The Fortunes of War: A Curious Link Between Otto Strasser and Walter Benjamin

AS I mention in my 2010 biography of Otto Strasser (1897-1974), as this great ideologue of the Black Front underground was being pursued across Europe by Hitler’s Gestapo, he travelled through Austria, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland before finally ending up in France. By June 1940, however, as the Nazis were busy waging their infamous Blitzkrieg campaign and advancing towards French territory, Strasser was frantically trying to escape. Eventually, he managed to obtain a visa and travel down to Portbou along the border between southern France and Catalonia. On July 31st, with Nazi agents hot on his trail, Strasser crossed the border into Spain and eluded his frustrated pursuers by continuing on to Portugal, Bermuda and, finally, eastern Canada.

Interestingly, just eight weeks later, on September 26th, Frankfurt School stalwart Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) found himself taking the same route. His story was rather different and, whilst he is widely considered to have committed suicide by taking a huge overdose of morphine after discovering that the French-Spanish border had been temporarily closed, one writer takes a more unique and radical view. In the June 11th, 2011 issue of The Weekly Standard magazine (‘The Mysterious Death of Walter Benjamin’), Stephen Schwartz contends that the area was crawling with Soviet agents who had orders to execute Benjamin on account of his Marxist views. Schwartz makes a pretty convincing case, to say the least.

Given that both Strasser and Benjamin were each trying to evade capture by German and Russian agents respectively, in the same locality and within the same time-scale, it seems fairly accurate to conclude that both men presented a serious threat to the powers-that-be. Indeed, whilst Hitlerism and Stalinism are now presented as forms of political extremism, we must remember that in Summer-Autumn 1940 both systems were in power and therefore were part of the mainstream. My own theory, therefore, is that there must have been some form of international collaboration taking place in order to ‘mop up’ those dissidents who were considered to be a threat to the geopolitical designs of the main players in world affairs. Benjamin, for his defiant opposition to Stalin, and Strasser for his exposure of Nazi collaboration with Big Business.

There are some people, of course, who always stand apart and whilst Strasser slipped through the net Benjamin was very likely a victim of political assassination. Two lives and two extremely divergent world-views, yet a very good example of how people who do not ‘play the game’ are treated by the globalist puppeteers who tolerate no form of independent thought whatsoever.

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