Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK at Mary's Cafe - As the Story Unfolds

MLK at Mary's Café and Camden - By William Kelly
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753 Walnut Street, Camden, N.J.

Atlanta, Selma, Birmingham and Memphis are all places that are associated with Martin Luther King, Jr.; But Maple Shade and Camden, New Jersey were not, until now.

In June 1950, a young seminary student named Michael King signed his name to a legal complaint against a Maple Shade, New Jersey bar owner for refusing to serve him and listed his legal residence as 753 Walnut Street, Camden.

More than 65 years later, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Camden residence has been saved from demolition—thanks in large part to the efforts of local car salesman Patrick Duff, an amateur historian who documented of the home’s historic significance. The two-story, attached house in one of Camden’s most blighted neighborhoods was to be razed; instead, the city has given the house historic designation and a movement is afoot to restore the structure and turn it into a civil rights museum.

King lived on and off in the nondescript Camden house from 1950 to 1951, while attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.

His Camden residency had been all-but forgotten until Duff, investigating an unrelated matter, happened upon the legal complaint signed by the future Civil Rights leader following the June 1950 incident in nearby Maple Shade.

Duff’s first clue was a newspaper article describing how King and his Camden roommate, fellow Crozer student Walter McCall, and two other individuals were refused service and at gun point were tossed out of Mary’s Place, a Maple Shade bar on what is now a Route 73 clover leaf. King and his companions went to the local police station and filed a civil complaint against the owner of the bar Ernest Nichols, a German born immigrant who had served in the German army during World War I and was married to Mary, who gave the bar its name.

It is believed the Maple Shade incident is the first time King took legal action in the name of civil rights. Renown Camden doctor Wiggins, and a NAACP lawyer and Camden prosecutor helped King pursue the case, which was dismissed after the bar owner pleaded guilty to one of the two charges and paid a small fine. Nichols was represented by a well-known Burlington County lawyer whose obituary mentions the incident. While King was not famous at the time, the lawyer said he heard King respond to the question of why he made civil rights a part of his ministry by saying the incident in New Jersey sparked his interest in the issue.

Mary’s Place was purchased by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and torn down several years ago, but through Duff’s efforts, an historic marker will be placed at the site.

As for the Walnut Street house, Duff’s research led him to Jeannette Hunt, a cousin of McCall’s and the current owner of the now boarded-up building, once owned by her father-in-law. She recalls King and her uncle Walter McCall living in an upstairs room at the house when she was a little girl.

Armed with the legal documents and news clippings, Duff sought to convince the city that the house should be preserved. His work got the attention of Camden mayor Dana Redd and local Congressman Donald Norcross, both of whom wrote letters to the state requesting the historical designation. John Lewis, a Congressman from Georgia and a close friend and associate of King’s, also expressed support. All three spoke at a press conference in September 2017 in front of the house calling for its preservation. 

“This place of historic real estate must be saved for generations unborn,” said Lewis. “Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t just help change America; he helped change the world.”

The New Jersey state Senate passed a resolution 36-0 urging the home be placed on the state historic registry; the city of Camden gave the house the historic designation needed to obtain the funds to restore it; and the Coopers Ferry Partnership assumed title of the property to ensure its preservation. The attention also led to the cleanup of Walnut Street and the clearing of an adjacent lot. “It looks like a different street,” says Duff, somewhat bewildered that his hard work is bearing fruit.

Since then the Coopers Ferry Partnership received a six figure grant to work on the property, but never announced it or used it, and state gave Stockton University over $20,000 to study the facts and determine if MLK actually lived in Camden at all.

In the meantime the roof of 753 Walnut was falling in and some neighbors fixed it on their own.

Then the Stockton "study" failed to interview any living witnesses and only reviewed the published literature and what Duff had sent them. They concluded that the lack of any published references to King's time in Camden went against the possibility of him living there as a residence, but given all the known facts that he stayed there is the most probable alternative. Not a great endorsement that would enhance the NJ state historical certification needed.

Then Duff located yet another newspaper article from the 1980s that quotes one of the residents of 753 Walnut, a young man at the time who had joined the Army, who said that it was his bedroom in the back of the second floor where King and his cousin lived while he was away in the service.

In fact, it was the day he returned in June 1950 when King said they were going to a place in Maple Shade for something to eat, a place known for its good sandwiches. The returning vet warned King not to go as blacks were not welcome there, but King replied, "We have to change that so we can go anywhere."

So this newly discovered report, not included in the Stockton study, clearly indicates King and his friends didn't just stumble on Mary's Place, as was previously assumed, they went there expecting they would be denied service, and were prepared to do something about it.

Now the city of Camden, the state of New Jersey, Stockton University and Coopers Ferry Partnerships should end their hesitation to move on this and properly designate the property as historical, budget the money to restore and preserve the building, and establish the civil rights museum and center that deserves to be there.

— William E. Kelly

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Kelly Declaration AARC v. CIA Re: Detailed Study of Hitler Plot

RESEARCH CENTER                                 :
Plaintiff                                                         :
v.                                                                    :            Civil Action No. 17- 00160(TNM)                    
 Defendant.                                                    :                                                            
  __________________________________  :          

Declaration of William E. Kelly, Jr.
     I hereby declare and state that:

1. I am a journalist, historian and author of two published regional history books, who has spent considerable time, since 1969, tracking down and interviewing JFK Assassination witnesses.

2.   In the course of my research in January 1995 I interviewed Volkmar Schmidt over the telephone, a conversation taped with his permission and subsequently transcribed and posted on the internet.

3.   In that interview Schmidt told me that he hosted a February 22, 1963 party at his Dallas residence for the expressed purpose of introducing Lee Harvey Oswald to Michael Paine.

4. While Michael Paine did not attend that party, his wife Ruth Hyde Paine did and met Oswald’s Russian wife Marina, and they became close friends until the day of the assassination.

5. At the same party Volkmar Schmidt said he had an extended 2-hour conversation with Lee Harvey Oswald in which he used a “reverse psychology” technique taught to him by his surrogate father, doctor Whilhelm Keutemeyer, professor of psychosomatic medicine at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. 

6.   Keutemeyer, Schmidt said, had two associates who were part of the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, Herr Von Halen and dr. Adam von Trott zu Solz, both executed for their roles in the plot.

7. Schmidt admitted mentioning the July 20, 1944 plot to Oswald and suggested right wing General Edwin Walker should be killed, much like Hitler should have been.

8.   Not long after their conversation Oswald purchased a rifle through the mail using the alias “Hidel” traceable to him when he could have bought an untraceable weapon at any Dallas sporting goods of department store with no identification.

9.   Oswald is accused of taking a shot at Walker through a window at his home on April 10, 1963, a shot that missed, with the remains of the bullet in the Kennedy Collection at the National Archives. 

10.  Shortly after the Walker shooting Oswald relocated to his hometown of New Orleans where he got a job and an apartment while his wife Marina resided with Ruth Hyde Paine in Irving, Texas, before Ruth H. Paine drove Marina and the rifle to New Orleans.

11.  CIA Cuban Desk chief Desmond FitzGerald, looking for disenchanted Cuban military officers or anyone close to Castro, met with Dr. Rolando Cubella Secades (AMLASH) to encourage him to kill Castro, and another CIA case officer met with Cubella in Brazil on September 7, 1963.

12. On September 7, 1963 Fidel Castro visited the Brazilian embassy in Havana and denounced US backed commando raids and attempts to kill Cuban leaders, as reported in an Associated Press dispatch published on September 9, 1963, ostensibly read by Lee Harvey Oswald in the New Orleans newspaper. 

13.  In September 1963 Ruth Hyde Paine visited her relatives, including her husband Michael’s mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young - a close personal friend and traveling companion of Mary Bancroft.

14.  During World War 2 Mary Bancroft worked closely with Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer Allen Dulles in Switzerland and they were closely associated with Nazi military intelligence officer Hans Bernd Gisevius, a major participant in the failed July 20, 1944 plot, assisting him in his escape from Germany. 

15.  While visiting the Youngs in September 1963, Ruth Hyde Paine wrote to the pregnant Marina in New Orleans suggesting she return to Texas and live with her in Irving until the baby is born. For her response Marina was instructed to write to her in care of “Arthur Young – Paoli, Pa.”. 

16.  Marina accepted and on September 24, 1963 Ruth Paine left the Young’s farm and drove to New Orleans, picked up Marina and the rifle and drove them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico City.

17.  The following day, September 25, 1963, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chaired by Air Force Chief of Staff General LeMay (while General Taylor was in Vietnam), met at the Pentagon where they were briefed on CIA covert operations in Cuba by Desmond FitzGerald.

18.  A memo/ minutes of the meeting was written by Col. Walter M. Higgins, Jr., assistant to General Victor H. Krulack, who was SACSA – Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities. In his memo Higgins wrote that FitzGerald reported that the CIA was preparing a “detailed study” of the July 20, 1944 plot against Hitler to be adapted for use against Castro in Cuba. Higgins wrote that FitzGerald, “Felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who were talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history: i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.” (emphasis added).

19.   In October 1963 Ruth Hyde Paine helped Oswald obtain a job at the Texas School Book Depository, a building owned by D. H. – David Harold Byrd, a close personal friend of Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay, who chaired the September 25, JCS meeting at the Pentagon. 

20.   On November 22, 1963 D. H. Byrd was in Africa on a safari with Werner von Alvensleben, a German hunter who wrote an essay in support of the July 20, 1944 coup plotters and whose father was identified in an OSS document as an “assassination specialist.” Werner von Alvensleben’s favorite rifle was a Mannlicher-Schonauer, the Greek version of the Mannlicher rifle allegedly used in the assassination of President Kennedy.  In December 1963 von Alvensleben visited Byrd in Dallas. 

21.   On November 22, 1963 at the time of the assassination, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were meeting with the German General Staff that included two former Nazi officers who were directly involved in the July 20, 1944 plot, including Gen. Hans Speidel and Gen. Adolf Heusinger.

22.   D. H. Byrd later told friends, including the president of the Dallas Morning News, that he had removed the southeast corner window of the Texas School Book Depository, from which he believed the shots that killed the president to have originated, and displayed it in his home with his animal trophies, “where it became the centerpiece of many social gatherings”.  

23.  The request for these records are not broad, but very precise, and they should be looked for among the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Asst. Army Sec. Joe Califano, Gen. Krulak’s papers, the files of Desmond Fitzgerald and Rolando Cubella, as well as any of those involved in planning for the covert operations in Cuba in 1963. When the CIA says that the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler “is being studied in detail to develop an approach,” to kill Castro, then it is impossible for there to be no documentary record of this “detailed” study.  And considering the numerous other associations between the July 20, 1944 plot within the JFK assassination narrative, its significance cannot be over stated.
      I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed on November 12, 2017.                 _____/s/ William E. Kelly, Jr. ____(Signature)

The Plots Against Hitler by Danny Orbach

The Plots Against Hitler (Eamon Dolan/ Houghton Mifflin 2016) by Danny Orbach of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs - (p. xv):

“Guilt, no other word carries so much significance when considering German history. Even the drama of July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, staged by Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his confederates in the anti-Nazi resistance movement, is fraught with guilt and a maelstrom of other emotions, which we view through the thick fog of myth and memory.”

“The story of the anti-Nazi underground in the German army and its various attempts to assassinate Hitler has been cast and recast in books, movies, screenplays, and TV shows. That is hardly surprising, as the story contains elements of a thriller: nocturnal meetings in frozen fields; the elaborate drama of military conspiracies; bombs hidden in briefcases and liqueur bottles; and the dramatic day of July 20, 1944, with its abortive assassination and final, desperate attempt at a coup d’etat.”

“In ten-years of research prior to the publication of Valkyrie, my Hebrew-language monograph on the resistance, I examined every primary and secondary source I could find. My research took me to some thirteen archives in Germany, England, Russia and the United States. At times I was shocked by my own findings...The representation of the resistance by such scholars is often a caricature, a ‘crooked mirror’ that teaches us more about the political bias of the scholars than about the German resistance itself.”

“The story of the German resistance conspirators, however, was essentially a military one…Previous studies have tended to focus on groups or individuals in the resistance, but almost none of them, as far as I have been able to establish, have adequately analyzed the interactions between members of these groups….How did the conspiratorial networks operate in reality, and how did different leadership styles affect the outcome of plots and their chances of success? Most importantly, we shall see how certain individuals, whom we shall call brokers and connectors, kept the networks alive by ensuring that information flowed within them.”

“In addition, we shall deal with the complexities involved in the decision of the German resistance fighters to assassinate Hitler. On the one hand, such an action offered the enormous temptation to change the course of history with one stroke. On the other, murdering one’s sovereign leader was, for most conspirators, ideologically, legally, and morally problematic. How did the leaders of the resistance, devout Christians as they were, justify the killing of their hierarchical superior, to whom they swore an oath of allegiance?”

"A particularly important source is the almost inexhaustibly rich trove of documents collected by the late professor Harold C. Deutsch and preserved among his papers at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa."

Orbach discusses Marinus van der Lubbe - a Ditch citizen who was blamed for the Reichstag fire and was considered by many to be, like Oswald, a patsy framed for the crime.

"The only model that could work for a coup d' etat under totalitarian conditions would be an elitist underground with access to arms, and a very limited number of powerful members."

"In this book, the network structure of the German resistance movement, guided by the rule of revolutionary mutation, has been discussed."  

 “Until that fateful day, Stauffenberg and his coconspirators had been preparing, down to its last detail, the coup d’etat’s operational plan. They treated it – as they were trained to – as staff work, and applied careful concealment procedures.”

“When Beck, for example, visited Olbricht for consultations, he took pains to shake off Gestapo agents on his tail. First, he went to the train station and waited on the platform as if he were going to take an express train. When the train came, he sneaked into the tunnel between the platforms and took an exit to a side street, where Olbricht’s son-in-law, Fredrich Georgi, was waiting in a military vehicle. Likewise, Olbricht followed strict procedures when meeting Gisevius….”

Ah Gisevius. A key agent and operative of Allen Dulles and his cohort Mary Bancroft, who controlled Gisevius out of Switzerland.

“Originally the Valkyrie orders were designed to reinforce the eastern front in case of a sudden military collapse. Valkyrie II, a revision drafted by Olbricht’s office in the spring of 1942, authorized the Home Army to promptly deploy its units locally in case of a paratrooper attack, an uprising of foreign workers, or another emergency inside the Reich. On July 31, 1943, Olbrich dramatically revised the orders for the purpose of the coup d’etat. According to the revision, which was duly authorized by General Fromm, the commander of the home front had the authority to deploy not only his own troops but all detachments and soldiers within reach, including military schools, personnel on leave, and units in training and reorganization. They were to be organized within six hours into combat detachments and to be moved as quickly as possible, using all available means, wherever they were needed. All other existing security measures and plans were to be carried out exclusively in accordance with Valkyrie.”

“By carefully redrawing the plan along these lines, the conspirators, whose bastion was the Home Army, secured for themselves unlimited control over the Wehrmacht in Germany, most importantly in the Greater Berlin area. They also took care to practice, drill, and rehearse the plan multiple times in different military districts to improve performance and, above all, the reaction time of the troops. Wisely, it was decided that ‘the preparations must be carried through as secretly as possible. By no means should authorities or individuals outside the Wehrmacht be informed about the intentions or the preparations.’ The idea was, of course, to keep the prying eyes of the SS, Gestapo and SD away from the plans.”

“The leaders of the resistance decided that immediately upon the Fuhrer’s death, the Valkyrie orders would be sent to all Wehrmacht district commanders.”

“Hence, the conspirators of July 20, 1944, failed not because they were dilettantes but rather because they were excessively professional. A military revolt has some elements in common with a military operation, and it presumes a certain kind of ordered, methodical work; but, at the end of the day, it is very different from a military operation. More than order, it requires improvisation, even wildness – an ability to ignore good caution and to leap into the unknown. The conspirators were educated soldiers, not revolutionaries. No one had any training in the art of the coup d’etat….Professionals they were – just not the right profession.”

 “After the execution of Beck, Stauffenberg, Mertz, Olbricht, and Haeften, the Bendlerstrasse was combed by SS teams lead by Skorzeny and Kaltenbrunner. They had the conspirators chained to each other, and brought them to the notorious Gestapo headquarters at Prinz Albrecht Strasse. Many were greeted with beatings…”

“Gisevius was still roaming around Germany. As creative as he was daring, he tried to hide in the most improbably place: Berlin. It seems, though, that for all his resourcefulness, what really helped him was the fact that, unlike those of the others, his personal networks went far beyond the conspiracy. Temporarily, he took refuge with friends while trying to contact the most useful, but also the remotest, part of his network: contacts with the American OSS.”

“Gisevius, as usual, had been luckier than others. While he was hiding in a Berlin safe house, his friends from the American OSS worked to save his life. ‘Good news came from Switzerland for me personally. Help was on the way. I had friends there – and friends helped. A ‘book’ given to intermediaries was to serve as confirmation to me that I could trust the messenger.  A week passed – two, three, four. Then it came.’”

“In addition, Gisevius was informed that help would arrive ‘shortly.’ After months of nerve-racking anticipation, a mysterious women came into the hideout and asked him if ‘everything was all right.’ A few moments later, the doorbell rang again. Gisevius rushed out, only to see a blacked-out car racing away. A package was waiting for him in the mailbox. There, he found a Gestapo ID and a forged passport under the name Dr. Hoffmann, complete with a top-secret document from the Gestapo in Berlin. Gisevius must have been astonished: Dr. Hoffmann, it was written there, was an agent going to perform confidential and important duty in Switzerland. All officials of the government and the party were required to help him as much as they could. Gisevius left for the train station immediately. Resourceful and ruthless as ever, he showed the ID, declared himself a Gestapo agent, and secured a comfortable seat. A few hours elapsed, and he arrived at the Swiss border.”

“In conclusion, the model of connected cliques substantially increased the chance of assassinating Hitler and putting a coup d’etat in motion. However, despite the continuous efforts of talented brokers like Schlabrendorff and Kaiser, the chronic problems of coordination decreased the likelihood of success, even if Hitler was successfully knocked off stage. An improvement in one aspect increased the risk in others.

"Stauffenberg's wheel conspiracy was an attempt to increase both revolutionary autarky and control without damaging overall security. According to the pattern mentioned earlier, the task was difficult, if not impossible. On the one hand, to bolster autarky, there was a need for more confidants and partners. On the other, when the conspiracy expanded, control and security suffered." 

“Stauffenberg tried to square the circle through a unique, charismatic style of leadership and ability to command….Stauffenberg set strict laws of secrecy and compartmentalization to ensure that the arrest of one member would not expose the whole network. The results were mixed.”

“The expansion of the conspiracy decreased control, as expected, but Stauffenberg’s charisma created an illusion of increased control. So great was the illusion that the conspirators believed,…that ‘both the Wehrmach and the civilian population would cheer them along. It never crossed their mind that they might encounter resistance.’ The illusion blinded Stauffenberg to the disloyalty of some officers. When it became clear that Hitler was alive, his power dissolved completely.”