Propaganda via Radio

The Nazis knew how to use the radio in a very effective way to relay their message of hate. It was the perfect tool for propaganda.

The Volksempfänger ( “people’s receiver”) was a range of radio receivers developed by engineer Otto Griessing at the request of Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda of the Nazi regime. In the 1930s, everyone wanted a radio. The still-new invention brought news, music, dramas, and comedy right into the home. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saw its potential to transmit Nazi messages into the daily lives of Germans.

The original Volksempfänger VE301 model was presented on August 18, 1933, at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The VE301 was available at a readily affordable price of 76 German Reichsmarks (equivalent to two weeks’ average salary), and a cheaper 35 Reichsmark model, which even could be paid off in instalments.

The radio didn’t only play an important part for the Nazis in Germany but also in the countries they occupied. In the Netherlands the Nazis used the radio to teach the Dutch German.

On Sunday 5 October 1941 Dutch listeners were getting ready, with the aide of a textbook for their first German lesson, broadcast on a Dutch radio station from the city of Hilversum. Alfred Rügner began by telling his audience a little something about German pronunciation.

However this wasn’t just an ordinary German lesson: this was about teaching National Socialist German. The following the course learned military terms, translated the Nazi slogan-of-the-week and words written by Hitler . The lessons in the book were full of anti-semitic illustrations and drawings of soldiers and members of the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party).

As the war progressed, the Germans interfered with Dutch radio programming more and more. By mid-1941, all of the Dutch stations were incorporated into one Rijksradio (State-controlled) broadcaster. From then on, the propaganda transmitted via the radio simply continued to increase.

Foreign broadcasts like the BBC and Radio Orange from the Dutch Government (in exile in London) were very popular with the Dutch people. The Germans were trying to stop the broadcasts any way they could, by forbidding to listen or by trying to jam. These measures were not effective enough, the final measure was the confiscation of all radios on 13 May 1943. Because the registration this measure was very effective. Of course, many tried to find ways to keep listening to Radio Orange. Many Dutch listened with their hidden radios to the Dutch broadcasts of “Radio Orange” from England. The BBC was also very popular.
With “wire-broadcasting” the Nazis could control the programs which were passed on. Wire-broadcasting (in Dutch “Draadomroep” or “Radio-distribute”) was the only radio which was allowed.

It was a system of sound broadcasting in which, unlike radio broadcasting, the sound (speech and music) is transmitted to a large number of listeners (subscribers) by means of electrical oscillations over a wired network—either an independent broadcasting network or a telephone network. There are both single-program and multiple-program types of wired broadcasting.

During the last months of the war the Dutch could listen to “Radio Herrijzend Netherlands” from the liberated parts of the country. After the liberation of south of the Netherlands, Philips secretly built radio channel “Herrijzen Nederland” to air Dutch programs.

The Nazis relied on Dutch collaborators to spread their propaganda via the radio.People like Max Blokzijl, who had a Jewish GrandmotHer.

He had settled in Berlin in 1918, working for the German press until 1940, while also serving as President of the Niederländischer Bund in Deutschland.

Although based outside the Netherlands, Blokzijl, who had become a convinced Nazi, joined the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) in 1935.He returned to his homeland following the German invasion and became the propaganda chief for the new NSB puppet regime. In February 1941, the NSB forcibly replaced Hendrikus Colijn as editor of the Protestant newspaper De Standaard with Blokzijl, who held the title of General Secretary for Press Affairs for the party.In fact Blokzijl’s role was much greater than his title implied as he was actually effective head of the press in the Netherlands. He also broadcast pro-Nazi shows on Radio Hilversum.

On 16 March 1946 Blokzijl was the first Dutch collaborator to be executed.

sources

https://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0910/bhw/bhw1.html

https://nltimes.nl/2015/03/24/illegal-underground-wwii-radios-go-display

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2019.1652581

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Being taught to hate.

Education is the key to a better world and to end ignorance and racism. However if education does not include an element of critical thinking, it is open to abuse and it can be used to indoctrinate young impressionable minds, or any impressionable mind really.

This blog will refer to the education in the Third Reich, but it also comes with a warning. Nowadays there is education on the far right and far left without any critical thinking being encouraged. There is a great danger in this.

From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German children as a special target audience for its propaganda messages. These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth: dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful.

Millions of German youngsters were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. In January 1933, the Hitler Youth had approximately 100,000 members, but by the end of the year this figure had increased to more than 2 million. By 1937 membership in the Hitler Youth increased to 5.4 million before it became mandatory in 1939. The German authorities then prohibited or dissolved competing youth organizations.

Soon after the Enabling Act of 1933 had been passed, Jewish teachers and professors were dismissed from German schools and universities. By April 1933, there were no Jewish teachers remaining in schools attended by ‘Aryan’ students, a racial term used by the Nazis to describe the Germanic peoples.

All teachers had to join the Nazi Teachers’ Association, which vetted them for political and racial suitability. By 1939, 97 per cent of teachers belonged to it. Teachers had to go to summer school so they could teach Nazi ideas effectively. Pupils were encouraged to inform the authorities if teachers did not teach and support Nazi ideas.

In the educational system, Jewish children regularly experienced ridicule, from both their peers and teachers. For example, Jewish children would be sent to the back of the classroom to reiterate to the non-Jewish German children the notion that they were inferior to them. Additionally, “teachers would begin to pick out Jewish students in classrooms to use as examples during biology lessons about racial impurity. Jewish children would be told to stand at the front of the class, whilst teachers pointed to their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hair, comparing these to characteristics on Nazi propaganda sheets”. Eventually, the Jewish children were completely segregated from the non-Jewish German children in schools.

The lines on the blackboard ,on the picture above translate to “The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew” While 2 Jewish students stand next to the black board.

Textbooks were rewritten, especially in history and biology, to promote Germany’s ‘greatness’, Aryan ‘supremacy’ and anti-Semitism. Children’s Stories and Textbooks were used as Propaganda tools. Young people were even encouraged to act as propagandists for the Third Reich.

Additionally, after-school activities and weekend trips were regularly sponsored by the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. These activities often acted as recruitment meetings for the participating school children. The Hitler Youth combined sports and physical outdoor activities with Nazi ideologies. Likewise, the League of German Girls emphasized collective athletics such as rhythmic gymnastics, which “German health authorities deemed less strenuous to the female body and better geared to preparing them for motherhood”. This was also used for public display. Authorities wanted these sports and activities to encourage “young men and women to abandon their individuality in favor of the goals of the Aryan collective”.

The Nazis tried to create a global ‘brand’ for the NSDAP. For this they would also children from the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. They would even go as far as China. The picture below was taken in China in 1935.

The Nazis started in 1933 to introduce their education curriculum. Six years before they started WWII. Six years of creating young willing followers of the Nazi ideology. All of this did not start on the battlefield but in the classrooms. Creating a feeling or sense of belonging to a cause is a powerful and seductive tool.

As I said at the start of the blog, education is key to fight ignorance and racism. But if not done in a proper way and without any critical thinking incorporated in the curriculum, it will do the opposite and create ignorance and racism.

There is a trend in education at the moment where something doesn’t suit a certain narrative it gets cancelled or ridiculed. Especially in reference to history. This is the way the Nazis got a hook into education.

So this is a warning to all educators, unless you are eager to let something like the holocaust again, allow your students to absorb all aspects of history, good and bad. Don’t cancel things that don’t suit you but look at the bigger picture.

sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z897pbk/revision/2

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/indoctrinating-youth

https://www.pnas.org/content/112/26/7931

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_propaganda_in_Nazi_Germany

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A single act of resistance

The Dutch word ‘Moffen’ is a slur or derogatory term for Germans, pretty much in the same way as Krauts in the English language.

Where the word ‘moffen(or mof singular)’comes from is not clear but it had been around since the 16th century. It more or less disappeared from the Dutch vocabulary for about 100 years or so but it made a comeback in 1940.

This was due to the German invasion and occupation of the Netherlands. The Dutch Queen, Wilhelmina, often used it in her broadcasts on Radio Oranje, while she was in exile. Her son in law, Prince Bernhard, was also a German. Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, aka Soldier of Orange, a decorated war hero, said the following about Prince Bernhard.

“For Bernhard, the Prince of the Netherlands, the war was a frustrating business. Born a German, he had married Queen Wilhelmina’s only child, Princess Juliana, and in due time made a conscious and meaningful transition of loyalties to his new homeland. Because of this, and in view of the doubts his background initially evoked among some Britons, he longed more than anyone for a chance to get at Holland’s aggressors.”

Publishers of the ‘Koenen’ dictionary removed the word mof and related words from 1942 onwards.

The Nazi occupiers gradually started to impose laws against the Dutch Jews. One of those laws was to make it illegal and eve a criminal offence for Jews to enter public places, such as parks. Signs were posted all over the country with the text “Forbidden for Jews” like the sign at the start of the blog.

One day in 1941 , a defiant Dutch citizen, more then likely a member of the resistance painted another text on 6 signs which were erected in “Het Gooi” ,which is is an area around Hilversum, in the centre of the Netherlands.

This time the signs read “Forbidden for Moffen”. The following day the signs were repainted again. However this bit of ‘graffiti’ would have definitely resulted in the death penalty for this brave unknown artist.

Sources

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Veit Harlan-Messenger of Evil.

Although many German film makers left Germany in the 1930s, because of the rise of the Nazism, propaganda minister Göbbels still had quite a pool of film makers to help him produce a great number of propaganda movies.

The most famous and probably prolific was Leni Riefenstahl. But a close second was Veit Harlan.

After Adolf Hitler came to power, Harlan -unlike many German film directors – decided to remain in Germany. He embraced the new Nazi regime with both arms and directed several pro-Nazi propaganda films for the new Nazi regime , with his 3rd wife Kristina Söderbaum in the main parts. Considered to be the worst of these was the universally reviled Jud Süß (1940), a virulent anti-Semitic propaganda piece masquerading as a period piece melodrama. After the war, he was charged with crimes against humanity because of this film, but in 1950, after several court trials, he was acquitted twice and released. Both acquittals remain controversial to this day since the ruling judge had previously worked as a judge for the Nazi regime and since Harlan’s works had been proven to have contributed hugely to spreading the antisemitism in Germany, which enabled the Holocaust.

His first wife Dora Gerson was one of the victims of the Nazi regime, she was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau on February 14, 1943.

There are some fascinating connections to Veit Harlan. His son, from his second marriage to Hilde Körber, Thomas Harlan was an author and film director who created a semi-documentary film in 1984, “Wundkanal” (“Wound Passage”), in which his father, played by a convicted mass murderer, is forced to undergo a series of brutal interrogations into his war crimes. Thomas Harlan’s final publication, issued posthumously, entitled Veit, was a memoir in the form of a letter to his father, continuing the investigation into his father’s actions during the Nazi regime.

The mass murderer(turned actor) in the film Wundkanal was SS Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Filbert, responsible as the first head of SS-Einsatzkommando 9, a mobile killing squad, for the murder of more than 18,000 Soviet Jews – men, women and children. Filbert was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1975.

Susanne Körber, one of his daughters from his second wife Hilde Körber, converted to Judaism and married the son of Holocaust victims. She committed suicide in 1989.

Veit Harlan’s niece, Christiane Susanne Harlan, German born actress, dancer, painter, and singer took the name of her second husband, the legendary Jewish director Stanley Kubrick. Her married name was and still is Christiane Kubrick.

Christiane did act in a few movies like in ‘the Path to Glory’ She said she was ashamed to come from a “family of murderers” but was happy that Kubrick’s Jewish family accepted her despite her ties to Harlan. They remained married until Stanley Kubrick’s death in 1999.

She painted for her husband’s films; the paintings seen in the Harford’s apartment in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) are hers, as is the large painting of seed boxes in the writer’s home in A Clockwork Orange (1971).

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0473583/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0363234/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

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Sex and WWII

++++ Contains some nudity+++++

We watched the 2001 World War II drama “Enemy at the Gates” a few nights ago. There was one scene where the characters played by Rachel Weisz and Jude Law had sex whilst surrounded by other soldiers, in the sleeping quarters.

This made me wonder how often something would happen for real during the dark days of WWII. It also made me think about the wider concept of sex during the war.

Sex is the most primal instinct human beings, and indeed all animals, have , even though nowadays some of the woke generation may dispute that . But sex is a normal and a beautiful thing.

Clearly sex was still happening during WWII if that hadn’t been the case there would have been no births during 1939 and 1945.

In Germany, and later in other countries occupied by the Nazis young women were encouraged and often forced to have children, through the Lebensborn program. The purpose of this program was to offer to young girls who were deemed “racially pure” the possibility to give birth to a child in secret. The child was then given to the SS organization which took charge in the child’s education and adoption. It was really meant to breed the “super-race” In the later stages children who looked ‘aryan’ were also forcefully taken from parents and given away for adoption.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad from Swedish super group ABBA was one of the children born via the Lebensborn program.

Sex of course isn’t just for making babies it is also to have fun and make you feel good about yourself. Even in the darkest days and despite facing horrors every day, some of those who were in the concentration camps still managed to have sex. In Rudolf Vrba’s book “I Escaped From Auschwitz “ he writes that on one occasion male kapo, part of a male inmate work group had a longing for sex with a female kapo of a female work group working in the same operation, sorting the belongings of the victims who had been murdered in the gas chambers. The female kapo was an attractive, young Hungarian girl who agreed to have sex if she was given some specified gifts. Vrba was instructed in one case was to transport the gifts to the female kapo before the sexual encounter.

Great Britain is not really known for its liberal attitude to nudity and sexuality, but the Blitz intensified sexual desire. A full two decades before the so-called permissive society of the Sixties, a dramatic, if understated, sexual revolution was already taking place. Life magazine featured on its cover in May 1941 three showgirls dressed in only underwear and gas masks. A more powerful symbol of the sexualisation of the Blitz would be hard to find.

All the major combatants involved in World War II used pornography as a small part of their psychological operations (PSYOP) strategy. Mostly this involved dropping propaganda leaflets using sexual themes from the air, in an attempt to demoralise enemy soldiers at the front.

There were also some hidden dangers especially in the time where condoms were not really used as much as they are now, aside from the unplanned pregnancies by lovers rather then husbands. There was also the danger of STI’s (sexually transmitted infections, aka VD).

In June 1942, a woman named Billie Smith was arrested in her hotel room in Little Rock, Arkansas, and charged with prostitution and violation of the state’s immorality laws. Smith pled guilty and paid the fine of $10—equivalent to $150 today—but authorities weren’t quite done.

Smith was turned over to the city’s health examiner, who ran tests for syphilis and gonorrhea. When both came back positive, the officer ordered her committed to a federally run quarantine center in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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Sources

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-quot-lebensborn-quot-program

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3165954/How-Blitz-sent-Britain-sex-mad-New-book-reveals-Hitler-s-bid-bomb-surrender-startling-effect.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/during-world-war-ii-sexually-active-women-were-a-national-security-threat/409555/

Total War-Göbbels Sport Palast Speech

Like all delusional leaders, Hitler would not have been able to carry out his plans without having people around him that encouraged his delusional ideas.

Göbbels was without a shadow of a doubt Hitler’s most devoted henchman and enabler.

On February 18,1943 he gave his most famous speech in the Sport Palast in Berlin. The aim of the speech was to convince the German people of a Total war, statig that a total war would be a shorter war. At least that is what the banners over the podium said.

At this stage the tide of World War II was turning against Germany. Göbbels held his speech at the Berlin Sportpalast to a carefully selected audience of 14,000 party officials, war veterans, workers, and women. Millions of other Germans listened to the speech via radio.

Below is the English translation of the main part of the speech and also the recorded audio version of the speech.

2Let me, to establish what the truth is, ask a number of questions of you, my fellow Germans, which you must answer me to the best of your knowledge and convictions. When my listeners indicated their spontaneous approval of my demands of January 30, the British press the next day claimed that it had been a propaganda spectacle, and was not representative of the true mood of the German people.
Well, to this meeting today I invited a cross section, in the best sense of that word, of the German people. In front of me there sit, row on row, wounded soldiers from the eastern front, men with scarred bodies, with amputated legs or arms, men blinded in action who have come here with their Red Cross nurses, men in the prime of life whose crutches are standing in front of them. In between, I count as many as 50 wearers of the Oak Leaf Cluster and of the Knight’s Cross, a splendid delegation from our fighting front. Behind them, there is a block of armaments workers, from Berlin’s armored car factory. Behind them, there sit men from the various party organizations, soldiers from our fighting forces, physicians, scientists, artists, engineers, architects, teachers, officials, civil servants from their offices and studies, proud representatives of our intellectual life on all its levels, to whom the country at this time of war owes miracles of inventiveness and human genius. Distributed over the entire auditorium of the Sports Palace I see thousands of German women. Youth is represented, and so is venerable age. No estate, no profession, no age group was overlooked when our invitations went out. Thus I can properly say that facing me is a cross section of the entire German people, at the front and at home. Is that correct?

Then you, my listeners, are representing the nation at this moment. And it is you whom I would like to ask ten questions. Give me your answers, along with the German people, before the whole world, but particularly before our enemies.

The British claim that the German nation has lost its faith in victory. I ask you: Do you believe, with the Führer and with us, in the final, total victory of the German people? I ask you: Are you resolved to follow the Führer through thick and thin in the pursuit of victory, even if this should mean the heaviest of contributions on your part?

Second. The British claim that the German nation is tired of the struggle. I ask you: Are you prepared to continue this struggle with grim determination, and undeterred by any circumstance decreed by fate, to continue it with the Führer, as the phalanx of the home front behind our fighting armies, until victory is ours?

Third. The British claim that the Germans are no longer in a mood to accept the ever increasing amount of war work demanded of them by the government. I ask you: Are you, and the German nation, resolved to work ten, twelve, and if need be fourteen or sixteen hours a day, if the Führer should command it, and to give your all for victory?

Fourth. The British claim that the German nation is resisting the government’s measures of total war, that what the Germans want is not total war but surrender. I ask you: Do you want total war? Do you want it, if need be, even more total and radical than we are capable of imagining it today?

Fifth. The British claim that the German nation has lost its confidence in the Führer. I ask you: Is your confidence in the Führer more passionate, more unshakable than ever? Is your readiness to follow him on all his paths, and to do whatever is necessary to bring the war to a successful conclusion, absolute and unlimited?

I ask you my sixth question. Are you prepared henceforth to devote your entire strength to providing the Eastern front with the men and materials it needs to give Bolshevism its mortal blow?

I ask you my seventh question. Do you swear a solemn oath to the fighting front that the country stands behind it, its morale high, and will give it everything necessary to achieve victory?

I ask you my eighth question. Do you, especially you, the women yourselves, want the government to see to it that German women, too, give all their energies to the pursuit of the war, filling jobs wherever possible to free men for action and thus to help their men at the front?

I ask you my ninth question. Do you approve, if necessary, the most radical of measures against a small group of draft-dodgers and blackmarketeers, who play peace in the midst of war, and mean to exploit people’s sufferings for their own selfish purposes? Do you agree that a person who interferes with the war effort shall lose his head?

As my tenth and last question I ask you: Is it your wish that even in wartime, as the party program commands, equal rights and equal duties shall prevail, that the home front shall give evidence of its solidarity and take the same heavy burdens of war upon its shoulders, and that the burdens be distributed equitably, whether a person be great or small, poor or rich?

I have asked you. You have given me your answers. You are a part of the nation; your response has thus shown the attitude of the German people. You have told our enemies what they must know lest they abandon themselves to illusions and misinformation. “

{Source of English translation: Joachim Remak, ed., The Nazi Years: A Documentary History. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1969, pp. 91-92.}

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Sources

http://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/docpage.cfm?docpage_id=2428

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/goebbels-sportpalast/

https://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb36.htm

Animal Rights in the Third reich .

On August 16 ,1933 Hermann Göring announced he would put an end to the unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments. He also threatened that he would commit to concentration camps those who still thought they could continue to treat animals as inanimate property.

He decried the “cruel”experiments of unfeeling scientists whose animals were operated on, burned, or fro-zen without anesthetics.

In a radio broadcast om August 28 1933 hr told the German nation “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”

On November 24, 1933, the Nazis enacted another law called Reichstierschutzgesetz or Reich Animal Protection Act, for protection of animals. The law included using animals in the making of films or other events if there was a threat to the health or well being of the animals.

Yet they had absolutely no issues whatsoever using human beings for experiments, even new born babies nor did they care for their well being. In the majority of cases the human test subjects were murdered, if they had survived the experiments at all.

It was already known in the 1930s that the Nazis used human beings for experiments, as the satirical cartoon of 1934 ,which was published in a Dutch newspaper illustrates.

The carton says “Göring forbids vivisection(on animals) . We have enough Jews and Marxists for that instead”

source

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The raid on Berck-sur-Mer

raid

You have to give it to the Brits, they don’t give up. Regardless how dire the outlook they will come up with daring stuff to overcome their struggle.

As it was the case in June 1941. They appear to be fighting the Germans on their own, Heavily outnumbered they had to come up with innovative ideas to fight the enemy. The British army send in a group of commandos assisted by French resistance on a raid on raid on Berck-sur-Mer in France.

The raid was highly successful. Media across the world reported on this daring action.

One newspaper article reported on June 18,1941 “One party of parachutists, heavily armed with Tommy guns and hand grenades, overpowered the airfield guards, rushed the control room and seized its occupants,”

New York Herald­ Tribune and New York Post, 18.6.41, repeated on WRUL.
“An amazing and daring raid by the British on a Nazi airport in the Northern
French town of Berck-­sur­-Mer. According to the Zurich correspondent of the
Herald Tribune, a detail of British parachutists landed on the airport,
overpowered forty German troops and pilots stationed there, and destroyed 30
planes. Joined by a number of Frenchmen who wanted to join the Free French
Forces of General de Gaulle, the British raiding party then made their way to
the nearby seashore, where naval motor boats were waiting to take them back
to England. The attack occurred during a heavy RAF raid on the coastal ports
of Calais and Boulogne and caught the Nazis flatfooted. Forty prisoners were
taken.”

It was believed by everyone except by the 40 prisoners, because it never happened.

The whole raid was a made up story. It was a genius bit of fake news WWII style. The man behind it was Canadian born Brit William Stephenson. Stephenson was the head of the SOE operating from New York, His job was to draw the Americans into war by propaganda. The  on Berck-sur-Mer in France was designated Sib 766.The ‘news’ wenet from London to New York, from New York to Zürich, from Zürich bakd to New York after that Stephenson’s team sent out to Dr Jan Loewenbach  the press attache at the exiled Czechoslovak government’s  consulate in New York, just to put the cherry on the cake and make it look completely genuine. The dirty news had been laundered and it was believed.

There were many more to follow. Ironically I recently saw an article in the Guardian Newspaper where they were remembering this ‘daring raid’ there was no mention that had had never actually happened.

william

The story of William Stephenson and his efforts to drag the US into war is written in a very interesting book by Henry Hemming titled “Our Man in New York: The British Plot to Bring America into the Second World War”

 

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http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/paratroop-raid-on-berck-sur-mer.59053/

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=eVyGDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-eVyGDwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_read&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_viewport

 

Music Matters

music

Music is very important, it evokes emotions and stirs the soul. It can unite and divide in equal ways. It can be a very powerful tool to bring joy, but it also can become a weapons if it is used for propaganda purposes.

I will be looking at 2 songs which both had some part to play in the political situation in 1930s Germany, and to an extend the Holocaust.

Hollaender

Friedrich Hollaender was one of the great film composers in Hollywood and he wrote film songs and soundtracks to many well-known productions.he was nominated for 4 academy awards. Although he was a German Jew, he was born in London on 18 October 1896. When he was 3 his parents and Friedrich moved back to Berlin.

Hollaender was  an outspoken progressive satirist, a jazz musician  Hollaender was seen by the Nazis as  a symbol of Weimar decadence and intellectual subterfuge. In 1931 he opened his own cabaret theatre called , Tingel Tangel, where he  performed anti-Hitler revues like  Spuk in der Villa Stern (Spook in the Stern Villa), the revue included the satirical song ‘An allem sind die Juden schuld’ (It’s all the fault of the Jews), to the tune of the ‘Habanera’ from Bizet’s Carmen.

Hollaender  wrote this song as a political weapon against  the Nazis and all German anti-Semites. He used satire in the lyrics to highlight the ridiculous accusations made against the Jews. Below is the translation of the lyrics.the song premiered in September, 1931.

If it rains, if it hails,
If it snows or if it flashes,
if it dawns, if it thunders,
if it’s freezing or if you sweat,
if it is beautiful weather or it’s cloudy,
if it thaws or if it pours,
if it’s drizzling, if it trickles
if you cough or if you sneeze:
The Jews are to blame for everything!
The Jews are to blame for everything!
Why, why are they to blame?
Child that you don´t understand that, they are to blame for it!
And me too! You are to blame!
The Jews are, they are, they are definitely to blame!
And when you don´t believe it, they are to blame!
In particular, all the Jews are to blame!
Oh!
If the phone is busy,
if the bathtub leaks,
if your income is estimated incorrectly,
if the sausage tastes like soap,
if on Sunday nothing´s baked,
if the Prince of Wales is gay,
if at night the furniture makes noise,
if your hound has hard shit:
The Jews are to blame for everything!

If you´re taxed by Mr. Dietrich,
if Dietrich sings from head to toe,
if Okasa becomes more expensive,
if a virgin says: “I’ll do it”,
if there is a crisis at the Danat,
if there is an old joke on the radio,
if Garbo has a decayed tooth,
if the kiss pops in the sound-film:
The Jews are to blame for everything!
That snow is so terribly white,
and even, how to say, cold,
but that fire is hot.
And that trees stand in the forest,
that a rose has no roots,
that a beef patty is scraped,
that Heine is not bad,
and Einstein is very talented:
The Jews are to blame for everything!

The Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith protested shortly after the premiere of Hollaender’s satirical song: They  called the piece as a “school example of a misunderstanding and distortion that anti-Semitic agitation would not represent otherwise” and branded the song “disgusting and repulsive.

I can understand the objections against the song because undoubtedly there would have been people who would have seen the song as a confirmation towards the bias against the Jews. Howver those same people would have looked for any excuse to further their own twisted philosophy. I believe the best way to fight bigotry  and anti semitism is to show how ridiculous it is .

Hollaender left Nazi Germany in 1933 because and first moved to Paris. He emigrated to the United States the next year, where he wrote the music for over a hundred films, including Destry Rides Again.

wessel

The Nazis  exploited music for propaganda.in the Nazi imagination, music had a unique significance and power to seduce and sway the masses. The Party made widespread use of music in its publicity, and music featured prominently at rallies and other public events. The Horst Wessellied (Horst Wessel song) was popular and widely sung during rallies and other events.

Horst Wessel was fanatic Nazi . He was a Berlin leader of the Nazi Party’s stormtroopers. In early 1929, Wessel wrote the lyrics for a new Nazi Anthem. The song had several incarnations but was eventually known as the Horts Wessel song after the killing of Wessel.On 23 February 1930 he was murdered by members of the KPD, the German communist party.

Goebbels ceased the opportunity to turn the shooting into the possibility of a propaganda bonanza. He eulogized Wessel in his newspaper, Der Angriff, in overtly Christian tones:

A Christian Socialist! A man who calls out through his deeds: ‘Come to me, I shall redeem you!’ … A divine element works in him. making him the man he is and causing him to act in this way and no other. One man must set an example and offer himself up as a sacrifice! Well, then, I am ready.

The Horst Wessel song became  the anthem of the Nazi Party  from 1930 to 1945. From 1933 to 1945 the Nazis made it the co-national anthem of Germany,.

Below is the translated text. I will not post the actual song because firstly I think it is rubbish and I don’t want this blog to be hijacked by Neo Nazis just so they can use the song. The song is banned in Germany, you can actually get a jail sentence for it if you are caught singing it. That doesn’t stop Neo Nazis for using it though.

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA marches with calm, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit within our ranks.

Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the storm division!
Millions are looking upon the swastika full of hope,
The day of freedom and of bread dawns!

For the last time, the call to arms is sounded!
For the fight, we all stand prepared!
Already Hitler’s banners fly over all streets.
The time of bondage will last but a little while now!

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA march with quiet, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries,
March in spirit within our ranks

The irony in the song is the use of the word Comrade which is more associated with communists.

Music does matter and often in ways you would not have imagined.

Donation

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Sources

http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/resistance-and-exile/berlin-cabaret-in-exile/an-allem-sind-die-juden-schuld-words/

https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=45543&lang=en

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/horst-wessel

Jews not welcome.

NTI JOODSThis is something I said before. I am Dutch and I am proud to be Dutch. One of the reasons why I am a proud Dutch man is because I was taught to face up to the mistakes my country made in the past.

Although there were many brave Dutch men and women who fought valiantly and risked their own lives to save their Jewish fellow citizens, there were also those who eagerly adhered to the wishes of their occupying Nazis masters.

Many signs were put up all across the country telling Jews they were not welcome. These signs were all in Dutch mostly made by Dutch companies. In a way this propaganda was very clever because the signs didn’t say “Forbidden for Jews” but “Jews not welcome” as if there was some kind of option, a guideline rather then a rule.

joden

It was not explicitly saying “You are not allowed here” but more” We’d rather you would not come in here” as if that really made a difference.

welkom

Other signs would say “Restriction of movement for Jews”

beweging

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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 To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

NIOD