Hans Schmidt (Waffen-SS)
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Hans Schmidt (April 24, 1927 – May 30, 2010) was a German and naturalized American citizen, by his own account former member of the Waffen-SS, and founder of the German-American National Political Action Committee (GAN-PAC). He was primarily known for his promotion of Antisemitism, Holocaust denial and National Socialism. Schmidt was arrested in Germany on hate charges in 1995, but avoided standing trial by returning to the USA while released on bail.
Schmidt was born on April 24, 1927, in Völklingen, a town in the then League of Nations mandate of the Saar Basin between Germany and France. During the Nazi Rule, he was a member of the Hitler Youth, and, by his own account, joined the Waffen SS at the age of 18, and served as a corporal in the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, originally the personal bodyguard regiment of Adolf Hitler, later a Panzer division of the Waffen-SS. Schmidt was wounded twice and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He arrived in the United States in 1949.
In 1983, Schmidt founded the German-American National Political Action Committee (GAN-PAC), which published the GANPAC Brief in English and the USA-Bericht in German. GAN-PAC was described as “pretending to represent the 52 million Americans of German descent” by the German magazine Der Spiegel, as “openly anti-Semitic” by the New York Times, and as “virulently anti-Semitic” by the Anti-Defamation League. GAN-PAC was also accused of promoting Holocaust denial.
From 1983 till 1985, GAN-PAC raised about $55,000 in contributions, but, unlike other political action committees, did not make any financial contributions until the late 1980s, when it began donating money to the election campaigns of conservative Republican candidates. It also made a contribution to a Democrat who was running against a Jewish Republican candidate.
Schmidt also founded the German-American Information and Education Association (GIEA), which is presided by E. Stanley Rittenhouse, a known anti-Semite, who “served as chief legislative representative for Liberty Lobby, a far right organization founded by Willis Carto, whom the Anti-Defamation League calls “perhaps the most influential professional anti-Semite in the United States”.
On August 9, 1995 Schmidt was arrested at the Frankfurt airport by German authorities after copies of his newsletter, USA-Bericht were discovered. He was charged with “incitement to hate” (Volksverhetzung in German) as a result of a letter he had sent to a German state legislator. Schmidt came to regard the German government as treasonous and controlled by "Oberjuden" (top Jews), and claimed the U.S. embassy provided false information to Germany to persecute him. Due to poor health, he was released on bail in January 1996. He fled Germany and returned to the USA to avoid further prosecution. He wrote a book about this experience, titled “Jailed in “Democratic” Germany”.
- In a postcard, GAN-PAC claimed, according to Susan Lee Pentlin, that “Jews were not gassed by the Nazis ... the numbers and reports of predetermined extermination are greatly exaggerated by professional liars”.
- According to the German Verfassungsschutz, Schmidt, protected by US law, was very outspoken in his publications and cites an example from “The Jewish Question in the 20th century in America”: “In the last 200 years, European observers have noted that the Jews are not interested in ‘Equality of the Races’ but in destroying the white Race.”
- The 1996 annual report of the Verfassungsschutz of Niedersachsen, quotes from a USA-Bericht: “What I dislike most about Jews is their apparent deep dishonesty. (...) An outstanding example for this deep dishonesty of most of the Jews (...) is the constant denial of Jewish excessive power (...) (It is) of course indispensable that the Jews are pampered in Germany, just as in nature, it is a parasite′s due.”
- Grumke, Thomas (2004). "Relations Between Right-Wing Extremists in Germany and the United States, 1945-1990". In Detlef Junker. The United States and Germany in the era of the Cold War, 1945-1990 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 496. ISBN 0-521-83731-6.
- Schmidt, Hans (2001). SS Panzergrenadier: A True Story Of World War II. ISBN 0-9669047-4-5.
- "Rassisten-Basis USA. Rechtsextreme in Amerika unterstützen die deutsche Szene" (in german). Der Spiegel. 1994-12-05.
- "Washington Talk: Briefing; Gift Is His to Give". The New York Times. 1987-10-28.
- "Extremism in Florida. The Dark Side of the Sunshine State". Anti-Defamation League. 2006, 2007. p. 17.
- Kaplan, Jeffrey; Weinberg, Leonard (1998). The emergence of a Euro-American radical right. Rutgers University Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-8135-2564-0.
- Anderson, Jack (1985-07-24). "Political Group Keeps Earnings for Own Use". The Ocala Star-Banner.
- "Frontlines". Mother Jones Magazine. April 1987. p. 14.
- "JDL Denies Office Firebombing". Los Angeles Times. 1985-06-05.
- Carto, Willis A. (July 2007). "Israel violating the Genocide Convention. Israel, United States Accused of Denying Basic Human Rights to Palestinians". American Free Press.
- "Willis A. Carto: Fabricating History". Anti-Defamation League. 2001.
- "American's trial on racism opens" 129 (71). Morning Star. 1996-01-05.
- Michael, George (2003). Confronting Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA. Psychology Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-415-31500-X.
- Pentlin, Susan Lee (2001). "American Germanists and the Holocaust, 1933-1945: The Legacy". In David Benseler; Craig W. Nickisch; Cora Lee Nolendorfs. Teaching German in Twentieth-Century America. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 143–144. ISBN 0-299-16830-1.
- "Argumentationsmuster im Rechtsextremistischen Antisemitismus. Aktuelle Entwicklungen" (in german). Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz. 2005. p. 12 (footnote).
- "Verfassungsschutzbericht 1996" (in german). Niedersächsisches Innenministerium. 2005. p. 40.