Anticipating Hitler’s rise pre-war politician told family to get as far away from Germany as possible

December 4, 2019 Agencies
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The death in New Zealand’s Wairarapa Valley of Tony Haas severs one of the closest surviving human links with Germany’s Nazi era.

Tony Haas

Haas was the grandson of Ludwig Haas the minister for Baden and member of the Reichstag for the German Democratic Party and a determined opponent of the National Socialists, the Nazi Party.

Ludwig Haas died unexpectedly in 1930.

He is often considered the only politician who had he lived, could have foiled the rise of Hitler and thus averted World War 2.

On his deathbed Ludwig Haas, anticipating Hitler’s rise and what was to come and knowing he would be powerless to do anything about it told his son, Karl, father of Tony Haas, to move as far away from Germany as possible –and stay there.

The family did this, re-establishing in New Zealand.

Several years prior to his own death and by now much encouraged by the resurgence in Germany of interest surrounding his grandfather (pictured below), Tony Haas toured Karlsruhe, his grandfather’s constituency, and there he was given a warm and attentive official welcome.

Ludwig Haas

In his final years and with the assistance of Berlin-based archivists Tony Haas the grandson occupied himself with compiling the official biography of his prescient grandfather

Anthony Roger Haas was born in 1944 and raised in his own words as a “farm boy” in Pahiatua in the remote Wairarapa Valley where his father in addition to changing hemispheres had also switched vocations becoming a farmer.

Tony Haas’ own long incubated 2015 autobiography Being Palangi – My Pacific Journey was launched in the Wairarapa Valley.

Tony Haas in retirement had returned to his New Zealand roots after a 50-year global journalistic career mainly devoted to covering the Pacific and its peoples.

Tony Haas is survived by his wife Dr Patricia Donnelly and their children.

Report from Peter Isaac

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