Review of Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery (Part 2 of 2)

Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery. First published in June of 1942. Four stars.

Excerpts from Flannery’s book:

Like all broadcasts by foreign radio correspondents, Flannery’s script had to be approved by a German censor from the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment prior to broadcast. One of the oddest things Flannery discovered was this:

…the Nazis would not permit the use of the word ‘Nazi.’ They contended it had an uncomplimentary connotation in the United States and the correct term, anyway, was ‘National Socialist.’

Flannery gives a good description of a man named Paul Schmidt, the main spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry. Schmidt gave statements to the press each day at 1:00 pm.

He was…a stout, round-faced, red-cheeked German in his early thirties. Schmidt’s thinning dark hair was brushed straight back; he was always well dressed. Generally he was calm and good-humoured, able to turn questions with a quip.

I mention Paul Schmidt for a reason. While Flannery would not have known this, Paul Karl Schmidt was a committed Nazi, having joined the party in 1931 and the SS in 1938. By the time Flannery came into contact with him, Paul Karl Schmidt held the rank of Obersturmbannführer or Lt. Colonel in the SS and was in charge of the Foreign Ministry’s press liaison office.

The entire SS was indicted as a criminal organization by the Nuremberg Tribunal. Schmidt, like all members of the SS, was arrested by the Allies. He was held for two and a half-years before being released. Here is the important part: under the pen name of Paul Carell, he wrote numerous books on World War Two, most or all of which are in print, translated into English and often found in major bookstores. The publisher does not disclose anywhere on, or in the books that I have examined, that Carell is the pen name of an ardent Nazi, senior official of the Third Reich, and Lt. Colonel or Obersturmbannfuhrer in the SS. It is outrageous that this continues to go on and the publishers should be ashamed of themselves since they would have to be fools not to know who Carell was.

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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