A Movie For Our Times: “The Captain,” The True Story Of A Fake Nazi’s Atrocities


[Editor’s Note: From ICE agents along the southern border to guards at Abu Ghraib to many police actions in minority cities to the deceit of Wall Street we see repeated examples of individuals bowing to evil. This film has arrived as a warning … about ourselves. — Mark L. Taylor]

By David Morgan
CBS (7/27/18)

In the final days of World War II, with Germany’s frontlines collapsing into chaos, Willi Herold, a German private separated from his comrades and desperate for food and warmth, comes across an abandoned car with a suitcase that contains an SS officer’s uniform. Trying on the uniform like an actor adorning himself with a costume, Herold assumes the role of “Captain Herold” when another deserter happens upon him. Lost and without hope, he takes this new identity conferring great authority as a stroke of good luck – a chance to survive.

As a study in survival, “The Captain” shows the allure of a despotic strongman to those who are mired in fear, and the use of fear to assert even greater control. It also shows how ephemeral such power is.

But instead of simply using his new persona to evade military police and mollify villagers bent upon killing looters, Herold becomes a personification of the Nazi regime, upending the German army’s bureaucracy and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with when he initiates a brutal wave of atrocities, claiming to operate under the personal instruction of Adolf Hitler himself. He becomes the character of Captain Herold with relish.

And as he acquires a small band of fellow renegades who commit murder and execute scores of prisoners in a detention camp, other German officers look up to Herold as an exemplary symbol of the state, at a time when their defeat by Allied forces seems all but certain. …

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Trump-Endorsed Radio Show Has Promoted Ex-CIA Agent’s Call For Violent Right-Wing Rebellion

“You’re a man of great brainpower and a lot of common sense, which is a great combination.” — Donald Trump

By Jonathon Hutson
Salon (7/31/18)

Suppose there were a best-selling author, historian, essayist, public speaker, TV commentator, adviser to Ron Paul, secessionist advocate, Christian nationalist, Vladimir Putin apologist and expert on terrorism who was married to a senior intelligence official. Suppose he were a frequent commentator on an influential radio show with close ties to President Donald Trump, his family and his administration.

Michael Scheuer, who favors “elimination” of Trump’s enemies, is a frequent guest on Trump-backed radio show.

Suppose this Trump-connected radio show routinely directed its listeners to this person’s blog, on which he wrote that it was “quite near time” for “well-armed citizens who voted for Trump” to “kill those seeking to impose tyranny,” of whom there was a “long and very precise list” that included journalists, activists, pundits, abortion providers, Republican and Democratic elected officials, federal judges, law professors, FBI agents, intelligence officials and Justice Department officials, along with “all who support them.”

There is such a man, and such a show, on which he has declared that former President Barack Obama “deserves to be hung.” The broadcast promotes his blog (archived here), where for years, he has advocated the right of, and the approaching “necessity” for, “armed rebellion” by citizens seeking to “end the tyranny of their elected representatives,” and listed people cast as “tyrants” and “expendables” whom Trump voters should prepare to “eliminate” by stockpiling arms and ammunition.

Favored voice of Team Trump

Michael Frank Scheuer, 66, of McLean, Virginia, a former CIA intelligence official and the author of four books, is the man. And John Fredericks Radio is the influential, nationally syndicated talk radio show that provides Scheuer a platform as a regular commentator and occasional host. …