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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Foy Draper Olympic and WWII Hero

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The undisputed star of the 1936 Summer Olympics was Jesse Owens, but he was not the only athlete who won go;d medals.

Foy Draper was part of the gold medal relay team along with Jesse Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

(Jesse Owens (left), Ralph Metcalfe (second left), Foy Draper (second right) and Frank Wykoff (right), the USA 4×100 metres Relay Team)Jesse_Owens,_Ralph_Metcalfe,_Foy_Draper,_Frank_Wykoff_1936

The U.S. team of Draper, Frank Wykoff, Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman were considered a strong favorite in the 400 meter relay but the team was shaken up the night before the race.

In one of the most shameful incidents in sports history, Stoller and Glickman, the only  Jewish-Americans on the U.S. team, were replaced by Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. There are several theories on why that happened, but one was that U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Avery Brundage wanted to avoid giving offense to Hitler. As so often before and after, sports wasn’t always about sportsmanship but more about politics

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Draper and the others did their best to offend Hitler anyway. Despite their lack of practice together, the Americans blew away the competition.

Owens led off and gave the Americans a slight lead. Metcalfe built upon it and Draper held off a surge by the Italians to give Wykoff a perfect flying start. The Americans won by 15 meters in world record time of 39.8 seconds.0647f711a0db61cf617dd2ee8ff03724

During World War II, he served as a pilot on a twin engine A-20B Havoc in Thelepte, Tunisia.

Capt Draper

On January 4, 1943, he and two crew members took off to fly to Fonduck, Tunisia, to take part in the Battle of Kassarine Pass, but the three men never returned. Although his date of death is listed as January 4, 1943, it is usually given as February 1, 1943. His memory is honoured at the North African American (ABMC) Cemetery and Memorial in Tunis, Tunisia.

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Kamikaze

Mitsubishi_Ki15-Kamikaze

I know what you are thinking “Yet another blog about Japanese suicide bombers” but you’d be wrong.

This Japanese kamikaze did not attack anywhere in the pacific but it flew to London instead.

The Ki-15 aircraft air_ki15_1was originally designed to meet a 1935 Army Air Force requirement. The prototype first took flight in May 1936, and was quickly accepted as the Japanese Army Type 97 Command Reconnaissance Plane Model 1. Production for the first order of 437 aircraft began in May 1937. They were single-engine monoplanes with fixed tail wheelundercarriages.

Kamikaze ( Kamikaze-gō) was a Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane aircraft, sponsored by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

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It became famous on April 9, 1937, as the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly from Japan to Europe. The flight from Tokyo to London took 51 hours, 17 minutes and 23 seconds and was piloted by Masaaki Iinuma (1912–1941), with Kenji Tsukagoshi (1900–1943) serving as navigator.

Pilot and Navigator

 

 

The Kamikaze-go took off from Tachikawa Airfield in Tokyo at 2:12:04 pm on April 6, 1937, with much fanfare. The aircraft flew from Tokyo via Taipei to Hanoi and Vientiane in French Indochina, then via Calcutta and Karachi in British India and Basra and Baghdad in Iraq, and then Athens, Rome and Paris in Europe.

The aircraft landed at London’s Croydon airport to a cheering crowd of spectators at 3:30 pm on April 9. The total elapsed time since departure was 94 hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds, with actual flight time for the whole distance of 15,357 km of was 51 hours, 19 minutes and 23 seconds (average speed: 162,8 km/h or 101 MPH). The flight was the first Fédération Aéronautique Internationale aviation record to have been won by the Japanese.

This flight to Europe made the pilot, Masaaki Iinuma (then 26 years old), a national hero, and he was acclaimed as the “Japanese Lindbergh”. Both the pilot and navigator Kenji Tsukagoshi were awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government.

On April 12, only a few days after the record-breaking flight, the Kamikaze-go carried Prince and Princess Chichibu, who were visiting England for the coronation, on a joy ride.

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A month later, on May 12, it was used to film the coronation ceremonies from the air. The Kamikaze-go was then flown back to Japan, duplicating its original route in the opposite direction, departing London May 14 and arriving in Osaka on May 20, and Haneda airport in Tokyo on May 21.

Kamikaze ‘s pilot, Masaaki Iinuma, later served as chief test pilot for the Kayaba Ka-1 autogyro from May 1941. He was later killed in action in the Pacific War in December 1941 near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He was 29 years old. In 1943, Kamikaze ‘s former navigator, Tsukagoshi, set off from Singapore for Germany in the prototype Tachikawa Ki-77, but disappeared over the Indian Ocean.

After its return to Japan, the Kamikaze-go continued to work actively in a variety of capacities for the Asahi Shimbun. However, on a flight back from the south of China it encountered bad weather and had to be ditched in southern Taiwan. It was later recovered and put on display at a “Kamikaze Memorial Center” on Ikoma, Nara Prefecture. The facilities were destroyed in World War II.

To commemorate the 1937 flight of the aircraft, Asahi Shimbun produced sake bottles and cups which were made available with the image of this aircraft on it.

kamikaze.

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Violet Gibson,would be assassin-The Irish woman who nearly killed Mussolini

Mugshot Violet Gibson

This is one of those ‘What if’ stories, a different result would have made a massive impact on world’s history.

Gibson was born in Dublin, Ireland, on August 31 1876. Her father was an Irish lawyer and politician, Edward Gibson, who was created Baron Ashbourne in 1886.

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Her mother, Frances, was a Christian Scientist. Violet grew up in well-heeled Merrion Square. Her early life was one of privilege and society events as part of a large Anglo-Irish family dividing their time between Dublin and London. At 18, Violet was a debutante in the court of Queen Victoria.

In 1913, Violet moved to Paris, working for pacifist organisations. She contracted Paget’s disease; a mastectomy left a nine-inch scar on her chest. She returned to England, where botched surgery for appendicitis resulted in lifelong chronic abdominal pain.

In 1922, she suffered a nervous breakdown, was declared insane and committed to a mental institution. Two years later, accompanied by a nurse called Mary McGrath, Violet was released and traveled to Rome, where she lived in a convent. She had developed a religious mania  convinced of a divinely inspired mission to kill.

On 7 April 1926, Violet Gibson shot Mussolini, Italy’s Fascist leader, as he walked among the crowd in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome after leaving an assembly of the International Congress of Surgeons, to whom he had delivered a speech on the wonders of modern medicine. Gibson had armed herself with a rock to break Mussolini’s car window (not needed), and a Modèle 1892 revolver hidden in a black shawl.

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She fired once, but Mussolini moved his head at that moment and the shot hit his nose; she tried again, but the gun misfired.[She was almost lynched on the spot by an angry mob, but police intervened and took her off for questioning. Mussolini was wounded only slightly, dismissing his injury as “a mere trifle”, and after his nose was bandaged he continued his parade on the Capitoline.Wounded Mussolini

 

Violet was captured and beaten by a mob; the police smuggled her away before she was killed. Under interrogation, she claimed to have shot Mussolini “to glorify God” who had kindly sent an angel to keep her arm steady.

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At the time of the assassination attempt she was almost fifty years old and did not explain her reasons for trying to assassinate Mussolini. It has been theorised that Gibson was insane at the time of the attack and the idea of assassinating Mussolini was hers and that she worked alone. She was later deported to Britain after being released without charge at the request of Mussolini.

Her family wrote, apologising, to the Italian government. She was declared a “chronic paranoiac” and returned to England and St Andrew’s Hospital. Violet died on May 2, 1956. Sadly, there were no mourners.dsc_0221_nef_embedded-resized

What if she would have been successful? It is strange to see the’softer’ side of Mussolini, he could have easily made sure she’d get a death sentence.

By sad coincidence, Gibson would share her last years at St Andrew’s with another notable patient of Irish origin, Lucia Joyce. That was the culmination of an even more torturous family tragedy, one begun in 1930 when, romantically rejected by Samuel Beckett, James Joyce’s daughter had first shown signs of mental illness.

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The Gemlich letter-Hitler’s first letter of hate.

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Dated 16 September 1919, the ‘Gemlich letter’ is the first known written statement of Hitler’s Antisemitism.

It a letter written by Adolf Hitler at the behest of Karl Mayr to Adolf Gemlich, a German army soldier. The letter, written in 1919 in response to a request for clarification on the Jewish question.

(Karl Mayr in uniform seen to the left of Minister of Defence Gustav Norske at the Continental Hotel in Munich)mayr_main

Written on a German army typewriter, Hitler’s letter has long been known to scholars. It is considered significant because it demonstrates how early he was forming his anti-Semitic views.

Hitler, who had been wounded during the First World War, returned to Munich in September 1919 to an army Intelligence and propaganda unit of the Reichswehr which was run by Captain Karl Mayr who assigned him to write a response to Adolf Gemlich’s question on the army’s position on the Jewish Question. Hitler’s response, dated 16 September 1919, was either written by him or dictated by him and subsequently typed by another.Two copies of the letter are thought to exist. One in the Bavarian state archives in Munich which is typewritten but unsigned, and the second at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also typewritten but signed by Hitler.

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The second version, now believed to be the original, was discovered in a Nuremberg archive by a William F Ziegler, who brought it to the United States where it ended up in a private collection. In 1990, Charles Hamilton, the handwriting expert, authenticated the signature on the letter and, in 2011 it was purchased by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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Below is the English translation of the letter. I refer to it in the title as his first letter of hate, I am sure he will have written more hateful letters but this would be the first in a wider political context.

16 September 1919

“Dear Herr Gemlich,

The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people. The cause of this aversion is not to be found in a clear recognition of the consciously or unconsciously systematic and pernicious effect of the Jews as a totality upon our nation. Rather, it arises mostly from personal contact and from the personal impression which the individual Jew leaves­­ almost always an unfavorable one. For this reason, antisemitism is too easily characterized as a mere emotional phenomenon. And yet this is incorrect. Antisemitism as a political movement may not and cannot be defined by emotional impulses, but by recognition of the facts. The facts are these: First, Jewry is absolutely a race and not a religious association. Even the Jews never designate themselves as Jewish Germans, Jewish Poles, or Jewish Americans but always as German, Polish, or American Jews. Jews have never yet adopted much more than the language of the foreign nations among whom they live. A German who is forced to make use of the French language in France, Italian in Italy, Chinese in China does not thereby become a Frenchman, Italian, or Chinaman. It’s the same with the Jew who lives among us and is forced to make use of the German language. He does not thereby become a German. Neither does the Mosaic faith, so important for the survival of this race, settle the question of whether someone is a Jew or non­ Jew. There is scarcely a race whose members belong exclusively to just one definite religion.

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Through thousands of years of the closest kind of inbreeding, Jews in general have maintained their race and their peculiarities far more distinctly than many of the peoples among whom they have lived. And thus comes the fact that there lives amongst us a non­ German, alien race which neither wishes nor is able to sacrifice its racial character or to deny its feeling, thinking, and striving. Nevertheless, it possesses all the political rights we do. If the ethos of the Jews is revealed in the purely material realm, it is even clearer in their thinking and striving. Their dance around the golden calf is becoming a merciless struggle for all those possessions we prize most highly on earth.

 

The value of the individual is no longer decided by his character or by the significance of his achievements for the totality but exclusively by the size of his fortune, by his money.

The loftiness of a nation is no longer to be measured by the sum of its moral and spiritual powers, but rather by the wealth of its material possessions.

This thinking and striving after money and power, and the feelings that go along with it, serve the purposes of the Jew who is unscrupulous in the choice of methods and pitiless in their employment. In autocratically ruled states he whines for the favor of “His Majesty” and misuses it like a leech fastened upon the nations. In democracies he vies for the favor of the masses, cringes before the “majesty of the people,” and recognizes only the majesty of money.

He destroys the character of princes with byzantine flattery, national pride (the strength of a people), with ridicule and shameless breeding to depravity. His method of battle is that public opinion which is never expressed in the press but which is nonetheless managed and falsified by it. His power is the power of money, which multiplies in his hands effortlessly and endlessly through interest, and which forces peoples under the most dangerous of yokes. Its golden glitter, so attractive in the beginning, conceals the ultimately tragic consequences. Everything men strive after as a higher goal, be it religion, socialism, democracy, is to the Jew only means to an end, the way to satisfy his lust for gold and domination.

In his effects and consequences he is like a racial tuberculosis of the nations.

The deduction from all this is the following: an antisemitism based on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of the pogrom.[1] An antisemitism based on reason, however, must lead to systematic legal combating and elimination of the privileges of the Jews, that which distinguishes the Jews from the other aliens who live among us (an Aliens Law). The ultimate objective [of such legislation] must, however, be the irrevocable removal of the Jews in general.

For both these ends a government of national strength, not of national weakness, is necessary.

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The Republic in Germany owes its birth not to the uniform national will of our people but the sly exploitation of a series of circumstances which found general expression in a deep, universal dissatisfaction. These circumstances however were independent of the form of the state and are still operative today. Indeed, more so now than before. Thus, a great portion of our people recognizes that a changed state­form cannot in itself change our situation. For that it will take a rebirth of the moral and spiritual powers of the nation.

And this rebirth cannot be initiated by a state leadership of irresponsible majorities, influenced by certain party dogmas, an irresponsible press, or internationalist phrases and slogans. [It requires] instead the ruthless installation of nationally minded leadership personalities with an inner sense of responsibility.

But these facts deny to the Republic the essential inner support of the nation’s spiritual forces. And thus today’s state leaders are compelled to seek support among those who draw the exclusive benefits of the new formation of German conditions, and who for this reason were the driving force behind the revolution­­the Jews. Even though (as various statements of the leading personalities reveal) today’s leaders fully realized the danger of Jewry, they (seeking their own advantage) accepted the readily proffered support of the Jews and also returned the favor. And this pay­off consisted not only in every possible favoring of Jewry, but above all in the hindrance of the struggle of the betrayed people against its defrauders, that is in the repression of the antisemitic movement.

Respectfully,

Adolf Hitler.”

The aforementioned Karl Mayr did not fare well under Hitler’s regime. Mayr in 1921 was a Nazi Party supporter, but later became a critic. In 1925 he joined the SPD. Subsequently he was the leader of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, an SPD paramilitary force.

Verfassungsfeier, Hörsing vor dem Berliner Schloss

In the early 1930s, Mayr collected among other things, information on Georg Bell, an associate of Ernst Röhm, and other material against the Nazi Party, which he leaked in the Social Democratic press. After 1933, Karl Mayr emigrated to France. After the German invasion of France in 1940, he was arrested in Paris by the Gestapo. Mayr was taken back to Germany and was incarcerated in Sachsenhausen concentration camp until 1943, when he was transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp and forced to work at the Gustloff ammunition plant, where on 9 February 1945 he was killed.

Gustloffwerke

 

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Richard Strauss-Nazi collaborator or victim of circumstance.

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For people who don’t know classical music the name Richard Strauss, but for music and movie fans they know the music of the man. His composition “Also Sprach Zarathustra” made famous by the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”

In the early 1930s, Strauss did not join the Nazi party. For reasons of expediency, however, he initially cooperated with the early Nazi regime in the hope that it would promote German art and culture. Much of Strauss’s motivation in his conduct during the Third Reich was, however, to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren from persecution. Strauss used his considerable influence to prevent them from being sent to concentration camps.

In 1933, Strauss wrote in his private notebook:

I consider the Streicher-Goebbels Jew-baiting as a disgrace to German honour, as evidence of incompetence—the basest weapon of untalented, lazy mediocrity against a higher intelligence and greater talent.

Strauss privately criticized Goebbels and called him “a pipsqueak”. But, in 1933 he dedicated a composition, “Das Bächlein” (“The Little Brook”), to Goebbels, in order to gain Goebbels’s aid in extending German music copyright laws from 30 years to 50 years.

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Strauss defied Nazi bans on performances of works byMendelssohn. Debussy and Mahler.He also continued to work on a comic opera, Die schweigsame Frau, with his Jewish friend and librettist Stefan Zweig. When the opera was premiered in Dresden in 1935, Strauss demanded that Zweig’s name would appear on the theater billing, much to the ire of the Nazi regime. Hitler and Goebbels avoided attending the opera,  it was stopped after 3 performances and subsequently banned by the Nazi regime.

On 17 June 1935, Strauss wrote a letter to Stefan Zweig, in which he stated:

“Do you believe I am ever, in any of my actions, guided by the thought that I am ‘German’? Do you suppose Mozart was consciously ‘Aryan’ when he composed? I recognise only two types of people: those who have talent and those who have none”

This letter to Zweig was intercepted by the Gestapo and forwarded to Adolf Hitler. Richard Strauss was subsequently fired from his post as Reich Music Chamber president in 1935. The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics however still used Strauss’s Olympische Hymne composed by Strauss in 1934.

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Much of Strauss’s motivation in dealing with the Nazi regime was, however, to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law Alice and his Jewish grandchildren from persecution. Both of his grandsons were bullied at school, but Strauss used his considerable influence to avoid his grandsons and daughter in law being sent to concentration camps.

In 1942, Strauss moved with his family back to Vienna, where Alice and her children could be protected by Baldur von Schirach, the Gauleiter of Vienna, he had been an admirer of Strauss.

Although Alice and her sons survived the war, members of Alice’s immediate family were deported to Terezín in what is now the Czech Republic, and when Strauss’ letters begging for their release fell on deaf ears the composer personally drove to the camp in an attempt to use his influence to get them released. It was futile: not a single one escaped the Nazi concentration camp alive.

I believe he was a victim of circumstances, in order to protect his family and his art he had to sometimes ally himself with the Nazi regime.

Richard Strauss died on 8 September 1949, absolved of any Nazi affiliations.

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Adolf Hitler-My Fair Lady

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I know that may of you will be scratching your head thinking”Where is he going with this?” when you look at the title.

But please bear with me.

Last night I was watching a documentary about the early days of the Nazi party and mainly about the relationship between Dietrich Eckart and Adolf Hitler.

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Eckart who had been a play writer prior to WWI and had far right political views and was a fervent anti-Semite.After World War I, Eckart edited the antisemitic periodical Auf gut Deutsch (“In plain German”).

Auf gut Deutsch

In 1919 he founded with Hermann Esser, Gottfried Feder and Karl Harrer,  the German Workers Party.

Harrer was appointed Chairman but Eckart knew they needed a front man to lead the party.A worker who knew how to talk,who did’t need much brains and was preferably a bachelor so they also could attract women to the party. In fact the term Eckart used was ‘Messiah’ he stated that Germany needed a new ‘Messiah’.

He met this man on September 12 1919, Adolf Hitler, Hitler who had been part of a team of agents and informants hired Karl Mayr,00mayr head of the Education and Propaganda Department.Mayr worked closely with Ernst Röhm, the Chief of Staff of Colonel Franz Epp, the leader of the Freikorps in Munich. Ernst Röhm, suggested that Adolf Hitler should be recruited as an informer.

Hitler  was sent  to spy on the German Workers Party who were meeting in a Munich Beer Hall.

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Rather then spying on Eckart and his friends,Hitler liked what he heard and got up on a table and started a speech.

When Eckart heard the speech he  was convinced he found the man they needed. He took Hitler to meetings and fund raising events. He bought a suit for Hitler and a trench coat. Hitler wasn’t very sophisticated, He would sometimes ramble on about his own ideas during fund raising events, his eating habits were appalling and he would often talk with his mouth full. Eckart decided to become his mentor.

This where my idea of the comparison to “My Fair Lady” arose from, The musical is based on a play by the Dublin born George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion. The plot line of the play and musical is.

“Professor Henry Higgins is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society”

Hitler eventually became the leader of the party with the new name NSDAP (The National Socialist German Workers’ Party -German: Nationa lsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).

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I know this blog is probably a bit unusual but I do think it is important to show frauds and charlatans for what they really are. There was nothing original about Adolf Hitler.

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D.O.O.D- De Olympiade Onder Dictatuur- The Olympics under dictatorship

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As part of the Nazis’ plan to make the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin a showcase of their ideological and racial superiority, Josef Goebbels, the regime’s propaganda chief, excluded Jews, leftists and purveyors of “degenerate” art from an Art Olympiad organized to coincide with the games.

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In response, a group of Dutch artists and intellectuals challenged the Nazis by calling for a boycott of the event, which had accompanied the summer Olympic games since 1912 and in which painters, architects, writers and musicians were also awarded medals for excellence.

The Dutch group organized a counter exhibition in Amsterdam, “The Olympics Under Dictatorship,”  or D.O.O.D (Dood is Dutch for Death or Dead)which brought together 300 works by 150 artists from half a dozen countries. The show also included documentation, cartoons, photographs and drawings illustrating Nazi repression and manipulation of education, science, theater, literature, film and music.

The organizers of the exhibition invited artists from the Netherlands and neigkboring countries as well as many German artists who had already fled the Nazi regime to contribute works. Among foreign exhibitors were Max Ernst, Jacques Lipchitz, Marcel Gromaire, Georges Vantongerloo, Fernand Legep, Ossip Zadkine and Lucien Pissarro, although many artists were less well known.

Manson-Lucien-Pissaro-Reading

With the notable exception of drawings and cartoons in the documentation section of the show, many works were not explicitly political, like Robert Capa’s photographs of Holy Week celebrations in Seville and a landscape by Pissarro, although the artists were making a political statement simply by participating in the 1936 exhibition.

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Among  the works , some directly attack the Nazis or denounce police repression and torture, while a good many mirror the anxiety felt by artists about Europe’s deepening nightmare. “The Hordes,” by Ernst, for instance, shows frightened brown figures against a pale blue background. “The 20th Century,” a painting by Christopher Nevinson, a British artist, portrays Rodin’s “Thinker” surrounded by bayonets, warplanes, cannons and burning buildings.

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Nola Hatterman’s “Friends,” a drawing of two men, one white, one black, looks uncontroversial today, but in 1936 it was a clear protest against racism.

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Similarly, Peter Alma’s two oils, “Leftist Front” and “Solidarity Between Workers and Peasants,” underline the ideological dimension of the social struggle in prewar Europe

The German Consul to the Netherlands. Herr A.E. Jung went to visit the exhibition in the Geelvinck 530. in disguise0

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The day after his visit he wrote a letter to the Mayor of Amsterdam, complaining about the undignified manner Germany was portrayed and that some of the images were very insulting to Adolf Hitler.

He urged the Mayor to take the necessary actions to stop the exhibition. However the city lawyers concluded that no laws were broken.

Herr Jung also complained to the minister of Justice,Josef van Schaik. 01184gThe minister then contacted the Mayor of Amsterdam to conduct further investigations. It was suggested that applying some pressure on the organizers of the event could possibly limit the diplomatic damage.

The Dutch authorities insisted on the removal of 19 works of art from the 1936 show on the ground that they were insulting to Hitler. Further, when the show later traveled to Rotterdam, it was closed by the Dutch police after only a few days.

 

Thanks to Julie Blaugher for mentioning the event to me.

 

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Killing Humans is okay, but don’t boil a lobster-Nazi animal welfare.

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Although I am for animal laws but comparisons by organisations like PETA of the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust are absolutely disgusting , and should be in my opinion be treated the same as Holocaust denial.

Animal rights laws also illustrated how warped the Nazi ideology truly was. The life od a lobster was more valuable then the life of a Jew, Roma,Sinti, Homosexual.Jehovah Witness  or a person with a disability.

In 1931, the Nazi Party (then a minority in the Reichstag) proposed a ban on vivisection, but the ban failed to attract bipartisan support. By 1933, after Hitler had ascended to the Chancellery and the Nazis had consolidated control of the Reichstag, the Nazis immediately held a meeting to enact the ban on vivisection. On April 21, 1933, almost immediately after the Nazis came to power, the parliament began to pass laws for the regulation of animal slaughter.On April 21, a law was passed concerning the slaughter of animals; no animals were to be slaughtered without anesthetic.

On April 24, Order of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior was enacted regarding the slaughter of poikilotherms.

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Germany was the first nation to ban vivisection. A law imposing total ban on vivisection was enacted on August 16, 1933, by Hermann Göring as the prime minister of Prussia.He announced an end to the “unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments” and said that those who “still think they can continue to treat animals as inanimate property” will be sent to concentration camps.On August 28, 1933, Göring announced in a radio broadcast:

An absolute and permanent ban on vivisection is not only a necessary law to protect animals and to show sympathy with their pain, but it is also a law for humanity itself…. I have therefore announced the immediate prohibition of vivisection and have made the practice a punishable offense in Prussia. Until such time as punishment is pronounced the culprit shall be lodged in a concentration camp.

Göring also banned commercial animal trapping and imposed severe restrictions on hunting. He prohibited boiling of lobsters and crabs. In one incident, he sent a fisherman to a concentration camp for cutting up a bait frog.

On November 24, 1933, Nazi Germany enacted another law called Reichstierschutzgesetz (Reich Animal Protection Act), for protection of animals.This law listed many prohibitions against the use of animals, including their use for filmmaking and other public events causing pain or damage to health, feeding fowls forcefully and tearing out the thighs of living frogs. The two principals (Ministerialräte) of the German Ministry of the Interior, Clemens Giese and Waldemar Kahler, who were responsible for drafting the legislative text,wrote in their juridical comment from 1939, that by the law the animal was to be “protected for itself” (“um seiner selbst willen geschützt”), and made “an object of protection going far beyond the hitherto existing law”

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On February 23, 1934, a decree was enacted by the Prussian Ministry of Commerce and Employment which introduced education on animal protection laws at primary, secondary and college levels.On 3 July 1934, a law Das Reichsjagdgesetz (The Reich Hunting Law) was enacted which limited hunting. The act also created the German Hunting Society with a mission educate the hunting community in ethical hunting. On July 1, 1935, another law Reichsnaturschutzgesetz (Reich Nature Conservation Act) was passed to protect nature.According to an article published in Kaltio, one of the main Finnish cultural magazines, Nazi Germany was the first in the world to place the wolf under protection.

In 1934, Nazi Germany hosted an international conference on animal welfare in Berlin.On March 27, 1936, an order on the slaughter of living fish and other poikilotherms was enacted. On March 18 the same year, an order was passed on afforestation and on protection of animals in the wild. On September 9, 1937, a decree was published by the Ministry of the Interior which specified guidelines for the transportation of animals. In 1938, the Nazis introduced animal protection as a subject to be taught in public schools and universities in Germany.

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Kaiser Wilhelm II- Political asylum in the Netherlands

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On 23 January 1920, the government of the Netherlands refused to extradite the former Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II. His aggressive foreign policy and support for Austro-Hungary in 1914 led to the first world war. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, he was charged with “a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties” and the allies demanded his extradition. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands refused and granted him political asylum.

A request to the Dutch government for Wilhelms’ surrender had been made necessary by his flight; on 10 November 1918 the – soon former– Kaiser had crossed the Dutch borders.

By early November 1918, things were looking dismal for the Central Powers on all fronts of the Great War. The kaiser was at German army headquarters in the Belgian resort town of Spa when news reached him, in quick succession, of labor unrest in Berlin, a mutiny within the Imperial Navy and what looked like the beginnings of full-fledged revolution in Germany.

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From every direction, it seemed, came calls for peace, reform and the removal of the kaiser. Wilhelm II was told that the German General Staff would make a unified, orderly march home to Germany when the war ended, but it would not defend him against his internal opponents.

Faced with this lack of support, the kaiser agreed to abdicate his throne on November 9, 1918. Shortly after that, Wilhelm, the last of the powerful Hohenzollern monarchs, traveled from Spa to the Netherlands , never to return to German soil.

In January 1920, Wilhelm headed the list of so-called war criminals put together by the Allies and made public after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

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In the Versailles Treaty, the Allied Powers stated that the Kaiser should be prosecuted for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties. What did they mean, and where did this formula come from?
The Preliminary Peace Conference decided at its plenary session of 25 January 1919 to create, for the purpose of inquiring into the responsibilities relating to the war, a Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties (hereafter Commission on Responsibility), composed of fifteen members.6 It was charged to inquire into and report upon the following points:

  1. the responsibility of the authors of the war;
  2. the facts as to breaches of the laws and customs of war committed by the forces of the German Empire and their Allies, on land, on sea, and in the air during the present war;
  3. the degree of responsibility for these offences attaching to particular members of the enemy forces, including members of the General Staffs and other individuals, however highly placed;
  4. the constitution and procedure of a tribunal appropriate for the trial of these offences;
  5. any other matters cognate or ancillary to the above which may arise in the course of the enquiry, and which the Commission finds useful and relevant to take into consideration.

The Netherlands,which had remained neutral during WWI, under the young, strong-willed Queen Wilhelmina, refused to extradite him for prosecution and Wilhelm remained in the Netherlands, where he settled in the municipality of Doorn.

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Personal tragedy struck when his son, Joachim, committed suicide later in 1920. Augusta, his wife and the mother of his seven children, died barely a year later. In 1922, Wilhelm remarried and published his memoirs, proclaiming his innocence in the promotion of the Great War.

Unlike Wilhelmina and the rest of the Dutch royal family, Wilhelm turned down Winston Churchill’s offer of asylum in Britain in 1940, as Hitler’s armies pushed through Holland, choosing instead to live under German occupation. He died the following year.

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