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How the Jews Defeated Hitler - the Myth of Passivity in the Face of Nazism

"In common with the situation in the Soviet Union, American Jews used the film industry to mobilize non-Jewish support for Jewish interests."

At the close of my review of the late David Cesarani’s Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews, 1933–1949, I remarked that “the Holocaust,” as a cultural concept, had performed one of the greatest vanishing acts in history — the disappearance of the Jews as active participants during World War II.[1] 

Faced with an almost blanket portrayal of Jewish victimhood and passivity during the period, I commented: “Examining the thousands upon thousands of histories of World War II, one would get the impression that there was not only one war, but also only one aggressor. Quite how and why “the Jews” leave the historical stage as belligerents in 1939, when the preceding six years had witnessed them engaging in international propaganda wars, political maneuvering, and targeted assassinations in several European countries, has been surprisingly overlooked.”

Benjamin Ginsberg’s relatively short but efficient work, How the Jews Defeated Hitler (2013, First Paperback 2016), may be considered a significant exception to this overwhelming omission, offering an argument that Jews played “a major role in the defeat of Nazi Germany.”[2]

In the introduction to his text, Ginsberg, a Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, outlines the structure of his argument along with his definition of Jewish resistance to the advance of National Socialism in Europe. Ginsberg’s definition of Jewish resistance is important because it differs significantly, in terms of its discursive parameters, from those generally employed in Holocaust historiography and its offshoots.

For those interested in a more detailed exploration of the issue of Jewish resistance during World War II, as a subject of historiographical debate, The Holocaust in History by Michael R. Marrus (Penguin, 1989) and Histories of the Holocaust by Dan Stone (Oxford University Press, 2010) are perhaps the best and most succinct introductions to the most pertinent themes.

However, in brief, historiographical argument prior to the 2010s was limited to two strands of thought, each biased and deeply flawed. The first strand of ‘resistance’ historiography was the negation of the idea of Jewish resistance. This involved lachrymose assertions that Jews offered no opposition to an unprovoked and irrational German hostility, and were led to sensationalized forms of mass murder like ‘lambs to the slaughter.’

A prime example within this strand is Martin Gilbert’s The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy (Harper Collins, 1986), and is also strongly associated with Raul Hilberg’s assessment that “the reaction pattern of the Jews is characterised by almost complete lack of resistance.” This first strand of argument was particularly popular in the diaspora, and in the United States and Great Britain in particular. The Holocaust developed as a cultural trope in these countries in tandem with the development of this lachrymose strand of historiography.

The idea of totally passive victimhood was, however, less popular among Israeli academics and hardline Zionists more generally. In the eyes of these Jews, the Jewish experience during World War II had fortified and proven prewar arguments on behalf of a Jewish national home, and it was almost a matter of national pride that some emphasis be placed on explicitly Jewish efforts to fight against National Socialist Germany.

In this context, histories began to emerge from Israel in the 1960s glamorizing Jewish partisan warfare, or events such as the Warsaw Uprising. The second strand to Jewish resistance historiography of course retained the idea that Jews, ultimately, were victims, in the sense that they were victims of an unprovoked and irrational German hostility.

However, the difference was that this strand denied total passivity in the face of such hostility, and made strenuous efforts to emphasize armed Jewish participation in European national resistance movements, and in partisan warfare. It represented, for lack of a better term, an idea of ‘muscular victimhood.’[3]

Both of these strands suffered from severe methodological and theoretical failings in that both discussed Jewish resistance only within the sphere of armed, guerilla, partisan action. Even the briefest of glances through Jewish history would illuminate the fact that, at least since the sack of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70, Jews have pursued their social and political goals via means significantly more abstract than armed conflict.

Indeed, the century prior to World War II witnessed the development of modern Jewish politics, with features involving the consolidation of media power, the strengthening of transnational political networks, the development of international Jewish mutual aid networks (particularly following the Damascus Affair in 1840), and the ascent of the Jews into Western governments and the professions.

It should therefore be regarded as remarkable that discussions of Jewish opposition to National Socialism should have neglected these international and incredibly influential spheres of influence as potential or actual avenues for resistance. Ginsberg’s unique contribution is to take the mainstream discussion of Jewish resistance into these neglected areas.

Across four chapters, Ginsberg explores Jewish activism in the United States, the Soviet Union, in the field of counterintelligence, and in partisan warfare, and argues that Jewish actions in all spheres were crucial to the defeat of National Socialist Germany.

Ginsberg’s chapter on the Soviet Union is particularly interesting. For centuries Jews have lacked the conventional means of defense available to a threatened nation, and in the 1930s Jews were a group of around 18 million people scattered across the globe.

To combat such strategic deficiencies however, Jews could rely upon centuries of experience in more abstract forms of defensive diplomacy, and in the 1930s this involved “working for, with, and through states and political leaders who shared their hostility toward Nazi Germany.”[4] Ginsberg explains that by the 1930s Jews exerted a remarkable level of influence in Soviet government and society.

Jews were crucial to the founding of the Social Democratic Party in the 1890s, and the Jewish Socialist Bund played a major role in the unsuccessful 1905 revolution. In the period leading up to the 1917 revolution, Jews were instrumental in the leadership of both the Bolshevik and Menshevik parties. It was therefore quite predictable that after the revolution, “among the first official acts of the victorious Bolsheviks was outlawing pogroms and anti-Semitic movements.”[5]

Jews came to play major roles in the Communist Party and the Soviet state, taking key roles in areas such as “foreign affairs, propaganda, finance, administration, and industrial production.”[6] Half of Lenin’s first Politburo were Jewish, and during the early decades of Communist rule Jews were “especially prominent” in the security services.

For example, the Jewish pharmacist Genrikh Yagoda was head of the secret police during the 1930s, and specialized in preparing poisons for his agents to use in liquidating Stalin’s opponents. Ginsberg adds that “other high-ranking Jewish secret police officers included M.T. Gay, who headed the special department that conducted mass arrests during the “Great Terror” of the 1930s, and A.A. Slutsky and Boris Berman, who were in charge of Soviet terror and espionage abroad.

Quickly rising as an elite in Soviet society, Jews enjoyed privileged access to the professions and influential political and cultural positions. “Though making up less than 2 percent of the overall populace, between 1929 and 1939, Jews constituted 11 percent of the students in Soviet universities.

This included 17 percent of all university students in Moscow, 19 percent in Leningrad, 24 percent in Kharkov, and 35.6 percent in Kiev.”[7] Ginsberg adds that “Jews had become the backbone of the Soviet bureaucracy and constituted a large percentage of the nation’s physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and other professionals, as well as nearly 20 percent of the scientists and university professors in such major cities as Moscow and Leningrad.”[8] 

The USSR’s most influential journalist, Mikhail Koltsov, was Jewish, while the Soviet Union’s official radio announcer, Yuri Levitan, was also a Jew. Other culturally influential Jews were Semyon Lozovsky, chief Soviet press spokesman, Ilya Ehrenberg, the leading publicist for anti-German sentiment, and Vasily Grossman, the Soviet army’s most influential war correspondent. The Soviet film industry was also dominated by the Jews Sergei Eisenstein, Mikhail Romm, Mark Donskoy, Leonid Lukov and Yuli Reisman. Thus, while Jews ostensibly had no nation of their own, Ginsberg remarks that they “had a good deal of influence within the new Soviet state.”[9]

Jews used this influence to combat a very strong threat from National Socialist Germany. During the first weeks of the German attack, the Wehrmacht destroyed more than 17,000 Soviet aircraft, 20,000 tanks, and 100,000 heavy guns and mortars. As many as 5 million Soviet troops had been killed or captured or were missing in action.

Jews had an obvious interest in fighting against such odds, and flooded the army’s influential positions in order to push a fanatical resistance effort. Ginsberg remarks that it was commonly remarked by troops (and repeated by Alexander Solzhenitsyn) that no Jews were to be found on the front lines.[10] 

Ginsberg himself concedes that Jews “sought whatever refuge they could find and preferred rear-echelon assignments.”[11]However, Jews were over-represented at officer level, and remarkably comprised more than 10 percent of the army’s political officers — essentially the enforcers of government doctrine.

Ethnic nepotism resulted in such a high number of medals being spuriously awarded to under-represented Jewish front line troops that in 1943 the Soviet regime was forced to try to reduce the number (and avoid aggravating non-Jewish combatants) by issuing a statement reading: “Medals for distinguished conduct are to be awarded to men of all nations, but within limits with regard to the Jews.”

Aside from warfare, Jews were essentially slave-masters overseeing the vast sphere of Soviet war production. The millions of Russians working ceaselessly in munitions factories came under the control of Boris Vannikov, deputy people’s commissar for armaments, while mass population movements of workers were orchestrated by the commissar for transport, Lazar Kaganovich.

Those workers tasked with building more and more factories were under the control of the Director of the Commissariat for Construction, the Jew Semyon Ginsburg. Steel production (Semyon Reznikov), aviation (Solomon Sendler), naval construction (Grigory Kaplun), the chemical industry (Leon Loshkin), and the fields of electricity, heavy industry, and fuel, were under Jewish authority.

The vast Russian workforce was essentially under Jewish control, and put to use in defense of Jewish interests. Meanwhile, the German workforce was operating on only one shift, continuing to produce consumer goods. Children went to school and women stayed at home. In the Soviet Union, the factories of the Jews operated every minute of every day, two million women were drafted into the military, and children were forced into the systems of production. A worker had to show up for work 66 hours per week, with only one day off per month.[12]

As well as possessing a vast and captive workforce for war production, Jews also engaged in intensive popular mobilization efforts. This was necessary because many of the USSR’s citizens “hated the regime,” which had uprooted, dispossessed, and starved to death millions of peasants.

Ginsberg demonstrates that Jews dominated the machinery of both popular coercion and persuasion, effectively maneuvering public opinion in line with Jewish interests. In the area of coercion, Jews were prominent in the NKVD, and the head of the army’s political officers was Lev Mekhlis, a Jewish Communist who had played a major role in the military purges of the 1930s.

One of the main responsibilities of Mekhlis was “making certain the soldiers fought and did not surrender.” But Jews were much more prominent in the field of persuasion. In the army, political workers called politruks were assigned to military units in order to enforce discipline and also lecture troops on their duties to the motherland and the bestial nature of the Germans. Ginsberg stresses that Jews were hugely over-represented at politruks, and were very important in preventing instances of Soviet surrender.

The Jewish-dominated Soviet film industry also dedicated itself to “exhorting the frightened and exhausted citizenry to fight the Germans.”[13] Mikhail Romm and Mark Donskoy both specialized in films portraying the brutal torture of Russian women by Germans. Jewish-made films like these were then “shown throughout the war to fan feelings of Russian nationalism and hatred for the Germans.”[14]

The official army newspaper, Red Star, was edited by the Jewish David Ortenberg. Ortenberg worked in tandem with co-ethnic Ilya Ehrenberg to create propaganda calling upon “every Soviet citizen to kill the Germans.” One of Ehrenberg’s most famous slogans was “If you have killed one German, kill another. There is nothing jollier than German corpses.”[15] 

Jewish propagandists like Ortenberg and Ehrenberg also worked abroad to build support for the Soviet cause. “The major vehicle for this effort was the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAFC) composed of prominent Soviet Jewish political figures and intellectuals.” The JAFC raised money in the United States and Great Britain.

“Though nominally an independent entity headed by the famous Soviet Jewish actor Solomon Mikoels, the JAFC was actually part of the Soviet Information bureau and closely monitored by a Jewish NKVD official, Sergei Shpigelglaz.”[16]

The JAFC found it easy to establish contact with similarly influential networks in the United States because that nation too had by World War II witnessed the rising power of the Jews. Ginsberg’s chapter on the United States is perhaps the most interesting of the entire text, and certainly from my own perspective justified the modest purchase price.

Ginsberg begins by charting the rise of the Jews under FDR— a “long climb to power and prominence.”[17] More than 15 percent of Roosevelt’s top-level appointees were Jews—at a time when Jews constituted less than 3 percent of the population. Jews became such a prominent and visible element of Roosevelt’s New Deal program (a term coined by the Jewish Samuel Rosenman) that opponents referred to it as the ‘Jew Deal.’ Ostensibly a purely economic platform, the New Deal acted as a gateway for Jews into a much wider array of influence.

Among the most important Jewish figures in and around the Roosevelt administration were Henry Morgenthau (Secretary of the Treasury), Felix Frankfurter (appointed to the Supreme Court), Louis Brandeis (Supreme Court Justice), Jerome Frank and Abe Fortas (Securities and Exchange Commission), Isador Lubin (Bureau of Labor Statistics), Charles Wyzanski (Department of Labor), David Niles (White House Special Assistant), David Lilienthal (chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority), Nathan Strauss (U.S. Housing Authority), and Benjamin Cohen, the author of most New Deal legislation.

These Jews, and lower level co-ethnics in and around the Roosevelt administration, were instrumental in challenging American isolationism. Ginsberg states that in combination with organized Jewish groups, these figures were crucial in bringing “isolationism into disrepute and turning American opinion against Germany.”[18]

The same period also witnessed the beginning of the end for the WASP establishment, mainly because WASPs (as one of the only Anglophilic elements in White America) decided to enter into a marriage of convenience with Jews in order to fight isolationism.

Departing from a prior hostility to Jews, Anglo Northeastern Protestants let their guard down and made formal organizational pacts with Jewish propagandists. This was most notable in the form of the Century Group, which “worked vigorously for American intervention against the growing power of Nazi Germany.”[19] 

In the Century Group, Jews like James Warburg, Walter Wanger and Harold Guinzberg rubbed shoulders with Ward Chaney, Joseph Alsop, Frank Polk, Dean Acheson and Allen W. Dulles. After the defeat of France in 1940, the Century Group called for the United States to declare war against Germany without waiting to be attacked.

Another strategy of the Century Group was to sponsor celebrities to give anti-German speeches, particularly in response to pro-isolationist meetings headed by figures such as Charles Lindbergh. The media networks controlled by the Century Group manipulated public opinion through tactics such as giving prominence to anti-German speeches while “relegating opposing points of view, such as those expressed by Charles Lindbergh, to the back pages.”[20]

Jews were crucial in sending destroyers and military hardware to Great Britain. As well as trying to shift public opinion in an anti-German direction, it was Benjamin Cohen (at Felix Frankfurter’s insistence) who sent a memorandum to Roosevelt arguing that he had the legal authority to release the destroyers without consulting Congress.[21] 

Another major supporter of this scheme, and the Lend Lease scheme which helped finance it, was the Fight for Freedom Committee (FFF) another group bringing together Jews and the Eastern WASP establishment.

In common with many such groups, while its visible leadership was WASP, its influence derived from socially and culturally prominent Jews, in the case of the FFF Warburg and Guinzburg of the Century Group, along with Hollywood producers Jack and Harry Warner, labor leader Abe Rosenfield, and New York businessman Mac Kreindler.

The FFF, which also had a close working relationship with British intelligence, was instrumental in a prolonged anti-Lindbergh campaign, and was successful in making a connection between “pro-isolationism” and “pro-Germany” in the public mind. Jewish groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League also undermined the isolationist position through propaganda and infiltration.

“One ADL agent, Marjorie Lane, became an active and trusted member of a number of isolationist and anti-Semitic groups, including Women for the USA, Women United, and Mothers Mobilize for America.”[22]

In common with the situation in the Soviet Union, American Jews used the film industry to mobilize non-Jewish support for Jewish interests. Most of America’s film studios had been founded by Jews, and the 1930s witnessed an outpouring of anti-German productions.

Roosevelt would later personally thank the movie industry for its “splendid cooperation with all who are directing the expansion of our defense forces,” and intervened to secure a reduced sentence for Jewish fraudster and head of Twentieth Century Fox, Joseph Schenk, who had been convicted of income tax evasion (an incident with eerie premonitions of the pardon of Marc Rich under Bill Clinton for the same crime).[23] 

The news media was also highly involved in the effort to shift public opinion, and both CBS and NBC (two of the most important networks) were owned by Jews.[24]

After the outbreak of war, Jews were instrumental in restructuring the American economy in order to finance the cost of fighting it — ushering in what has been called ‘the military-industrial complex” and the massive expansion of government power. One of the key features of the Jewish historical profile has been the involvement of Jews in systems of taxation. In keeping with this trend, during the early 1940s Jews were conspicuous in transforming the American economy to one based on mass taxation. The Treasury Department was of course headed by Henry Morgenthau, but what is less remarked upon is the fact that Morgenthau staffed his department very heavily with fellow Jews including Jacob Viner, Walter Salant, Herbert Stein and Milton Friedman. Ginsberg states that these Jews “fundamentally changed America’s tax system.”[1] It is not without irony that while Roosevelt was effectively pardoning high-ranking media Jews such as Joseph Schenk for large-scale income tax evasion, the Jews in his administration were championing the introduction of payroll withholding or “collection at the source” taxation for the common working man.

Although the Constitution’s Sixteenth Amendment, ratified in 1913, allowed the levying of an income tax, exemptions and thresholds meant that prior to the New Deal only 3 percent of Americans were subject to it. By 1940, Morgenthau’s Jewish team had added more than 5 million Americans to the income tax machine. The same team’s 1942 Revenue Act brought the number of Americans paying income tax to 40 million — a move Ginsberg describes as a “turning point in the history of American income taxation.” Since closely administering such a huge transition would be difficult, Jews employed much the same style of propaganda as their counterparts in the Soviet Union did to ensure popular compliance in the war effort — blanket efforts of persuasion and coercion.

In the area of persuasion, Jewish treasury officials “presented tax payment as a patriotic duty and launched an extensive propaganda campaign to convince Americans that paying taxes was a form of sacrifice required to win the war.”[2]Ginsberg adds that “Jewish films studios and radio networks, as well as Jewish composers and media personalities, played an active role.” At Mogenthau’s request his co-ethnic Irving Berlin wrote a song, “played incessantly on the radio,” titled “I Paid My Income Tax Today,” aimed at lower-income Americans who had never previously been asked to pay income taxes. Suspicious that this wouldn’t be enough, Morgenthau, along with Milton Friedman and Elisha Friedman, pushed for a permanent coercive system of payroll withholding. Ginsberg comments that:

The result of the gradual increase in tax rates mandated every year between 1940 and the end of the war, accompanied by payroll withholding, was conversion of the income tax from a minor tax levied on wealthy Americans into a major tax levied on all Americans — from a class tax to a mass tax…According to Elisha Friedman, one key, in addition to collection at the source, was gradualism. Raising taxes gradually, Friedman told the Congress, “got the people’s minds accustomed to things” and lessened the chance of tax resistance and political opposition.[3]

Gradualism has of course also been applied with devastating effect in European societies in relation to immigration and the slow erosion of rights and freedoms.

The sale of government bonds was another means of raising revenue for the war effort, and here too Jewish influence in the treasury and beyond was crucial. The two names most associated with popularizing war bond sales were Irving Berlin (who wrote the song ‘Any Bonds Today?’ at the behest of Morgenthau) and Bugs Bunny. Ginsberg writes that “Bugs, along with his animated friends Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig, was created by a Jewish producer, Leon Schlesinger, for the Jewish-owned Warner Brothers Studio. Bugs had been designed in the late 1930s to compete with the Judenfrei Disney Studio’s popular animated character Mickey Mouse. As opposed to the all-American Mickey, Bugs was quintessentially Jewish, sporting a thick Brooklyn accent, and was “sarcastic and disrespectful.”[4] After the studio was approached by Treasury, the studio produced a series of Bugs Bunny cartoons promoting war bonds at its own expense.

Jews were of course also dominant in the production of American wartime propaganda. The largest organization devoted to this enterprise was the Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI was heavily staffed with Jewish writers, the most important being Samuel Lubell. Lubell and the OWI authored a large number of pamphlets and guidelines that were disseminated to every organ of public communication with the aim of reinforcing hostility toward Germany. Guidelines were even issued to the movie industry, although, as Ginsberg remarks, “not unlike their Soviet counterparts, Hollywood’s large cadre of Jewish studio heads, producers, and directors needed little urging to join the war effort. … Most of the great propaganda films of this era were written, produced, or directed (or all three) by Hollywood’s Jewish filmmakers. Indeed, several of Frank Capra’s famous films were in fact written by Julius and Philip Epstein.”[5] The most famous wartime film, Casablanca, was funded by the Warner brothers, produced by Hal Wallis, directed by Michael Curtiz, and written by Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch — all were members of Hollywood’s Jewish leadership cadre. The overall result of the activities of this network was that the American people “were the recipients of a steady diet of material emphasizing the need to support the war effort.”[6]

Aside from Jewish networking in the United States and the Soviet Union, Jews also presented formidable problems to National Socialism via their efforts in international intelligence operations. Code breaking and signals intelligence first emerged in significant fashion during World War I, and in 1919 the US army formed the Cipher Bureau, sometimes known as the ‘Black Chamber.’ It was disguised as a private civilian corporation and was heavily involved in decoding the diplomatic communications of other nations. However, in 1929 Secretary of State Henry Stimson famously declared that “Gentlemen to not read each other’s mail,” and withdrew funding for the Cipher Bureau, forcing it to close. The army, however, moved to establish the Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) and placed it under the leadership of William Friedman, a Russian Jewish immigrant who specialized in code-breaking. The move away from the kind of gentlemanly conduct espoused by Stimson, to what would eventually morph into the National Security Agency under Friedman’s direction is at least as profound a social and political change as the income tax transformations undertaken by Jews at the treasury.

Indeed, many traditional soldiers scoffed at the wholesale adoption of what they saw as under-handed, Jewish tactics. In particular there was resistance from the navy to the idea of working with Friedman’s SIS. Ginsberg remarks that:

Normal interservice rivalries were exacerbated by the fact that the navy’s intelligence officers did not want to cooperate with an army unit that was headed by a Jew and that employed a number of Jews in its upper echelons. The U.S. Navy was thought by many to be even more anti-Semitic than the U.S. Army, and according to a British naval officer who visited the U.S. Navy’s cryptology unit, “The dislike of Jews prevalent in the U.S. Navy is a factor to be considered in the prevailing animosity between army and navy code-breaking operations as nearly all the leading Army cryptographers [William Friedman, Abraham Sinkov, Solomon Kullback, and Genevieve Feinstein] are Jews.[7]

As well as the code-breaking successes of Jews at the SIS, Jews were prominent in human intelligence. One of the most important Soviet spies was Leopold Trepper, a Jewish Communist who operated a spy ring known to the Germans as the ‘Red Orchestra.’ Posing as a Canadian industrialist, Trepper and fellow Jewish Communist Leo Grossvogel ran a Europe-wide import-export firm via several frontmen who were clueless that the firm was linked to Soviet military intelligence [GRU]. Once the initial set-up was carried out, the GRU sent further ‘orchestra’ members Anatoli Gurewitsch, Hermann Isbutsky, Isidor Springer, David Kamy, and Sophie Poznanska — all Jews. They were later joined by more Jewish Communists — Abraham Raichmann (from Belgium), and Hillel Katz (from Poland). After the fall of France in 1940, Trepper set up two companies in Paris, Simex and Simexco. After soliciting German contracts, the Red Orchestra was able to obtain passes to German commercial circles, enabling them to gather information on German preparations for an attack on the USSR. By far the most devastatingly effective asset of the Red Orchestra was, however, a German traitor — the anti-Nazi aristocrat Harro Schultze-Boysen, who provided the Jewish Communists with volumes of information from the aviation ministry that he worked in. The Germans would later claim that the Red Orchestra was responsible for the loss of as many as 200,000 German lives. The group was finally broken in 1942 when German direction-finding equipment was able to get a lock on the locations of Red Orchestra radio broadcasts. Its entire staff was located and arrested in a rapid series of raids.

Other important spy rings were the Red Three, operated from Switzerland by the Hungarian Jew Alexander Rado, and one operated by the Polish Jew Rachel Dubendorfer that successfully obtained  advance knowledge of German plans to attack Stalingrad and the oil fields in the Caucasus. Since the acquired material was Hitler’s entire directive, it proved “invaluable to the Soviets.” Enabling the Soviet forces to counter the Germans and ultimately defeat them at Stalingrad, Jewish human intelligence yet again cost the German forces tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives.

The Soviets were of course aware of the threat of similar German operations. The Soviet Union’s lead counterintelligence agency was SMERSH, an acronym for Smert Shpionam, or ‘Death to Spies.’ Jews were hugely over-represented in SMERSH, and Ginsberg remarks that “Jews played an important role within SMERSH throughout the war.”[8] Led by Jews such as Iakov Serebrianski, Isidor Makliarskii, and Vilyam Fisher, the tight ethnic cohesion of Soviet intelligence circles meant that infiltration by non-Jewish agents of any nationality was especially difficult. “During the course of the war, SMERSH alone killed or captured nearly 40,000 of the 44,000 agents the Germans acknowledge having sent into the USSR.” This is a remarkable level of success.

British and American spy agencies were also heavily Jewish. Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), which would be instrumental in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, employed more than 1,000 Jewish spies, the most famous of whom were the female spies Vera Atkins (born Vera Rosenberg) and French Jew Denise Bloch (later executed at Ravensbruck concentration camp). The director of the SOE was the Jewish banker Sir Charles Hambro, while its chief cryptographer was the Jew Leo Marks. The American equivalent of the SOE was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an early incarnation of the CIA. As well as boasting a large number of Jewish spies, Ginsberg writes that one group of ‘analysts’ within the OSS “consisted of a number of refugee Jewish intellectuals associated with the so-called Frankfurt School of neo-marxist social theorists. These included such luminaries as Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer.”[9] These Frankfurt School intellectuals were tasked with assessing the prospects for propaganda and psychological warfare as weapons against the German people.

Ginsberg’s final chapter deals with Jewish armed partisan activity. I found this particularly interesting because, much like the latter sections of David Cesarani’s Final Solution, accounts of such activity provide a (previously omitted) brutal logic to increasingly harsh treatment by the German military of Jewish populations within its reach. The first point worth emphasizing is that Jewish populations were deadly to German military aspirations. For example, while more than 25 percent of French Jews were involved in resistance efforts, only one percent of the non-Jewish population was engaged in similar activity.[10] The anthem of the French resistance was written by the Jewish novelist Joseph Kessel, while the most popular anti-German novel in French during the period, La Silence de la mer, was written by the Hungarian Jewish immigrant Jean Bruller. Two of the most important resistance fighters in France were Jean-Pierre Levy (who headed the nucleus of de Gaulle’s ‘secret army’) and Leo Goldenberg who operated the main Paris resistance movement.

In Belgium “the most militant resistants were Jews,” and the country’s heavily Jewish resistance network (RR) was responsible for multiple acts of sabotage as well as the targeted assassination of Jews co-operating with Germans. Resistance in Greece was orchestrated by the Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS). Ginsberg writes that “a significant percentage of the officers and leaders of ELAS were Jews” who adopted Greek names.[11] Greek Jewish partisans were responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 German soldiers and forced the deployment of an entire combat division in order to counter ongoing sabotage efforts. Similarly, in Yugoslavia, “several thousand Jews fought in the partisan movement.”[12]

By far the most destructive partisan activity took place in the Soviet Union where “very often these early partisan groups were led by Jewish Communists.”[13] Partisan activity was relentless and devastating from the earlier days of the invasion of the Soviet Union, eventually prompting Hitler to issue a memorandum to the armed forces demanding the spread of “a kind of terror that would make the population lose all interest in subordination.” However, there was often a disconnect between local populations and the partisans operating in their midst. Indeed, because many partisans were Jews (and therefore outsiders dedicated to the regime) many villagers would often readily supply Germans with information on partisan movements. Despite being a relatively small percentage of the population of the Soviet Union, Jews constituted the third largest nationality group among Soviet partisans, and occupied many of the most influential roles. Because of this, anti-Semitic actions by partisans became subject to extreme punishment and one prominent Ukrainian partisan leader was executed for killing five Jews.[14]

According to Soviet sources, partisans killed 500,000 Germans in Byelorussia, and 460,000 in Ukraine, along with 5,000 locomotives, 50,000 railway cars, and 15,000 German automobiles. While historians debate the accuracy and extent of these figures, it is clear that partisan activity was hugely detrimental to the German war effort. Because of their extremely long supply lines and often ad hoc logistical planning, partisan activity emerged like an ever-recurring pestilence or plague, and was often heaviest in and around Jewish areas. This activity, rather than irrational prejudice, provided the Germans with the logic for the mass relocation and concentration of Jewish populations in ghettos during wartime, and prompted harsher measures as a means of deterrent to future attacks. While Ginsberg’s exploration of Jewish partisan activity is succinct and useful, it is ultimately inferior to Cesarani’s treatment of the same topic both in terms of factual information and analysis. For this reason and others, this was in my opinion the weakest of the four major chapters in How the Jews Defeated Hitler.

Ginsberg’s brief concluding chapter strikes the reader as a strange and ill-fitting addition intended to ‘beef up’ the book and make the slender manuscript a little longer. Titled ‘From Tragedy to Farce,’ Ginsberg moves onto a personal, neocon-style screed against “liberal anti-Zionism.” Ginsberg attacks the House Un-American Activities Committee and the contemporary American and European Left as anti-Semitic, as well as discussing ‘Black anti-Semitism,’ and ‘self-hating Jews.’ It’s really rather remarkable that after a volume that essentially discusses the importance of Jewish influence, and apparently rejects the notion of Jewish victimhood, Ginsberg should lift his final chapter right out of the ADL playbook. I believe that this is the result of Ginsberg’s own inner nature on these matters reasserting itself (as indicated by his own publication history), as well as being designed to appease mainstream Jewish elements and appeal to fashionable discussion points within that demographic.

Ginsberg’s How the Jews Defeated Hitler is nonetheless a fact-filled, concise, and efficient guide to the extent of Jewish power and influence before and during World War II. The fact that it places Jews in a belligerent role, both in terms of armed conflict and in more abstract forms of warfare, is a welcome and very much novel contribution to mainstream historiography on the experiences and actions of Jews during that period. Ginsberg’s writing style is quite bland, but the facts being relayed, and the splitting of each chapter into multiple sections, mean that this is not a volume that will bore readers. The production quality of the paperback is also quite good.

As always when I read a volume of history, I question at its conclusion whether there are any valuable lessons to be derived from the material and arguments presented. In this instance I was moved to reflect on a chapter from Kevin MacDonald’s Separation and Its Discontents, in which MacDonald puts forward a very strong argument that National Socialism was a group evolutionary strategy that in many ways mirrored Judaism. Taking this to be an accurate assessment, which I do, Ginsberg’s volume prompted me to conclude that National Socialism had failed to mirror one crucial element of the modern Jewish evolutionary strategy — its international nature. Germany ultimately had no answer for the vast exercise of Jewish international power during the era, and it was this expression of power and influence that, in the final act, was how the Jews defeated Hitler.

Those in the contemporary movement for White advocacy, the Alt Right, White Nationalism, or however they choose to self-describe, would do well to heed this lesson when discussing how to challenge modern manifestations of Jewish influence. Very often I see expressions of common contempt for Jews that run the risk of under-estimating their formidable strength. I always try to keep in mind that much wiser men than me have wrestled with this issue. The daunting task facing us is to rise to a challenge that many before us have failed. One of the key reasons for the failure of our predecessors was the rooting of their efforts in the nationalism of the nation state. This movement can and must evolve, and adopt a system of ‘international White nationalism.’ Today, the nation state has been reduced to an expression of civic globalism. Citizenship is paperwork and nothing more. Borders are weak, and will continue to disintegrate. Our strength can come only from cross-border cooperation.

I’ll end with the same thoughts that occurred to me at the conclusion of my 2015 article on the German dispossession under Merkel:

In this, the hour of our dispossession, there is no such thing as German nationalism, English nationalism, French nationalism, or Swedish nationalism. Your fight is mine, and my fight is yours. If any White nation falls, we all fall. To paraphrase John Donne:

No White nation is an island, entire of itself; every White man is a part of the race, a piece of the continent. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any European nation’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in their kind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

After the outbreak of war, Jews were instrumental in restructuring the American economy in order to finance the cost of fighting it — ushering in what has been called ‘the military-industrial complex” and the massive expansion of government power. One of the key features of the Jewish historical profile has been the involvement of Jews in systems of taxation. In keeping with this trend, during the early 1940s Jews were conspicuous in transforming the American economy to one based on mass taxation. The Treasury Department was of course headed by Henry Morgenthau, but what is less remarked upon is the fact that Morgenthau staffed his department very heavily with fellow Jews including Jacob Viner, Walter Salant, Herbert Stein and Milton Friedman. Ginsberg states that these Jews “fundamentally changed America’s tax system.”[1] It is not without irony that while Roosevelt was effectively pardoning high-ranking media Jews such as Joseph Schenk for large-scale income tax evasion, the Jews in his administration were championing the introduction of payroll withholding or “collection at the source” taxation for the common working man.

Although the Constitution’s Sixteenth Amendment, ratified in 1913, allowed the levying of an income tax, exemptions and thresholds meant that prior to the New Deal only 3 percent of Americans were subject to it. By 1940, Morgenthau’s Jewish team had added more than 5 million Americans to the income tax machine. The same team’s 1942 Revenue Act brought the number of Americans paying income tax to 40 million — a move Ginsberg describes as a “turning point in the history of American income taxation.” Since closely administering such a huge transition would be difficult, Jews employed much the same style of propaganda as their counterparts in the Soviet Union did to ensure popular compliance in the war effort — blanket efforts of persuasion and coercion.

In the area of persuasion, Jewish treasury officials “presented tax payment as a patriotic duty and launched an extensive propaganda campaign to convince Americans that paying taxes was a form of sacrifice required to win the war.”[2]Ginsberg adds that “Jewish films studios and radio networks, as well as Jewish composers and media personalities, played an active role.” At Mogenthau’s request his co-ethnic Irving Berlin wrote a song, “played incessantly on the radio,” titled “I Paid My Income Tax Today,” aimed at lower-income Americans who had never previously been asked to pay income taxes. Suspicious that this wouldn’t be enough, Morgenthau, along with Milton Friedman and Elisha Friedman, pushed for a permanent coercive system of payroll withholding. Ginsberg comments that:

The result of the gradual increase in tax rates mandated every year between 1940 and the end of the war, accompanied by payroll withholding, was conversion of the income tax from a minor tax levied on wealthy Americans into a major tax levied on all Americans — from a class tax to a mass tax…According to Elisha Friedman, one key, in addition to collection at the source, was gradualism. Raising taxes gradually, Friedman told the Congress, “got the people’s minds accustomed to things” and lessened the chance of tax resistance and political opposition.[3]

Gradualism has of course also been applied with devastating effect in European societies in relation to immigration and the slow erosion of rights and freedoms.

The sale of government bonds was another means of raising revenue for the war effort, and here too Jewish influence in the treasury and beyond was crucial. The two names most associated with popularizing war bond sales were Irving Berlin (who wrote the song ‘Any Bonds Today?’ at the behest of Morgenthau) and Bugs Bunny. Ginsberg writes that “Bugs, along with his animated friends Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig, was created by a Jewish producer, Leon Schlesinger, for the Jewish-owned Warner Brothers Studio. Bugs had been designed in the late 1930s to compete with the Judenfrei Disney Studio’s popular animated character Mickey Mouse. As opposed to the all-American Mickey, Bugs was quintessentially Jewish, sporting a thick Brooklyn accent, and was “sarcastic and disrespectful.”[4] After the studio was approached by Treasury, the studio produced a series of Bugs Bunny cartoons promoting war bonds at its own expense.

Jews were of course also dominant in the production of American wartime propaganda. The largest organization devoted to this enterprise was the Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI was heavily staffed with Jewish writers, the most important being Samuel Lubell. Lubell and the OWI authored a large number of pamphlets and guidelines that were disseminated to every organ of public communication with the aim of reinforcing hostility toward Germany. Guidelines were even issued to the movie industry, although, as Ginsberg remarks, “not unlike their Soviet counterparts, Hollywood’s large cadre of Jewish studio heads, producers, and directors needed little urging to join the war effort. … Most of the great propaganda films of this era were written, produced, or directed (or all three) by Hollywood’s Jewish filmmakers. Indeed, several of Frank Capra’s famous films were in fact written by Julius and Philip Epstein.”[5] The most famous wartime film, Casablanca, was funded by the Warner brothers, produced by Hal Wallis, directed by Michael Curtiz, and written by Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch — all were members of Hollywood’s Jewish leadership cadre. The overall result of the activities of this network was that the American people “were the recipients of a steady diet of material emphasizing the need to support the war effort.”[6]

Aside from Jewish networking in the United States and the Soviet Union, Jews also presented formidable problems to National Socialism via their efforts in international intelligence operations. Code breaking and signals intelligence first emerged in significant fashion during World War I, and in 1919 the US army formed the Cipher Bureau, sometimes known as the ‘Black Chamber.’ It was disguised as a private civilian corporation and was heavily involved in decoding the diplomatic communications of other nations. However, in 1929 Secretary of State Henry Stimson famously declared that “Gentlemen to not read each other’s mail,” and withdrew funding for the Cipher Bureau, forcing it to close. The army, however, moved to establish the Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) and placed it under the leadership of William Friedman, a Russian Jewish immigrant who specialized in code-breaking. The move away from the kind of gentlemanly conduct espoused by Stimson, to what would eventually morph into the National Security Agency under Friedman’s direction is at least as profound a social and political change as the income tax transformations undertaken by Jews at the treasury.

Indeed, many traditional soldiers scoffed at the wholesale adoption of what they saw as under-handed, Jewish tactics. In particular there was resistance from the navy to the idea of working with Friedman’s SIS. Ginsberg remarks that:

Normal interservice rivalries were exacerbated by the fact that the navy’s intelligence officers did not want to cooperate with an army unit that was headed by a Jew and that employed a number of Jews in its upper echelons. The U.S. Navy was thought by many to be even more anti-Semitic than the U.S. Army, and according to a British naval officer who visited the U.S. Navy’s cryptology unit, “The dislike of Jews prevalent in the U.S. Navy is a factor to be considered in the prevailing animosity between army and navy code-breaking operations as nearly all the leading Army cryptographers [William Friedman, Abraham Sinkov, Solomon Kullback, and Genevieve Feinstein] are Jews.[7]

As well as the code-breaking successes of Jews at the SIS, Jews were prominent in human intelligence. One of the most important Soviet spies was Leopold Trepper, a Jewish Communist who operated a spy ring known to the Germans as the ‘Red Orchestra.’ Posing as a Canadian industrialist, Trepper and fellow Jewish Communist Leo Grossvogel ran a Europe-wide import-export firm via several frontmen who were clueless that the firm was linked to Soviet military intelligence [GRU]. Once the initial set-up was carried out, the GRU sent further ‘orchestra’ members Anatoli Gurewitsch, Hermann Isbutsky, Isidor Springer, David Kamy, and Sophie Poznanska — all Jews. They were later joined by more Jewish Communists — Abraham Raichmann (from Belgium), and Hillel Katz (from Poland). After the fall of France in 1940, Trepper set up two companies in Paris, Simex and Simexco. After soliciting German contracts, the Red Orchestra was able to obtain passes to German commercial circles, enabling them to gather information on German preparations for an attack on the USSR. By far the most devastatingly effective asset of the Red Orchestra was, however, a German traitor — the anti-Nazi aristocrat Harro Schultze-Boysen, who provided the Jewish Communists with volumes of information from the aviation ministry that he worked in. The Germans would later claim that the Red Orchestra was responsible for the loss of as many as 200,000 German lives. The group was finally broken in 1942 when German direction-finding equipment was able to get a lock on the locations of Red Orchestra radio broadcasts. Its entire staff was located and arrested in a rapid series of raids.

Other important spy rings were the Red Three, operated from Switzerland by the Hungarian Jew Alexander Rado, and one operated by the Polish Jew Rachel Dubendorfer that successfully obtained  advance knowledge of German plans to attack Stalingrad and the oil fields in the Caucasus. Since the acquired material was Hitler’s entire directive, it proved “invaluable to the Soviets.” Enabling the Soviet forces to counter the Germans and ultimately defeat them at Stalingrad, Jewish human intelligence yet again cost the German forces tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives.

The Soviets were of course aware of the threat of similar German operations. The Soviet Union’s lead counterintelligence agency was SMERSH, an acronym for Smert Shpionam, or ‘Death to Spies.’ Jews were hugely over-represented in SMERSH, and Ginsberg remarks that “Jews played an important role within SMERSH throughout the war.”[8] Led by Jews such as Iakov Serebrianski, Isidor Makliarskii, and Vilyam Fisher, the tight ethnic cohesion of Soviet intelligence circles meant that infiltration by non-Jewish agents of any nationality was especially difficult. “During the course of the war, SMERSH alone killed or captured nearly 40,000 of the 44,000 agents the Germans acknowledge having sent into the USSR.” This is a remarkable level of success.

British and American spy agencies were also heavily Jewish. Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), which would be instrumental in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, employed more than 1,000 Jewish spies, the most famous of whom were the female spies Vera Atkins (born Vera Rosenberg) and French Jew Denise Bloch (later executed at Ravensbruck concentration camp). The director of the SOE was the Jewish banker Sir Charles Hambro, while its chief cryptographer was the Jew Leo Marks. The American equivalent of the SOE was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an early incarnation of the CIA. As well as boasting a large number of Jewish spies, Ginsberg writes that one group of ‘analysts’ within the OSS “consisted of a number of refugee Jewish intellectuals associated with the so-called Frankfurt School of neo-marxist social theorists. These included such luminaries as Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer.”[9] These Frankfurt School intellectuals were tasked with assessing the prospects for propaganda and psychological warfare as weapons against the German people.

Ginsberg’s final chapter deals with Jewish armed partisan activity. I found this particularly interesting because, much like the latter sections of David Cesarani’s Final Solution, accounts of such activity provide a (previously omitted) brutal logic to increasingly harsh treatment by the German military of Jewish populations within its reach. The first point worth emphasizing is that Jewish populations were deadly to German military aspirations. For example, while more than 25 percent of French Jews were involved in resistance efforts, only one percent of the non-Jewish population was engaged in similar activity.[10] The anthem of the French resistance was written by the Jewish novelist Joseph Kessel, while the most popular anti-German novel in French during the period, La Silence de la mer, was written by the Hungarian Jewish immigrant Jean Bruller. Two of the most important resistance fighters in France were Jean-Pierre Levy (who headed the nucleus of de Gaulle’s ‘secret army’) and Leo Goldenberg who operated the main Paris resistance movement.

In Belgium “the most militant resistants were Jews,” and the country’s heavily Jewish resistance network (RR) was responsible for multiple acts of sabotage as well as the targeted assassination of Jews co-operating with Germans. Resistance in Greece was orchestrated by the Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS). Ginsberg writes that “a significant percentage of the officers and leaders of ELAS were Jews” who adopted Greek names.[11] Greek Jewish partisans were responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 German soldiers and forced the deployment of an entire combat division in order to counter ongoing sabotage efforts. Similarly, in Yugoslavia, “several thousand Jews fought in the partisan movement.”[12]

By far the most destructive partisan activity took place in the Soviet Union where “very often these early partisan groups were led by Jewish Communists.”[13] Partisan activity was relentless and devastating from the earlier days of the invasion of the Soviet Union, eventually prompting Hitler to issue a memorandum to the armed forces demanding the spread of “a kind of terror that would make the population lose all interest in subordination.” However, there was often a disconnect between local populations and the partisans operating in their midst. Indeed, because many partisans were Jews (and therefore outsiders dedicated to the regime) many villagers would often readily supply Germans with information on partisan movements. Despite being a relatively small percentage of the population of the Soviet Union, Jews constituted the third largest nationality group among Soviet partisans, and occupied many of the most influential roles. Because of this, anti-Semitic actions by partisans became subject to extreme punishment and one prominent Ukrainian partisan leader was executed for killing five Jews.[14]

According to Soviet sources, partisans killed 500,000 Germans in Byelorussia, and 460,000 in Ukraine, along with 5,000 locomotives, 50,000 railway cars, and 15,000 German automobiles. While historians debate the accuracy and extent of these figures, it is clear that partisan activity was hugely detrimental to the German war effort. Because of their extremely long supply lines and often ad hoc logistical planning, partisan activity emerged like an ever-recurring pestilence or plague, and was often heaviest in and around Jewish areas. This activity, rather than irrational prejudice, provided the Germans with the logic for the mass relocation and concentration of Jewish populations in ghettos during wartime, and prompted harsher measures as a means of deterrent to future attacks. While Ginsberg’s exploration of Jewish partisan activity is succinct and useful, it is ultimately inferior to Cesarani’s treatment of the same topic both in terms of factual information and analysis. For this reason and others, this was in my opinion the weakest of the four major chapters in How the Jews Defeated Hitler.

Ginsberg’s brief concluding chapter strikes the reader as a strange and ill-fitting addition intended to ‘beef up’ the book and make the slender manuscript a little longer. Titled ‘From Tragedy to Farce,’ Ginsberg moves onto a personal, neocon-style screed against “liberal anti-Zionism.” Ginsberg attacks the House Un-American Activities Committee and the contemporary American and European Left as anti-Semitic, as well as discussing ‘Black anti-Semitism,’ and ‘self-hating Jews.’ It’s really rather remarkable that after a volume that essentially discusses the importance of Jewish influence, and apparently rejects the notion of Jewish victimhood, Ginsberg should lift his final chapter right out of the ADL playbook. I believe that this is the result of Ginsberg’s own inner nature on these matters reasserting itself (as indicated by his own publication history), as well as being designed to appease mainstream Jewish elements and appeal to fashionable discussion points within that demographic.

Ginsberg’s How the Jews Defeated Hitler is nonetheless a fact-filled, concise, and efficient guide to the extent of Jewish power and influence before and during World War II. The fact that it places Jews in a belligerent role, both in terms of armed conflict and in more abstract forms of warfare, is a welcome and very much novel contribution to mainstream historiography on the experiences and actions of Jews during that period. Ginsberg’s writing style is quite bland, but the facts being relayed, and the splitting of each chapter into multiple sections, mean that this is not a volume that will bore readers. The production quality of the paperback is also quite good.

As always when I read a volume of history, I question at its conclusion whether there are any valuable lessons to be derived from the material and arguments presented. In this instance I was moved to reflect on a chapter from Kevin MacDonald’s Separation and Its Discontents, in which MacDonald puts forward a very strong argument that National Socialism was a group evolutionary strategy that in many ways mirrored Judaism. Taking this to be an accurate assessment, which I do, Ginsberg’s volume prompted me to conclude that National Socialism had failed to mirror one crucial element of the modern Jewish evolutionary strategy — its international nature. Germany ultimately had no answer for the vast exercise of Jewish international power during the era, and it was this expression of power and influence that, in the final act, was how the Jews defeated Hitler.

Those in the contemporary movement for White advocacy, the Alt Right, White Nationalism, or however they choose to self-describe, would do well to heed this lesson when discussing how to challenge modern manifestations of Jewish influence. Very often I see expressions of common contempt for Jews that run the risk of under-estimating their formidable strength. I always try to keep in mind that much wiser men than me have wrestled with this issue. The daunting task facing us is to rise to a challenge that many before us have failed. One of the key reasons for the failure of our predecessors was the rooting of their efforts in the nationalism of the nation state. This movement can and must evolve, and adopt a system of ‘international White nationalism.’ Today, the nation state has been reduced to an expression of civic globalism. Citizenship is paperwork and nothing more. Borders are weak, and will continue to disintegrate. Our strength can come only from cross-border cooperation.

I’ll end with the same thoughts that occurred to me at the conclusion of my 2015 article on the German dispossession under Merkel:

In this, the hour of our dispossession, there is no such thing as German nationalism, English nationalism, French nationalism, or Swedish nationalism. Your fight is mine, and my fight is yours. If any White nation falls, we all fall. To paraphrase John Donne:

No White nation is an island, entire of itself; every White man is a part of the race, a piece of the continent. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any European nation’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in their kind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.


Source: theoccidentalobserver.net

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