Slavery

There are a few definitions of slavery, here are some of them, One is taken from Britannica the other from Mirriam-Webster.

“slavery, condition in which one human being was owned by another. A slave was considered by law as property, or chattel, and was deprived of most of the rights ordinarily held by free persons.”

” 1a: the practice of slaveholding
b: the state of a person who is held in forced servitude
c: a situation or practice in which people are entrapped (as by debt) and exploited. 2: submission to a dominating influence slavery to habit 3:DRUDGERY, TOIL”

In none of the definitions is there a reference of skin color, yet anytime you see a picture about slavery it is always of black slaves.

When people see the picture above and out it in the context of slavery, immediately they think that the black man is the slave and the white man is his owner. However they would be wrong. The picture was take by Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, circa 1888 it is a photograph of a Meccan merchant (right) and his Circassian slave. Entitled, “Vornehmer Kaufmann mit seinem cirkassischen Sklaven’ (Distinguished merchant and his circassian slave)”

The Circassians, are a Northwest Caucasian ethnic group and the indigenous people of the North Caucasus. The picture was taken in 1888 or near to that time. Which is 2 decades after the abolishment of slavery in the USA, and most other western countries.

I don’t want this to become a political blog but I just feel compelled to say that it is bizarre, that the BLM movement is looking for compensation for something which happened more then 400 years ago. You can not hold people in 2021 responsible for what happened 400 years ago. Most of all if you set up a political movement you need to have all the facts, and distort history to further your agenda, because that will not help against racism, it will create racism.

No one in their right mind will deny that the slavery of our black fellow human beings was awful and nothing less than a genocide. However one thing that is always overlooked in the BLM narrative is the fact that the slaves were brought to slaves markets, not by white men but by. fellow Africans

Records from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, directed by historian David Eltis at Emory University, show that the majority of captives brought to the U.S. came from Senegal, Gambia, Congo and eastern Nigeria. Europeans oversaw this brutal traffic in human cargo, but they had many local collaborators. “The organization of the slave trade was structured to have the Europeans stay along the coast lines, relying on African middlemen and merchants to bring the slaves to them,” said Toyin Falola, a Nigerian professor of African studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Europeans couldn’t have gone into the interior to get the slaves themselves.”

A slave trader of Gorée, c. 1797

The anguished debate over slavery in the U.S. is often silent on the role that Africans played. That silence is echoed in many African countries, where there is hardly any national discussion or acknowledgment of the issue. From nursery school through university in Nigeria, I was taught about great African cultures and conquerors of times past but not about African involvement in the slave trade. In an attempt to reclaim some of the dignity that we lost during colonialism, Africans have tended to magnify stories of a glorious past of rich traditions and brave achievement, according to professor Toyin Falola.

How slaves were traded in Africa

European buyers tended to remain on the coast
African sellers brought slaves from the interior on foot
Journeys could be as long as 485km (300 miles)
Two captives were typically chained together at the ankle
Columns of captives were tied together by ropes around their necks
10%-15% of captives died on the way

Before African slaves there were Christian slaves and other white slaves, enslaved by the Roman empire. Anyone who has seen the movie “Gladiator” will know the tagline “The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire.” although the main character is fictional, the Gladiators were mostly slaves taken from all over the Roman empire including ‘white’ Europe.

After the Romans the Vikings did their share in white slavery.

The Jews have been enslaved many times before that and after that.

Many in the BLM movement are trying to distort the History, by implying that slaves were only black and slave traders were always white. This is factual not true and will do more harm then good to the movement.

And I know that some will imply that I am a racist, even though I am as far removed from racism as you can be. I totally agree with those who want to highlight that there still is inequality between black and white ,because there is. Every human being regardless what race, colour, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, background should have the same rights and opportunities.

But by calling everyone who is white ‘privileged’ you are actually creating racism. Because so many, including me, are not

sources

Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Labrousse (France, Bordeaux, active late 18th century) – Image: http://collections.lacma.org/sites/default/files/remote_images/piction/ma-31858248-O3.jpg Gallery: http://collections.lacma.org/node/208516 archive copy

https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-the-slave-traders-were-african-11568991595

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53444752

https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15861.html

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/taglines

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slavery

https://www.britannica.com/topic/slavery-sociology

Not Just Numbers

The approximate number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust by nation .

Poland 3,000.000; Ukraine 900,000;Hungary 450,000; Russia 352,000;Romania 300;000;BaltIc countries 228,000;Germany/Austria 210,000;the Netherlands 105,000;France 92,000;Slovakia 75,000; Greece 54,000;Belgium 40,000;Yugoslavia 26,000;Bulgaria 14,000 ;Italy 8,000,Luxembourg 1,000;Norway 900. Total 5,907,900.

These numbers are just estimates. I believe the number is actually higher, because not all suicides are included n this number nor are all the numbers of those who died during the transport.

However when I saw these numbers I had 2 questions. My first question was “How come there are no numbers for the Danish Jews?” The Danes had been very successful in saving their Jewish neighbours. Many of then were enabled to escape to Sweden with help from their Danish neighbours .Like 19 year old Henny Sinding who used hos boat ‘Geda III’ to smuggle Jews from Denmark to Sweden.

This is not to say that no Danish Jews died. Some did die either by suicide or they didn’t survive the escape journey to Sweden. There will also have been Danish Jews who lived elsewhere who would have been deported .

My second question was “Who was responsible for the Holocaust? ” The answer to that is not as easy as one might think. No one will doubt or deny that the Nazi regime in Germany and Austria were responsible for the death of millions, however their counterparts in other European countries also did play a part in this. The excuse of being occupied they had to do as they were told is often used, but the fact is many European governments were willing participants.

Even the countries which weren’t occupied played their part. The picture below and at the start of the blog are pictures of Jewish refugees Not much is known about the group of mostly Jewish refugees who came from the region of Moravská Ostrava/Mährisch Ostrau in former Czechoslovakia, and arrived in Great Britain on March 29 1939 ,shortly after Germany had invaded Czechoslovakia, but a day after the British Police deported them at and put them on a plane at Croydoen airport.

Although the exact number of murdered Jews will never really be known, in a way it doesn’t really matter. Because each of these numbers represent a person, a human being with a living soul. A human being like any other human being, but because they were seen as a lesser life form by a sick and twisted ideology they were murdered.

A human being like Max Baum a cattle dealer who was born in Linnich, Germany , 18 August 1907 but lived in Doenrade in the Netherlands and spent some time in Geleen. Maz was murdered in Auschwitz, 18 December 1943. His wife survived

sources

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https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/227984/max-baum

The Eurovision Song contest- The bizarre songs.

Lordi

No matter what you think of the Eurovision song contest, there is no denying it is a global cultural event. It might not be to everyone’s liking but it is a global cultural event nonetheless.

And it is truly global not only because it goes out live to nations across the world, bit also the last few years Australia has entered the competition.

Even last year’s winner,Israel, although Israel has strong historical,political and economical ties to Europe, geographically it is technically in Asia. But it does ly at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

However this blog is not a blog about geopolitical situations but as alluded to a blog about the more bizarre songs which competed in the song contest throughout its history. I literally could pick dozens of songs  but I am sticking to the ones that stood out most for me.

Staring with probably the most bizarre band ,Lordi from Finland with their song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, what makes this even more bizarre it actually won the competition in 2006.

 

In 1979 the Germans tried to win the contest with the band “Dschinghis Khan” who had a song with the very original name “Dschinghis Khan”. They reached the 4th place.

In 2003 the Belgians came up with the idea to enter the contest with a song in a made up language. The band “Urban Trad” the song “Sanomi” They reached the 2nd place.

If the contest was measured on the most bizarre songs Belgium would definitely be the winners. In 1980 the band “Telex” entered with the song “Euro-Vision”( I wonder where they got the idea for the title).It ended on the 17th place.

In 2007 the Ukraine came up with a song in Ukranian,German,English and some made up words.But to be honest there wasn’t that much text really. The song “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” the artist “Verka Serduchka” Funny enough it also reached the 2nd place.

Ending with the nation that won the Eurovision the most. Ireland won the competition 7 times. But I don’t think that anyone expected a Turkey to win the competition and yet in 2008 Ireland’s national broadcaster,RTE, did just that. They send a turkey named Dustin asking Europe for 12 points, Hence the title “Irlande Douze Points” strangely enough it didn’t reach the finals.

 

On  May 14 the whole circus starts again with the the 2nd semi finale on May 16th and the Grand Finale on May 18th.

Pssst, come here!Although I am supposed to be a rocker and a serious music fan, I will be watching it, but don’t tell anyone.

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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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May 21 not a good day for Monarchs

800px-Sun_Quan_Tang

Throughout history the 21st if May has not been kind to many royals, it appears that a high number of Kings,Queens and emperors perished this day. Since the calendar has changed a bit some of the earlier records are estimated to have been on May 21.

Emperor Da of Wu (literally “Great Emperor of Wu”), was the founder of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. He inherited control of the warlord regime established by his elder brother, Sun Ce, in 200,died on this day in 252.age 70.

Sacre_Louis5_France_02.jpg

Louis V , also known as Louis the Do-Nothing (French: Louis le Fainéant),[1] was the king of West Francia from 986 until his premature death a year later. During his reign, the nobility essentially ruled the country. Dying childless, he was the last monarch in the Carolingian line in West Francia. Died 21 May 987. age 21.

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Richeza of Poland, Queen of Hungary.

She was a daughter of King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland, and his wife, Richeza of Lotharingia, the great-granddaughter of Emperor Otto II.She is traditionally called Richeza, but contemporary sources do not confirm this name. Nowadays it is supposed that she was called Adelaide.

Between 1039 and 1043, she was married to king Béla of Hungary, who had served her father and taken part in her father’s campaigns against the pagan Pomeranian tribes.

In 1048, her husband received one third of Hungary (Tercia pars Regni) as appanage from his brother, King Andrew I of Hungary, and the couple moved to Hungary. On 6 December 1060, her husband was crowned King of Hungary after defeating his brother.She died May 21 1075 age 62.

Conrad_IV_of_Germany

Conrad IV of Germany

Conrad (25 April 1228 – 21 May 1254), a member of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was the only son of Emperor Frederick II from his second marriage with Queen Isabella II of Jerusalem. He inherited the title of a King of Jerusalem (as Conrad  upon the death of his mother in child bed. Appointed Duke of Swabia in 1235, his father had him elected King of Germany.

Annacelje

Anne of Celje (c. 1381 – 21 May 1416) was Queen consort of Poland (1402–1416). She was the second wife of Jogaila (Władysław II Jagiełło), King of Poland and Supreme Duke of Lithuania (reigned 1387–1434).

800px-King_Henry_VI_from_NPG_(2).jpg

Henry VI of England,The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father’s death, and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards. He died 21 May 1471, age 49.

Christian_I_of_Denmark,_Norway_&_Sweden_1440s.jpg

Christian I of Denmark a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was King of Denmark (1448–1481), Norway (1450–1481) and Sweden (1457–1464). From 1460 to 1481, he was also Duke of Schleswig (within Denmark) and Count (after 1474, Duke) of Holstein (within the Holy Roman Empire). He was the first Danish monarch of the House of Oldenburg. He died on 21 May 1481,age 55.

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WWII- The aftermath

wwII

The effects of  WWII were felt for years and even decades after the war ended. It can even be argued that the effects can even be noticed nowadays.

Below are some pictures of the Aftermath of WWII in Europe.

A German soldier returns home to Frankfurt am Main after the end of the War, 1946.

German Soldier returning home Tony Vaccaro

The photo of a German prisoner of war returning to his home town of Frankfurt to discover his house bombed and his family no longer there.

Three girls skate home from school, past blocks of houses destroyed by Allied air raids, Essen, Germany, February 14, 1949.

destroyed_essen_1949

Three German girls skate home from school past blocks of houses destroyed by Allied air raids in Essen, Germany, Feb. 14, 1949. These kids can’t remember a time when their city didn’t look like that, because they weren’t old enough or even born when the city was still standing. For them, life had always been like that

A smiling prisoner of war returning home to Vienna passes a woman holding a photograph up in a mixture of hope and despair

A mother shows a picture of her son to a returning prisoner of war, 1947 (1)

The hunger-winter of 1947, thousands protest against the disastrous food situation (31 March 1947)

Krefeld, Hungerwinter, Demonstration

One year after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German prisoners landscape the first U.S. cemetery at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, near “Omaha” Beach

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In the streets of Brignoles, angry French citizens publicly rebuke a woman who is suspected of having collaborated with the Germans.

Brignoles_France

Dutch boys helping to rebuild Rotterdam, a city badky damaged by the Luftwaffe. . The photograph was taken November 5, 1945

rot-brick45s

Mar 3, 2017 – A huge bomb that was discovered at a construction site in North London

Oh those romantic European politicians.

Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984 (1)

I am just being a bit cheeky here but sometimes you see pictures of European leaders and you wonder “How friendly were they really?” Above and below are pictures of Kohl and Mitterand,holding hands  in Verdun, 1984

Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984 (3)

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev embraces Erich Honecker, hardline communist and general secretary of the Communist Party (SED) as members of SED applaud during the 11th SED party’s congress, on April 17, 1986 in East Berlin. The socialist fraternal kiss or socialist fraternal embrace was a special form of greeting between the statesmen of Communist countries.

Gorbachev_Honecker_kiss_1986

That Honecker sure got around Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker change kisses after Brezhnev was honored with the title “Hero of the German Democratic Republic” and the “Karl Marx Medal”.

socialist_kiss_brezhnev_honecker_1979_2

Europe’s odd couple, often called Merkozy.

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French president François Hollande is greeted by President Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin

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Russian President Putin holds hand of German Chancellor Merkel during tour of Hanover Messe in Hanover.

Russian President Putin holds hand of German Chancellor Merkel during tour of Hanover Messe in Hanover

Ending with one more of Honecker and Brehznev.

The Socialist Fraternal Kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker 1979 2

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The Eurovision song contest

Eurovision_Song_Contest.svg

Tonight is the first semi finals of the annual circus called the Eurovision Song contest. I have to be honest though, I do like it. It basically goes against everything I like,music wise, the whole bizarre circus and the politics behind it I do find entertaining.

In case you are in doubt it is political you only have to look at last year’s winner. Ukraine;Jamala-1944.

Let’s just look at the history of probably the biggest Television event in the world.

The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with an idea of Sergio Pugliese, of the Italian television RAI, and then approved by Marcel Bezençon of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The contest was based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.

.The first contest took place on 24 May 1956, where seven nations participated.  It was won by Lys Assia for Switzerland, with the song refrain.

As the Contest progressed, the rules grew increasingly complex and participation levels rose to pass forty nations at the end of the 20th century. As more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the EBU attempted to keep up with national and international trends.

Ireland won the contest 7 times, followed by Sweden 6 times.France, Luxembourg, United Kingdom 5 times and the Netherlands 4 times.

Of the 7 times Ireland won it, 3 times were by Johnny Logan.

1024px-Eurovision_Song_Contest_1980_-_Johnny_Logan_3

Twice as a performer and in 1992 as the composer with the song Why me? sung by Linda Martin.

Ireland also had one of the most bizarre contestants, a Turkey called Dustin. It was really as a protest against the geographical bloc voting which became evident at the end of the 1990’s and early 21st century,after the introduction of tele-voting and the removal of the jury votes.

 

Finland who mostly got 0 points or at the most just a few points was the surprise winner in 2006 with a Heavy Metal band called Lordi. Although many people complaint about this, it does show the diversity of popular music on display at the Eurovision.

 

In general the winners do not enjoy too much success or longevity in the music industry, however there were 2 acts that were able to build a career on the back of their wins at the Eurovision

In 1988 Canadian born Celine Dion entered the contest for Switzerland with the song “Ne partez pas sans moi” she became a global mega star afterwards.

The band that really is associated with the Song contest is of course ABBA, in 1974 they won with their song Waterloo, this catapulted their career into the stratosphere. Their fame was at par with bands like Queen, the Beatles and the Rolling stones.

 

Going back to the diversity of the Eurovision in 1998 and in 2014 the contest was won by transgender/sexual  contestsants, 1998 Dana International for Israel with the song”Diva” and 2014 Conchita Wurst for Austria with the song “Rise like a Phoenix”

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In 2009 the contest was won by Norway’s Alexander Rybak with his self-penned “Fairytale”, which received a record-breaking 387 points out of 492, at the time the highest total score in the history of the contest.

Finishing up with the song that won the last time for the Netherlands. In 1975 Teach In won the contest with the song”Ding A Dong” (hey it was the seventies)