False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time. -- Wikipedia.
Seventy years ago today, the Polish Army attacked the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in what was at the time Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia.
Except, they didn't.
The Gleiwitz incident was a staged attack by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939 on the eve of World War II in Europe. Ironically, the radio station (and much of what was then Germany) is now in Poland, and Gleiwitz is now calledn Gliwice. So much for that big idea of Hitler's, "Lebensraum" ("living space").
Sender Gleiwitz in 1939. The old building in Funkstrasse with two transmitter masts still in place.
This provocation was the best known of several actions in Operation Himmler, an SS project to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, which they attempted to use to justify the subsequent invasion of Poland.
Much of what is known about the Gleiwitz incident comes from the sworn affidavit of Alfred Naujocks at the Nuremberg Trials. In his testimony, he states that he organized the incident under orders from Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Müller, the chief of the Gestapo. On the night of August 31, 1939, a small group of German operatives, dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Naujocks seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish (sources vary on the content on the message). The Germans' goal was to make the attack and the broadcast look like the work of anti-German Polish saboteurs. In order to make the attack seem more convincing, the Germans brought in Franciszek Honiok, a German Silesian known for sympathizing with the Poles, who had been arrested the previous day by the Gestapo. Honiok was dressed to look like a saboteur; then killed by lethal injection, given gunshot wounds, and left dead at the scene, so that he appeared to have been killed while attacking the station. His corpse was subsequently presented as proof of the attack to the police and press. In addition to Honiok, several other convicts from the Dachau concentration camp were kept available for this purpose. The Germans referred to them by the code phrase "Konserve" ("canned goods"). For this reason, some sources incorrectly refer to the incident as "Operation Canned Goods."
The Gleiwitz incident was a part of a larger operation, carried out by Abwehr and SS forces. At the same time as the Gleiwitz attack, there were other incidents orchestrated by Germany along the Polish-German border, such as house torching in the Polish Corridor and spurious propaganda output. The entire project, dubbed Operation Himmler and comprising 21 incidents in all, was intended to give the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany. For months prior to the 1939 invasion, German newspapers and politicians like Adolf Hitler accused Polish authorities of organizing or tolerating violent ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland.
On the day following the Gleiwitz attack, 1 September 1939, Germany launched the Fall Weiss operation — the invasion of Poland — initiating World War II in Europe. On the same day, in a speech in the Reichstag, Adolf Hitler cited the 21 border incidents, with three of them called very serious, as justification for Germany's "defensive" action against Poland. Just a few days earlier, on 22 August, he told his generals "I shall give a propaganda reason for starting the war; whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth."
American correspondents were summoned to the scene next day, but no neutral parties were allowed to investigate the incident in detail and the international public was skeptical of the German version of the incident. A few days after the Gleiwitz incident, the international public and press realized that the huge scale of the German "defensive action" meant the invasion had to have been planned months in advance. -- Wikipedia.
"I shall give a propaganda reason for starting the war; whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth."
History never repeats exactly. Still, most tyrants think alike.
Let the citizen beware.