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Bloodlines

Recovering Hitler's Nuremberg Laws, From Patton's Trophy to Public Memorial

Anthony Platt, professor of social work emeritus

Gen. George Patton—who “liberated” Jews from Nazi Germany—was not only a liar and a thief, but above all, an anti-Semite with ties to California eugenicists, says Anthony Platt and co-author Cecilia O’Leary of CSU Monterey Bay.

“Scholars concede that near the end of his life, Patton made anti-Semitic comments,” Platt says. “We argue that Patton was a racist ideologue all his life and that he promoted his views to others.”

The authors use Patton as an example to demonstrate that American eugenicists, not just Nazis, created policies and made decisions on the false assumption that humans differ in blood and race.

They provide compelling evidence Patton not only mistreated Jews, but also took Hitler’s infamous Nuremberg Laws—which in 1935 stripped Jews of their civil rights—as a trophy for his own personal military history collection. They attest Patton hid the stolen documents in Southern California’s prestigious Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.

“The Huntington suspected Patton looted the Nuremberg Laws and they knew that Patton did not transfer title to them,” Platt says. “By 1999, when they disclosed their ‘ownership,’ they assumed that nobody could dispute their claim.”

It took Huntington officials 54 years to acknowledge the documents, which Platt says suggests a cover-up of their origin and of Patton’s views. “I hope readers will find the book helpful in exposing the deep roots of racism in California,” he says.

Platt is of Jewish decent so the book is also a memoir and a personal journey through Platt’s own issues about his Jewish identity. He is now writing a collection of first-person non-fiction short stories about his ongoing nationwide book tour.

 

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