Johan (John) Lothar Flade was a third generation German Mormon from Saxony who Joined the SS at age 17. You had to be a card carrying Nazi to do that. He claimed he was in a signal corp. At some point he became a prisoner of war and, I think, was held in the US during that time.
He was Germany, Frankfurt mission president 1977-1980. He ran it about like you'd expect someone from the SS to do so, only summary execution was not possible. The stories we, every and all of us, ex or not, have...
I don't know why you think you should know him, but, I can not, ever, in any way, imagine someone who was a missionary under him for any length of time, being able to forget him unless in the last stages of dementia.
Hats? Standing and singing praise to the man as he entered? Coercing the office staff into a self-produced audio cassette you were supposed to buy? Buying suits from some special business in Fulda? Sausages for calories?
Bayern, MP was Myers, but I should have met or heard about Flade. I don't doubt he was an a--, I just can't place him, but not surprised his Nazi party membership was never spoken of, especially former SS. I'm stunned he was a MP.
Ahhhh... You bring up a very interesting topic that I purposely left hanging: why was an SS Nazi just fine for LDS Inc to be a bishop, MP, etc? And that only 30 years after the war, well within the memories of half the population.
Busche was the München MP when I was there. There was that weird interleaving of German and Ami missionaries so I saw a couple of your lads once when I was in Mannheim. The only time I left mission boundaries was when we missed a bahnhof and ended up in Karlsruhe.
Yes, especially as Germans in general have long memories. The locals, even in a city as large as Frankfurt, wouldn't have forgotten who was former SS. Still shaking my head.
If you ended up in Karlsruhe you were way off track! We got to spend some time in Austria, part of the Munich mission then. My Deutsch was scheisse but the Germans were glad to speak English, till they figured out what we wanted. Except for one Evangelische (Lutheran) pastor, who was happy to discuss confirmation, saints, latter days and a whole lot of topics that were verbotten for missionaries. He actually read the BOM, then deconstructed it using NT & OT scriptures. We were too arrogant to realize we were way out of our league.
I sang on that audio tape. I was summoned to Frankfurt for a day. At my own expense. Flade of course had the only solo. What you're not saying is that he spent all of the mission funds on personal things for the house he lived in...and the mission went broke. He sold all of the zone leaders cars to help replenish the kitty. He was given a "rabbit" car to drive when he first arrived, but insisted he needed to be seen in a BMW...and he did. As for the mission tape...right before it was made, he outlawed ANY music except Tabernacle Choir. Then, out comes a tape with secular songs on it, that was offered to us for 10 bucks a pop...in 1978. He kept track of who bought it and who didn't (I had friends in the office). The office staff played soccer with him every Monday (it was outlawed for everyone else). The office staff went to plays and operas on non p-days frequently. I know because one of my cities was Franfurt, and when the office staff couldn't go, my companion and I got the tickets!
We all had to fly home on Air Canada because one of the executives of the airline was in the English speaking Frankfurt ward...I'm sure some deal was made. We were not allowed to buy ANYTHING from the U.S. Army bases' PX...because it was illegal. After a zone conference, my companion saw him in the parking lot, behind his BMW, trunk open...and wanted to kiss some a$$. We walked over (surprised him) and the trunk was FULL of American goods...Kellogg products, pop tarts, etc. The trunk was FULL of things you could only get in America. He SLAMMED the trunk down, and nervously, chit chatted with us for a nano second and walked us away.
I've been home many many years and about every other week I still have a nightmare about being back on that mission..AT MY AGE... and can't leave. A psychologist friend pointed out to me that that's typical of PTSD. I've always regretted going on that mission, my family were jack Mormons so I had no pressure whatsoever to go.
The only positive is that I learned that if I'm in a situation (relationship, job, etc) in which I'm not happy...I leave, get out immediately. And I avoid narcissists like the plague, but call them on their scheisse, something I could never do when I was in the "pray, pay, and obey" mode.
We all have many, many other stories about this horrible man. It's been therapeutic just writing this all out (even if it's only the tip of the iceberg). HE broke my shelf. Thanks for listening.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2015 06:51PM by lapsed.
he was a lucky bastard to be taken as a prisoner. The SS all had their blood types tattooed under their arms. They had a habit of "surrendering" then getting weapons behind the lines and killing GIs.
According to my grandpa (infantry LT in the European theatre of operations "ETO"), the SS were given "special treatment." After a while, the SS started putting on Whermacht uniforms and pulling the same stunt. the GIs took to undressing all POWs and looking for the tattoo. Those with the tattoo tended to be "shot while trying to escape en route to the rear."
Every SS unit regularly transferred from the front, to the concentration camp duty. That doesn't mean he committed any atrocities personally, but at the least, he would have been present when atrocities occurred.
I realize the word Nazi has become a vastly overused label for a certain personality or interpersonal style, but when I say Flade was a Nazi, I mean he legally joined the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartai. He also volunteered in the SS because that was the only way in. There were also physical and dogma requirements which were quite vigorous until they started degrading late in the war. I don't know how much more real of a Nazi he could be.
that says he was running an SS observation post on the coast during the invasion. I assume in France. He would have been quite young still to be an SS officer, but who knows late in the war. I'm sure many SS were treated roughly, but most were just given more questioning; shooting prisoners happened in WWII but was a very good way to get in a mass of trouble, and I don't think happened a lot.
The germans kept meticulous records, if you can find a German history buff, they can help you find his service records if they were not destroyed. Some are available online.
One April Fools Day, the ZLs sent us all a note telling us that we were no required to wear business hats like Frankfurt. After a few minute, we realized what day it was, and that Busche would never even think of such a thing. And would not even care. Oh, he did suggest we not wear black suits, as it scared the older people who could still remember others who wore black suits.
I knew John Flade when he lived in Idaho. I was a social studies teacher, and I spent a lot of time on WWII. I knew of Flade and his background and he graciously agreed to lecture to my classes about his war experiences. He seemed like a proud American who had witnessed the horrors of war. Told my students that they should get down on their knees every night and thank God that they were born Americans. His war experiences were of great interest to my students - lots of play by play reporting of his time at battle fronts in France and Russia. I had talked about the death caps, etc. but was surprised that he never mentioned them or anything about the 6 million Jews who died at hands of Nazis. On the last day that he came to my classes, he took questions from the kids. One asked him about the Jews and I swear to God, these were his words: "I will say only one thing about the Jews; a very wise man once said, 'If you killed the 5 richest Jews in the world, there would never be another war." I was so stunned, I was speechless. Had been a great experience for kids and for me until then. Odd that "God" would call such a man as a MP; don't you think?
Hitler used mind control and psychology tactics to get followers... how the f**k is that different from the tactics employed by the LD$ church today??? It would only make sense that an SS officer or member of the Nazis would become somewhat of an authority figure in the church... the run that corporation, uh I mean church the same way the Nazis ran everything!! And you darned well know that if they could, they'd gas all former members.
I hated that man. Treated his wife Alice like shit. His only calling was to humiliate us sadistically. Right after his funeral I drove through the SLC cemetery to find his grave. Found it-went back a year later and nothing would grow over the grave! Headstone was there but not even weeds would grow...AND THIS WAS IN THE SUMMER!!! Not making any of this up.
There was a German Assistant to the President (AP) I won't name names. The two of them started a side business selling BMW's to American military people at a huge discount, and they got a kickback. Again, I had friends in the office.
He told one of my companions in a personal "interview" that the church MUST make him a General Authority, because that's the only way he can have power over the Stake Presidents, and Branch Leaders within the mission.
I left a few days before Christmas. The night before, we, the outgoing missionaries met the Flades at their home for a final pep talk and good-bye. As we were leaving, Alice asked who was going to SLC. I was the first to raise my hand. She gave me a Christmas card to send the minute I got to SLC...no postage, I had to buy that. Because of weather delays it took me 3 days to get home. The Christmas Card was for Joseph B. Wirthlin. Upon arriving I asked a friend who came to meet me (pre 9/11) if she had a stamp. I was still terrified of repercussions. She did and I mailed the Xmas card from the airport.
Ok, I'll stop venting, but just know that there are many, MANY stories left to tell.
I served with his grandson (or son) as a missionary in Frankfurt years later. He too was also quite arrogant and entitled. He made it very clear that his grandpa had been the mission president there before. Always said he was on the lookout for a German girl to marry. And I believe he did find one. It seemed that was his goal for his mission.