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The story of the murder of Herbert Cukurs

  • 11-08-2011 11:46pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭


    On February 23rd 1965 a 64 year old man was lured to a farmhouse by a man who had befriended him, he was then attacked by 5 other men (in their underwear) with hammers.

    After an unexpectedly long struggle the old man (Herbert Cukurs) was dead, having been beaten repeatedly about the head and body with hammers and eventually shot in the head at close range by the man who had befriended him, lured him to another country and then to an isolated farmhouse to be murdered.

    His bloodied body was placed in a trunk where it remained for 2 weeks in the summer heat of Montevideo.

    If you read the wikipedia page about this event - it is simply presented as an open and shut case (based largely on the unchallenged account of the mossad killer who wrote a book called'The Hangman of Riga').

    However I thought it would be interesting to present the other side of this story.

    The killing was also recently covered in the schlock tv series 'Nazi Hunters', where the mossad killer is interviewed and his version not just of the murder but of history is inexplicably accepted as accomplished fact.

    Though in fairness to that programme they did briefly feature one of the the Herbert Cukurs' family (for about 1% of the programmes duration) - pointing out the absence of evidence against the dead man.

    I have noted the following sources on the web on this subject. Some by people for whom english is a second language.

    This source here is from a journalist and author :

    http://www.gabyweber.com/dwnld/artikel/mossad/disinformation_Cukurs_en.pdf
    Margers Vestermanis leads the Jewish museum in Riga. He himself was a slave worker of the Nazis during World War II. The book "Execution of the Hangman of Riga" is " a complete nonsense ", he says. Indeed, Cukurs has been a member in the murder group of Viktor Arajs, but Herbert Cukurs was not responsible for assassination of 30,000 Jews. "Neither Viktor Arajs nor Cukurs were a member in the Perkonkrust whose history is well known." .....

    But Cukurs never was a member of the resistance, says Vestermanis, but a daredevil and adventurer who loved the risk, enjoyed travelling, pleasures and a good life. On the flea market he bought an old Citroen motor and inserted it in a scrapped airplane with which he flew to Gambia. The newspapers of Latvia financed his adventure and from all stations he cabled reports to Riga. Then he became a special correspondent in the war of Abessynia and in Japan.
    Cukurs became a media event, a national hero, and the Latvian air force hired him as a captain. He was not known as an anti- Semite,says Vestermanis. He rather tried to take advantage of all situations for himself. Even later, under the Soviet occupation of Latvia, he presented himself as a convinced anti-communist, but he still made an arrangement with the Russians. On the 9th April 41 he went to Moscow and offered his collaboration, probably to do personal business with the Soviet air force. With which authorities he had contact in the Soviet Union, never became known. On the 16th of April 1941 he went back on his farm in Latvia where he was at the time of the invasion of the German armed forces. Many suspected him as a Russian spy because of his Moscow trip, and the situation had become dangerous for him, speculates Vestermanis. Probably to prove his loyalty to the new rulers, Cukurs enlisted into the special command of Victor Arajs.

    Herbert Cukurs membership within the Arajs command is proven. He was his chauffeur and his right hand man. The fact that those troops committed heavy crimes - shootings, tortures, synagogues burned - is likewise recorded. Whether and how Cukurs was involved in these actions personally, cannot be proven today. With certainty, he carries a joint responsibility for his membership in this terrorist group, but whether he carries a penal responsibility, is not clear. Margers Vestermanis knows well the documents, both for, and against him. For him, two Jewish women have spoken out. Ella Medalje (born Ella Guttmann), was aided in escaping her being shot because she had presented herself as an "Aryan". Cukurs had driven her to the Waldemar Street nazi headquarter s building and he did not betrayed her, although he knew that she was a Jew. And later, Miriam Keitzner gave testimony in Brazil saying that Cukurs had hidden her on his farm.

    The book " The Execution of the Hangman of Riga " quotes eight witness's statements of surviving prisoners of Waldemar Street. They have been filed before Jewish organisations. The originals are in the archive of the memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, copies in the Jewish museum in Riga. The fact that these witnesses were victims of the worst humiliations, is excepted without any question. However, something in these statements is inexact, something even wrong, means Vestermanis. The fact that in it Cukurs is named as a member of the Perkonkrust, proves nothing. The witnesses have been tormented and been traumatised and would have hardly differentiated anyone on the other side according to their party affiliation. It is very strange, Vestermanis says that not in the Soviet archives nor in the Latvians archives, are there any incriminating records against Cukurs. After the war, the Soviet Union wanted to exert a big war crimes trial because of the nazi massacres in the Baltic States and, therefore, interrogated thousands. "After the war, 365 members of these fascist commands were condemned. The astonishing thing is that in the all the testimonies, there are no criminal incriminations against Cukurs". The book about the supposed "Hangman of Riga "mentions a request for extradition by the Soviet Union to the Brazilian government. However, such a request has never existed. The Brazilian embassy in Buenos Aires informed me that‚‘‘Neither the Soviet Union, nor Israel, ever applied for the extradition of Cukur‘‘. On a list, published in 1960 in Israel, with the names of nazi war criminals, the name of Herbert Cukurs did not appear.
    After the end of the war, the Swedish government delivered many of the fled SS officers to the Soviet Union. Is not known whether it has also returned loot and whether Israel got a share of it. Only few persons were convicted for the massacres of the Latvian Jews: The Soviets condemned the SS-group leader Jeckeln as a war criminal and hung him in Riga. But the former SS commander of the Riga ghetto, Eduard Roschmann, moved to Argentina and moved there openly. Viktor Arajs, the leader of the shooting command, fell into British captivity. The military government soon allowed him freedom of movement within the country, sent his records to the German justice department, and then hired Arajs as a driver. The British let him go to London where he received a faked passport from the Latvian exile government. Arajs was arrested in 1975 in Frankfurt and was condemned to lifelong custody by the district court of Hamburg for of murder of at least 13,000 people. The murder of Herbert Cukurs is considered, still to this day, as a Mossad action, which claimed as it’s purpose, to punish a mass murderer. This version took presence even in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The family of the victim protested and asked them for omission. They wanted to present documents, remembers the son Gunnars. "But the Britannica did not want to see the documents. And we had no money for a court procedure."



    Reference 2, this is a blog/biography, it is the most extensive biography of Herbert Kukurs online and so is provided in order to gather biographical details. Please note also the photographs of contemporary press cuttings on this page.

    http://herberts-cukurs.blogspot.com/
    HERBERTS CUKURS.

    Herberts Cukurs in pre-World War II Latvian uniform

    Born May 17, 1900(1900-05-17)
    Liepaja, 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). He was awarded the Harmon Trophy for Latvia in 1933.


    Cukurs built at least 6 planes of his own design. In 1937 he made a 45,000 km tour visiting Japan, China, Indochina, India and Russia, flying the C 6 wooden monoplane "Tris zvaigznes" (callsign YL-ABA) of his own creation. The plane was powered by an 135 hp de Havilland Gipsy engine. What differentiates H. Cukurs other aviation pioneers, was the fact that he made sus cheap long distance aircraft designed and built by him self,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.


    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 it latvian polices .ONLY!

    Historian Andrew Ezergailis said:

    “MASAAD killed an innocent man”.

    "TO change the question from how many Jews did Cukurs, 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’ , 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 .


    This other quote from this source is worth highlighting :
    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: Legendu 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.

    There are some interesting posts on axis history forum about the allegations of Kukurs involvement in warcrimes :


    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56115&start=15
    his case is appearently more complex then Arajs.
    As far as I have read, and I'm not really specialist in his case, but there seems to be only few "hard-known facts" about him during the war (some of them have already been posted here, but I have them just to stress that I agree to them).
    1) He definitely was connected to Arajs's group, seems that at the minimum, he was their mechanic.
    2) The only account that I have seen on his involvment in mass killings is dubious - him killing infants and drinking their blood and singing, dancing during this in public, shouting "give me their blood" (??), I have seen just one ource for this and I doubt it, especially the "drinking blood" part. However, modern russian (and former soviet) sources consider this to be enough to dispell any doubts. Seems that especially Soviet historiography felt very certain that Kukurs is guilty. I'm not so sure.
    3) Seems that UK and Brazil considered him to be not responsible for war crimes, or at least it is mentioned in his letters that they have issued such documents (and even done rather serious researches, as other posters here imply) for his usage. Should be possible to trace such documents. Also in his letters it seems that he is openly and without trace of shame searching support letters from some embassy's and institutions because jewish organisations are saying bad things about him and in his own words, doing what they can to prosecute him and harm his business (if organising demonstrations and vandalism in his company is true, then it's not overrating).
    4) I haven't seen that any court or war tribunal - Israel's, Soviet Union's, Allied or any other would have had his case and judged him as responsible for war crimes. Even though modern Russian institutions seems to imply that "beyond doubt" he was blood drinker and everything. Maybe there has been such court, then it's authority might be enough to consider him war criminal or not (though modern research would be much better). Though it seems to be true that he was killed by Mossad (or some non-governmental organisation).
    5) In his letters he writes that during the war he was hidding one jewish girl in his house and that jewish organisations forbid his family to meet this girl after the war. It should be possible to find if any other source can confirm this, though I have seen it only in his letters. Grellber mentioned that this is also in "A book by Frank Gordon which i bought in Rigas occupation museum also contains a story about a woman, which Cukurs "spared/saved", or was it the Jewish org in Rigas web-site?" If it is in jewish org then it would be even more interesting. (might be a small window of opportunity for conspiracy theory that maybe it was not Mossad actually who's responsible for his death, but some soviet agent! :P )
    6) While living in Brazil he did not try to hide his identity.
    7) His letters seemed to indicate that he was slightly antisemitic (by modern standarts). However, it looked very much like tipical attitude towards the jews that existed in interwar period in Latvia - it was NOT aggresive, more like "let's better go shopping in Latvian shops", slogan used sometimes (for example dictator Ulmanis I think used it once), with nobody trying to implement it. So slight, folkish/rural-minded antisemitism - yes, probably. Nazi like antisemitism - didn't notice a trace of it. Jews in interwar period (or any other time for that matter) were never enemy of society, the small aggresive nazi-like antisemitic group Perkonkrusts was banned.

    &

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56115
    Some salient points

    1. Cukurs was never charged, tried, or convicted of any crimes.

    2. The Brazilian authorities investigated accusations against him, including requesting submission of evidence from other countries - including Israel. The Brazilians concluded that there was no case to answer, and no country ever requested extradition.

    3. He was subsequently murdered in Montevideo in 1965, and someone claiming to be the murderer ("avenger") has subsequently gone so far to write an account of the murder (under psuedonym). "Execution of the Hangman of Riga: The Only Execution of a Nazi War Criminal by the Mossad" by Anton Kunzle, Gad Shimron

    4. Although widely accused of hands on participation in the holocaust in Latvia, his murder of course meant that there could never be an objective reckoning of what he did, or did not, do. Some accusations that exist verge on the hysterical

    As soon as the German army entered Riga, Cukurs joined those who were shooting Jews. At the end of 1941 he personally participated in the shooting in Riga's ghetto and Rumbula, killing infants and dancing with joy by the graves.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,787 ✭✭✭xflyer


    And your point is?

    So some obscure individual, an opportunist, collaborated with the Nazis and was a member of an organisation that murdered many people in Latvia.

    Later he was murdered while in exile in South America, probably unfairly. Just like many people during the holocaust itself. Another victim.

    Why should we care?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    xflyer wrote: »
    And your point is?

    So some obscure individual, an opportunist, collaborated with the Nazis and was a member of an organisation that murdered many people in Latvia.

    Later he was murdered while in exile in South America, probably unfairly. Just like many people during the holocaust itself. Another victim.

    Why should we care?

    First of all he is not an obscure individual, in Ireland perhaps but not Latvia.

    Secondly I didn't say that you should care.

    If you read the post you will see where I said 'I think it would be interesting to present out the other side of the story.'

    You are free to be interested or not interested.

    Also free to have an opinion on the story, not on the story or the details but on the the discrepancy between the versions, or not to have an opinion on any or all of the above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,787 ✭✭✭xflyer


    'I think it would be interesting to present out the other side of the story.'
    Yes I note you are always 'interested in the other side of the story. As long as that other suits your 'interests'.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    xflyer wrote: »
    Yes I note you are always 'interested in the other side of the story. As long as that other suits your 'interests'.

    Not only do you post on threads where you have no meaningful, insightful contribution to make whatsoever, but you go one further and object to which subjects are discussed and by whom ? I think you need to take a step back here and consider the position you are putting forward.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,763 ✭✭✭✭Crann na Beatha


    This post has been deleted.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,787 ✭✭✭xflyer


    Morlar clearly no one is interested in your man or his fate as is evident from the lack of replies even from your little coterie of supporters. Your motivation for posting this information is clear and I'm calling you on that again.

    Veles, as opposed to Nazi propaganda? Full disclosure cuts both ways and you won't find it much on this forum at the moment.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    xflyer wrote: »
    Morlar clearly no one is interested in your man or his fate as is evident from the lack of replies even from your little coterie of supporters. Your motivation for posting this information is clear and I'm calling you on that again.

    Veles, as opposed to Nazi propaganda? Full disclosure cuts both ways and you won't find it much on this forum at the moment.

    Getting a bit tired of your threadsniping and threadspoiling. This is an open public forum. You are MORE Than welcome to start your own threads, or contribute to any other threads on here.

    However over recent times I can not recall any posts of yours which were even remotely informative or interesting. I am starting to think you are some sort of internet masochist, posting gibberish on threads where you know you will be flamed as a result, then surrying off for a few weeks to feel hard done by before returning with more gibberish for a rinse/repeat. Please don't post in threads unless you have something meaningful to add. If you object to anything - report away. All this deluded talk of 'calling you on it' is beyond pathetic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,020 ✭✭✭BlaasForRafa


    xflyer wrote: »
    Morlar clearly no one is interested in your man or his fate as is evident from the lack of replies even from your little coterie of supporters. Your motivation for posting this information is clear and I'm calling you on that again.

    Veles, as opposed to Nazi propaganda? Full disclosure cuts both ways and you won't find it much on this forum at the moment.

    53568.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    53568.jpg

    Is that Morlars cat??? LOL


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Morlar wrote: »
    Not only do you post on threads where you have no meaningful, insightful contribution to make whatsoever, but you go one further and object to which subjects are discussed and by whom ? I think you need to take a step back here and consider the position you are putting forward.
    Thats rich considering your attempts to disrupt any thread that discusses WWII in any way that may touch on crimes of the Nazi's. Your ridiculous manners have successfully ruined this forum at this stage with only a revisionist viewpoint represented. Sorry but most people can see through this type of nonsense. you are suggesting Xflyer steps back out of the forum like so many others have done to avoid your avid prejudices. Your motives were questioned in this thread and rather than clarify this you attack the poster. Perhaps it is to much to ask? Rather than personalise this as you have done, why not discuss the topic (your topic).


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    Thats rich considering your attempts to disrupt any thread that discusses WWII in any way that may touch on crimes of the Nazi's.

    Care to point to some examples of that ? By 'disrupt' I take it you mean 'correct' ?

    Or maybe Inject some balance to your lopsided GERMAN=EVILNAZIALWAYS type of simplistic black and white viewpoint or German bashing threads ?

    Or do you mean I have corrected glaring errors or pointed out discrepancies or inconsistencies ? You are likely to call that disruption - I do not.

    As you are fully aware your own posts on any threads of mine tend to be of a threadspoiling nature.

    That level of hypocrisy doesn't really surprise me at this stage.
    Your ridiculous manners have successfully ruined this forum at this stage with only a revisionist viewpoint represented.

    My 'ridiculous manners' ? I am 99% of the time well mannered, however consistent ill thought out threadspoiling tend to have an eventual impact. This poster has previously called me a nazi and anti-semite so I think my manners in regards to this poster have been extremely mild in comparison.

    He has still yet to start a thread of his own or make anything like a constructive contribution to any thread that I can remember reading.

    Certainly the vast majority of his posts are whiney and disruptive, he finds fault in threads left and right and throws his toys out of the pram rather than, say . . . read a book and form a viewpoint to argue from, or . .. start a thread on a subject he does find acceptable.
    Sorry but most people can see through this type of nonsense. you are suggesting Xflyer steps back out of the forum like so many others have done to avoid your avid prejudices.

    Care to name any posters who no longer post here on the basis of disagreeing with me or anyone else ? Actually scratch that, if they are incapable of disagreeing in an informed adult manner then they are probably no great loss.
    Your motives were questioned in this thread and rather than clarify this you attack the poster.

    I clarified my reason for starting this thread above (post 1) employing loaded terminology such as 'motives' when we are discussing a thread implies something subversive.

    As stated I have already clarified why I started this thread, not that I am required to - but I did. It is in Post #1 of the thread (unlike your own threads I did write my own reasons at the beginning)
    If you read the wikipedia page about this event - it is simply presented as an open and shut case (based largely on the unchallenged account of the mossad killer who wrote a book called'The Hangman of Riga').

    However I thought it would be interesting to present the other side of this story.
    Perhaps it is to much to ask? Rather than personalise this as you have done, why not discuss the topic (your topic).

    I have not personalised this or suggested xflyer step out of the forum, On threads of mine where he is threadspoiling I have asked him if he finds fault with threads to the extent that he does he should either :

    a)
    contribute something useful by way of rebuttal
    b)
    start a thread of his own

    There is nothing wrong or rude in either of those 2 options. They would be to the benefit of all posters here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Morlar wrote: »
    Care to point to some examples of that ? By 'disrupt' I take it you mean 'correct' ?

    Or maybe Inject some balance to your lopsided GERMAN=EVILNAZIALWAYS type of simplistic black and white viewpoint or German bashing threads ?

    Or do you mean I have corrected glaring errors or pointed out discrepancies or inconsistencies ? You are likely to call that disruption - I do not.

    As you are fully aware your own posts on any threads of mine tend to be of a threadspoiling nature.

    That level of hypocrisy doesn't really surprise me at this stage..
    No harm to you but I was trying to get your thread back onto the OP. and you respond with more personalisation??? I will refrain from a response as it could only go 1 way.
    originally by Jonniebgood1: Rather than personalise this as you have done, why not discuss the topic (your topic).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    This was your post directed at me personally :
    Thats rich considering your attempts to disrupt any thread that discusses WWII in any way that may touch on crimes of the Nazi's. Your ridiculous manners have successfully ruined this forum at this stage with only a revisionist viewpoint represented. Sorry but most people can see through this type of nonsense. you are suggesting Xflyer steps back out of the forum like so many others have done to avoid your avid prejudices. Your motives were questioned in this thread and rather than clarify this you attack the poster. Perhaps it is to much to ask? Rather than personalise this as you have done, why not discuss the topic (your topic).

    Honestly, this is how you genuinely view that post or yours ?
    No harm to you but I was trying to get your thread back onto the OP. and you respond with more personalisation??? I will refrain from a response as it could only go 1 way.

    Can I ask who are you trying to convince here & do you think it's working ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Any chance of returning to the OP. Nothing personal in this OK. Are you wishing to look more into the specific case or that of his commando's membership?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    Any chance of returning to the OP. Nothing personal in this OK. Are you wishing to look more into the specific case or that of his commando's membership?

    This post here is totally inconsistent with your previous contribution to this thread which was to add a thanks to this one :
    xflyer wrote: »
    And your point is?

    So some obscure individual, an opportunist, collaborated with the Nazis and was a member of an organisation that murdered many people in Latvia.

    Later he was murdered while in exile in South America, probably unfairly. Just like many people during the holocaust itself. Another victim.

    Why should we care?

    How can those 2 positions be resolved ?

    On the one hand you claim to encourage open dialogue and on the other you are thanking attempts to shut it down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Refusing to post on your own topic is a new one Morlar. Fighting against your own topic!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,787 ✭✭✭xflyer


    Or maybe Inject some balance to your lopsided GERMAN=EVILNAZIALWAYS type of simplistic black and white viewpoint or German bashing threads ?
    You assume a lot, at no point did I or johnniebegood take on a German=evilnazialways point of view. That's your spin. That isn't my viewpoint. I don't for a minute believe that the average German of the time was evil. I too believe that the average landser did his duty as any patriot would. Even the SS and the Waffen SS did what they did because they believed in the Fuhrer and his vision for the Fatherland. I can easily see myself in the same situation. I love my country too.

    But even they, who have survived, those at least who have sufficent self realisation, known they supported a monstrous regime. Hey guess what, those involved with Stalin, know it too.

    So in what way am I delusional? Perhaps you should look at yourself?

    As for Herman Cukurs, perhaps he loved his country but perhaps he loved himself more. Perhaps he was ill judged. Perhaps he suffered a fate he ill deserved. But he was a victim of the war as much anyone else.

    That is his legacy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    xflyer wrote: »
    And your point is?

    So some obscure individual, an opportunist, collaborated with the Nazis and was a member of an organisation that murdered many people in Latvia.

    Later he was murdered while in exile in South America, probably unfairly. Just like many people during the holocaust itself. Another victim.

    Why should we care?

    xflyer wrote: »
    As for Herman Cukurs, perhaps he loved his country but perhaps he loved himself more. Perhaps he was ill judged. Perhaps he suffered a fate he ill deserved. But he was a victim of the war as much anyone else.

    That is his legacy.

    So what exactly is your problem with this thread then ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    So Cukurs was a member of Viktor Arajs group. This group collaberated with the Germans in Latvia. Do you have any more information about the group? More information on them would show whether a grudge against them was valid.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    So Cukurs was a member of Viktor Arajs group. This group collaberated with the Germans in Latvia. Do you have any more information about the group? More information on them would show whether a grudge against them was valid.

    We are not talking about 'a grudge', it's about murder, and collective punishment is never valid.

    This thread is about the murder of a man who was never accused of (let alone convicted of) any crimes. This is outlined in post #1

    If you want to make the case for collective punishment in the gruesome manner as described fire away.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Morlar wrote: »
    We are not talking about 'a grudge', it's about murder, and collective punishment is never valid.

    This thread is about the murder of a man who was never accused of (let alone convicted of) any crimes. This is outlined in post #1

    If you want to make the case for collective punishment in the gruesome manner as described fire away.

    From your OP it would appear you suggesting he was Killed due to his association with Viktor Arajs group in Latvia. This association may or may not be genuine. It could be an interesting subject if looked into correctly. I will help you develop the thread if you wish or alternatively I will develop it myself if you do not wish. There are important considerations:

    So, who were this group and what did they do?
    Did they collaberate with the Germans or did they act independently under the 'protection' of German rule? And what was Cukurs role in this?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    From your OP it would appear you suggesting he was Killed due to his association with Viktor Arajs group in Latvia. This association may or may not be genuine. It could be an interesting subject if looked into correctly.

    You need to read Post # 1 on this thread.

    No one has ever said he was not a member of Arjas group.
    I will help you develop the thread if you wish or alternatively I will develop it myself if you do not wish.

    Pretty sure your tone here is 'oddball' to put it mildly. This thread is not yours to steer or 'develop'. If you want to start a thread on the subject of the Arjas group - then no one is stopping you.

    We are not talking about collective, or group guilt. It seems clear that this is how you intend to muddy the waters of this subject.

    This thread is about the murder of an individual.
    So, who were this group and what did they do?
    Did they collaberate with the Germans or did they act independently under the 'protection' of German rule? And what was Cukurs role in this?

    You are not just missing the point, you are intentionally ignoring it. This thread is not about groupings or allegiances it's about the murder of an individual. Also, if you read post #1 you will see that the role of Cukurs in this group was already covered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Morlar wrote: »

    This thread is about the murder of an individual.
    .

    I think you are purposely missing the point here but incase you are really blind to this I will break it down into little pieces:


    1. Cukurs was killed.

    2. The reason for this was his alleged actions in WWII.

    3. To decide if this was murder or a revenge killing we need to look at the evidence of his role in WWII.


    You will note that to explore point no. 3. (number 3 above) has not been carried out thoroughly in this thread (a blog opinion with a couple of opinions is not thorough). So can we move this along and look at what his role was in WWII rather than personal argument? I suggest looking at his role is entirely relevent to his killing since it seems he was killed because of it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    I think you are purposely missing the point here but incase you are really blind to this I will break it down into little pieces:


    1. Cukurs was killed.

    2. The reason for this was his alleged actions in WWII.

    3. To decide if this was murder or a revenge killing we need to look at the evidence of his role in WWII.


    You will note that to explore point no. 3. (number 3 above) has not been carried out thoroughly in this thread (a blog opinion with a couple of opinions is not thorough). So can we move this along and look at what his role was in WWII rather than personal argument? I suggest looking at his role is entirely relevent to his killing since it seems he was killed because of it.

    Looking at his role is a different thing to going down the path of guilt by association, group or collective guilt.

    If you have any credible evidence of crimes he personally committed, evidence of his role, his alleged guilt by all means fire away.

    Otherwise it would seem you are looking to hang the man after the fact on the alleged deeds of a group which he was a peripheral member of (driver for).

    Considering no post war authorities sought his extradition, he lived openly and presented himself officially when he moved countries, it would seem the amount of credible evidence against him was non exsistent. In fact if you read Post # 1 you will find :
    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 .
    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: Legendu 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.

    So by all means if you have credible evidence of his personal involvement then fire away. Bearing in mind much of this 'evidence' has already been covered from multiple sources in post 1, I would prefer you to refer to that post where applicable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Morlar wrote: »
    Looking at his role is a different thing to going down the path of guilt by association, group or collective guilt.

    If you have any credible evidence of crimes he personally committed, evidence of his role, his alleged guilt by all means fire away.

    Otherwise it would seem you are looking to hang the man after the fact on the alleged deeds of a group which he was a peripheral member of (driver for).

    It seems naive in the extreme to think that he was merely a driver or mechanic given his pre-war prominence as a pilot and aviation engineer.

    So then are there any more likely suggestions (other than driver) for his role?
    There are other more plasusible suggestions that he had a more prominent role.
    The book 'The final solution in Riga: exploitation and annihilation, 1941-1944' by Andrej Angrick and Peter Klein (translated by Ray Brandon) states a more personal and more prominent selection of Cukurs by Viktor Arajs. "Arajs immediately set about recruiting his people. As his right hand man, he chose a person who enjoyed his complete trust, the former sports pilot and Thunder cross member Herbert Cukurs" (pg. 67). Maybe his right hand man also drove his vehicle but it suggests a greater role than the OP. Later in the book the author refers to Cukurs as Viktor Arajs 'deputy' (pg. 453).

    Another query that requires attention is why did Cukurs feel the need to move to Brazil. If he was innocent of any crime then surely he would have had no fear of being found guilty of any charge. I don't offer that as any kind of proof of wrongdoing but it is worth pointing out that he went to a country that would not extradite him should that be sought.

    One of the quotes in OP refers to 8 no. "eight witness's statements of surviving prisoners of Waldemar Street". It does not give more details on these but rather a kind of muddled excuse about victims being tormented, etc, etc. Do you know of any more proper detail on these as first hand statements regarding Cukurs would be a vital addition to this discussion?

    From http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/ghettos/riga.html there is an extract of a first hand account of the clearing of the Riga ghetto which states by witness Isaac Kram "In March 1942 when I was living in Ludza Street in the Jewish quarter in Riga, I suddenly saw hundreds of people savagely chased and beaten by Nazi soldiers led by Herbert Cukurs. I was standing close by to him when an old woman, who had been dumped into a truck, began shouting at the top of her voice, beseeching Cukurs to let her be put in another truck where she had spotted her daughter. Cukurs replied by killing the woman with a single shot fired with his big revolver. A few minutes later he shot and killed a small child, just because he annoyed him standing the street and crying for his mother." This was stated in a sworn statement to the Yad Vashem investigators.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    Which parts of your post refer to this man personally ?

    Which parts are NOT already covered in post #1 ?

    Which parts would even remotely resemble 'evidence' ?

    You are trying to justify gruesome butchery of a human being on the basis of guilt by association and 'I wonder what else he could have done aside from being a driver', . . ' I wonder why did heemigrate to South America'.

    Pathetic.

    All without any a shred of legal process or a trial.

    Is this a moral standard you apply to all sides of the WW2 conflict or just to Axis ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Morlar wrote: »
    Which parts of your post refer to this man personally ?

    Which parts are NOT already covered in post #1 ?

    Which parts would even remotely resemble 'evidence' ?
    I presume you can read??? -None of this was in OP (i.e. OP said he was mechanic, etc,etc). I have underlined references to Cukurs to show where he is refered to although I thought you may have figured that out.

    So then are there any more likely suggestions (other than driver) for his role?
    There are other more plasusible suggestions that he had a more prominent role.
    The book 'The final solution in Riga: exploitation and annihilation, 1941-1944' by Andrej Angrick and Peter Klein (translated by Ray Brandon) states a more personal and more prominent selection of Cukurs by Viktor Arajs. "Arajs immediately set about recruiting his people. As his right hand man, he chose a person who enjoyed his complete trust, the former sports pilot and Thunder cross member Herbert Cukurs" (pg. 67). Maybe his right hand man also drove his vehicle but it suggests a greater role than the OP. Later in the book the author refers to Cukurs as Viktor Arajs 'deputy' (pg. 453).

    Another query that requires attention is why did Cukurs feel the need to move to Brazil. If he was innocent of any crime then surely he would have had no fear of being found guilty of any charge. I don't offer that as any kind of proof of wrongdoing but it is worth pointing out that he went to a country that would not extradite him should that be sought.

    One of the quotes in OP refers to 8 no. "eight witness's statements of surviving prisoners of Waldemar Street". It does not give more details on these but rather a kind of muddled excuse about victims being tormented, etc, etc. Do you know of any more proper detail on these as first hand statements regarding Cukurs would be a vital addition to this discussion?

    From http://www.holocaustresearchproject....ttos/riga.html there is an extract of a first hand account of the clearing of the Riga ghetto which states by witness Isaac Kram "In March 1942 when I was living in Ludza Street in the Jewish quarter in Riga, I suddenly saw hundreds of people savagely chased and beaten by Nazi soldiers led by Herbert Cukurs. I was standing close by to him when an old woman, who had been dumped into a truck, began shouting at the top of her voice, beseeching Cukurs to let her be put in another truck where she had spotted her daughter. Cukurs replied by killing the woman with a single shot fired with his big revolver. A few minutes later he shot and killed a small child, just because he annoyed him standing the street and crying for his mother." This was stated in a sworn statement to the Yad Vashem investigators.

    EDIT- if you did not want to consider this mans case then why the OP???


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    Herbert Cukurs membership within the Arajs command is proven. He was his chauffeur and his right hand man. The fact that those troops committed heavy crimes - shootings, tortures, synagogues burned - is likewise recorded. Whether and how Cukurs was involved in these actions personally, cannot be proven today. With certainty, he carries a joint responsibility for his membership in this terrorist group, but whether he carries a penal responsibility, is not clear. Margers Vestermanis knows well the documents, both for, and against him. For him, two Jewish women have spoken out. Ella Medalje (born Ella Guttmann), was aided in escaping her being shot because she had presented herself as an "Aryan". Cukurs had driven her to the Waldemar Street nazi headquarter s building and he did not betrayed her, although he knew that she was a Jew. And later, Miriam Keitzner gave testimony in Brazil saying that Cukurs had hidden her on his farm.
    The book about the supposed "Hangman of Riga "mentions a request for extradition by the Soviet Union to the Brazilian government. However, such a request has never existed. The Brazilian embassy in Buenos Aires informed me that‚‘‘Neither the Soviet Union, nor Israel, ever applied for the extradition of Cukur‘‘. On a list, published in 1960 in Israel, with the names of nazi war criminals, the name of Herbert Cukurs did not appear.
    The book " The Execution of the Hangman of Riga " quotes eight witness's statements of surviving prisoners of Waldemar Street. They have been filed before Jewish organisations. The originals are in the archive of the memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, copies in the Jewish museum in Riga. The fact that these witnesses were victims of the worst humiliations, is excepted without any question. However, something in these statements is inexact, something even wrong, means Vestermanis. The fact that in it Cukurs is named as a member of the Perkonkrust, proves nothing. The witnesses have been tormented and been traumatised and would have hardly differentiated anyone on the other side according to their party affiliation. It is very strange, Vestermanis says that not in the Soviet archives nor in the Latvians archives, are there any incriminating records against Cukurs. After the war, the Soviet Union wanted to exert a big war crimes trial because of the nazi massacres in the Baltic States and, therefore, interrogated thousands. "After the war, 365 members of these fascist commands were condemned. The astonishing thing is that in the all the testimonies, there are no criminal incriminations against Cukurs".
    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 .

    Not to mention :
    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: Legendu 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.

    So I will ask you again :
    Morlar wrote: »
    Which parts of your post refer to this man personally ? - Answer next to none.

    Which parts are NOT already covered in post #1 ? - Answer =ALL parts are referenced in post #1

    Which parts would even remotely resemble 'evidence' ? - Answer - zero, nothing remotely approaching 'evidence' whatsoever, pure insinuation, slur and innuendo.

    You are trying to justify gruesome butchery of a human being on the basis of guilt by association and 'I wonder what else he could have done aside from being a driver', . . ' I wonder why did heemigrate to South America'.

    Pathetic.

    All without any a shred of legal process or a trial.

    Is this a moral standard you apply to all sides of the WW2 conflict or just to Axis ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭jonniebgood1


    Im not sure why you are spamming your own thread but the book and other links I provided directly link Cukurs to war crimes (see below). If you have a problem with the 1st hand statement given then state it. Spamming the thread is dumb and appears to be a method of not allowing proper analysis.
    witness Isaac Kram "In March 1942 when I was living in Ludza Street in the Jewish quarter in Riga, I suddenly saw hundreds of people savagely chased and beaten by Nazi soldiers led by Herbert Cukurs. I was standing close by to him when an old woman, who had been dumped into a truck, began shouting at the top of her voice, beseeching Cukurs to let her be put in another truck where she had spotted her daughter. Cukurs replied by killing the woman with a single shot fired with his big revolver. A few minutes later he shot and killed a small child, just because he annoyed him standing the street and crying for his mother." This was stated in a sworn statement to the Yad Vashem investigators.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,273 ✭✭✭Morlar


    Im not sure why you are spamming your own thread but the book and other links I provided directly link Cukurs to war crimes (see below). If you have a problem with the 1st hand statement given then state it. Spamming the thread is dumb and appears to be a method of not allowing proper analysis.

    On page 2 of this thread you have posted 7 times, your posts consist of nothing which has not already been addressed in post # 1 of page 1.

    You repeatedly accuse others of doing what you yourself actively engage in. This is also clear in the Speer Thread & the Irving thread.


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