“We don’t understand German thoroughness. From the very start of World War ii, they have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii! Hitler has lost. This round of war, in Europe, is over. And the Nazis have now gone underground. In France and Norway they learned how effectively an organized underground can hamper occupation and control of a country. Paris was liberated by the French underground—and Allied armies. Now a Nazi underground is methodically planned. They plan to come back and to win on the third try.”
This is what prophetic news analyst Herbert W. Armstrong declared on May 9, 1945, during the founding conference of the United Nations, just hours after World War ii ended. Europe was in ruins. Nazis going into hiding, with secret plans to evade detection, could not possibly be real, could it?
Seventy years on, the truth is clear. A series of reports have detailed secret Nazi plans to infiltrate German business, politics and military, and return to power. This is no conspiracy theory: It has been the subject of government investigations and reported by mainstream media. Yet no one has asked what these discoveries mean for modern Germany and its future.
The Nazi war machine went underground in two main ways. First, Nazi leaders, the brain trust of Nazism, plotted to survive. By 1943, it was clear they might lose, and in 1944, it was obvious they would. Individuals were calculating how to avoid jail or execution by Allied tribunals. The more ambitious looked for ways to cling to their wealth and power. Die-hard loyalists to the ideology sought to facilitate a revival even after they were gone. So they drafted plans to run and hide.
Second, Nazi leaders found ways to infiltrate the new government and administration. After the war, almost every German insisted that he had not supported the Nazis. Hundreds of thousands of Nazi members without high profiles and famous names renounced their ideology, blended into the background, and stayed in their jobs. Hiding in plain sight, these ex-Nazis ran the postwar government—and helped their more high-profile colleagues get away.
Planning to Go Underground
The evidence of senior Nazis planning to go underground is clear.
On Aug. 10, 1944, government and SS representatives met with leading industrialists. Representatives from Volkswagen, the steel manufacturer Krupp, and the armaments company Rheinmetall were there, with several others. A United States intelligence document describing the meeting was declassified in 1996. It reported that the group was told, “From now on also German industry must realize that the war cannot be won and that it must take steps in preparation for a postwar commercial campaign. Each industrialist must make contacts and alliances with foreign firms, but this must be done individually and without attracting any suspicion. Moreover, the ground would have to be laid on the financial level for borrowing considerable sums from foreign countries after the war.”
After this meeting, a smaller group got together. Here, a handful of industrialists were told that the Nazi Party “would be forced to go underground,” according to the U.S. intel document.
At the same time, others were preparing for the end.
From 1942 to 1945, Maj. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen commanded the Wehrmacht’s Foreign Armies East military intelligence unit, a highly capable intelligence network in Eastern Europe and Russia. With his detailed knowledge of Russia’s advance, he clearly saw that the war would be lost. So he too prepared. He had his intelligence files printed on microfilm and stored in watertight containers, and he hid them in the Alps. As we will see, this helped him later.
Within the Catholic Church, planning to shelter key Nazis also began before the war ended. In 1942, Monsignor Luigi Maglione contacted the Argentine ambassador, asking about the nation’s willingness “to apply its immigration law generously, in order to encourage at the opportune moment European Catholic immigrants to seek the necessary land and capital in your country.” Clearly he anticipated Germany’s defeat and an exodus of Nazis seeking refuge.
As the war wound down, many were preparing to hole up. “One day we shall come back. Until then, à bientôt.” Those were the words of a military spokesman on Nazi radio, Sept. 1, 1944, offering only a “goodbye for now.”
On May 7, when it surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, Germany presented a clear public face to the world: It said Nazis would be eradicated and good people found to fill their political, judicial and executive offices. Within four years, a new government sprang up and an Allies-friendly democratic state existed in West Germany. On the surface, everything looked great.
But look underground, and a different picture emerges.
While the high-profile Nazis fled, most Nazi-era bureaucrats were allowed to remain. For years, functionaries in Germany’s postwar government maintained their innocence. They were no Nazis, they insisted. Some may have served the Nazis, but did not support them and merely did the minimum required.
The truth is very different, as has been revealed by a series of shocking studies by the German government over the last decade.
In October 2010, an 880-page book detailing the German Foreign Ministry’s wartime cooperation with the Nazis was revealed. “The Foreign Ministry wasn’t just somehow involved in national socialism or even a hotbed of resistance, as was long claimed,” Prof. Eckart Conze, who chaired the study, told Spiegel Online. “From day one, it functioned as an institution of the Nazi regime and backed its politics of violence at all times. After 1945, there was a high degree of staffing continuity within the ministry, and some of its diplomats were seriously tainted. …
“The ministry contributed, as an institution, to the violent crimes of the Nazis, even including the murder of the Jews. In this sense, one can say that the Foreign Ministry was a criminal organization” (Oct. 27, 2010).
It gets worse. The diplomats of the Nazi-era Foreign Ministry were largely allowed to keep their posts once the war ended. These experts then aided fellow Nazis, serving as their legal team and helping them dodge prosecution for war crimes overseas.
After that bombshell dropped, the Finance Ministry opened its books. Like the Foreign Ministry, finance officials claimed not to be Nazis. They said they did the bare minimum on their jobs and even opposed the Nazis when they could. The truth: “The Reich’s Finance Ministry literally plundered the assets of the Jews,” said former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück. “It was systematic. … The Jews were stripped of savings, assets, anything with a financial or material value.”
Prof. Hans-Peter Ullmann, who chaired the Finance Ministry study, said that at one point, 30 percent of the German government was financed by stolen Jewish assets. The New York Times commented, “Plundering Jewish assets could not have been possible without an efficient civil service” (Dec. 26, 2010). The department had been full of enthusiastic Nazis who remained in place after the war.
In December 2011, the German government published a report on the prevalence of Nazis among government staff. It concluded that after the war, “continuities in personnel among civil servants were relatively high.” Their experts estimated that 70 percent of government personnel were allowed to keep working; other experts said the figure could be as high as 90 percent.
The same government papers revealed that 25 cabinet members, one president and one chancellor of postwar Germany were former card-carrying Nazi Party members. A postwar minister of justice and a finance minister were members of Hitler’s stormtroopers, the group that forcefully facilitated his rise to power.
“None of this information is new,” noted Spiegel Online in March 2012. “For years, the notion that partisans of the Nazi regimes were able to manipulate their way into the top levels of government in the young federal republic, and that former Nazi Party members set the tone in a country governed by the postwar constitution in the 1950s and ’60s has been a subject for historians”—not for conspiracy theorists. It is a matter of fact.
Spiegel Online noted that historian Michael Wildt “is convinced that it will become clear that all government institutions, provided they existed at the time, were involved ‘in the mass crimes of the Nazis.’ … Ministries and government agencies have ‘covered up, denied and repressed’ their dark history” (emphasis added throughout).
Spiegel Online also said that “police and the intelligence services were largely staffed with civil servants from the old, criminal organizations.” It warned, “Hardly anyone in law enforcement was not tainted with a Nazi past.”
The Justice Ministry published an investigation in 2016. It concluded that around three quarters of Justice officials in postwar West Germany were former Nazis. The Financial Times called it a “surprisingly high figure, much bigger than the researchers had expected.” Thirty-four of the ministry’s leading judges and lawyers were stormtroopers for Hitler. The Local wrote, “The fascist old-boys network closed ranks, enabling its members to shield each other from justice, the study found—helping to explain why so few Nazi war criminals ever went to prison” (Oct. 10, 2016).
Remember, this was the ministry responsible for finding, trying and convicting ex-Nazis—and it was full of Nazis. “The Nazi-era lawyers went on to cover up old injustice rather than to uncover it and thereby created new injustice,” said Heiko Maas, then Germany’s justice minister.
So it continues. Some of the worst offenders in the government have still not examined their history. The chancellery, for example, contained several well-known Nazis after the war. An investigation of the chancellery began in 2016 and is expected to conclude in 2020.
The Secret Service
This profusion of Nazis in German politics allowed them to continue in other key positions. One of the most influential was Maj. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, whom we left back in 1944 hiding intel in the Swiss Alps. Gehlen surrendered to the Americans and offered them a deal: I control the leading German intelligence unit focused on the Soviets, and all my intelligence is stashed away. Set me free, and I can hand you a ready-made anti-Soviet espionage unit.
Incredibly, America accepted. Gehlen was freed. He was paid to rebuild his organization, using many of his old staff. He also recruited other ex-Nazis. He wasn’t picky: Ex-Gestapo, ex-SS, war criminals, Nazis who had participated directly in the Holocaust—all were welcome. According to one estimate, 10 percent of his staff had worked for SS head Heinrich Himmler. The Americans let Gehlen’s network flourish to counter the Soviets.
In 1956, Gehlen’s spy agency was formally transferred to West German control and became the Federal Intelligence Service (bnd). Gehlen remained the spymaster.
Unsurprisingly for an organization full of Nazis, the bnd helped Nazis on the run. In 2011, documents leaked to Bild found that the organization had helped cover for Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust. It also recruited Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon,” as an agent in 1965, despite his war crimes being so extensive and well documented that he had been sentenced to death. Just last year it was revealed that the bnd employed the daughter of Heinrich Himmler, the “Princess of Nazism,” who remained an ardent Nazi and supporter of ex-SS members until her death.
But the full extent of the bnd’s Nazi history is lost forever. The bnd destroyed the files on around 250 of its early officials. According to an independent commission of historians, these included the files on those who had held “significant intelligence positions in the SS, the SD (the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.”
When did this cover-up take place? The late 1940s? The ’50s perhaps?
It happened in 2007. Yes, as recently as 12 years ago, the bnd was actively covering up its Nazi past.
After the war, Germany was initially banned from having a military. But the German government still formed one secretly. In May 2014, the German intelligence agency published papers showing that ex-Nazis started a secret army in 1949. It could have fielded 40,000 men and had 2,000 officers.
The army faded once Germany founded its own more official army in the 1950s. But many of the secret army’s top leaders became important figures in Germany’s official military establishment.
Albert Schnez, a colonel during World War ii, organized the army. He later became a lieutenant general in the Bundeswehr and inspector of the army, the most senior serving office. He also was closely associated with German Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss.
Gehlen, the intelligence chief, knew and met with Schnez. He passed on information about the army to German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The government allowed the army to continue and assigned Gehlen to monitor it.
The papers also indicate that Hans Speidel and Adolf Heusinger supported the army. Speidel became nato supreme commander of the Allied army in Central Europe, and Heusinger the first inspector general of the Bundeswehr.
Another key figure was Anton Grasser, a general in World War ii who became an inspector general at the German Interior Ministry in the 1950s. In this position he ensured that the secret army could access the equipment and munitions of the German Police tactical units in an emergency.
Those who analyzed the papers released in 2014 testify to their inadequacy. There’s little information about how or when the organization was wound down. None of its paperwork survived.
Other documents show that SS war hero Otto Skorzeny also set up a secret army. Schnez and Skorzeny kept in touch with each other, but little else is known about Skorzeny’s group. All that historians know for sure is that secret military units were set up and many of their leaders went on to serve in very senior positions in the German military.
Once the official German Army was established, it quickly filled with personnel from the older, Nazi-era military. In 1976, for example, out of 217 Bundeswehr generals, only three had not served in Hitler’s military.
During the war, Germany’s industrial giants worked intimately with the Nazis. Perhaps the most infamous is Alfried Krupp, who supported Hitler for years and whose weapons .manufacture was basically a government department making war matériel. One of his representatives attended the 1944 meeting in which the Nazis planned to go underground.
Krupp was arrested after the war. But in 1951, he was released from prison. Even more shocking, just two years later he was allowed to retake control of his company, ThyssenKrupp AG. When he died in 1967 he still had Hitler’s Mein Kampf on his bedside table. His company has since returned to weapons manufacturing.
In fact, just about all the companies represented at that secret meeting are now back at it, manufacturing weapons. Rheinmetall is a huge armaments manufacturer. The company merged with the German truck manufacturer man to create one of Europe’s largest defense firms. Büssing, another company at the 1944 meeting, is also part of the conglomerate, having merged with man in 1971. Earlier this year, the Rheinmetall-man consortium bought a 55 percent stake in Britain’s bae Systems military vehicle production. Messerschmitt, one of the more famous attendees of the 1944 meeting, returned to aircraft manufacturing under the name Airbus. After several mergers and takeovers, it became a core part of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.—Europe’s top manufacturer of military helicopters and fighter jets.
All these companies followed the same pattern. Before World War ii, they agreed to go underground. After the war, they were shut down or cut back. They resurrected in a civilian capacity, then later returned to weapons manufacture.
It is beyond dispute that Nazis went underground after the war ended. They conspired to keep each other hidden and avoid punishment for their crimes. Secret reports published decades later confirm exactly what Herbert Armstrong forecast in 1945. How could he know?
He based his forecast on Bible prophecy. He long taught that Germany was the modern descendant of biblical Assyria. The Bible has some very specific prophecies about Assyria.
For example, Nahum 3:17 states: “Your commanders are like swarming locusts, And your generals like great grasshoppers, Which camp in the hedges on a cold day; When the sun rises they flee away, And the place where they are is not known” (New King James Version). Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary explains, “[C]old deprives the locust of the power of flight; so they alight in cold weather and at night, but when warmed by the sun soon ‘flee away.’ So shall the Assyrian multitudes suddenly disappear, not leaving a trace behind.” On a cold day, a hedgerow may be covered in grasshoppers. But just a few hours later, they’ve all vanished.
But this scripture is not simply describing “the Assyrian multitudes.” It’s more specific: It’s about the “commanders” and “generals.” During the war, these “commanders” dominated the headlines. Afterward, they vanished.
Lower-level personnel insisted they had nothing to do with the Nazis. The Nazis had almost conquered the globe, but once Germany was conquered, it became very hard to find any.
Another key prophecy forecast this dramatic vanishing act. Revelation 17:8 describes a beast, symbolic of a major world power, that “was, and is not, and yet is.” This beast exists, then vanishes—only to then “ascend out of the bottomless pit.” You could say it comes out of nowhere—from “underground.”
Here is how Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains this prophecy in his booklet Prophesy Again: “During World War ii, we saw the Hitler-Mussolini axis, but then it disappeared from the scene. It ‘was not’! And yet, God says, ‘it is’! The Axis powers lost the war, but as Mr. Armstrong preached time and again, they just went underground—into ‘the bottomless pit’ (verse 8). They’re still there—they’re just underground.”
This passage adds something vital: What goes down, underground, will come back up again.
There are signs that beneath the surface, the Nazi spirit still lives in Germany.
A Beast Underground
Some of the first signs came as Germany reunified in the early 1990s. Some in Germany seemed to take this as a sign that the nation was about to rise again. Extremist crime exploded. In 1991, there were 1,483 recorded incidents of violent crime—10 times more than the year before. The number of organized right-wing extremists jumped from an estimated 32,000 in 1990 to 65,000 in 1992.
That year, the small Baltic seaport of Rostock shocked the world. A group of neo-Nazis attacked a refugee center for Romanian Gypsies. Locals cheered. One officer later admitted, “The police had an arrangement with the rowdies not to intervene.” State authorities said they knew in advance that the attack was planned, but did nothing.
Hoping to stop the violence, the government decided to remove all foreigners from the city and deport around 100,000 gypsies to Eastern Europe.
Buoyed by the victory, far-right violence spread.
The government eventually restored some control. But the violence of the early 1990s is a potent sign that Nazism is not dead—it is merely underground.
Around the same time, there was more crucial evidence that the beast was alive beneath the surface. Shortly after East Germany and West Germany reunited, the German government began asserting itself in world politics. Its old World War ii ally and site of the Jasenovac extermination camp, Croatia, declared independence from Yugoslavia. Almost the whole world opposed it, but Germany supported Croatia. It successfully pressured nato into providing the firepower to forcibly break up Yugoslavia.
The United Nations special mediator on the crisis, Cyrus R. Vance, called the conflict “Mr. Genscher’s war,” because of the role German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher played in starting it. It was a war begun by Germany (for more information, request our free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans).
Germany quickly began supplying the breakaway republics with weapons, violating UN weapons embargoes. The beast was emerging out of the pit.
More recently, signs of this underground beast abound.
The rise in anti-migrant violence in the wake of the migrant crisis similarly indicates this new, emerging power.
From 2014 to 2015—the start of the migrant crisis—attacks on refugee camps increased fivefold. Last year, Germany saw its worst far-right clashes since the early 1990s. In Chemnitz, a small city in East Germany, violence spiraled out of control.
A new fringe-right-wing party—Alternative für Deutschland—is nearly Germany’s second-most popular party. Some of its leaders openly praise the Nazis; one said that Germany should be “proud” of its “accomplishments” in World War ii. Meanwhile, a new wave of historians push a radical view of the glories of Germany’s history and its unfair victimization by Britain and America.
There are similar signs in Germany’s military and intelligence service.
In 2018, the German government uncovered a plot formed by 200 members of Germany’s special forces, the Kommando Spezialkräfte. These neo-Nazi elite soldiers planned to kill Claudia Roth, leader of the Green Party; Heiko Mass, the sitting foreign minister; and Joachim Gauck, Germany’s former president. Their hit list included other left-wing leaders and leaders of asylum-seeker groups. They had stockpiled weapons and ammunition near the border with Switzerland and Austria.
In the aftermath, police discovered a neo-Nazi effort to infiltrate the military. A lieutenant colonel in military intelligence had tried to cover up the group. To reach this level, it goes far beyond a handful of far-right recruits who managed to slip through what is meant to be a strict screening process.
Reports have also trickled in of murky connections between the German intelligence service and neo-Nazis. It is yet another unbelievable story, but here it is, in the words of Israel’s Ynetnews: “It’s April 6, 2006, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Halit Yozgat, a 21-year-old German citizen of Turkish descent, is sitting behind the counter in the small Internet café he recently opened in Kassel, Germany. He is waiting for his father to come and relieve him from work when two shots pierce his head, killing him instantly.
“A few seconds later, Andreas Temme, an undercover agent for the German Federal Intelligence Service, the bnd, gets up from one of the computer stations positioned only several meters from where Yozgat is now lying dead. He places a few coins on the counter as payment for his time there and leaves. Next to the coins are three drops of blood.
“Later, Temme will testify that he did not hear the shots—fired by an unknown assailant with a Česká manufactured pistol with a silencer—and he did not see Yozgat’s body, either, which was sprawled behind the counter near the entrance” (April 24, 2017).
Yozgat was ninth in a series of immigrants, mostly Turkish, gunned down in broad daylight. The police had blamed the shootings on Turkish gangs. Instead, it was the work of the National Socialist Underground (nsu), a neo-Nazi group.
There is yet more evidence linking these killings to the intelligence services. Yavuz Narin, a lawyer of Turkish decent, spent years exposing the connections between the nsu and the bnd. Ynetnews wrote, “Narin has many more examples of either direct or indirect involvement by security agencies in the nsu’s activities.” He told Ynetnews, “The government, security agencies, the Interior Ministry and, unfortunately, even the chancellor’s office are trying to prevent a full investigation on the matter.”
“The worrying question that arises is whether the German security agencies merely failed at doing their job, or did they actually turn a blind eye and intentionally enabled the nsu’s activities,” Ynetnews continued. “And if so, could neo-Nazis have infiltrated Germany’s spy agencies and actively encouraged the crimes? The authorities’ insistence on covering up information and stonewalling the investigation on the matter only raise further suspicions.”
Put some of these isolated examples together and you see a pattern. Nazis never left top German institutions. To this day, these same institutions are beset by scandals revolving around Nazis in their midst. We are seeing glimpses of an underground beast.
They Shall Wonder
The signs of this beast are there, but few recognize them. Revelation 17 says that when this power fully ascends, “the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast” (verse 8; New Living Translation).
But you do not need to be “amazed.”
Built into this same passage is another prophecy—a prophecy of an individual God would use to expose this beast. Verse 10 says, “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”
These seven kings reign one after the other. But during the time of the sixth king, a man would be there to explain what this scripture means, to teach the world what is happening.
The same individual is on the scene once the sixth king has disappeared, when this beast “was, and is not.” In Prophesy Again, Mr. Flurry writes: “The beast disappears from the scene for a time, and a prophet must show people what the truth is. … This revelation is about the period when Mr. Armstrong … was doing this work of God. God revealed to him secrets about this sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, which ‘was, and is not, and yet is.’”
This is how Mr. Armstrong could pinpoint what was going on within Nazi Germany in 1945. These documents were all classified, the investigations not yet done. But “God revealed to him secrets,” as Mr. Flurry writes. This is why all those secret files have proved him right. He was the individual foretold in this scripture to explain what this underground beast means.
All these major developments were forecast in advance in your Bible. And the same God who had these remarkable prophecies preserved ensures that He has a man to explain them.
This is why the Bible says that beast “was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” (verse 8). The verb tense here is important. While Mr. Armstrong was alive, this beast “was, and is not.” Mr. Armstrong was there during World War ii, and when the beast went underground. But the beast’s ascension out of this bottomless pit is future tense—it was to happen later, once the man explaining all this had passed from the scene. Mr. Armstrong died in 1986. Just three years later, Germany unified, and soon the early signs of its rise were visible.
This beast is still rising today, but it is a mystery to the world. You, however, can understand. God reveals secrets to the man He is using.
“The Bible really comes alive when we know specifically what is happening,” writes Mr. Flurry. Understand these secrets, and you can understand world events. More importantly, your Bible comes alive, revealing the great, all-powerful God who reveals the secret plans of the world’s most powerful nations.