Your job in Germany and Our Job in Japan.

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Cat in the hat;How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and It’s a Wonderful Life are not stories you would associate with WWII or propaganda, and yet they have a distinct ,albeit indirect link to WWII propaganda movies.

The name Theodor Seuss Geisel will mean little to many people,although there is a hint in his name which gives away the name he is known by to most. He is better known as Dr. Seuss.

Seuss

In 1943, he joined the Army as a Captain and was commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces. Where he got to work with Frank Capra, the director of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

Initially they worked together on a series of black-and-white American instructional,  cartoons, of a character created by Capra called ‘Private Snafu’,that were produced between 1943 and 1945

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The cartoons were humorous very much like the Looney toons. The short movies were directed by famous  directors like Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng.

In one episode of the series ‘Three Brothers’ released on December 4, 1944 a certain Bugs Bunny made an appearance.

Frank Capra and Dr Seuss worked on 2 hard hitting propaganda films ,shortly after WWII in 1945.

Your Job in Germany

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The film would probably be called racist and non political correct nowadays but in the context of the time it was accepted and also understandable.This training film was made for U.S. Army occupation forces in Germany following World War II.

It  tells how Germany has always been evil and when given a the chance again they would start another war with another leader like Hitler.

In the films the troops are urged not to become friends with the Germans, for the Nazi mentality is still prevalent in the German psyche, and probably always will be.

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Jack Warner, of Warner Brothers,  secured the rights to ‘Your Job in Germany’ and turned it into a short documentary entitled Hitler Lives?, directed by Don Siegel. It was released commercially on December 29, 1945 and won the 1946 Academy Award  for Documentary Short Subject.

Our Job in Japan

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Our Job in Japan was a United States military training film made in 1945. Equally to ‘Your Job in Germany’ this movie would now be perceived as racist and totally not political correct.But similarly in the context of the aftermath of WWII and the brutality the Japanese army had displayed during the war it was understandable and probably warranted to portray the Japanese people in the way they did.

The film was aimed at American troops heading to Japan to occupy the country in 1945  It presented the problem of turning the militarist state into a peaceful democracy.

It starts off showing Japan surrendering  , followed by the depiction of bad things that they did during the war, and also how the Japanese always followed a backward quasi religious philosophy. The  narrator explains that although the war is over the Japanese brains still need to adapt to a more modern society based on common sense and not by worshiping the old ways.

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Our Job in Japan was also used as a  basis for a longer, commercially released film, with the title ‘Design for Death’  in 1947 directed by Richard Fleischer. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

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Sources

National Archives

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The Pianist who spoke his mind and was killed for it.

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Regardless how talented you were, or how much value you could add to the German culture, if you didn’t comply to the Nazi ideology or dared to criticize it, you stood a good chance of getting executed.

Karlrobert Kreiten born 26 June 1916,  in Bonn, Germany) was a Dutch-German pianist,  holding Dutch citizenship his short life because of his Dutch father. He was a promising pianist, described by conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler as the most talented young pianist in Germany.

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He made his debut at the age of eleven with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major in a live broadcast. His father was a Dutch composer and pianist, and his mother was a classical singer who performed under the stage name Emmy Kreiten-Barido. Karlrobert studied with the Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau in Berlin, and at the Music Academy.

son & mother

In early 1943 Kreiten moved to Berlin and began practising for his upcoming concerts at the house of his mother’s friend Ellen Ott-Monecke, who had offered her salon and piano until he would  find suitable accommodation.

Ellen Ott-Monecke who was a fanatic Nazi supporter,unbeknownst to Kreiten, one day he relayed his views on Hitler to Ott-Monecke. He had told her that Hitler was ‘brutal, sick and insane,’ and was responsible for starting the war. He also continued saying  that there would be a revolution in which Hitler, Goering and Goebbels would be ‘made a head shorter.’

Ellen Ott-Monecke reported this to the Gestapo He was indicted at the Volksgerichtshof (the ‘People’s Court’) for being a ‘threat to victory,’ and sentenced to death.

Volksgerichtshof, Reinecke, Freisler, Lautz

Roland Freisler,, presided over the trial and stated that Kreiten’s crime was ‘public’ and he could therefore face the death sentence. Freisler wanted to make an example of Kreiten at the trial, commenting  that, “whoever acts as Kreiten did, is doing precisely as our enemies wish. He becomes the henchman in their war of nerves against the steadfastness of our people”

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Friends and family desperately tried to save his life, but alas to no avail. The Kreiten family  only accidentally learned, via an anonymous phone call.  that Karlrobert had been executed by hanging, with 185 other inmates, at Plötzensee prison, om September 7 1943.

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Press coverage of the trial painted the pianist as a traitor, including articles written by Nazi propagandist Werner Höfer.  When the false articles by Werner Höfer  about Kreiten became known to a wider public  in 1987 he had to retire.

in convert

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Sources

holocaustmusic.ort.org

 

 

 

 

 

Nazis and cinema

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Ever since its inception , the media of  film has been a perfect tool to inform the masses be it in an entertaining way or in a more sinister manner.

It was and still is the perfect way to distribute propaganda material en mass, although in more recent  years social media has taken over that reign.

Don’t get me wrong I love movies I sill see that they do a lot more good then harm, it is a great way just to escape the daily strife for an hour or two. However it doesn’t take away the fact that they have been used to promote evil causes.

No matter what you think of the Nazis, they were masters of propaganda and were able to use it in the most efficient way possible. They understood the power of cinema/ At relatively ‘low’ costs they were able to distribute their warped ideology on a large scale by using propaganda movies.

Marika Rökk

They varied from short documentaries to massive cinematic productions that rivaled Hollywood in many ways.

Hitler was a big movie fan,prior to the war he spent night after night watching feature films and newsreels. He sometimes watched two, even three films, either at his mountain residence in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof, or in Berlin at the Reich Chancellery.

Not only German films, but also American,French, and British films, in the original language.Although  Hitler only spoke German he would rely on synopses given by his aides about the movies he was about to watch.

He was a great Walt Disney fan but also loved Laurel and Hardy movies. Ironically the movie “Swiss Miss” which featured Grete Natzler(aka Della Lind) an Austrian Jewish actress  who had fled Germany in 1933, was one of his favourite movies.

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Short movies like “Erbkrank” -“”The Hereditary Defective” were made  yo gain public support for the T-4 Euthanasia program. the euthanasia of mentally disbled . This film, as  others, were made with actual footage of patients in German psychiatric hospitals.

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Goebbels, the self appointed “Patron of the German film”, thought, cirrectly that a national cinema which was entertaining and put glamour on the government would be a more effective propaganda instrument than a national cinema where the NSDAP and their policy would have been ubiquitous. Goebbels wanted  to end the ‘moral’ corruption that he thought could be found in the former movie industry. The main goal of the Nazi film policy was to promote escapism, which was designed to distract the population and to keep everybody in good spirits.

Aside from the glamorous movies and the short documentaries promoting T4, a great number of big budget open propaganda movies were made. Documentaries like Der Sieg des Glaubens( The Victory of Faith) and Triumph des Willens(Triumph of the Will),  which were records of the Nuremberg rallies, and newsreels.

Directors like Herbert Gerdes and Leni Riefenstahl were pivotal in the production of these movies.Leni Riefenstahl’s career was not damaged by her involvement the Nazi party and her closeness to Adolf Hitler, after the war she still made several award winning documentaries.

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The murder of the Goebbels children

Goebbels

Regardless what you think of their parents, when you analyse it the Goebbels children were victims of the same warped ideology and regime as so many other children. The only difference they may have died in less painful circumstances, at least 5 of them.

So enthralled were Joseph  and Magda Goebbels with Hitler that they gave all 6 of their children names starting with H to honor their beloved leader.

Helga Susanne.Hildegard Traudel,Helmut Christian,Holdine Kathrin,Hedwig Johanna and Heidrun Elisabeth.

Obersalzberg, Besuch Familie Goebbels bei Hitler

There also was a half brother called Harald, born in November 1921. from a previous marriage between Magda Goebbels nee Behrend Rietschel and German business man Günther Quandt,founder of several companies including BMW. Harald,He served as a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe during World War II.   he survived the war and together with his half brother Herbert Quandt, ran their father’s businesses including the aforementioned BMW after the war. The picture below is a photograph of the whole Goebbels family including the half brother Harald.Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1978-086-03,_Joseph_Goebbels_mit_Familie

Like any child anywhere in the world a child is formed and conditioned by the environment it grows up in, as was the case with the Goebbels children. And on the surface they were loved by their parents, and  maybe even a bit deeper then the surface but not much. For any normal thinking and loving parent will do anything to safeguards their child’s life.

In the case of the Goebbels parents their love for Hitler was bigger then the love for their children. On May 1st 1945 ,a day after Hitler committed suicide, Joseph and Magda Goebbels decided to follow suit and also kill the children. Some people say they did this because of fear what the soviet army might do to the children, they imagined it a fate worse then death, Joseph Goebbels was of course well aware what this might entail, for he was one of the leaders of the regime who slaughtered millions of children in the most horrendous conditions , and he  had lost not one night sleep over it.

But I believe they killed their own kids so that could die pure Aryan, for there had been plenty of opportunities to smuggle their kids to the west of Germany where the US and UK troops had occupied the country. Many of those who had been in the bunker did just do that and could have easily taken the kids with them, if they had been asked.

Adolf Hitler [Misc.]

Joseph and Magda wrote goodbye letters to Harald, explaining their decision, calling death the “the only possible and honorable conclusion.” Magda, convinced she was sparing her children from a life of humiliation, finalized the plan to end their lives.

It isn’t entirely clear as to who helped the Goebbels poison their children. The plan was to sedate them, but it is not certain who actually administered the drugs that put the children to sleep. The most likely candidate was Helmut Kunz,Helmut Kunz a dentist who served as one of the Nazi’s chief medical officers. Supposedly, Magda had asked him to help her kill the children, but he refused to do it, saying he was “incapable” of such an act. She then told him that it was an order from Hitler, and he agreed to do it.

Kunz did give the children morphine, but it’s unclear who gave them the cyanide. Magda was unable to do it and was said to have called Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger, one of the SS’s doctors, to administer the “candy” to the children.

He gave the children cyanide in some form of chocolate.

Rochus Misch, the bunker telephone/radio operator, stated that Werner Naumann told him that he had seen Hitler’s personal physician, Dr Stumpfegger, give the children something “sweetened” to drink.[Another account says that the children were told they would be leaving for Berchtesgaden in the morning, and Stumpfegger was said to have provided Magda with morphine to sedate them. Erna Flegel claims that Magda reassured the children about the morphine by telling them that they needed inoculations because they would be staying in the bunker for a long time.

On the same night that their children were killed, Magda and Joseph Goebbels went into the study in the Führerbunker. According to legend, the couple stood near where Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had died and been burned as they bit into cyanide and shot themselves, perhaps at the same time. Another theory is that Günther Schwägemann, Günther SchwägemannNazi officer and object of their daughter Hedwig’s affection-Hedwig insisted, in 1944, that when she grew up she was going to marry Günther Schwägermann, having been captivated by the fact he had a fake eye.  -shot them. The bodies of Magda and Joseph Goebbels were set on fire.

On 3 May 1945, the day after Soviet troops led by Lt. Col. Ivan Klimenko had discovered the burned bodies of their parents in the courtyard above, they found the children down in the Vorbunker dressed in their nightclothes, with ribbons tied in the girls’ hair after they died.

Goebbels family

Based on autopsy findings, there was some trouble when it came to giving Helga the poison. She either woke up from her slumber and resisted taking it or the dosage was insufficient to kill her. When Russian doctors autopsied Helga’s body, they found bruises, indicating that there had been a struggle. Her jaw may have been broken as well.Helga

Helga was killed age 12,Hildegard was killed age 11.Helmut was age 9 when he was killed.Holdine was eight years old at the time of her death.Hedwig was six years old, four days shy of her seventh birthday, at the time of her death. And Heidrun was only 4 when she was killed.

children

I know some people will say”They deserved what was coming to them” and to an extend I can understand that sentiment, but these kids were not responsible for the actions of their parents, in fact they were a victim of the warped ideology their parents had subscribed to.

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The Führer is dead. Auf nie wiedersehen.

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For all of you who don’t know German, the second part of the title translates to “that we will never see you again” It has always been a puzzle to me why the death of Adolf Hitler was not turned into a global holiday. Maybe it is because of fears it also may be used by followers of the Austrian turned German leader.

I know History Channel is airing a show celled “Hunting Hitler” aiming to proof that he didn’t die but escaped to Argentina, their investigation is omitting some key elements though, like eye witness reports of those in the bunker. They also work on the assumption that he was last seen in public on his birthday April 20 1945, this is also not true. This is the last picture taken of Hitler on April 28 1945.

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Another key factor they fail to mention in the show is the fact that a day before he killed himself he got married to Eva Braun. Aside from all of that, he often said if he felt the war was lost he’d kill himself. So let’s forget about all these conspiracy therories for a while.

The world reacted in different ways on the news of his death.

The Irish Taosieach(prime minister), Éamon de Valera,  and president Douglas Hyde, bot offered condolences to Germany when the news of Hitler’s death broke.Ireland was neutral during WWII and de Valera stated he was only following diplomatic protocol.

The German embassy in Sweden flew the flag at half mast the day Hitler died, April 30, 1945.

The German embassy in Sweden flying the flag at half mast the day Hitler died, April 30th 1945

In the Netherlands mock mourning cards were published, the one below is using the Veni,Vidi,Vici (came.saw,conquered) analogy. Translation Hitler came but not to England,Hitler Saw Moscow, Hitler lost the war.rouwkaart hitler

Below are some news headlines covering the death of Hitler.

The announcement of Hitler’s and Goebbels’s death in the Bredasche Courant, Dutch Newspaper.

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Headline from “The Stars and Stripes” for May 2, 1945.

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Headline of La France Soir

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The Germans had a different spin on the news the headlines in the Oberdonau-Zeitung seems to indicate rather then having committed suicide he was ‘fallen’, he ‘sacrificed’ his life in the battle against Bolshevism.

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The Daily Mail also reported the appointment of Doenitz as the new German leader.daily_mail_may_2nd_1945

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Pledging allegiance to evil-Vow of most faithful allegiance.

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The Gelöbnis treuester Gefolgschaft  translated from German to English as “vow of most faithful allegiance”, or “proclamation of loyalty of German writers” was a declaration by 88 German writers and poets of their loyalty to Adolf Hitler. It was printed in the Vossische Zeitung on 26 October 1933 and publicised by the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin.

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Some like   were still celebrated long after the war as literary heroes despite the allegiance with the Nazi regime. They were even put on stamps

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The declaration came towards the end of 1933, in the period of domestic turmoil in Germany following the Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, the elections that returned Hitler to power on 5 March, and the passing of the Enabling Act on 23 March 1933 which allowed Hitler bypass the German legislature and pass laws at will. It came shortly after the editor law (Schriftleitergesetz) was passed on 4 October 1933, which sought to bring the press under government control, and the withdrawal of Germany from the League of Nations on 21 October 1933.

Below is the text of the vow in English.

“Peace, work, freedom and honour are the most sacred goods of each nation and a precondition for honest coexistence of peoples with each other. Consciousness of our power and recovered unity, our sincere will to serve unreservedly the cause of peace inside and outside our nation, the deep conviction of our tasks in the reconstruction of the Reich, and our determination to do to nothing that is not compatible with our honour and that of our Fatherland, make us, in this grave hour submit to you, Herr Reichskanzler, this vow of our most faithful allegiance.”

Some of them and I presume (at least I hope so) most of them would have signed in a pre-emptive way in order to preserve their work and lives, but there were also some like  Hanns Johst and the aforementioned Agnes Miegel were happy to excel in the 3rd reich at the costs of others.

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The 88 who declared their loyalty to Hitler were:
Friedrich Arenhövel (1886–1954)
Gottfried Benn (1886–1956)
Werner Beumelburg (1899–1963)
Rudolf G. Binding (1867–1938)
Walter Bloem (1868–1951)
Hans Friedrich Blunck (1888–1961)
Max Karl Böttcher (1881–1963)
Rolf Brandt (1886–1953)
Arnolt Bronnen (1895-1959)
Otto Brües (1897–1967)
Alfred Brust (1891–1934)
Carl Bulcke (1875–1936)
Hermann Claudius (1878–1980)
Hans Martin Cremer (1890–1953)
Marie Diers (1867–1949)
Peter Dörfler (1878–1955)
Max Dreyer (1862–1946)
Franz Dülberg (1873–1934)
Ferdinand Eckardt (1902–1995)
Richard Euringer (1891–1953)
Ludwig Finckh (1876–1964)
Otto Flake (1880–1963)
Hans Franck (1879–1964)
Gustav Frenssen (1863–1945)
Heinrich von Gleichen-Rußwurm (1882–1959)
Friedrich Griese (1890–1975)
Max Grube (1854–1934)
Johannes von Guenther (1886–1973)
Carl Haensel (1889–1968)
Max Halbe (1865–1944)
Ilse Hamel (1874–1943)
Agnes Harder (1864–1939)
Karl Heinl (1898–1961)
Hans Ludwig Held (1885–1954)
Friedrich W. Herzog (1902–1976)
Rudolf Herzog (1869–1943)
Paul Oskar Höcker (1865–1944)
Rudolf Huch (1862–1943)
Hans von Hülsen (1890–1968)
Bruno Herbert Jahn (1893-1943*) Fate unknown after 1943
Hanns Johst (1890–1978)
Max Jungnickel (1890–1945)
Hermann Kasack (1896–1966)
Hans Knudsen (1886–1971)
Ruth Köhler-Irrgang (1900–?)
Gustav Kohne (1871–1961)
Carl Lange (1885–1959)
Johann von Leers (1902–1965)
Heinrich Lersch (1889–1936)
Heinrich Lilienfein (1879–1952)
Oskar Loerke (1884–1941)
Gerhard Menzel (1894–1966)
Herybert Menzel (1906–1945)
Alfred Richard Meyer, aka „Munkepunke“ (1892–1956)
Agnes Miegel (1879–1964)
Walter von Molo (1880–1958)
Georg Mühlen-Schulte (1882–1981)
Fritz Müller-Partenkirchen (1875–1942)
Börries Freiherr von Münchhausen (1874–1945)
Eckart von Naso (1888–1976)
Helene von Nostitz-Wallwitz (1878–1944)
Josef Ponten (1883–1940)
Rudolf Presber (1868–1935)
Arthur Rehbein (1867–1952)
Ilse Reicke (1893–1989)
Johannes Richter (1889–1941)
Franz Schauwecker (1890–1964)
Johannes Schlaf (1862–1941)
Anton Schnack (1892–1973
Friedrich Schnack (1888–1977)
Richard Schneider-Edenkoben (1899–1986)
Wilhelm von Scholz (1874–1969)
Lothar Schreyer (1886–1966)
Gustav Schröer (1876–1949)
Wilhelm Schussen (1874–1956)
Ina Seidel (1885–1974)
Willy Seidel (1887–1934)
Heinrich Sohnrey (1859–1948)
Diedrich Speckmann (1872–1938)
Heinz Steguweit (1897–1964)
Lulu von Strauß und Torney (1873–1956)
Eduard Stucken (1865–1936)
Will Vesper (1882–1962)
Josef Magnus Wehner (1891–1973)
Leo Weismantel (1888–1964)
Bruno Erich Werner (1896–1964)
Heinrich Zerkaulen (1892–1954)
Hans-Caspar von Zobeltitz (1883–1940)

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

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Sources

Bundesarchiv

Dutch and German wikipedia.

And then suddenly I vanished

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My name is Renate Hirsch , I was born in Haiger,Wiesbaden in Germany on 14/07/1935.

I wish I could tell you my favourite game

I wish I could tell you who my best friend was

I wish I could sing for you my favourite song, or that I could tell you which instruments I play.

I wish I could show you pictures of my first ballet recital or my first goal I scored in hockey.

I wish I could show a drawing of a field of tulips I drew. when I was out on a picnic with my parents on a hot July day, my birthday perhaps.

But I can’t for I vanished. I died but no one knows where or when.No longer a human just a number, one of many.

 

Punks in WWII

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Before you start thinking that this will be a blog about Punk bands like the Sex Pistols singing about WWII, you’d be wrong. In fact it has nothing to do with Punk music but more about Jazz.

I am referring to Punk as a rebellion against the establishment. During WWII there were 2 groups very similar in how they rebelled against the Nazi regime, the Swingjugend in Germany and the Zazou in France. Unlike the Punk movement in the 70’s, the Zazou and the Swingjugend could actually risk their lives or be sent to a concentration camp for their rebellion.

Swingjugend

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As the Nazi Party took power in Germany in 1933, a complete crackdown on all “subversive” elements took hold. Having dealt with his political opponents in the years prior to his rise to the chancellorship, Hitler intended to finish the job by eradicating all potential opposition.

But in the schools and out on the streets, a silent flame tingled. Teenagers were rejecting the strict militarism and code of behavior bestowed by the Nazi Party through its youth organizations―the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls

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This proved to be unsuccessful, because instead of embracing the Hitler Youth pastimes, city girls and boys crowded the swing dance joints.[2] This seemed to be the case particularly in the town of Hamburg, where the swing scene was huge.

The Swingjugend rejected the Nazi state, above all because of its ideology and uniformity, its militarism, the ‘Führer principle’ and the leveling Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community). They experienced a massive restriction of their personal freedom. They rebelled against all this with jazz and swing, which stood for a love of life, self-determination, non-conformism, freedom, independence, liberalism, and internationalism.

 

Though they were not an organized political-opposition organization, the whole culture of the Swing Kids evolved into a non-violent refusal of the civil order and culture of National Socialism.

From a paper of the National Youth Leader:

The members of the Swing youth oppose today’s Germany and its police, the Party and its policy, the Hitlerjugend, work and military service, and are opposed, or at least indifferent, to the ongoing war. They see the mechanisms of National Socialism as a “mass obligation”. The greatest adventure of all times leaves them indifferent; much to the contrary, they long for everything that is not German, but English.

From 1941, the violent repression by the Gestapo and the Hitlerjugend shaped the political spirit of the swing youth. Also, by police order, people under 21 were forbidden to go to dance bars, which encouraged the movement to seek its survival by going underground.

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The Swing Kids of Hamburg at some point had contacts with another famous resistance movement, when three members of the White Rose (German: Weiße Rose) developed a sympathy for the Swing Kids. No formal cooperation arose, though these contacts were later used by the Volksgerichtshof (“People’s Court”) to accuse some Swing Kids of anarchist propaganda and sabotage of the armed forces. The consequent trial, death sentences and executions were averted by the end of the war.

On 18 August 1941, in a brutal police operation, over 300 Swingjugend were arrested. The measures against them ranged from cutting their hair and sending them back to school under close monitoring, to the deportation of the leaders to concentration camps. The boys went to the Moringen concentration camp while the girls were sent to Ravensbruck.[10]

This mass arrest encouraged the youth to further their political consciousness and opposition to National Socialism. They started to distribute anti-fascist propaganda. In January 1943, Günter Discher, as one of the ringleaders of the Swing Kids, was deported to the youth concentration camp of Moringen.

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On 2 January 1942, Heinrich Himmler wrote to Reinhard Heydrich calling on him to clamp down on the ringleaders of the swing movement, recommending a few years in a concentration camp with beatings and forced labor:

The crackdown soon followed: clubs were raided, and participants were hauled off to camps.

Zazou

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In France a similar movement like Germany’s Swingjugend arose by the name Zazou.The zazous were a subculture in France during World War II. They were young people expressing their individuality by wearing big or garish clothing (similar to the zoot suit fashion in America a few years before).

On March 27 1942, France’s Vichy government issued the barbershop decree, demanding that barbers collect cut hair and donate it to the war effort to make slippers and sweaters. The rebellious Zazous refused and grew their hair long. The Zazous were directly inspired by jazz and swing music. A healthy black jazz scene had sprung up in Montmartre in the inter-war years. Their name  was inspired by a line in a song – Zah Zuh Zah – by Cab Calloway

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Vichy had started ‘Youth Worksites’ in July 1940, in what Zazous perceived as an attempt to indoctrinate French youth.  The Vichy regime was very concerned about the education, moral fibre and productivity of French youth. In 1940 a Ministry of Youth was established. They saw the Zazous as a rival and dangerous influence on youth.

In 1940, 78 anti-Zazou articles were published in the press, a further nine in 1941 and 38 in 1943.

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The Vichy papers deplored the moral turpitude and decadence that was affecting French morality. Zazous were seen as work-shy, egotistical and Judeo-Gaullist shirkers.

By 1942 the Vichy regime realised that the national revival that they hoped would be carried out by young people under their guidance was seriously affected by widespread rejection of the patriotism, work ethic, self-denial, asceticism and masculinity this called for.

Soon, round-ups began in bars and Zazous were beaten on the street. They became Enemy Number One of the fascist youth organisations, Jeunesse Populaire Française. “Scalp the Zazous!” became their slogan. Squads of young JPF fascists armed with hairclippers attacked Zazous. Many were arrested and sent to the countryside to work on the harvest.

At this point the Zazous went underground, holing up in their dance halls and basement clubs.

Though they did not suffer like their contemporaries in Germany, nevertheless, in a society of widespread complicity and acquiescence, their stand was courageous and trail-blazing.

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Sources

Queens of Vintage

Timelne

Libcom

Special thank you to Norman Stone who pointed me to the story of the Zazou.

A yellow star

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I wear a Yellow star so that people know who I am.

Why? Didn’t they know me before?

The kids in my neighborhood don’t have to wear a Yellow star.

Am I different?

And if so, how am I different?

I breathe the same air, I read the same books, I play with the same toys.

I even look the same.

My mother says it’s because I am Jewish and we are no longer considered human.

I am wearing a Yellow star

The star of David

David, who my friends also know because they have heard of him in  their Sunday school.

They love his story because he was a great King and warlord

Why then ,do they look to this Yellow star pf David as if it is a badge of shame.

I am Hanna Lehrer I was born in Munich,Germany but was killed in Riga,Latvia.

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