Getting married in Nazi Germany

The Nazi regime controlled every aspects of life in Germany, even who you married. In 1935 the Reich Committee for Public Health Service issued the guidelines for getting married.

It was published as ‘die zehn Gebote für die Gattenwahl’ the 10 commandments for choosing a spouse.

  1. Always remember that you are a German.

2. Be sure to marry if you are genetically healthy.

3. Ensure that you keep your body clean.

4. Keep your soul and spirit clean.

5. As a German, you should only take a spouse of German or Nordic blood.

6. When deciding on a spouse, investigate his or her ancestry.

7. Physical health is the prerequisite for outward beauty.

8. Marry only for love.

9. In relationships, do not seek a temporary plaything, look for a partner for marriage.

10. You should want as many children as possible.

These 10 commandments were published in women’s magazines like “NS-Frauen-Warte” but also in pamphlets distributed to all students graduating from a trade school under the Nazi regime.

So many got married because their “Führer” wished so, yet he only got married a few hours before he killed himself.

10

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Sources

Süddeutscher Zeitung

Bundesarciv

 

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May 10,1933- Book burning.

Book Burning

A scary thought crossed my mind this week. What some Social Media outlets are doing nowadays, is basically the digital version of book burning. Regardless how valuable a post might be, or even how inoffensive it is when the moderators don’t like it , it will get banned,or digitally burned so to speak.

On May 10,1933 German university students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of perceived “un-German” books, foreshadowing an era of state censorship and control of culture. On the evening of May 10, in the majority of German university towns, right-wing students marched in torchlight parades “against the un-German spirit.” The scripted rituals called for high Nazi officials, professors, university rectors, and university student leaders to address the participants and spectators.

may 10

The books ranged from Bebel, Bernstein, Preuss, and Rathenau through Einstein, Freud, Brecht, Brod, Döblin, Kaiser, the Mann brothers, Zweig, Plievier, Ossietzky, Remarque, Schnitzler, and Tucholsky, to Barlach, Bergengruen, Broch, Hoffmannsthal, Kästner, Kasack, Kesten, Kraus, Lasker-Schüler, Unruh, Werfel, Zuckmayer, and Hesse. The catalogue went back far enough to include literature from Heine and Marx to Kafka. But also books from H.G Wells,Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.

What amazes me most about this, these weren’t uneducated people doing this but students and lecturers, and other academics willingly participating in the destruction of scientific research and history.

books collected

These academics had become the moderators of what could or could not be read.

It is true history does repeat itself.

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Twelve Theses-When students encouraged the destruction of History.

twelve

One of the most effective weapons to fight antisemitism and racism is critical thinking. What scares me though, is that there seems to be less and less people who have this ability. Or maybe it is just a case that those who think critically are silenced.

This blog will be about a historical event , but I can’t ignore the fact that it has similarities to what is slowly creeping in today’s society. Often critical thinking gets confused with criticizing news reports or studies etc., but that is an incorrect assessment. Critical thinking is merely not accepting everything you hear automatically, but rather analyse the data and ask questions where needed.

One of the key ingredients for critical thinking is knowing history. There is currently a trend in  several countries, to take  history out of the school curriculum. However if you forget your history, you forfeit your future.

Books

In April 1933 German Student Association called for German university students to destroy all “un-German” literature. Basically they wanted to sanitize history to suit their own traditions and philosophies. According to them everything which was not in line with the Germanic ‘values’ ,and especially anything Jewish,was deemed tainted and had to be purged.

They published what they called “Zwölf Thesen wider den undeutschen Geist,-twelve Theses Against the Un-German Spirit”. The document was published in several German media. Below is an English translation of the text.

” Twelve Theses Against the un-German spirit!
1. Language and literature have their roots in the people. It is the German people’s responsibility to assure that its language and literature are the pure and unadulterated expression of its Folk traditions.

2. At present there is a chasm between literature and German tradition. This situation is a disgrace.

3. Purity of language and literature is your responsibility! Your people have entrusted you with the duty of faithfully preserving your language.

4. Our most dangerous enemy is the Jew and those who are his slaves.

5. A Jew can only think Jewish. If he writes in German, he is lying. The German who writes in German, but thinks un-German, is a traitor! The student who speaks and writes un-German is, in addition, thoughtless and has abandoned his duties.

6. We want to eradicate lies, we want to denounce treason, we want institutions of discipline and political education for us the students, not mindlessness.

7. We want to regard the Jew as alien and we want to respect the traditions of the Folk.

Therefore, we demand of the censor:
Jewish writings are to be published in Hebrew.
If they appear in German, they must be identified as translations.
Strongest actions against the abuse of the German script.
German script is only available to Germans.
The un-German spirit is to be eradicated from public libraries.
8. We demand of the German students the desire and capability for independent knowledge and decisions.

9. We demand of German students the desire and capability to maintain the purity of the German language.

10. We demand of German students the desire and capability to overcome Jewish intellectualism and the resulting liberal decay in the German spirit.

11. We demand the selection of students and professors in accordance with their reliability and commitment to the German spirit.

12. We demand that German universities be a stronghold of the German Folk tradition and a battleground reflecting the power of the German mind.

The German Student Association.”

Although these theses did not themselves expressly call for book burning, it is what triggered the book burnings across Germany and Austria in May 1933. This was only a few months after the Nazi party had taken power.

Frankfurt

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Sources

USHMM

Library Arizona

 

Hitler’s Irish sister in law.

brdie

Bridget Dowling born on July 3, 1891 in Dublin. She grew up at Flemings Place, near Mespil Road.  She was still in her teens when she met Adolf Hitler’s half brother Alois Hitler, Jr. at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS in 1909.

2019-03-12

Alois had pretended to be a wealthy hotelier who was touring Europe, but in fact he was a kitchen porter working in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, which he later admitted to. He had left Austria  for, Dublin, Ireland, in 1896, aged 14, because of the  increasingly violent arguments with his father and the strained relationship with his stepmother Klara.Adolf’s mother.

Bridget fell for Alois’s charms and after a number of months courting in Dublin,the couple eloped to London in 1910 . mainly due to her family’s disapproval of her relationship with Alois, ,  They married on 3 June 1910 and later settled in Toxteth, Liverpool. On the 12th of March 1911, the couple had a baby boy called William Patrick,or Paddy.

The Census of England and Wales from 1911 shows that all three were  residing in Liverpool at 102 Upper Stanhope Street. Alois is listed as “Anton,” and wrote down the German word “sohn” (son) in reference to Patrick William.Bridget’s name is crossed out on the form as Cissy Fowling, instead, she appears as “Cissie Hitler”

cissy

In 1914 Alois left his wife and son and went to Germany. After WWI he pretended he had died. He had remarried although he was still married to Bridget, thus committing bigamy and he was charged with bigamy by the German authorities in 1924, but escaped conviction because Bridget intervened and divorced him even though she was a devout Roman Catholic.

Bridget raised her son as a lone parent  She moved to Highgate, North London, and took in lodgers to pay the bills.

Her son had moved to Germany in the 1930s and tried to capitalize on the Hitler name, he even got help from his uncle Adolf who got him a job in a bank. But William “Paddy” Hitler soon became an embarrassment for Adolf Hitler, especially after William threatened to tell the press that Hitler’s alleged paternal grandfather was actually a Jewish merchant. William moved back to the UK and immigrated to the US in 1939, where he eventually joined the US Navy in 1944.

us navy

In 1939, Bridget joined her son on a tour of the United States where he was invited to lecture on his infamous uncle. She decided to stay with her son in the USA Bridget settled in Long Island, New York, changing her name to Stuart-Houston, as did her son.

in 1947 William married  the German born Phyllis Jean-Jacques,The couple had four sons: Alexander Adolf (born. 1949), Louis (born. 1951), Howard Ronald (born died 1957–1989), and Brian William (born. 1965).

Howard Ronald Stuart-Houston, was a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. He died in an a car crash on 14 September 1989,leaving behind no children.

Allegedly the other 3 sons of William made a  pact not to have children in order to end the Hitler bloodline, but Alexander denied there was an intentional pact to do so.

It is amazing to think that the Hitler bloodline is still continuing because of an Irish woman.

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Sources

Mail Online

Irish Central

Journal.ie

Independent.ie

 

 

 

 

Seducing the nation

kDF

It is easy to blame the German civilians for being complacent during World War II and especially the Holocaust, and to an extend this blame is understandable.

But I have my doubts if this complacency  would be different in any other country. After World War I Germany was engulfed in internal conflicts and even an internal revolution, which was basically a civil war.

civil war

After this political upheaval and social uncertainty followed by economical woes,partially caused by the repayments as laid out by the treaty of Versaille and partially caused by the great depression, the country was facing an uphill struggle. There was poverty,famine and a hyper inflation. Money was worth nothing,  people would sometimes use  paper money  to fire up the stove.

stove

It is not hard to understand that in those times it didn’t take much for people to follow a party who not only promised things but also delivered on those promises, at least temporarily . We now know of course that these promises eventually only served one reason, which was for the NSDAP to get to power.

These promises coupled with a well functioning propaganda machine proved to be a very powerful weapon.

In the early 1930s the Nazis started setting up programs like “Kraft durch Freude” Strength through Joy which was was a large state-operated leisure organization which worked in conjunction with the German Labour Front . The KdF provided affordable leisure activities such as concerts, plays, libraries, day trips and holidays. Large cruise ships, like the  Wilhelm Gustloff, were built specially deigned  for KdF cruises.

Ship

Beach resorts were also built, resorts like Prora , which facilitated beach holidays on a massive scale. An enormous building complex on the island of Rügen, located off the Pomeranian coast in the Baltic Sea. It was built between 1936 and 193 by the KdF as a beach resort to accommodate affordable beach holidays.

Prora

The Nazis promised that every family should have a family car. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche , the KdF cars were known as the People’s car or Volkswagen. Porsche developed the Type 12,  the concept f the or “Auto für Jedermann” (car for everybody) for Zündapp in 1931. On 26 May 1938, Hitler laid the cornerstone for the Volkswagen factory in Fallersleben.

VW

The Nazis made sure that everyone in the country would get a radio, the so called “Volksempfänger” or People’s receiver. Of course people were delighted with this. This bit of technology would connect them with the wider world, They did not realize then that this was also a toll for mass propaganda, a brainwash device for in the living room.

radio

The Nazi regime even attempted to provide families with their own airplanes, the so called Volksflugzeug (people’s airplane) was never fully implemented though.

plane

The keyword in many of these technologies was “Volk” or ‘People’. It created the illusion that the Nazis only had the best intentions for the People, There were People fridges and even People gas masks.

This combined with the creation of employment, a new found prosperity was created in Germany. This prosperity after the years of hardship and poverty worked nearly as a drug, and people believed what Hitler and his cronies told them, because for a while they did what they promised.

It was relatively easy to find a scapegoat to blame for the poverty they had endured, and to ensure this wouldn’t happen again and  people fell for it.

Of course their eyes should have been opened when they saw what was really happening to the Jews,disabled and other groups which the Nazis had deemed as subhuman, but at that stage so many were brainwashed and believed the lies they were fed, because life was good.

Sometimes when a politician keeps his promise is not necessarily a good thing.

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,

The Vegetarian Migrant Dictator

AH GERMAN

The title of this blog could be from any fictitious novel. A children’s book or even a fairy tale, but it actually describes a bizarre reality which caused so much destruction.

The story of Hitler’s naturalization process resembles something of a farce. On April 7 1925 he had given up his Austrian citizenship, it was only on February 1932 he received his German citizenship. This means for 7 years he had been stateless, technically had had been an illegal immigrant. At any stage in that period he could have been deported, however instead of deportation he managed to become the leader of one of the biggest political parties.

On 25 February 1932, Dietrich Klagges, who was the interior minister of Brunswick and  a member of the NSDAP, appointed Hitler as administrator for the state’s delegation to the Reichsrat in Berlin, making Hitler a citizen of Brunswick, and also of Germany.

In less then 3 weeks after receiving his German citizenship he ran against Hindenburg in the 1932 presidential elections, which was held in two rounds, March 15 and April 10 1932.

elections

Ir surprises me that none of the opposition parties questioned the legality of his candidature. I am not saying it was illegal but it strikes me at least odd that a man who had been an illegal immigrant 19 days before the election suddenly was able to run for the highest office in the country.

I am not going into his political career because too much of that has already been documented.

I will however go into the fact that he was a vegetarian, although he hadn’t been a vegetarian all his life but certainly by 1937/38 he followed a vegetarian diet, He also abstained from smoking and alcoholic beverages.

The fact he was vegetarian was used as a propaganda tool.In a contemporaneous pro-Nazi children’s magazine called “Die Weisse Fahne- Neugeist” (the white flag- new spirit)  a magazine which basically promoted something which is now called ‘mindfulness’ published the following article in one of its editions.

“Do you know that your Führer is a vegetarian, and that he does not eat meat because of his general attitude toward life and his love for the world of animals? Do you know that your Führer is an exemplary friend of animals, and even as a chancellor, he is not separated from the animals he has kept for years?…The Führer is an ardent opponent of any torture of animals, in particular vivisection, and has declared to terminate those conditions…thus fulfilling his role as the savior of animals, from continuous and nameless torments and pain.”

Bizarrely it links on of  the most evil men(if not the most evil) who ever lived to something as peaceful and supposedly serene as mindfulness.

 

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Funding Evil

hoesch

For the NSDAP to become as powerful as it did, it had to receive financial backing, They could not only rely on donations of party members, because in the early 1930s many of them were not that wealthy, one of the reasons they had joined the party was to get themselves in a financial better position.

On November 19, 1932 , twenty representatives of industry, agriculture and the finance sector signed a petition ,urging Paul von Hindenburg to make Adolf Hitler the Chancellor of Germany.

The drafting of the petition was aided especially by Hjalmar Schacht, who had been the President of the Reichsbank until 1930 and resumed that position again after Hitler took power in January 1933.

SCHACHT

A few months after that petition, on February 20 1933, a group of 20 German  industrialists had a secret meeting with Hitler at the residence of Hermann Göring.  Hjalmar Schacht was again one of the participants. The meeting was held to facilitate funding for the Nazis election campaign for the March 5 ,1933 election.

The aim was to  achieve a two-thirds majority in order  to pass the Enabling Act,which would give Hitler total power over the Reichstag,   they wanted to raise three million Reichsmark to fund the campaign.

The Nazis  did not achieve the 3 million they desired during that meeting, but according to records,  over two million Reichsmarks were contributed or pledged at the meeting.

This is where it gets a bit problematic for me although several of the companies present on that day or who contributed monies afterwards, are no longer in existence. Some of them were disbanded after the war, or others like Hoechst who were  bought up r merged into  by other companies, Hoechst for example was partially acquired by the Dutch Hoogovens in the 1970s and the remainder of the company merged with France’s Rhône-Poulenc S.A. in 1999.

But there were companies who are still trading nowadays and are some of the biggest brands in the world. Companies like Siemens,Opel,Allianz insurance,BMW or companies like Osram lighting  who contributed 40,000 Reichsmark and AEG Electronics who gave 60,000 Reichsmark.

These companies are now household names, my dilemma is do we need to boycott them? Which would mean we can no longer sit leave alone drive an Opel or BMW, and lets not forget VW and Ford had also links to the NSDAP.

IG Farben who not only contributed 400,000 Reichsmark but also supplied Zyklon B via its subsidiary Degesch.

zyklon

But a part of IG Farben continued trading after the war as Bayer, which is one of the biggest pharmaceutical and life sciences companies in the world, many patients depend on their medicines,

As for Hjalmar Schacht who so willingly  participated in the meeting and petition, he was one of the non military people involved in the 20 July plot to kill Hitler.

I genuinely struggle with this because it is not a black and white issue. Do we really boycott all the companies who had ties with the Nazi regime? Because that is basically a great deal of companies who have been around since before WWII.

Coca Cola(via Fanta); Hugo Boss;Mercedes Benz;C&A;IBM;Chanel,Audi;Nestle;Barclays Bank;Kodak;AP;Adidas and Puma. There are literally hundreds of companies.

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Hermine Santruschitz aka Miep Gies

Miep

The name Hermine Santruschitz will mean very little to most, however the name Miep Gies is a well known name, a name which would forever be linked to a teenage diarist called Anne Frank.

Miep Gies born  Hermine Santruschitz would have celebrated her 110th birthday today, she did not get that old but she still reached the age of 100.

She was born in Vienna on February 15,1909.Her parents Mathias and Genofeva (née Jakuschitz) Santruschitz sent her to Leiden in the Netherlands in 1920. Austria was stil suffering the consequences of World War 1, there were a lot of shortages including food.

The Netherlands had remained neutral during WWI and was reasonably affluent. Hermine was sent to The Nieuwenburg family, consisting of 2 parents and 5 children. The The Nieuwenburg family initially agreed to take Hermine in foster care for 6 months, but due to bad health this was extended to one year. In that time Hermine got very attached to the family and the decision was made for Hermine to remain with the family. They called her by the shortened version of her name Miep.

In 1922 Miep moved with her foster family to Amsterdam.Miep was a bright student and after  graduating high school she got a job as an accountant.

In 1933, Otto Frank had been appointed Managing Director of Opekta, a German company which had expanded into the Netherlands.

Jam

In need of a secretary the Dutch branch, headed by Otto Frank hired Miep in 1933.

In 1933 Miep gad also met Jan Gies but due the fact that Jan had to go into the Dutch Social Services, the couple didn’t meet socially again until 1936.

Jan and Miep became close friends yo the Frank family. Shortly after the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, Miep was urged to  to join a Nazi women’s group. But she refused to do so, because of this threatened with deportation back to Vienna. Jan and Miep decided to get married, this would secure Miep’s residence in the Netherlands. They got married  in Amsterdam on 16 July 1941, The Frank family was in attendance at the wedding.

Frank

Less than a year later the lives of both the Frank and the Gies family would change forever. All of them faced death , the Frank’s simply because they were Jewish, Miep en Jan Gies for helping the Frank , the Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer , hide.

The fate of all those hiding in that little secret annex in an office in Amsterdam is well documented

Miep died on January 11,2010 aged 100.

An unassuming, immigrant foster child who became an icon for heroism.

Happy Birthday Miep.

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Eva Braun as Al Jolson

Eva Jolson

Eva Braun is a bit of enigma. I do think that she was fully aware of what Hitler and his cronies were up to. She did first meet Hitler when she was still a teenager and would have been in awe of the man, but she did become his partner and later his wife, albeit for less then 40 hours, and there is no way she did not know what was happening as a result of the hatred Hitler had for the Jewish people.

However in 1937 a picture was taken of her imitating Al Jolson, the picture was found in an album by US troops, the text with the photograph said “Me as Al Jolson”. It is known that she had been a fan of the first feature length talkie movie,”the Jazz singer” starring Al Jolson.

Jazz

The creepy picture of Al Jolson is weird enough but taking in consideration that Al Jolson was Jewish and Jazz was seen as degenerate art, it is odd that Eva Braun would choose to imitate Asa Yoelson; aka Al Jolson.

Braun was a great Carnival enthusiast ,which  is the 3 days festival before the start of lent in the Christian calendar. During the festival people dress up in funny costumes. There is often a satirical underline to how the people dress up.

I presume that Eva Braun dressed up as Al Jolson for that reason Either way it is a further indication how weird the relationship was between her and Hitler.

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The Nobel price and the Third Reich.

nobel

Adolf Hitler often displayed toddler like behaviour. If he didn’t get his way or if someone did something he didn’t like, he would throw a tantrum.

In 1935 the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Carl von Ossietzky(pictured above). He was a German pacifist He was awarded the prize for something which happened before Hitler came to power.In 1931 Carl von Ossietzky was arrested because he  published details of Germany’s violation of the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding an air force, which was the predecessor of the Luftwaffe, and training pilots in the Soviet Union.

He was also a very vocal anti Nazi and was openly critical about Hitler and the Nazi regime.On 28 February 1933 he was sent to Spandau  prison for “protective custody” and later on he was transferred to the Esterwegen concentration camp.

esterwegen

When the Nobel foundation awarded the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize to Carl von Ossietzky, (although it was the 1935 Nobel peace prize it actually was awarded in 1936), Hitler was offended. His reaction was to issue a decree on 31 January 1937 which forbade German nationals to accept any Nobel Prize.

This resulted in Gerhard Domagk not getting the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Richard Kuhn not being able to get the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 and Adolf Butenandt not allowed to accept for the the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939.

In 1939 the Swedish Social Democrat and Anti Fascist Erik Gottfrid Christian Brandt nominated Hitler for the Nobel Peace Prize , in a ironic and sarcastic manner. The nomination was accepted.

Below is the text of his nomination.

“To the Norwegian Nobel Committee

I hereby humbly suggest that the Peace Prize for 1939 is awarded the German Chancellor and Führer Adolf Hitler, a man, who in the opinion of millions of people, is a man who more than anyone in the world has deserved this highly respected reward.

Authentic documents reveal that in September 1938 world peace was in great danger; it was only a matter of hours before a new European war could break out. The man who during this dangerous time saved our part of the world from this terrible catastrophe was without no doubt the great leader of the German people. In the critical moment he voluntarily did not let weapons speak although he had the power to start a world war.

By his glowing love for peace, earlier documented in his famous book Mein Kampf – next to the Bible perhaps the best and most popular piece of literature in the world – together with his peaceful achievement – the annexation of Austria – Adolf Hitler has avoided the use of force by freeing his countrymen in Sudetenland and making his fatherland big and powerful. Probably Hitler will, if unmolested and left in peace by war mongers, pacify Europe and possibly the whole world.

Sadly there still are a great number of people who fail to see the greatness in Adolf Hitler’s struggle for peace. Based on this fact I would not have found the time right to nominate Hitler as a candidate to the Nobel Peace Prize had it not been for a number of Swedish parliamentarians who have nominated another candidate, namely the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. This nomination seems to be poorly thought. Although it is true that Chamberlain through his generous understanding of Hitler’s struggle for pacification has contributed to the saving of world peace, the last decision was Hitler´s and not Chamberlains! Hitler and no one else is first and foremost to be thanked for the peace which still prevails in the greater part of Europe; and this man is also the hope for peace in the future. As Chamberlain obviously can claim his share of the peace making, he could possibly have a smaller part of the Peace Prize. But the most correct thing to do is not to put another name beside the name of Adolf Hitler and thereby throwing a shadow on him. Adolf Hitler is by all means the authentic God-given fighter for peace, and millions of people all over the world put their hopes in him as the Prince of Peace on earth.

Stockholm, January 27 1939”

Brandt withdrew his nomination in February 1939 because he hadn’t expected his nomination to be taken serious.

Imagine if he hadn’t withdrawn the nomination and Hitler had won(stranger things have happened), Then Hitler would have to break his own rule to accept his prize.

peace

Eventually no Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1939.

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Source

Nobelprize.org

Quartz