From a Former U.S. Intelligence Officer on Irma Grese
Dear Mr. Porter,
I have read with great interest your writings on the trial and execution of Irma Grese.
[NOTE: The articles were written by Joe Belling. -C.P.]
I do not agree with everything that you say in your writings but I must admit that you make some very compelling arguments and I applaud you for both demonstrating the poor evidence leading to Fräulein Grese’s conviction and your courage to do so. As I read I actually felt sick that a young girl could possibly have been executed in error. I am a former career US Military Officer who served both in the US Army and Navy. I worked for several years in the intelligence arena and I know from personal experience that military prosecutors can twist offenses to appear to be much worse than they really are. I also know, as a former military officer, that she could not possibly have had the responsibility and authority claimed by the Jewish “witnesses.” No military in the world would be effective with 19 and 20 year olds carrying on as she has been accused, and clearly the SS would have been one of the more disciplined branches in the world ! ! ! If Fräulein Grese had actually sent thousands to their deaths (or even 100 . . . or perhaps even 10) would she have stayed in the camps until the end and risked being captured and identified? It seems that a reasonable person who would have committed those crimes would have seen that the end was coming and would have made a quick break for freedom. I have little doubt that Fräulein Grese was a postwar victim in the wrong place at the wrong time.
… As a former intelligence officer I still need to be careful.
... I do not agree with your political position. But I do think that much of what you write about the post war trials may very well be true. Isn’t it obvious that the victor always writes the history? As I said, I am not in agreement with “everything” you say but I do believe the truth resides somewhere between what we have been taught to believe (as the victor writes) and what you have demonstrated in your own writings.
I don’t know what else to say. I have felt sick after reading what you said about Irma Grese. I wish that it could somehow be corrected but obviously it cannot. I do hope that God shows mercy to those who have been unjustly convicted and executed and that he holds the perpetrators responsible.
… Just as a point of interest. I personally saw an individual accused of some minor crimes. The military prosecutors embellished these accusations into something much more than they were originally meant to be. The prosecutor also included many other charges other than the original, nearly all of which were probably rumors. During the course of these events the individual in question, probably for his own amusement, started a new rumor about something he supposedly did. He made it up . . . it was a complete fabrication. Within a month, this “rumor” became an official part of the prosecutors charge list . . . even though the defendant made it up. This means that the prosecutor was not interested in truth and could not possibly have had a witness, and was quite willing to include rumor to the detriment of the defendant. I am sure that something like this happened to Irma Grese and probably others.
Reading this kind of thing, about Grese, actually makes me angry. It would be nice if there was a way to really sort through all of this and determine the truth.
13 JANUARY 2006
[COMMENT: Grese's real mistake, and probably her only real crime, was failing to smile in most of her photographs. Would you smile in her position? - C.P.]
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