Your job in Germany and Our Job in Japan.

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Cat in the hat;How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and It’s a Wonderful Life are not stories you would associate with WWII or propaganda, and yet they have a distinct ,albeit indirect link to WWII propaganda movies.

The name Theodor Seuss Geisel will mean little to many people,although there is a hint in his name which gives away the name he is known by to most. He is better known as Dr. Seuss.

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In 1943, he joined the Army as a Captain and was commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces. Where he got to work with Frank Capra, the director of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

Initially they worked together on a series of black-and-white American instructional,  cartoons, of a character created by Capra called ‘Private Snafu’,that were produced between 1943 and 1945

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The cartoons were humorous very much like the Looney toons. The short movies were directed by famous  directors like Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng.

In one episode of the series ‘Three Brothers’ released on December 4, 1944 a certain Bugs Bunny made an appearance.

Frank Capra and Dr Seuss worked on 2 hard hitting propaganda films ,shortly after WWII in 1945.

Your Job in Germany

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The film would probably be called racist and non political correct nowadays but in the context of the time it was accepted and also understandable.This training film was made for U.S. Army occupation forces in Germany following World War II.

It  tells how Germany has always been evil and when given a the chance again they would start another war with another leader like Hitler.

In the films the troops are urged not to become friends with the Germans, for the Nazi mentality is still prevalent in the German psyche, and probably always will be.

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Jack Warner, of Warner Brothers,  secured the rights to ‘Your Job in Germany’ and turned it into a short documentary entitled Hitler Lives?, directed by Don Siegel. It was released commercially on December 29, 1945 and won the 1946 Academy Award  for Documentary Short Subject.

Our Job in Japan

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Our Job in Japan was a United States military training film made in 1945. Equally to ‘Your Job in Germany’ this movie would now be perceived as racist and totally not political correct.But similarly in the context of the aftermath of WWII and the brutality the Japanese army had displayed during the war it was understandable and probably warranted to portray the Japanese people in the way they did.

The film was aimed at American troops heading to Japan to occupy the country in 1945  It presented the problem of turning the militarist state into a peaceful democracy.

It starts off showing Japan surrendering  , followed by the depiction of bad things that they did during the war, and also how the Japanese always followed a backward quasi religious philosophy. The  narrator explains that although the war is over the Japanese brains still need to adapt to a more modern society based on common sense and not by worshiping the old ways.

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Our Job in Japan was also used as a  basis for a longer, commercially released film, with the title ‘Design for Death’  in 1947 directed by Richard Fleischer. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

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Sources

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Humour in WWII

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Despite all the horrors of WWII there was still room for humour, satire and a healthy dose of sarcasm during WWII.

Although sometimes the price to pay for a joke could be quite high. In this blog just examples  some WWII jokes and the consequences for some of them, and ways how people coped with the war in a humorous way.

I am not sure if this one originates from WWII but I believe it does.

“Why do french tanks have rear view mirrors? To see the battlefield”

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21st November 1940: Wally’s barber shop, St Martin Street has defiant signs outside after losing its windows during the London blitz.

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A British shopkeeper hanging up a sign during the Blitz which reads, “Business as usual Mr. Hitler.” London, England – 1940

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Although the Nazis didn’t feel that jokes necessarily undermined their regime there were times people were punished severely by telling jokes, especially when Hitler was the butt of the joke.

“The true Aryan is as blond as Hitler, as slim as Göring and as tall as Goebbels” Many  German jokes centered  on the vanity and human weaknesses of the Nazi leadership , not so much on the fact that they were evil killers.

“An adjutant bursts into Görings office: “The Reichstag is on fire!!”. Göring checks his watch and says: “What, already?” The Germans had their suspicions that the Nazis were behind the Reichstag fire.

“Hitler and Göring are standing atop the Berlin radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to put a smile on Berliners’ faces. So Göring says: “Why don’t you jump?”

A factory worker, known as Marianne K., was executed for telling this joke. Her husband had been killed in Stalingrad.

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Humorous propaganda poster

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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.

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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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Theresienstadt-The sickening propaganda film.

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Theresienstadt was a 1944 Nazi propaganda film depicting  Theresienstadt concentration camp as a sort of idyllic rest stop, in an attempt to convince world opinion that there was no such thing as Nazi death camps.  The film intended to be viewed in “neutral” nations  showing how “humane” conditions were at Theresienstadt.

Nor only was it enough to have a false depiction of Theresienstadt, the Nazi also  coerced German-Jewish =Actor,Director Kurt Gerron into directing it.Kurt Gerron Gedrron had escaped Germany  after the Nazis got to power, and ended up in the Netherlands. Once filming was finished, Gerron and members of the Jazz pianist Martin Roman’s Ghetto Swingers were deported on the camp’s final train transport to Auschwitz. Gerron and his wife were gassed immediately upon arrival, along with the film’s entire performing entourage (except for Roman and guitarist Coco Schumann).The next day, Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the closure of the gas chambers.

After the Wehrmacht occupied the Netherlands, Gerron was first interned in the transit camp at Westerbork before being sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

The Nazis allowed representatives from the Danish Red Cross and the International Red Cross to visit in June 1944. It was all an elaborate hoax. The Germans intensified deportations from the ghetto shortly before the visit, and the ghetto itself was “beautified.” Gardens were planted, houses painted, and barracks renovated. The Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visiting dignitaries. Once the visit was over, the Germans resumed deportations from Theresienstadt, which did not end until October 1944.

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As a result of preparations for the Red Cross visit, the summer of 1944 was, as one survivor later wrote, “the best time we had in Terezín. Nobody thought of new transports.”

The gimmick was so successful that SS commander Hans Günther tried and decided to expand on it by having Kurt Gerron,  make a short documentary  about the camp to assure audiences that the inmates kept there were not being abused. In return, the Nazis promised that he would live. Shooting took 11 days, starting September 1, 1944.

The idea behind the film was  to be shown in neutral countries,including Vatican City  to convince them that the Jews were treated fairly, to counter Allied news reports about the persecution of Jews.

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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.

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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.

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Learning German via Radio in WWII

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At the moment there is a lot of talk how social media is used to distribute propaganda, but the widespread of propaganda is nothing new.

The ‘social media’  during WWII was the radio. About 18 months after the Germans invaded the Netherlands they started broadcasting German language course programs.

During World War II radio listening was restricted in the Netherlands In 1940 the Dutch were forbidden to listen to foreign broadcasting and Dutch broadcasting- organizations were censored by the Germans. The VARA was the first organization to openly protest against the Germans when they had to report about a march of the Dutch Nazi-organization NSB.

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Broadcasting of English and American songs was forbidden in January 1941. The grip of the Nazis on the programming was increasing, they ordered to broadcast Aryan “Auflagesendungen” (mass-produced programs) like the music programs with German titles : “Gruss aus der Heimat” (greetings from the fatherland) and “Wunschconcerte” (request concert).
The Dutch society protested against the German rule and persecution of the Jews with the “February-strike” of 1941. After this the Germans let no more room for talking. On 9 March 1941 the broadcasting organizations were dismantled, and a German propaganda-station “De Netherlands Omroep” (Dutch for: Dutch Broadcasting Organization) was founded. The personal and property of were taken over by “De Netherlands Omroep”.

On Sunday 5 October 1941 listeners readied themselves with 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.

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But this wasn’t any ordinary German lesson: this was about teaching National Socialist German. Those following the course learned military terms, translated the Nazi slogan-of-the-week and penned Hitler’s words to paper.

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The lessons in the book were interspersed with antisemitic 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.

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Many Dutch listened with their hidden radios to the Dutch broadcasts of “Radio Orange” from England. The BBC was also very popular. Being caught with a hidden radio or listening to either the BBC or Radio Orange could result in a death penalty.

Onderduikers luisteren naar radio-uitzendingen uit Engeland.
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. During the last months of the war the Dutch could listen to “Radio Herrijzend Netherlands” from the liberated parts of the country.

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Sex Sells-Even in WWII,Part2

++Contains some nudity++++

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Fear not, I haven’t turned my site into a porn site, not that there is anything wrong with that, but each to their own and that just isn’t me. But because we live in a PC world and so many people get so easily offended I felt compelled to start this blog with a warning.

If we are to believe science the average men thinks about sex every 7 seconds.

Put that in the  context  of WWII ,with testosterone bouncing left,right and center in men who haven’t seen their girlfriends,wives or any member of the opposite sex in weeks possibly months and longer , the notion of using Sex as a weapon and propaganda is extremely powerful, nt only for men serving but also for young boys who were of an age where they could sign up for the armed forces.

Life Magazine 1942 My Gal Sal Movie Ad Rita Hayworth WWII Pin Up Sexy Red-Head.

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Encouraging to but War Bonds

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Defense-industry worker Norma Jeane Dougherty, as shot by U.S. Army photographer David Conover for the June 26, 1945, issue of YANK magazine, the weekly news for U.S. military personnel. The photo was colorized for publication, and it is contended by some that this led to modeling and pinup work and, in 1946, a movie contract with 20th Century Fox where, eventually she acquiesced to the screen name Marilyn Monroe, mainly because of the phonic appeal of the “MM” alliteration.

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Some good old fashioned Sexism  from the US State department didn’t go astray either.

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Aside from the  obvious concerns of losing troops on the battlefields there was also a big fear of troops getting infected by venereal diseases like  Syphilis and Gonorrhea.

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A 1940’s US Navy recruitment poster.

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Arguments for Hate.

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The one thing that always intrigued me and puzzled me is how did the Nazis get to hate the Jews en mass.

After all the Jews were neighbours and citizens, They never initiated a war against Germany, nor did they conduct any violent acts against the state. And yet Hitler and his cohorts created this hate big enough that so few questioned the atrocities committed by the Nazi leadership.

One of the key tools was propaganda.

The Nazis were always worried about those Germans who did not accept anti-Semitism. In this article from the party monthly, ‘Unser Wille und Weg’. (Our will and Way)

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The author provides ten responses to the most common objections they encountered to Nazi anti-Semitic measures. These were arguments intended for everyday use in conversation with fellow citizens.

(source: Kurt Hilmar Eitzen, “Zehn Knüppel wider die Judenknechte,” Unser Wille und Weg (6) 1936, pp. 309-310.)

Ten Responses to Jewish Lackeys

by Kurt Hilmar Eitzen

There are still Jewish lackeys today who attempt to disrupt our storm attack on the Jewish world rulers, trying to stop us or even cause us to fall. The following hints show how one can reply to these arguments by our opponents, or even turn their arguments against them.

Argument 1: “You say that religion is a private matter. But you fight against the Jewish religion!” Counterargument: “Actually, the Jewish religion is nothing other than a doctrine to preserve the Jewish race.” (Adolf Hitler). “In resisting all government attempts to nationalize them, the Jews build a state within the state (Count Helmuth von Moltke). “To call this state a ‘religion’ was one of the cleverest tricks ever invented.” (Adolf Hitler). “From this first lie that Jewry is a religion, not a race, further lies inevitably follow.” (Adolf Hitler).

Argument 2: “There are decent Jews, after all!” — Counterargument: “This little phrase ‘after all’ proves that they are rare exceptions of no significance to our battle against Jewry as a whole. But Martin Luther saw four hundred years ago that this “decency,” proven by charitable deeds done in as public a manner as possible, is nothing but a hidden cost of business, to repaid a thousand times by uneducated Germans. “Know, dear Christian, and have no doubts about it, that next to the Devil you have no more bitter, poisonous and determined enemy than a genuine Jew. . . If they do something good for you, it is not because they love you, but because they need room to live with us, so they have to do something. But their heart remains as I have said!”

Argument 3: “The Jew has better prices than the German businessman.” — Counterargument: Any crook can sell junk. Jewish crooks have driven thousands of German businessmen to bankruptcy with the glittering trash in their department store palaces. When someone does get good products more cheaply from the Jews than from Germans, it is only because the united Jewish firms force down prices from the manufacturers, which means reducing workers’ wages. He who has bought good products cheaply from the Jew should never forget that the curse of a German worker and the tears of his hungry children come with them!

Argument 4: “There are also ‘white Jews’ [i.e., Gentiles who are as bad as Jews]. — Counterargument: “That speaks against the Jews, not for them! The fact that one calls the crooks among us ‘white Jews’ is proof that being a Jew implies something bad. Otherwise, one would call crooked Jews ‘yellow Christians.’ The fact that there are so many ‘white Jews’ among us proves that the destructive Jewish spirit has already infected wide circles of our population. It is a warning to us that we have to take up the battle against the Jewish world plague everywhere.” (Joseph Goebbels). That is why Point 24 of our party program states: “The party battles the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and outside of us.”

Argument 5: “Mr. Levi is not a Jew, since he has been baptized!” — Counterargument: As we have already shown, Jewry is not a religion. The Führer pointed that out in a sarcastic manner during the period of struggle [1919-1933] when he said that it was a peculiar sort of religion when one could smell its adherents from a great distance! No, a Jew always remains a Jew. Chaim Herz Bückeberg, better known as “Heinrich Heine,” joked: “Are these long noses a kind of uniform that allows the God King Jehovah to recognize his old body guard, even if they have deserted?” “I have no desire to convert the Jews,” Martin Luther wrote, “since that is impossible.” A Jew remains a Jew. “In case of need, a dose of baptismal water saves both business and Jewry at the same time!” (Adolf Hitler).

Argument 6: “It is true that Mr. Moses Freundenstein is a Jew, but his parents and grandparents lived here. He is one of our old established citizens.” — Counterargument: Just as a goat does not become a horse, even if his father and grandfather were in the same stall, a Jew can never become a German, even if his ancestor came to Germany as a peddler in Varus’ army [during the Roman era].

Argument 7: “The Jew is a human being, too!” — Counterargument: “Of course the Jew is a human being too. None of us has ever doubted it. But a flea is also an animal. But not a very pleasant one. Since a flea is not a pleasant animal, we have no duty to protect and defend it, to take care of it so that it can bite and torment and torture us. Rather, we make it harmless. It is the same with the Jews.” {Joseph Goebbels).

Argument 8: “Everything with a human face is equal.” — Counterargument: Thirteen years ago, the Stürmer carried a cartoon. In it, a miserable pig looked up from his sty to a royal lion. “Everything with an animal face is equal!” But what did the lion growl in reply? “That’s what you swine would like to think!”

Argument 9: “Anti-Semitism is only something for idiots!” Counterargument: One no longer hears this lie in National Socialist Germany. But one still reads it in the Jewish emigre press abroad, and Jews whisper it here and perhaps some Jewish lackeys still think that. We smile in response, and note that the Jews have never produced a single creative man, but that all great men in every country have been implacable opponents of the Jews. Some “intellectuals” may be distressed when one doubts their understanding, but we will follow the battle cry against Judah that all of the great men of our past have made!

Argument 10: “Can you live with the uproar and accept responsibility for the misery that the laws of the Third Reich bring to thousands of Jewish families?” — Counterargument: “It is almost a miracle that absolutely nothing has happened to Jews in Germany, but rather that only gradually the rights they stole from the Germans in politics and culture have been restored.” (Alfred Rosenberg). But even if a few hundred Jewish families in Germany really did have to go hungry, what is that against the many millions of German families that the Jew murdered over the course of centuries through wars, revolutions, and civil strife, not to mention those ruined through usury and fraud. “In the battle between the races, there is no truce. If you are determined finally to defend yourself, German people, then be pitiless!” (Adolf Hitler).

If anyone just would have sat down and dissected these arguments they would have seen how preposterous the statements were. Even if they would have taken the line in argument 9 “the Jews have never produced a single creative man” just think for example of the multitude if Jewish authors like Kafka or Zweig.

But much like nowadays people don’t listen to facts only to headlines.

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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.

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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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If Goebbels only knew

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Of all the stories emerging out of WWII this must be one of my favourites. A tale of giving the proverbial 2 fingers and an up yours gesture. Undoubtedly the Service held did not lose any of its religious sense or relevance but I am sure there must have been a few smiling faces afterwards.

The picture above is of a Jewish Service held in Schloss Rheydt the home of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister. I would have so much to have seen his face after finding out about the event in his dining room.

Pfc. Abraham Mirmelstein of Newport News, Virginia, holds the Holy Scroll as Capt. Manuel M. Poliakoff, and Cpl. Martin Willen, of Baltimore, Maryland, conduct services in Schloss Rheydt, former residence of Dr. Joseph Paul Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, in Münchengladbach, Germany on March 18, 1945. They were the first Jewish services held east of the Rur River and were offered in memory of soldiers of the faith who were lost by the 29th Division, U.S. 9th Army.

I came across this newsletter, I am not sure if this is about the same service. I am not sure since the celebrants mentioned in it had different names and the date is 10 days later. So it appears there had been at least a second service, making revenge twice as sweet.

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