WWII Propaganda-Part 3

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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.

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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.

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I suppose this could be considered a WWII meme.

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Japanese propaganda “Be quiet, others are listening”

 

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

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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.

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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.

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Some kids even took down German road signs.

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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.

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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..

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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.

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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”

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Illustration showing how jewish noses look like.

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A Jewish pervert attempting to lure Aryan children with candy.

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Wealthy Jews attempt to seduce blonde women with money.

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Nazi Sport propaganda in the Netherlands.

 

NSBSport was important in the Nazi ideology. Often athletes would be portrayed as warriors and many German athletes were drafted into the several branches of the Wehrmacht.

The Nazi also understood the power of sport as Propaganda and especially in a sports loving country like the Netherlands, the Nazis saw merit in promoting sports.

The poster below is advertising an evening of Sports on March 12 1941. The evening will include Cycling,Boxing,Singing and Music.Organized by the W.A. the military branch of the NSB(Dutch National Socialists)

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On January  10 1942, an international youth boxing tournament was organized between the Netherlands and Germany.

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Even in some of the concentration camps sports was encouraged. In camp Schoorl a hurdle match was held. Looking at the height of the hurdles it appears to me it was designed to cause harm.

Kamp Schoorl

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Between 19-21 September 1941 a light athletics tournament was hosted for the SS and Heer troops posted in the Netherlands.

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Football has always been the most favourite sports in the Netherlands, On December 12 and 13 1942, 2 matches between Germany’s top team München 1860 and the Wehrmacht were planned. I suspect this was also to show the Dutch how superior the Germans were.The 1st match was played in the Hague and the 2nd in Amsterdam

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These sporting events weren’t arranged for the good of the people or to entertain them but to distract from the horrors and the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers.

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Sources

NIOD

Creating the conditions for the Holocaust

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Nowadays it is very easy to blame social media for widely distributing fake news on a large scale by means of memes and other ways. However this is nothing new, about 100 years ago this was happening through way of propaganda postcards and cartoons(after all a meme is nothing else then a digital propaganda or satirical postcard or cartoon) spread via post or newspapers.

Long before Hitler came to power, German politicians like Friedrich Ebert already blamed  communists,socialists and especially the Jews for losing WWI, by creating the ‘stab in the back’ myth.

The stab-in-the-back myth was believed despite even though it was entirely false .German Jews had loyally and bravely served in the German army during WWII. In fact their numbers were out of proportion in ratio to their numbers in the population. A fact that was emphasized by the “Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers”

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Several myths  were deliberately propagated alongside older prejudices. Myths such as:

  • The Jews had started the war to bring Europe to financial ruin and to bring it under Jewish control.
  • Jews exploited the misery of the war to enrich themselves and prolonged it to lead the Bolshevik Revolution in furthering the aim of world revolution.

These myths were enhanced by propaganda postcards and cartoons.

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The origin of the term “stab-in-the-back” itself can possibly attributed to General Erich Ludendorff and dated to the autumn of 1919. Ludendorff was having dinere with the head of the British Military Mission in Berlin,  General Sir Neill Malcolm. Malcolm asked Ludendorff why he thought Germany lost the war. Ludendorff replied with his list of excuses, including that the home front failed the army.

Malcolm asked him: “Do you mean, General, that you were stabbed in the back?” Ludendorff’s eyes lit up and he leaped upon the phrase like a dog on a bone. “Stabbed in the back?” he repeated. “Yes, that’s it, exactly, we were stabbed in the back”.

Conservatives, nationalists and ex-military leaders began to speak critically about the peace and Weimar politicians, socialists, communists and especially Jews, It was suggested that they had not been supportive during the war and had played a part in selling out Germany to its enemies.

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By the time the Nazis came to power the foundations had already been laid.

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Sources

Encyclopedia 1914-1918

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Batman fighting the Japanese in WWII

Batman

When we think of the first TV screening of Batman we automatically think of the 1966 TV series when Adam West took on the role as the caped crusader. However it was the actor Lewis Wilson who first portrayed the Batman on the TV screens.

This day 75 years ago, July 16 1943, the Batman made his first TV appearance.

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The series from Columbia pictures  consisted of 15 episodes and were produced  by Rudolph C. Flothow, directed by Lambert Hillyer.

They were really Wartime propaganda movies.

The Batman/Bruce Wayne , and his side kick, Robin/Dick Grayson ,played by Douglas Croft, are  secret government agents following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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The city is still Gotham city but there is no Bat mobile but there are however bats in the Bat cave, The duo do not fight any of the villains we know from the comics and the newer Batman movies. No Joker or Riddler but instead Dr. Daka,  aJapanese mastermind of a wartime espionage-sabotage group.

Dr Daka has a death ray which is powered by radium and can pulverize walls but can also turn normal men into electronic zombies and do the work for Dr Daka.

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Funny enough Dr Daka is played by J. Carrol Naish  a New York born Irish-American actor.

The titles of the episodes were:  1. The Electrical Brain; 2. The Bat’s Cave; 3. The Mark of the Zombies; 4. Slaves of the Rising Sun; 5. The Living Corpse; 6. Poison Peril; 7. The Phony Doctor; 8. Lured by Radium; 9. The Sign of the Sphinx; 10. Flying Spies; 11. Nipponese Trap; 12. Embers of Evil; 13. Eight Steps Down; 14. The Executioner Strikes; 15. The Doom of the Rising Sun.

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Sources

IMDB

 

Boycotting Jewish Businesses

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Although tempted to join the debate on the current call to boycott goods from Israel, I am not going to join. I rather stick to what I know best, history. .

On April 1, 1933, the Nazis in Germany began with the boycott of Jewish businesses. They claimed it was a retaliation to the calls of boycott on German goods by foreign critics of the Nazi Party.

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In reality the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses was part of the early measures for eventual eradication of the Jews.

Below are just a few examples of those boycotts, they were OFTEN accompanIed by the SA or SS.

“Germans protect yourselves, don’y buy Jewish”

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Outside a Wohlwert shop “The battle against department stores”

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“Germans don’t but from Jews”

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Boycott poster , announcing the boycott of all Jewish businesses signed by Adolf Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg on behalf of the German people.

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Brundibár- A Holocaust Opera.

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On the 23rd of June , 1944,two delegates from the International Red Cross and one from the Danish Red Cross visited Theresienstadt  accompanied by the commandant SS First Lieutenant Karl Rahm and one of his deputies.

Rahm

During the visit the delegations were treated to an Opera by the Jewish composer Hans Krása. The children’s opera Brundibár was composed by composer Hans Krása and written by the writer Adolf Hoffmeister in 1938. for a government competition, which was  later cancelled because of  political developments.

In mid 1941 a production of the opera  was directed by Rafael Schächter, and several  of his friends,  it served as a fiftieth birthday present for the director of the orphanage at Hagibor. There had only been 2 performances of the production in Prague, both took place in secret for the Jews were banned of partaking in any cultural events.

By winter 1942 composer Krása and  the set designer František Zelenka had been transported to Theresienstadt.

By summer 1943, almost all of the children from  the original chorus and the orphanage staff had also been transported to Theresienstadt.

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This gave composer Krása the opportunity to reconstruct the full score of the opera, based on memory and the partial piano score that he had kept, the opera was adapted ait to suit the musical instruments which were available in the camp:guitar, clarinet, , flute, accordion, piano, percussion instruments, 4 violins, a double bass and a cello . A set was once again designed by František Zelenka, who had  formerly been  a stage manager at the Czech National Theatre.

In spring  time of 1944 the Theresienstadt ghetto was getting ready  for a visit from the  International Red Cross committee, whose aim it was to assess its function as a ‘model’ ghetto that was ‘given’ to the Jews, by Hitler. Brundibár was chosen as the opera that would be put on show  for the committee. It waswas moved to a large sports hall outside the ghetto, and Zelenka, was given the materials make improvements to  the set and costumes. This beautification of Brundibár had to happen overnight. The end scenes of Brundibár were then filmed on June 23  1944 for the propaganda  film Theresienstadt (better known under the title The Führer Has Given the Jews a Town).

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The plot of the opera is about two children,Aninka and Pepíček, whose mother is very ill and needs milk to get better, but there is no money.An idea  of making money occurs to them when they see the organ-grinder Brundibár earning a living in the market. But Brundibár is an evil man , and shouts down the children. During the night,  animals from one of the posters  come to the aid of  the despairing children, and the following  day they help the children to sing louder than Brundibár. The children get  the money they need , but the evil Brundibár steals their earnings . In the end the children find him and are given back what belongs to them.

All of the cast who were involved in the Theresienstadt production were put on transport  sent to Auschwitz as soon as filming was finished. Most were gassed immediately when they arrived, including the children and also the composer Krása.

Krasa

What makes all of this worse is that the whole charade was believed by the Red Cross.

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Teaching hate

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I was going to put a lot of pictures in this blog, but then when I looked at this picture I thought that it would be enough.

A class, class mates and a teacher, like any other class in any other school. Except it isn’t. Here the children are taught to hate. The kids standing in front of the class are not there because they didn’t do their homework, or missed a test.

No they were standing there because they were Jewish, no other reason.

The lines on the blackboard translate to “The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew”

The teacher here as in any other school, is a figure of authority. In charge of children who he has to educate, it is clear that here he is teaching hate and he is using live examples of the type of people his pupils have to hate.

This picture is from a school in Germany taken in 1935, just think of that 1935 several years before the holocaust did not reach the mass extermination stage yet.

People ask me sometimes ” How could a sophisticated and cultured nation like Germany allow a genocide.

The picture above is part of the answer, you teach them to hate at a young age.

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