Metropolis

metropolis

It was on this day 92 years ago  the classic Science Fiction movie was released. I recently watched it again and was amazed by how fresh the movie still looked,

But more then just a Sci-Fi flick it is also a snapshot of the political situation of the time and the years that followed, not so much in the film as such but in the lives of those who were involved in making the movie.

1927 Germany was at the advent of massive  social and political changes. The popularity of the Nazi part was gaining momentum, although they were still a small party they were making significant gains.

nuremberg

UFA GmbH, the distributing studio of Metropolis had been in financial difficulties and was bought in 1927 by politician and media tycoon Alfred Hugenberg. He was also the chairman of the German National People’s Party, a conservative nationalist party.As leader of the German National People’s Party he played a pivotal role  in helping Adolf Hitler become Chancellor of Germany and served in his first cabinet in 1933,

The director of the movie Fritz Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for Metropolis, had initially also flirted with the Nazi party.

lang and wifr

The couple produced a number of movies together. Aside from Metropolis the also made the classic thriller “M” in 1931. which starred a young Austro-Hungarian Jewish actor László Löwenstein better known as Peter Lorre.

When Hitler came to power Peter Lorre left Germany because of the Antisemitic laws which were introduced.

The actress Brigitte Helm who played Maria and also the Tin Machine in Metropolis ,felt the wrath of the Nazi party  for “race defilement” in marrying her second husband Dr. Hugo Kunheim, an industrialist of Jewish background. The couple left for Switzerland in 1935 and never returned to Germany.

maria

Joseph Goebbels had been impressed by Fritz Lang’s work and although he banned Lang’s 1933 film”The Testament of Dr. Mabuse” because it “showed that an extremely dedicated group of people are perfectly capable of overthrowing any state with violence” He still offered a position as the head of German film studio UFA.

However Lang did not accept the offer and left Berlin on 31 July 1933, He had also been worried about the increasing power of the Nazi party and the Antisemitic laws ,known as the Nuremberg Laws, imposed in Germany, even though Fritz Lang’s mother  had converted from Judaism to Catholic, and Fritz Lang had been raised as a Catholic, according to the Nüremberg Laws his mother and therefor Fritz too were stlll considered Jewish.

And although he had initially sympathized with the Nazi party he had soon changed his mind, But his wife Thea von Harbou remained a Nazi supporter. The couple divorced on April 26, 1933.

Fritz Lang emigrated to the USA and worked on many successful Hollywood movies like “the Return of Frank James” starring Henry Fonda.

Thea von Harbou stayed involved in the German film industry with  some movies with an indisputable National Socialist worldview.

Many people nowadays will probably only know Metropolis from the Queen video “Radio Ga Ga” and are probably blissfully unaware of the historical significance of the movie.

 

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Daffy the Commando-Looney Tunes WW2 Propaganda.

Daffy

Mel Brooks once said about Hitler

“I was never crazy about Hitler. If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator, you never win. That’s what they do so well: they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can’t win. You show how crazy they are.”

The one thing all dictators have in common they have no sense of humor and they tend to believe their own hype. Ridiculing them and what they stand for can be a powerful propaganda weapon.

Hollywood understood this and produced a series of propaganda movies ,live action movies as well as cartoons, like in this case the Looney Tunes cartoon “Daffy – The Commando”  featuring Daffy Duck. Especially the Looney Tunes cartoons must have outraged Hitler because they were directed by Fritz Freleng and produced by Leon Schlesinger both men were Jewish.

Daffy and AH

Daffy the Commando was released on November 20th 1943.

Commando Daffy Duck goes behind enemy lines and causes huge problems  for a Nazi German officer,  Von Vultur, and his troops.

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Von Vultur receives  a telegram from the “Gestinko Gestapo”, threatening him with his ‘ka-rear’ if he lets ‘vun’ more ‘kommando’ through (the letter is signed “The Apes Of Wrath” and shows three apes’ heads; which are caricatures of Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini, the last of whom is crossed out – reflecting the failure of Mussolini to keep Italy in the war with the axis power.

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At the end of the movie Daffy hits Hitler on the head with a massive hammer even making his mustache disappear.

The very realistic animated image of Adolf Hitler was rotoscoped. Rotoscoping is an animation technique used by animators  to trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, to produce realistic action.

The voice of Daffy Duck was done by Mel Blanc another Jew, so technically in the cartoon Hitler gets hammered by a Jew. How much I would give to see Hitler’s face when he saw the cartoon , but Goebbels probably made sure Hitler never saw it.

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Below is the short movie -“Daffy the Commando”.

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Freemasons-the forgotten Holocaust victims.

free

One group of Holocaust victims which is often forgotten , is the Freemasons. For a part this is due to the secrecy of the group. This is something that puzzled me because they were(and still are) so secretive how were the members discovered by the Nazi regime?

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest fraternal, non-political, non-sectarian society. It is concerned with high moral and spiritual values and is open to men of integrity, of any religion, who believe in a Supreme Being.

Freemasons are expected to adhere to three principles:

Brotherly Love – Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding towards his fellow human beings.

Relief – Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own members, but for the community as a whole, by both charitable giving and by voluntary effort.

Truth – Freemasonry strives for truth and requires high moral standards of its member

The Freemasons date back to the medieval times and its members often were influential people, it is estimated that 14 US Presidents were Freemasons.

Because many of the Freemasons who were arrested were also Jews or members of the political opposition, it is not clear how many members were placed in Nazi concentration camps or were targeted only because they were Freemasons.

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote that Freemasonry has succumbed to the Jews and has become an excellent instrument to fight for their aims and to use their strings to pull the upper strata of society into their designs. The Nazis also blamed the Freemasons for Germany’s defeat in WWI.

Although the numbers can’t be verified the estimation are of 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons who were murdered by the Nazi regime.

Despite the secrecy of the organisation the Freemasons were targeted via propaganda in most of Nazi occupied countries.

The most famous piece of Anti Free Mason propaganda was the French movie “Forces occultes”

forces

It was the last film to be directed by Paul Riche (the pseudonym of Jean Mamy).

The film was commissioned in 1942 by the Propaganda Abteilung, a delegation of Nazi Germany’s propaganda ministry within occupied France by the ex-Mason Mamy.

It represents Vichy France’s most determined effort at nazi propaganda.

The film depicts the rise of a young MP who, to further his career, joins the French Freemasons. He subsequently starts to believe that along with the Jews, they deliberately want to push France into a war against Germany.

After the war Riche aka Marmy was sentenced to death and executed on 29 March 1949.

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Sources

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Making fun of Hitler-Mocking the Führer

Capturefunny walkOne of the most effective weapons during WWII, and indeed nearly every war, was propaganda.

Where the Nazis mostly used their propaganda to incite fear and hate, the allies and especially the Brits sometimes adopted a different approach. They’d often used humour and satire in order to ridicule the Nazis and their beloved leader Hitler.

in August 1939  Toby O’Brien, an Anglo-Irish journalist  and publicist for the British Council at the time, wrote the song  “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball” Initially it was called  “Göring has only got one ball”, referring to Göring’s groin injury he suffered during the Beer Hall Putsch, the song also implied that Hitler had two small ones. In nearly all later versions, the positions were reversed.

Putsch

The song was sung to the tune of “Colonel Bogey March” unfortunately I could not find any good versions of the song, but below are  the lyrics of 2 different versions of the song followed by the music of Colonel Bogey March, so lets make this an interactive blog where you can sing the song to the music yourselves.

“Göring has only got one ball
Hitler’s are so very small
Himmler’s so very similar
And Goebbels has no balls at all”

“Hitler has only got one ball
Göring has two but very small
Himmler is rather sim’lar
But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all”

 

A British Government propaganda parody film  was produced in December 1942 which was aimed to mock  the Nazis

It worked ,Joseph Goebbels was furious after seeing the film ,so much so that he reportedly ran out of the room kicking a chair and screaming profanities.

The video uses scenes from  the 1934 German propaganda film ‘Triumph of the Will’ and is re-edited to make it  appear comically  as if Nazi troops and Hitler are doing the Lambeth Walk dance.

Dance

The “Lambeth Walk” was a popular dance craze in the U.S. and the U.K. in the late 1930s. The song, from the musical Me and My Girl, referred to a street in a Cockney district in London. Dancers strode back and forth, punctuating their “walk” with high kicks and broad gestures.

The video, entitled ‘ Lambeth Walk-Nazi Style’, was produced by Leslie Winik and edited by a British Ministry of Information official Charles A. Ridley and was screened in cinemas all across the UK.It is probably the world’s first parody video.

 

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Forbidden for Jews

1

The Holocaust didn’t start with the mass extermination of Jews, it started in ways which could even be considered non violent, with gradually excluding Jews from society.

In this blog there are some examples of signs sating ~Forbidden for Jews” or”No Jews allowed” from several locations in the Netherlands.

On the signs above it says dogs are not allowed to walk freely, in other words they were allowed in the park but on a lead. Underneath it says “Forbidden for Jews” this indicates that dogs had more privileges than Jews.

Sign at the entrance of a shop

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Sign on the door of a cinema

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Sign at a butcher shop in Amsterdam

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Propaganda was also used to isolate and alienate the Jewish population, the poster below shows the blatant disrespect and hate against Jews and others.

It says “Goering has forbidden vivisection on animals, we have enough Jews and Marxists to use instead.”

cartoon

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Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam

NIOD

 

Hitler’s hate for smoking but not so much for its revenue.

smoke

Something that always fascinated(for lack of a better word) me about Hitler is the double standards he applied. As the leader of his country he always portrayed himself as some one with principles, but yet he so easily broke those principles time and time again.

Hitler hated smoking, he had been a smoker himself but had stopped at a young age. In 1939, German scientists were the first to identify the link between smoking and lung cancer in the first epidemiological study. After those findings Germany initiated a strong anti-tobacco movement.

The campaign announced that  cigarettes were “enemy of the people” it included posters, lectures, psychological counselling, nicotine gums.

Poster

As well as methods to make the  cigarettes less tasteful by injecting chemicals into the cigarettes.Smoking had become Non aryan.

However due to the addictive nature of smoking cigarettes it created one thing that the Nazis just couldn’t ignore, revenue ie money.

Smoking cigarettes became a mass phenomenon after World War I and the interwar years. So popular in fact that by 1929 the SA decided to set up their own Cigarette company in order to create a line of  revenue.

SA CIGS

The factory operated under the umbrella name ‘ Sturm Zigaretten’ it produced four brands: Trommler , Alarm, Sturm and Neue Front.The latter one  was the most expensive brand,

Coercion tactics were used to encourage the sale of these cigarettes. Members of the SA were expected to exclusively. smoke Sturm Cigarette Company cigarettes ,they were even compelled to smoke Sturm cigarettes; bags were searched, and  if any other brand were found, there would be a fine.The SA bullied against and punished the use of other brands, especially the market leader, Reemtsma. SA gangs attacked shops that sold rival brands.

reemtsma

Sturm Zigaretten  first paid dividends to the SA in 1930. By 1932, it had a turnover of 36 million reichsmarks, and the SA made considerable profits; 1933 saw even higher returns.

Reemtsma was banned to advertise in Nazi party publications, which eventually resulted in a negative income stream for the Nazi party, In June 1932 the head of the company  , Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma, met with  Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, and Max the head of the Nazi party’s printing house, Eher Verlag. Although Hitler was furious about Reemtsma’s Jewish partners, he did allow them to advertise again.

Reemtsma also had a pending court case, in relation to Germany’s oldest cigarette company Batschari which went bust.In 1933.Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma approached bribed Hermann Göring to make this court case disappear, Görring agreed for the sum of three million marks; Reemtsma subsequently paid him a million a year, in addition to substantial donations to the Nazi party.

And by July 1934 the Night of the Long Knives had removed the threat of the SA.

knives

At this stage Reemtsma’s Jewish partners had emigrated, along with many of its  Jewish employees, with help from the company.

Reemtsma approached , the new SA leader, SA-Stabschef Viktor Lutze, to see if a deal could be done,Lutze  cancelled the SA’s contract with Sturm Cigarettes and made a deal with Reemtsma; in exchange for a fixed sum of  250 000 reichsmarks, to be paid annually, Reemtsma would now produce the SA’s cigarettes. Sturm, filed for bankruptcy in 1935.

In 1937, Reemstra merged with “Haus Neuerburg cigarettes”  in Cologne and achieved  65% of the total market share.

Haus

Between 1933 and 1939, the firm’s profits increased to 114 Million Reichsmark. In 1939, Philipp F. Reemtsma was promoted leader of the Fachuntergruppe Zigarettenindustrie part of the National Socialist economy and recognized by Göring as an economy leader.

Cigarettes were distributed free to soldiers, including minors, as part of their pay, and the market continued to grow rapidly.

Forced labour was used by Reemtsma during the war, with prison camps set up at some locations. Reemtsma also used forced labour, including child labour, to harvest tobacco in the Crimea.

By 1941, tobacco taxes made up about a twelfth of state income, and the anti-smoking efforts  which had started 2 years prior, were being discouraged. In 1942 there was a shortage of tobacco, and 2/3 of all German tobacco factories were shut down,some were converted into armaments factories. Tobacco went on the ration, but despite that  Reemtsma remained a profitable entity.

Reemtsma’s financial support of the Nazis was unparalleled among German companies. The SA and other party organizations were given six-figure sums, and the Hitler Youth were given an aircraft.

Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH is STILL  one of the biggest tobacco and cigarette producers in Europe and a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco. The company’s headquarters is in Hamburg, Germany,Among their brands are famous cigarette names like Gauloises,Davidoff and John Player Special. Ironically 73 years after WWII, some of the companies once linked to the Nazi regime are still killing people.

JSP

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WWII Propaganda-Part 3

pr1

One of the most effective weapons in WWII was propaganda. Although the Nazis did use it the most effective, the allied forces and the other axis nations all used propaganda as an effective tool to further their cause.

After all propaganda is really weaponized and politicized PR. Not unlike the use of social media nowadays, propaganda was posted on billboards,newspapers,leaflets and magazines. Although it wasn’t as instant and widespread as social media, it did still reach large groups of the population.

Below are just some examples of WWII propaganda.

One of the most popular of the WWII bond posters.Title: Don’t let that shadow touch them, Buy War Bonds Artist: Lawrence Beall Smith.

pr2

A referendum on the Anschluss with Germany was held in German-occupied Austria on 10 April 1938,in conjunction with one in Germany. Germany thad already occupied Austria one month earlier, on 12 March 1938. The official result was reported as 99.73% in favour,with a 99.71% turnout. The Austrian poster below states that teh whole nation said yes.

pr3

I suppose this could be considered a WWII meme.

pr4

 

Japanese propaganda “Be quiet, others are listening”

 

pr5

A poster telling the Italians that the Germans are their friends. Implying nothing to fear.

pr6.1

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Dolle Dinsdag-Mad Tuesday-September 5,1944.

Dinsdag

Reporting the news accurately is important at any given time. Reporting it accurately during wartime when tensions are high is vital, if you fail to do so it can create false expectations and can potentially cost lives.

On Tuesday September 5th 1944, the Dutch  Prime Minister Gerbrandy announced via the Radio Oranje  that the allied army had crossed the border and Breda had been liberated. In fact he had announced it twice initially on September 4th at 23:45 and then again inhe morning of September 5th. The BBC had picked up the announcement too.

Premier

The  information was totally inaccurate, but the Dutch expected the Allied army to be in Rotterdam the same day. The Germans panicked, their army fled North and East in the Netherlands.

Germans

The news spread fast, with underground newspapers preparing headlines announcing the “fall of Breda”

The Nazi leadership Arthur Seyss-Inquart and Hanns Albin Rauter, SS and police leader added to the  speculation by announcing a “State of Siege” for the Netherlands to the 300,000 cable radio listeners.

“The population must maintain order … it is strictly forbidden to flee areas that are threatened by the enemy. All orders from the military commanders must be strictly adhered to and without question … any resistance to the occupation forces will be suppressed with force of weaponry. Any attempt to fraternize with the enemy or to hinder the German Reich and its allies in any form will be dealt with harshly; perpetrators will be shot”

The Dutch did not heed the warning  and went out and celebrated on the streets while preparing to welcome and cheer on the Allied liberators. Dutch and Orange flags and pennants were prepared, and many workers left their place of employment to wait for the Allies to arrive.

vlag

Some kids even took down German road signs.

kids

German occupation forces and NSB members got in a panic .documents were destroyed and many fled the Netherlands for Germany.

Many of the NSB fled temporarily to  the Lüneburger Heide in Germany .While the NSB leader .Mussert , moved more eastward to Almelo. The illegal newspaper “Het Parool” reported on the 11th of September on how these NSB”Heroes” fled the country.

Parool

Luckily there were no fatal casualties as a result of this, among the general Dutch population, although a few celebrants were shot and others were arrested.

The day after however, on September 6 a train carrying wives and children of members of the NSB headed for Germany. The train was attacked by allied planes and about 30 passengers were killed. I do feel sorry for the wives and especially the children for they were innocent bystanders  but I do also believe this was karma, and the irony is not lost on me for the NSB had helped to put so many Jews and other on trains to their final destinations.

The name ‘Dolle Dinsdag’ was coined by Willem van den Hout, alias Willem W. Waterman, who first used it in the Dutch Nazi  propaganda newspaper ‘de Gil’ (the yel) which was funded by the German propaganda department.

De Gil

The whole confusion of ‘Dolle Dinsdag’ had come about because of one word. Before the radio broadcast , Prime Minister Gerbrandy had changed the text from ‘the allies approached the border’ to ‘crossed the border’

It would take another 9 days before Maasticht would be liberated, which was the first major Dutch city to be liberated by allied troops.

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Philipp Rupprecht-Cartoonist of Hate

Giftpilz

Philipp Rupprecht was a German artist and cartoonist known by his artist name Flips. He was the chief cartoonist for Der Stuermer,a weekly German tabloid-format newspaper published by Julius Streicher.It played  a significant role in the Nazi propaganda and was vehemently anti-Semitic..

Stürmer

Rupprecht also did illustrations for anti-Semitic children#S books.His style changed during the course of his career, but his caricatures usually depicted Jews as short, fat, ugly, unshaven, , sexually perverted, bent-nosed, and with pig like eyes.

flips

Below are just some example of his hateful pieces of ‘art’.

A Page from the  German children’s book, “Der Giftpilz” (The poisonous Mushroom). The text reads, “Just as it is often very difficult to tell the poisonous from the edible mushrooms, it is often very difficult to recognize Jews as thieves and criminals”

page

Illustration showing how jewish noses look like.

nose

A Jewish pervert attempting to lure Aryan children with candy.

sWEETS

Flip 2

Wealthy Jews attempt to seduce blonde women with money.

seductiobn

His career ended with the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. He was put on trial in 1945 and sentenced to ten years hard labour. On 23 October 1950 he was released from the prison in Eichstätt. Until his death he lived and worked in Munich and Starnberg as a painter and decorator. He died on 4 April 1975 in Munich, aged 74.

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The Nazi flame that still burns

stamp

It is safe to say that the Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event.Every 4 years the event attracts the attentions of hundreds of millions sports enthusiasts and also people who have very little interest in sports. for aside from the sports it is also entertainment and especially the opening ceremony.

But above the sports and entertainment the Olympic games have always been political and the perfect tool for mass propaganda.

flame

What many people don’t realize is that one of the highlights of the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, the lighting of the flame after the torch relay was first introduced by the Nazi regime, to the modern Olympic games.

The 1936 Olympic summer Games were the first to use the torch run. Each of  the 3,422 torch bearers ran one kilometer  along the route of the torch relay from the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece, to Berlin.The route passed through the capitals of each of the countries visited.

The idea of the torch relay was a brainwave of Carl Diem,a German sports administrator.

Adolf Hitler thought the connection with the ancient Games was the perfect way to show his belief that ancient Greece was an Aryan forerunner of the modern German Reich. He quoted:

“The sportive, knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics. It doesn’t separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That’s why the Olympic Flame should never die.”

ah

The relay started on the 20th of  July 1936 in Olympia and ended on August 1 1936 in Berlin at the start of the 1936 Olympic Summer Games.

These games were going to be the template for all future games.

flame 2

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