hour.
















    The flight went straight for Tokyo, but with big turns, so in Europe as well as in Asia, because its purpose was not breaking records, but knowing the people and customs of different countries, proving the value of the aircraft and demonstrate the result of work in building airplanes Herberts Cukurs. The flight crossed the skies of Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, India, Burma, Siam, Indochina, China, Manchuria, Korea and Japan, totaling 21 countries. For the flight performed, the international press dubbed him The Latvian Lindergh (The Lindbergh Let Oniani.)

    Alleged Holocaust perpetrator

    After the occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany during the summer of 1941 Cukurs became a member the notorious Arajs Kommando, supposedly responsible for many of the crimes of the Holocaust in Latvia. Cukurs's membership in the Arajs Commando is proven. There is no doubt that was part of Cukurs Arajs command as head of maintenance of vehicles of this regiment. However this does not mean it was a criminal, and also were Jews who served in the German SS and Gestapo.
    Cukurs true participation, was as boss of mechanical maintenance in the garages of the latvian polices. ONLY!

    Historian Andrew Ezergailis said:


    “MOSSAD killed an innocent man”.

    To change the question from "how many Jews did Cukurs kill?", to "did he even kill one Jew?”

    1- Even as I was writing my book about holocaust in Latvia, I noticed that there were many exaggerations as far as the question about holocaust, the matter of Cukurs did not seem like an important question. I could have looked as microcosm to a wider problem about exaggerations and untruth in literature about Holocaust in Latvia. If I had known ten years ago, that Massada’s version about Cukurs being the biggest mass killer of Hebrews in Latvia, who be assigned the destruction of 30 000 people, contains deep lack of knowledge, if not lies. Massada version not only contains simple falsehoods, but also shows a lack of knowledge about the system of destruction as such. Destruction system was brought to Latvia by and under Einsatzgrupe leadership, not one individual was given the opportunity to set records .

    Ten years ago I did not have the opportunity to access materials which these days the movie makers were able to gather. A very important document which has come to light is that which Cukurs provided as testimony to the police in Brazil. To the film makers' credit is that they changed the questions, from how many Hebrews Cukurs killed, to did he kill any. What happened to the democratic system’ s presumption of innocence? If someone would ask me if there was a possibility while serving under Arajs command to kill a Hebrew in his home, I would say yes. In 1941, 300 men served under Arajs and his unit needed administrative people, who were responsible for maintaining modern inventory. Lieutenant Leimanis served as an officer for arms. He was still alive in the 70’/80’ and Eriks Parups testified in his behalf , he said that Latvian officers' resistance movement infiltrated into Arajs commando to spy on their activities. He cooperated with American judiciary instances thus no accusations were raised against him. Among many hundreds of Arajs’ former soldiers depositions, nowhere is Leimanis or Cukurs mentioned. When Arajs was tried in Hamburg (Germany) among his documents Cukurs was not mentioned.

    2. The only accusations about Cukurs as “butcher” of Riga come from surviving Hebrews, who wanted to find explanation for the tragedy of their people, but there are multiple problems with their testimony. In first place they lack information about holocaust internal organization, and methods of destruction. They had no knowledge about the Latvians who did the shooting. Many of them think, that killing of Hebrews in Latvia were improvised on the spot and did not follow an organized plan. Majority of those who survived, could not name one shooter except Cukurs. We arrive at crass conflict of testimony: none of those who testified ,are able to place Cukurs at the edge of shooting pit, but the only Latvian, whom Hebrews were able to name was Cukurs. If I was given a choice of whom I would believe, I would lean towards the Latvian testifier, who was with Cukurs. At least those testimonies were given under oath. If Cukurs had participated, as an officer, he would have given orders and would not have participated as a shooter. The Latvian shooters would not have forgotten his name .

    3. As far as testifiers testimony has been analyzed and examined, the coefficient of truth has been low and full of contradictions. As an examples we could mention SD officer Elke Scherwitz's, of Hebrew ancestry, trial, who was accused by survivors, especially Max Kaufman, and in his 1948 trial (Scherwitz) in Munich was found guilty of killing 30 000 Hebrews in Latvia. German historian Anita Kugler has made a study about Scherwitz and sees these accusations as exaggerated and false. Then follows the trial of captain Vilis Hazners, who was tried in the USA. He was accused of destroying 30 000 Hebrews in Latvia. Again, accusations were based by survivors testimony .These were full of contradictions and exaggerations. These evaporated in cross examinations by lawyers. Hazners was found not guilty. More than 70 000 Hebrews were exterminated in Latvia, but that did not happed the way testifiers gave depositions. The same 30 000 exterminated Hebrews in Latvia were assigned to Cukurs and on these same depositions of survivors, Massada overhastily killed Cukurs. This is not the time to analyze all of supposedly Cukurs' cruelty, yet we can without doubt affirm that during the first weeks of German occupation he was on his farm in Bukaisi village (might even have come under German arrest), arrived in Riga, as he states, only on July 14, 1941. Thus all the testimony (about 75%) about his cruelty before July 14th are nullifiable. That also means that all other testimony should be looked at through skeptical / rational grinding stones.

    The fact that Cukurs was part of Arajs' unit as supervisor of a garage, is not deniable. In Cukurs’ book of life one should also note that he helped at least three Latvian Hebrews to survive holocaust, this fact in Massada's book about Cukurs was omitted. A girl named Miriam Kaizner, the family Cukurs hid in their farmstead in Bukaisi and later took her with them to Brazil; a youth named Abram Shapiro ( who to this day plays the violin in Las Vegas) was given working papers in the summer of 1941 and Lutrins, whom Cukurs' garage workers saved from shooting in Rumbula, hid him and brought him back to the garage on Valdemar street where he worked as a garage mechanic.
    In summing up everything, one must say that testimony against Cukurs was exaggerated, even absurd. To find truth about this sinful man, the investigation should be started from point zero, which it seems the energetic film producer is doing.
    Andrievs Ezergailis Professor of History at Ithaca College, NY, USA (Division of Social Sciences and Humanities) Foreign member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences
    Probably the most-quoted authority on the Holocaust and related issues in Nazi-occupied Latvia.
    To affirm that Herberts Cukurs is responsible for the deaths of 30.000 Jews is at least frivolous and irresponsible. Today satiated documentation exists that proves without a doubt some that Herberts Cukurs was innocent. Military archives, archives of international, responsible courts for selecting war crimes, prove this truth. Historians who had had access to this documentation, are unanimous in affirming quie in the case of Herberts Cukurs, a great one occurred I make a mistake, and an innocent was assassinated. The medias, must rethink the information that give its readers, under risk to have that to prove the true of its information before a court. The presumption of innocence, is well clear, and says, that " all man is innocent until if I oppose he proves it, in one court". Cukurs never was accused, judged or condemned. Therefore it is frivolous and irresponsible to publish such affirmation.


    The alleged testimonies of Abraham Shapiro (Latvian: Abrahams Šapiro),


    a Jewish Holocaust survivor, were widely believed to be crucial in accusing Cukurs of personally executing Jews in Riga. He was contacted in person by Latvian TV crew "Legend Hunters" (Latvian: Leģendu mednieki) in Las Vegas, where he is currently living under changed identity as a successful musician. Shapiro was amused and surprised to learn that he is believed (and claimed so by Mossad) to have provided testimony on Cukurs personally executing Jews. Shapiro claimed on record in front of video camera that he had never done so. It was found out by the TV crew that while Shapiro had never actually given such a testimony, it had been written down by a legal department of some "unidentified" "organization of Jews liberated in Germany", along with two other similar "testimonies" (also likely to be fabricated evidence) and used as a basis for false accusations against Cukurs which led to his death.

    [GVIDEO=1983576701158305850]Legendu Mednieki- "Herberts Cukurs"[/GVIDEO]

    After the war, Cukurs emigrated to Brazil via France. There, he established a business in São Paulo, flying Republic RC-3 Seabees on sightseeing flights.

    He was assassinated by Mossad agents, who attracted him to Uruguay under a fake intention of starting an aviation business, after it was found out that he would not stand trial for his alleged participation in the Holocaust.

    Accusations concerning Cukurs's participation in atrocities during World War II earned him the nickname "The Hangman of Riga" amongst Holocaust survivors.

    None of these accusations regarding Cukurs's alleged participation in the Holocaust in Latvia have ever been tested in a court of law. Because of this, there are those who would argue that this Latvian hero has been wrongfully slandered.

    In present-day Latvia, there is a certain degree of Latvian public opinion in favour of this drive to exonerate Cukurs. For example, an exhibition was held in Riga in honour of the 'national hero' Herberts Cukurs, in which his work in the Arajs Commando was portrayed as having been harmless.

    Ezergailis also points out that much of the available literature suggests that Cukurs's main responsibility was working in the garages as a mechanic for the Arajs Commando. Attempts have been made to explain or excuse Cukurs's direct participation in killing of Jews, either by claiming the incompetency of post-war witnesses (i.e. Holocaust survivors), the lack of direct evidence of Cukurs's personal involvement in the killing of individual victims, or by the claim that he acted under duress.
    All of the accusations against Herberts Cukurs, were lying and irresponsible. Some Israeli entities as the center Simon Wiesenthal, insist on maintaining that farce, because their highly lucrative negotiations depends on those lies. In the day in that they could not be used of those lies, with certainty they will go the bankruptcy.
    One day, with certainty, the Jews will have to recognize that they committed a terrible mistake, when slandering and to murder an innocent one.


    Simon Wiesenthal, the Liar


    Some of the "six million" lies of Simon Wiesenthal "The Nazi hunter."
    On June 14, 1967, the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo brought the following report: "Wiesenthal shows the guilt of Cukurs."


    The content of the report was as follows:

    Simon Wiesenthal, the man who caught Eichmann and greatest hunter of Nazi war criminals, said in Vienna that Herberts Cukurs was never acquitted by him. According to Wiesenthal, Cukurs played an important role in the final solution of the Jewish problem in your country, Latvia.
    Final Solution meant complete extermination of Jews. Wiesenthal made this statement to the Jornal da Tarde, once informed of the desire of the son of Cukurs, who lives in Sao Paulo, to process the Barsa Encyclopedia for including in one of its volumes the following entry:

    "Cukurs responsible for the deaths of 30,000 Jews during World War II."

    In announcing his desire to sue Barsa, the son of Cukurs also stated that there was nothing against his father in the Nuremberg Tribunal and that he had been acquitted even by Simon Wiesenthal.

    Note - Actually the Barsa Encyclopedia was processed, losing the lawsuit, and having to remove all Encyclopedias sold and replaced them by others which did not contain the name of Cukurs. As for Wiesenthal, it was never said he had acquitted Cukurs since Wiesenthal would not have any responsibility to absolve, let alone condemn, since this is an attribute of justice and only she has to decide the guilt or innocence of anyone be.
    Again our journalists proved incompetent and ill-informed, if not "malicious", as was customary when the subject matter was Herberts Cukurs.

    Wiesenthal said: "Cukurs was responsible for killing thousands of Jews in Latvia, especially in Riga". Cukurs was also denounced as a direct participant of executions of Jews in other parts of Latvia. Wiesenthal said he had located Cukurs in a concentration camp prisoner in U.S. Hanu, West Germany, in 1946. Before he could act Cukurs had disappeared. A year later, Wiesenthal located him in the São Paulo. His extradition was denied, for Cukurs had had a child, born in Brazil. Wiesenthal stated that the Brazilian police had a summary of the criminal activities of Cukurs.
    About Cukurs death, murdered two years before in Uruguay, Wiesenthal said:
    "He was killed because of rivalries among their own friends. They believed Cukurs was under the control of groups of Jews and worked as a spy against ex-Nazis."

    On June 19, 1997, the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo published another report where Gunars Cukurs (Herberts' son) through lots of documents debunks the lies of that bandit, who became known as the greatest Nazi hunter, but was actually a merchant using the good faith of many Jews, and continues extorting them millions of dollars on the pretext of hunting innocent people by involving them in lies, slander, destroying lives, with the sole purpose of promoting and earning lots of money, thanks to the blood and suffering of his own people.


    How many true Nazis this gangster hunted all these years, how many were tried and convicted for him to enjoy this reputation, one or two? The reporter for starters fell into serious contradiction, since the report began saying that Herberts Cukurs, Latvian who joined the Nazis, was considered minor figure among the killers of Jews mentioned in the Tribunal of Nuremberg (if a person allegedly directly responsible for death of more than 30,000 Jews was not considered important, then who would be?), was not prosecuted by the Allies because they did not know his whereabouts (there are visas of American and French authorities giving safe passage to the person of Herberts Cukurs, who even lived for certain period in France after the end of the war, where he was known and popular figure, hence there is no justification for he has not been located), and information about his crimes contained in the German (Which? where?) and Israeli archives, in private organizations like the Brazilian Israelite federations.
    According to the Jewish Federation Cukurs locked 300 Jews in a synagogue and burned it in Riga, Latvia, on July 14, 1941. (This lie is unmasked, because, firstly, there is now extensive documentation that proves that the fires were organized with the sole responsibility of the Germans and NO Jew died of burns.)
    Secondly, recently, there were found military archives which prove that in this period Herberts Cukurs was struggling with Partisans, 100 km away from Riga.

    On November 30, 1941, Cukurs had drowned in 1200 jews in Kuldiga River and, according to "eyewitnesses", the Jews who did not poke their heads in the water to drown, were shot, and the river turned red with so much blood (the interesting thing about this is that there are no current records, anywhere in the world, proving that there have been deaths from drowning in Kuldiga, since this river despite wide in some stretches, has a maximum depth that does not reach a meter in deeper parts, so another lie from our Rio's Jews).

    Returning to the subject Wiesenthal, the reporter interviewed the eldest son of Cukurs, Gunars Cukurs and asked about the assertions by Wiesenthal, published in the Afternoon of June 14, 1967, where the president of the Jewish Documentation Centre, Simon Wiesenthal, claimed Cukurs located in a prison camp in Hanu, West Germany in 1946. Gunars has evidence and documents against the claims by Wiesenthal - considered the greatest hunter of Nazi war criminals of WWII.

    "In 1946, my father was still in France, from where he came to Brazil. He left Germany on May 13, 1945. That day he received a document of the Allied Forces guarding the border."

    Gunars has other documents that contradict the statements of Wiesenthal. They follow:

    16/05/1945 - Documents of Center for Control of Returnees and Refugees, proving that Cukurs had entered France with his wife, mother and three children.


    From May to October 1945, the control of returnees provided several "Authorization of free transit," passed in the city of Dijon, allowing Cukurs and his family could move around by car on the region.



    10/20/1945 - Letter sent to Cukurs by the Ministry of National Economy of France, excusing him from "licensing regulations for the import of two cars of German origin of his property."


    12/17/1945 - The French government in Marseille, consigning the "safe passage" number 117, authorizing the trip Cukurs and his family to Brazil.


    The next day, the Brazilian Consulate in Marseille, signs the safe conduct of Cukurs.


    01/09/1946 - The Portuguese government authorizes Cukurs to bring 48.532 escudos to Brazil. On January 25, 1946, Cukurs gets the endorsement of the British forces occupying the port of Barcelona.

    04/03/1946 - Landing visa forwarded by the National Department of Immigration at the Port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


    When Herberts Cukurs arrived in Brazil he had three children: Gunars, born August 7, 1931, Antinea, born April 28, 1934 and Herberts Cukurs Junior, born on 2 October 1942. According to Simon Wiesenthal, Cukurs was located by him in Brazil, a year after he disappeared from the prison camp in Hanu. At the time his extradition failed because Cukurs had a Brazilian born son at that time. Gunars belies Wiesenthal, once more:

    "The only Brazilian son of my father, was born on July 11, 1955, several years after the arrival of my father to Brazil, and his name is Richard Cukurs. If Wiesenthal in 1947 presented concrete evidence to incriminate my father, extradition would be obtained easily". Reinforcing his documentation, Gunars shows the portfolio Model 19 of his father, dated April 2, 1946, furnished by the Foreign Registration. It is written:

    "Date of landing, 03/04/1946".

    Further evidence presented by the son of Cukurs, a statement from the Ministry of Justice, regarding the lawsuit filed by Brazilian Jews in 1951:


    Says the statement:

    "It is determined to archive the inquiries about the permanence of Herberts Cukurs in Brazil, since nothing positive left against the legality of his entry into the country."

    The declaration of August 13, 1951, signed by J. Vieira Coelho - Director General, is closed with the statement that the Justice Department had only information that Cukurs could have been chief ghetto in Riga, but that does not mean he was a criminal.

    Gunars Cukurs closes by saying:

    "My father was never head of the ghetto."

    Note - In fact, recently with the extensive documentation that exists today, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was never proven that Cukurs also was chief of ghetto, much less was part of the management of the Gestapo or other departments of the German command.

    As for Cukurs' death, Wiesenthal says that Cukurs would have been killed by the Nazis, which years later was denied, by the Israeli secret service, Mossad, which claimed responsibility for that. One lie more or less, what is the difference?
    Last edited by Megrez; 07-31-2010 at 04:41 PM.
    Let these words be as sand in the cogwheels of reason,
    as a malign disturbance in the sustainment of universe,
    and let each quark of this degenerated microcosm
    stand as a citadel of cold and deliberate hatred.
    Let there come a glorious error in the patterns of the world.
    Let the tainted foundations of reality crumble
    and let us hope nothing comes afterwards,
    so the gravest of mistakes we all blindly wander in
    will finally come to an end.

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    Herberts Cukurs in Brazil


    In February 1946, in full carnival, the family Cukurs landed in Rio de Janeiro, at the time capital of the Brazil. Without money, without knowing anyone, without knowing the language, they slept several days in a tent on the beach of Copacabana. In the voyage, Cukurs had brought a camera "Leika", which he had been presented at his flight to Gambia by its own manufacturer, and to be able to raise money to keep the family he sold the camara. It was a very difficult period for the family, and accordingly, Cukurs then led the young Miriam for the Jewish community of Rio de Janeiro located in the district of São Francisco, because they would be able to better accommodate the young jewess. There she was referred to a family of her people who accepted her as a daughter. Shortly after she met a very famous Jewish physician at the time, with whom she married. Luckily for Cukurs shortly after he was already employed in the National Company for Air Navigation (CNNA), of Henrique Lage, as a designer, who then produced the HL-6 cowries, and Cukurs designed a cockpitted single engine that would use the same engine Lycoming 0-290-C


    used in the HL-6, in a sleek design that would inherit the lines of the plane Cukurs, C-6. But unfortunately shortly afterwards in 1947, manufactures ceased activities. The CNNA provided a good curriculum for Cukurs, who began to revise and reform aircraft at the Aero Club of Brazil. The Cukurs house was transformed into workshop fabric and overhaul of engines, and Cukurs and his son Gunars went to get the planes in Manguinhos, and brought them by boat to Niteroi, without the wings. The quality of Cukurs' services was soon recognized, and his business became prosperous. With his entrepreneurial spirit Cukurs realized that despite all the natural beauty that Rio de Janeiro had nothing was done to enhance the aquatic leisure. As the businesses was going well, he started building small boats, which were then rented on the beach


    The success was immediate.


    The site began to be visited by people from the society of Rio,


    and soon after Cukurs built some floaters,


    on one of them a picturesque restaurant.


    The family Cukurs was pioneer, as newspapers of the time portray, in the introduction of spearfishing in Rio de Janeiro and water ski.


    The ability of Cukurs with the skis was such, that he once dressed in a suit, made a display, returning to the margin dry. His children Gunars and Dolores also were expert skiers which raised enormous interest in this sport in the local population





    But what Cukurs really wanted was to fly again, so he bought his first plane, an old Italian tri motor, CRDA CANT Z.1012, rare aircraft, were produced only six units, and belonged to the military attache of the embassy of Italy General Ulises Long and which had been confiscated by the Brazilian government during the war, and used by Varig, with the prefix PP-VAO. It wasn't a good business, because this plane was down for a long time left in the open and lacked the helices. Its transportation to the workshop was a real adventure with Cukurs and son taking apart several floats paddleboats, and adapting to the landing gear and tailwheel of that plane. After removing the tips of the wings, crossed the Bay of Guanabara towing the plane with a boat propelled by an outboard of only 4 hp. Soon after Cukurs then bought an Aeronca C-3 with floats prefix PP-TAX, which was recovered in his workshop in 1949 Niteroi. In 1949 Cukurs acquired from TABA, a seaplane, manufactured by Republic Aircraft Corporation, manufacturer of the famous P-47 Thunderbolt fighters, a sightseeing hydro plane, with revolutionary conceptions. It was a Republic RC-3 Seabee


    With a Franklin engine of 215 hp, it carried four passengers and had retractable landing gear, making it amphibious. More 1000 of these aircraft were produced from 1946 until the end of the decade, but this plane had a bad reputation, with the stigma of being hard driving and its maintenance too complicated.
    Since Cukurs liked exotic aircraft, he bought one that had the prefix PP-DVV, with only 70 hours of use. As for Cukurs was operating a service in paddleboats in the Lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas, this airplane would be the newest tourist attraction of that point, taking off from water, and making brief panoramic flights. This plane along with other Seabee, PP_DKU acquired from the Commander Alberto Torres, a famous Brazilian aviator with 100 combat missions in WW2, and a personal friend of the family, accompanied the family Cukurs flying until 1997, when they ceased activities. The PP-DKU, was by far the hydro with greatest number of takeoffs and landings in the world in these years and has transported over 200,000 passengers: http://www.seabee.info/rc3_brazil.htm
    The business ran well for Cukurs, and the major magazine in Rio at the time, "O Cruzeiro"


    made two huge reports, praising the immigrant who came from a distant country and won on Brazilian soil, being an example for all Brazilians


    This aroused the greed of some people, that seeing the success the business of Cukurs was doing, asked him several times, trying to buy it. As at all times, Cukurs had refused to negotiate, at the last he was threatened, if he didn't sell his business, he would soon regret for the rest of his life. Cukurs was not a man to be intimidated by threats, and days later began the novelties. During the series of trials of Nazi war criminals, that followed the process of Nuremberg in 1946, it was widely held that many of these fugitives had taken refuge in South America in 1950, some Rio's newspapers published one of the defendants at Nuremberg would be hidden in Rio, exploring tourist boat services on the Lagoon de Freitas, starting from that day on a campaign of defamation against the person of Herberts Cukurs. Sensationalist headlines made owners of newspapers to sell copies as had never before been done.


    From all sides came absurd complaints. Reporters came looking Cukurs, who patiently answered, with documents, stated that there should be some mistake because he never was a war criminal, much less would have been hidden, because he always used his original documents and his real name, showing that it had nothing to fear. But his explanations were useless because the next day the headlines were even bloodier.




    "Killed 50,000 jews"

    Even the Jewish communities joined making attacks against Cukurs, showing dozens of charges against him


    The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, I will not mention his name, ordered the banning of Cukurs' business and ordered the seizure of his boats. What his men could not bring to the yards of the city, was destroyed by them. Only escaped the hydro plane, which was not there.
    Tired of seeing so many attacks and his name being thrown in the mud of lies, Cukurs provided with his personal documents showed up in DOPS (Precinct for Public and Social Order), and inquired what the Brazilian authorities had against him, and the answer was short and objective, NOTHING. Then Cukurs asked what could be done to prevent attacks by the press? And the answer was the same. At that time, there was no press law, anyone could have paid to publish articles that one wanted, consequenceless. The delegate suggested that Cukurs do the same. The days passed, and the number of victims of Cukurs rose. At start he would have been directly responsible for the deaths of 30,000 Jews in the most sadistic and bloody possible way. Soon after this number rose to 60,000, then 250,000 and finally reached 1.000.000. Facing so many objections, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, asked the ministry of foreign affairs, through the Foreign Ministry, came in contact with all countries that were dealing with crimes of war, to get some information about it, if there was something against this person. Soon afterwards the response was unanimous: There was no accusation against Cukurs. One allegation was that Herberts Cukurs would be the war criminal number 17 of the Nuremberg tribunal, court where were the names of all the possible war criminals, and there also was not the name of Herberts Cukurs.
    Therefore, and as none of his accusers came with anything that could tarnish the good name of Cukurs, the ministry of justice was required to file the case again and peace came to reign again.


    As the business of Cukurs had been destroyed by the mayor of Rio, he and his son had to return to their previous activities of aircraft maintenance, accepting a provisional maintenance service at the Yacht Club da Urca, an Aeronca C-3, belonging to the National Service of Malaria.
    One afternoon, when Gunars worked in the hangar, there was a stranger dressed in shorts, and pointing to the Seabee, fired an order for the Seabee to be placed outside the hangar. Shaken with the authoritarian tone, Gunars and four aides pushed the Seabee outside. Then the stranger entered the hydro plane, tried the commands and asked, "This aircraft has fuel? This is scoring half tank, is this correct? Gunars nodded his head. The man then closed the door, fired the engine, and the plane taxied down the ramp to the beach Urca, collected the landing gear ... and took off. After a perfect takeoff, the plane began to swoop over the Yacht Club. Then Cukurs arrived, nervous and asked his son what was happening. He put a hand on his head pulling the few hairs he had left, but then suddenly the plane landed, up the ramp, and taxied up to the same hangar. Before engine stop, Cukurs met the crazy pilot. This one stepped off the plane, the two stared fiercely... and a moment later they hugged. The stranger was Brigadier Francisco Assis Correia de Mello, known in aviation as "Crazy Melo", who piloted the first transcontinental flight of Brazilian military aviation in 1931, and would become commander of various aerial zones of the country and minister of aeronautics in Juscelino Kubitschek's government. Cukurs honored him baptizing the Seabee "Nairzinha", name of the daughter of his new friend.


    In 1951, the Seabee PP-DVV had to be sold and in the business, Cukurs purchased a Globe Temco Swift PP-AIG. It was a bi-place, all metallic, low-wing with retractable landing gear and beautiful lines that resembled a fighter aircraft of the 2nd World War. Cukurs replaced its engine with a Lycoming O-290-C. But the unit also did not stay long in the hands of Cukurs that with its sale, acquired another Seabee PP-DKU. Another Seabee that was later acquired was the PP-SLD, which was dismantled to keep others in operation. The Cukurs came back to the old house of Niteroi, reopening the plane maintenance workshop. At this time Herberts and Gunars had acquired title of partner redeemed of the Aero Club of Brazil, and Gunars was for many years counselor for that clube. The Aeroclub of Brazil was proud to be affiliated with the International League of Aviators, headquartered in Paris, but what its members do not know, or most do not know, is that one of its associates was "honorary member of this league," Herberts Cukurs. In Aero Club of Brazil, Cukurs in exchange for maintenance services, or through purchases of time, acquired and exchanged several aircraft, most exotic, such as Secan SUC-10 PP-Courlis DRE, a single-engine French tourist with 4 seats, with rear propulsion engine, high wing and double tail, built in 1946, a Beechcraft D-17 Staggerwing PT-E-TAD, which was a cockpitted single engine bi-plane with retractable landing gear and classic lines designed in 1932.




    Another plane that sparked the interest of Cukurs was the Douglas A-24 Banshee, un-naval version of the famous dive bomber SBD Dauntless. For unknown circumstances, two such devices were left in Brazil by the USAAF after the end of the war. The device Cukurs wanted to buy, PP-DVT, was eventually acquired by Gaston Azevedo, who transformed the back of the cabin in a compartment to carry meat. But without doubt, the most precious aircraft that Cukurs had was the Focke-Wulf FW-56 Stosser PP-RCB,


    a single-engine acrobatic high wing and carinated landing gear, used by the Luftwaffe in the period immediately preceding the war, such as advanced training aircraft for pilots. It was armed with two synchronized machine guns in the nose, and hangers for small load bombs.
    Expanding the business of aircraft maintenance, the Cukurs moved the workshop to Bonsucesso, renting the area that had belonged to NAB (Brazilian Air Navigation). Now with two new Seabees, PP-DVV and PP-DKU, Cukurs intended to return to sightseeing flights. Noticing that São Paulo was a rich state, which holds great promise for businesses, Gunars left with his family and was trying his luck with the Seabee PP-DVV, in the seaside town of Santos. At the first day of sightseeing flights, made 36 takeoffs with sellout of seats for passengers. Euphoric, he contacted Rio and called the family to move to Santos. For intermediation of his friend Brigadier Correia de Mello, he could store his planes at Base Aerea de Santos, and began offering sightseeing flights for weekends, starting from José Menino Beach.


    To prevent corrosion, Cukurs removed with a broom the sand on the soles of all embarking passengers. Father and son began to study how to take another passenger aboard. The normal capacity of the Seabee was a pilot and three passengers. Herberts took the landing gear, and the electrical commands of departure of the aircraft, which was a relief of 120 kg in weight. To replace the landing gear, he designed a truck with tires that were fitted under the fuselage out of the water. It was possible even taxiing the plane on land. In 1957, The Cukurs bought a banana farm in Juquiá and Herberts and the invitation of the mayor of a seaside town nearby decided to explore a service of regular overflights. For it they acquired a small four-engine De Havilland DH-114 Heron


    prefix PT-AVA, which had belonged to Transportes Aéreos Salvador, hence earning the title of "Constellation Baiano." With the Heron, the DAC demanded Cukurs that the company had at least two planes to operate a regular airline.


    Alternatively, it enabled the service of Air Taxi, with one aircraft, but could carry at most 8 passengers, number well within the capacity of the Heron.






    To lessen the loss, the plane was used to carry groceries for Brasilia, the new capital then under construction.


    Later, the Heron was sold to Star Taxi Aéreo. Cukurs realized that the flying public in Santos was mostly Paulistans going to litoral. He went Sao Paulo, and there discovered the Guarapiranga reservoir, next to the center of city and had good touristic structure. The Cukurs decided to offer tourist flights in Santos and on the reservoir. The planes had been renamed "Oba" PP-DVV and "Fiu-Fiu" PP-DKU. Selling the banana farm that gave no profit, Cukurs purchased land in the dam, in the district of Riviera Paulista. It was a secluded area, but Cukurs moved with the aircraft to there. At start the Seabees were anchored on the beach in front of his house until it was built a hangar.


    Interlagos eventually prospered and flights were being operated in São Paulo. Father and son bought two more planes, a Seabee of Uruguayan registration CX-AID, which had crashed in 1954, and a monoplane with floats Rearwing Sporster PP-TBW, which also went to be used in sightseeing flights.




    In 1960, the kidnapping, trial and execution of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, eventually rekindled the campaigns of slander and lies against Cukurs. Once more newspapers with sensational headlines proclaiming that a major war criminal was hiding in São Paulo.


    "THE HUNT FOR THE NAZIST CUKURS HAS STARTED AGAIN"

    Note: part of the report reads "[...] (he) thus being condemned to death in Nuremberg." - the truth is, Cukurs was never tried in Nuremberg!

    It started all again. Cukurs out of free and spontaneous will appeared in the DOPS, taking his documents and paperwork, but the answer he received was identical to that had received 10 years ago, THERE WAS NOTHING AGAINST HERBERTS CUKURS. Under pressure from Israeli Brazilian Federations, the Foreign Ministry again collected information abroad, and the response received was that there was nothing against Herberts Cukurs. In the first campaign in 1950, a journal of the Latvian colony which was published in the United States and distributed to various countries, where they had Latvian colonies, came to an interview with Cukurs.
    This interview was published in several countries, and in it the reporter had put the postal address of Cukurs. One month later letters started pouring from all parts of the world of Latvians who after the war had fled communism, and all of them were offering to serve as witnesses in any court where it was required, to testify in favor of Cukurs. As I said earlier Cukurs was and remains until this day, the most famous Latvian Latvia has ever had. Of those hundreds of letters, the family still keeps many of them as documents of the highest importance. At this time, the now defunct TV Tupi, had a program, named "Pinga-Fogo", the older will remember. For an edition of this program which was then transmitted alive, they invited representatives of Israelite federations who would bring to the debate, the evidence against him, and Herberts Cukurs to make his defense. In this day Cukurs attended the program, but no one of his accusers showed up. After this one of these representatives claimed not to have gone because he could not bear to be face to face with the brutal assassin. Tired of so much bullshit, tired of summoning the Jews to show the evidence of guilt of Cukurs and not be answered, and before the response received by the Foreign Ministry, that there was nothing against Cukurs abroad, The Delegate of DOPS Dr Cintra Bueno, summoned the representatives of the Israelite Federations in the Police and ordered to leave Cukurs in peace, and to cease the threats that he had been suffering, and if something happened in Brazil to Cukurs, they would be deemed responsible. Cukurs again presented in DOPS, and again there was nothing against him. On that occasion Cukurs had received several anonymous letters with threats of death. And the campaign of defamation continued at full steam.
    The delegate of DOPS, Dr. Cintra Bueno, tired of waiting for evidence against Cukurs, which never appeared, drew representatives of Jewish communities for a definitive conversation. Since Cukurs entered Brazil with his real name, genuine documents, had fixed residence, known to all, have always sought the Brazilian authorities spontaneously, twice the Brazilian government looked back to his past, finding nothing that could tarnish his name, and as the plaintiffs had not presented any concrete evidence, only a handful of letters to who knows by whom they were written, and where they were written and reliability of who wrote them and which had already been under examination by the Ministry of Justice, which deemed the content of them had no legitimacy to incriminate a person, and to serve as evidence in an indictment, members of the Israelite Federation were ordered to leave Cukurs in peace. They were also ordered to stop with the threats, and if something happened to Cukurs they would be deemed responsible. Before this, the representatives of Jewish communities committed to that here in Brazil, nothing would happen with Herberts Cukurs. And it was so.
    The Brazilian authorities out of doubts sent two armed policemen, who were rotating day and night, to the residence of Cukurs, who also received permission to carry firearms for his defense.
    After these events, peace returned to reign, and Cukurs continued to work with his family returning to his life.
    In January 1962, the State government was committed to the campaign for polio vaccination. At that time they used the Cukurs' aircraft so that medical teams could map the city,


    as means to be able to bring the vaccine to all corners. The planes were also used for pamphlets, to disseminate to the public the necessity and benefits of vaccination, since the media were then precarious.


    For this work, in January 13, 1962, Herberts Cukurs received the title of the State of São Paulo, through the Department of Public Health and Welfare, which reads as follows:
    "In recognition of outstanding services rendered to the population in São Paulo, Cukurs the Commander, is awarded this title acknowlegdement and praise for his exceptional dedication, contributing to the success of the vaccination campaign against Poliomyelitis."


    A month later, in February 1962, it would happen the first nautical fair of São Paulo, in the premises of Santa Paula Yacht Club.


    Cukurs attended this event with a boat that he had just designed and built, which became the greatest attraction of this event.




    It was an aero boat, which used aircraft floats, with capacity of 4 passengers and equipped with an airplane engine, 196 hp Mathis, all done in hard aluminum, and had under its floats, hydrofoils, which allowed this boat to reach a speed of 80 miles per hour, pulling the floats 30 cm above the water. This boat was known in the press as "Bidu, the Flying Boat.." It received broad highlight in several articles published in major Brazilian newspapers.
    At the time, the Cukurs were pioneers in the development of gyro-copter, a glider helicopter that flew without using the engine, only with the spin of the blades, which allowed to soar. The first device was tested in Praia Grande, coast of São Paulo,


    where connected to a car it was pulled by a cable, by the beach practically deserted at that time, it went gaining speed and spin in their blades, allowing the takeoff to occur, equal to a glider. This first apparatus was equipped with three Scooter wheels.
    As traveling to Praia Grande at that time was more complicated, they decided to adapt the device to be used on the runway that was near his house, the reservoir. So the next gyro-copter was done with floats to allow it to take off the water.




    The problem now was how to pull the glider? Cukurs at that time had acquired a very popular craft used for the practice of skiing, known as Craker Box. But this boat did not have enough power to pull the gyrocopter with taking-off speed. So, it was adapted from a center, automotive, Lincoln 12-cylinder engine, which propelled a direct helix. Besides it in the back of the vessel it was mounted a support, which was fixed an airplane 4-cylinder Franklin engine, propelling an airplane helix. Thus, with the gyro-copter coupled in the back and propelled by two engines, it allowed the boat with all that drag, to reach a speed of 60 miles, thus allowing the safe takeoff of the gyro-copter.
    Another invention by Gunars account was the tamanquete, which was a pair of skis, insubmergible, which were normally weared like skis, by which the practitioner with the aid of two canes, like those used to skiing on snow, could walk on water.


    This is the true story of a man who through his own merits wrote his name in the aviation history of his country, and in the history of world aviation, making long distance flights, with aircraft designed and built by himself. The strength of his achievements to date is acclaimed in his country, where young and old revere his memory.
    Moreover, Cukurs is probably the person in the world that has suffered more injustice, charged for crimes he never practiced, despite the lack of evidence, despite his constant requests for justice, was denied a chance of defense, both in the courts, and in the time of his death.
    But if justice in the earth of men failed, divine justice is present, and as much as his hangmen try to do everything to prevent the truth to appear, day after day a new fact appears, and the lies one by one are being revealed. The truth is slow, but does not fail. There is a higher power that does not bow before the economic power, and this force, "Starp zemi um sauli", "Between the Sun and Earth", which is spinning the gears, is directing things to their proper place.
    One day, a future much closer than many imagine, the remains of Herberts Cukurs will be carried back to his homeland, with all the glories of National Hero


    that he was and still is, so he can be buried in the "Bralus Kapos",


    cemetery where are resting other heroes of the Latvian people, and his spirit may finally enjoy a meritorious rest.


    Herberts Cukurs
    1900 - 1965

    This man is in good position to win any contest of most defamated person ever!

    All accounts of his personal life since the WW2 and documentation in this post are of the uttermost reliability and importance since they were provided by Herberts' own sons.

    Links and sources:

    Herberts Cukurs Blog (mantained by his son, Richard Cukurs)
    http://www.herbertscukurs.net/ (English)
    http://herbertcukurs.blogspot.com/ (Latvian)
    http://herbertscukurs.blogspot.com/ (Portuguese)

    http://revisionismoemlinha.blogspot....grande_27.html
    http://www.seabee.info/rc3_brazil.htm (the Seabees of the family Cukurs)
    http://picasaweb.google.com/cukurs1982 (Richard Cukurs' photo gallery)
    http://latvianaviation.com/Events/E1934_05_25.html (flight to Gambia)
    http://latvianaviation.com/Events/CukTokyo.html (flight to Tokyo)
    http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herberts_Cukurs (the english wikipedia about Cukurs is not worth reading...)


    I hope all folks in this forum appreciate this behemoth posting about a true Latvian National Hero.
    Last edited by Megrez; 09-19-2010 at 03:26 PM.
    Let these words be as sand in the cogwheels of reason,
    as a malign disturbance in the sustainment of universe,
    and let each quark of this degenerated microcosm
    stand as a citadel of cold and deliberate hatred.
    Let there come a glorious error in the patterns of the world.
    Let the tainted foundations of reality crumble
    and let us hope nothing comes afterwards,
    so the gravest of mistakes we all blindly wander in
    will finally come to an end.

  3. #3
    In the forest of mine Inese's Avatar
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    Wow that is cool thank you for posting it In Latvia some people forget about him when they are asked for people who were influencal in our history!

    Latvian-German Friendship

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    Default Most famous latvia ? I doubt

    If the man who betrayed his military oath, and was guilty of the murder of Latvian citizens, together with the enemy soldiers, he is not a

    hero .... It is always easy to forget nasty things and wash hands....


    Ja cilvēks, kurš nodevis savu militāro zvērestu, un bija par vainīgu slepkavībā Latvijas iedzīvotāju, kopā ar ienaidnieka kareivjiem, viņš nav

    varonis .... Tā vienmēr ir viegli aizmirst šķebinošs lietām un nomazgājiet rokas ....

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    Default WHAT WAS ARAJS ?

    The Arajs Kommando (also: Sonderkommando Arajs), led by SS-Sturmbannführer Viktors Arājs, was a unit of Latvian Auxiliary Police (German: Lettische Hilfspolizei) subordinated to the Nazi SD. It was one of the more well-known and notorious killing units during the Holocaust.

    This group, composed of Latvian men, made contact with the leader of Einsatzgruppe A, Walter Stahlecker, in early July 1941, immediately following the German capture of Riga. All of the Arajs Kommando members were volunteers, and free to leave at any time.[1]

    The Arajs Kommando unit actively participated in a variety of Nazi atrocities, including the killing of Jews, Roma, and mental patients, as well as punitive actions and massacres of civilians along Latvia's eastern border with the Soviet Union.[1] The Kommando killed around 26,000 Jews in total.[2] Most notably, the unit took part in the mass execution of Jews from the Riga ghetto, and several thousand Jews deported from Germany, at Rumbula on November 30 and December 8, 1941.

    Some of Arājs's men also served as guards at the Salaspils concentration camp.[3]

    As can be seen in contemporary Nazi newsreels, part of a documentation campaign to create the image that the Holocaust in the Baltics was a local, and not Nazi-directed activity, the Arajs Kommando figured prominently in the burning of Riga's Great (Choral) Synagogue on 4 July 1941. Commemoration of this event has been chosen for marking Holocaust Memorial Day in present-day Latvia.

    The unit numbered about 300-500 men during the period that it participated in the killing of the Latvian Jewish population, and reached up to 1,500 members at its peak at the height of its involvement in anti-partisan operations in 1942.

    In the final phases of the war, the unit was disbanded and its personnel transferred to the Latvian Legion.

    After successfully hiding in West Germany for several decades after the war, Viktors Arājs was eventually arrested, tried, and imprisoned for his crimes. More recently, the governments of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia were involved in the attempt to extradite Konrāds Kalējs, a former officer of the Arājs Kommando,[4] to Latvia for trial on charges of genocide. Kalējs died in Australia before the extradition could proceed, maintaining his innocence to the end, that he was fighting Russia on the eastern front or studying at university when the slaughter of Jews took place in 1941. Latvian Holocaust historian A. Ezergailis estimates about a third of the Arājs Kommando, 500 of a maximum of around 1,500 total members, actively participated in the killings of Jews, and claimed that one cannot be convicted of crimes against humanity based solely on membership in an organization.[5]

    Naums Lifšics, a Jewish-Latvian economist and survivor of the Stalinist deportations, suggested that NKVD agents probably participated in the activities of Arajs Kommando.[6]
    See also

    Viktors Arājs
    Konrāds Kalējs, a company commander in the Arajs Kommando
    Herberts Cukurs, another known member of the Arajs Kommado, assassinated by the Mossad in 1965.

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    Default Salaspils concentration camp

    Salaspils concentration camp was established at the end of 1941 at a point 18 km southeast of Riga (Latvia). The Nazi bureaucracy drew distinctions between different types of camps. Officially, Salaspils was a Police Prison and Work Education Camp (Polizeigegfängnis und Arbeitserziehungslager). It was also known as camp Kurtenhof after the German name for the city of Salaspils. Planning for the development of the camp and its prisoner structure changed several times. In 1943, Heinrich Himmler briefly considered converting the camp into an official concentration camp (Konzentrationslager), which would have formally subordinated the camp to the National Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt or RSHA) , but nothing came of this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salaspi...entration_camp

  7. #7
    Latvietis Waidewut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nonoffshore View Post
    If the man who betrayed his military oath, and was guilty of the murder of Latvian citizens, together with the enemy soldiers, he is not a

    hero .... It is always easy to forget nasty things and wash hands....


    Ja cilvēks, kurš nodevis savu militāro zvērestu, un bija par vainīgu slepkavībā Latvijas iedzīvotāju, kopā ar ienaidnieka kareivjiem, viņš nav

    varonis .... Tā vienmēr ir viegli aizmirst šķebinošs lietām un nomazgājiet rokas ....
    Nice try bro, but this is google-translated Latvian.

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