Disco Demolition

If you destroy art you destroy the soul of a nation. No matter how you dress it up or market it, the destruction of art is always politically motivated and is one of the ingredients of Fascism.

We have had plenty of examples in the past, the 1933 book burning in the Third Reich, the burning of books and banning of art during the McCarthy era in the USA. It is always politically motivated.

Art should never be subjected to someone’s opinion but rather to someone’s taste. Basically if you don’t like it, ignore it. If you do like it, endorse it. There really is nothing more to it

On July 12, 1979, 48,000 fans packed Chicago’s Comiskey Park for Disco Demolition Night. Some spectators went out of control.

The event ended in a riot. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field between games of the twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was so damaged by the explosion and by the fans that the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game to the Tigers.

In the 1970s, the ubiquitous disco music craze annoyed many, including popular DJ Steve Dahl, who expressed vehement protest. against disco and symbolically exploded records on air for WLUP. Mike Veeck, son of White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who was famous for combining baseball with inventive publicity stunts, hatched the idea with Dahl and WLUP’s station manager to cash in on the increasing hatred of disco with Disco Demolition Night Promotion.

Steve Dahl had lost his job spinning rock records when the radio station he worked for changed to an all-disco format. He quickly found another job at another rock station. But he was still angry.

In the late 1970s, dance-oriented disco was the most popular music genre in the United States, particularly after being featured in hit films such as Saturday Night Fever (1977).

However, disco sparked a major backlash from rock music fans—an opposition prominent enough that the White Sox, seeking to fill seats at Comiskey Park during a lackluster season, engaged Chicago shock jock and anti-disco campaigner Steve Dahl for the promotion at the July 12 doubleheader. Dahl’s sponsoring radio station was 97.9 WLUP, so admission was discounted to 98 cents for attendees who turned in a disco record; between games, Dahl was to destroy the collected vinyl in an explosion.

I am not convinced if the major backlash actually came from rock music fans or just a few Disc Jockeys. Rock acts like Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones and Kiss al had released Disco inspired songs. “I was made for loving you” by Kiss still is one of their biggest selling singles.

The event on July 12,1979 attracted an estimated 90,000 people to the 52,000-seat stadium, leaving tens of thousands roaming around the stadium and trying to sneak in. Comiskey was packed with what announcer Harry Caray deemed “a lot of funny-looking people,” most of whom were under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

The first game was to begin at 6 pm CDT, with the second game to follow. Lorelei, a model who did public appearances for WLUP and who was popular in Chicago that summer for her sexually provocative poses in the station’s advertisements, threw out the first pitch.[ As the first game began, Mike Veeck received word that thousands of people were trying to get into the park without tickets and sent his security personnel to the stadium gates to stop them. This left the field unattended, and fans began throwing the uncollected disco LPs and singles from the stands. Tigers designated hitter Rusty Staub remembered that the records would slice through the air, and land sticking out of the ground. He urged teammates to wear batting helmets when playing their positions, “It wasn’t just one, it was many. Oh, God almighty, I’ve never seen anything so dangerous in my life.”

Attendees also threw firecrackers, empty liquor bottles, and lighters onto the field. The game was stopped several times because of the rain of foreign objects.

The first mistake organizers made on Disco Demolition night was grossly underestimating the appeal of the 98-cent discount tickets offered to anyone who brought a disco record to the park to add to the explosive-rigged dumpster. WLUP and the White Sox expected perhaps 5,000 more fans than the average draw of 15,000 or so at Comiskey Park. What they got instead was a raucous sellout crowd of 40,000-plus and an even more raucous overflow crowd of as many as 40,000 more outside on Shields Avenue. The second mistake was failing to actually collect those disco records, which would become dangerous projectiles in the hands of a crowd that was already out of control by the time Dahl detonated his dumpster in center field during warm-ups for the evening’s second game.

Dozens of hand-painted banners with such slogans as “Disco sucks” were hung from the ballpark’s seating decks. White Sox broadcaster Harry Caray saw groups of ‘music fans’ wandering the stands. Others sat intently in their seats, awaiting the explosion. Mike Veeck recalled an odor of marijuana in the grandstand and said of the attendees, “This is the Woodstock they never had.” The odor permeated the press box, which Caray and his broadcast partner, Jimmy Piersall, commented on over the air. The crowds outside the stadium also threw records, or gathered them and burned them in bonfires. Detroit won the first game, 4–1.

The first game ended at 8:16 pm; at 8:40, Dahl, dressed in army fatigues and a helmet, emerged onto the playing surface together with his broadcasting partner Meier and Lorelei. They circled the field in a Jeep, showered (according to Dahl, lovingly) by his troops with firecrackers and beer, then proceeded to center field where the box containing the records awaited, rigged with explosives. Dahl and Meier warmed up the crowd, leading attendees in a chant of “disco sucks”. Lorelei recalled that the view from center field was surreal. On the mound, White Sox pitcher Ken Kravec, scheduled to start the second game, began to warm up. Other White Sox, in the dugout and wearing batting helmets, looked out upon the scene. Fans who felt events were getting out of control and who wished to leave the ballpark had difficulty doing so; in an effort to deny the intruders entry, security had padlocked all but one gate.

Dahl set off the explosives, destroying the records and tearing a large hole in the outfield grass. With most of the security personnel still watching the gates per Mike Veeck’s orders, there was almost no one guarding the playing surface. Soon, the first of 5,000 to 7,000 attendees rushed onto the field, causing Kravec to flee the mound and join his teammates in a barricaded clubhouse. Some climbed the foul poles, while others set records on fire or ripped up the grass. The batting cage was destroyed, and the bases were pulled up and stolen.

The understaffed police were helpless. Veeck and Caray pleaded for calm, and organist Nancy Faust played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to help quiet the crowd. Chicago police finally restored order after about 37 minutes.

The pitch was so badly damaged the conditions were judged too dangerous for the scheduled game to begin, and the Detroit Tigers were awarded a win by forfeit.

Some people say that this event actually killed of Disco music altogether. I don’t subscribe to that point of view. Also some people say that this was an attack on the LGBT community, I am also not convinced about that. There were many rock artist who were gay, although they hadn’t come out yet. But I am sure that most people would have known that Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Judas Priest singer Rob Halford were either gay or bi-sexual. And they weren’t the only ones.

I do however think there may have been a racial prejudice motive behind the ‘stunt’

sources

https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2019/07/12/disco-demolition-dahl-veeck-chicago-white-sox

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/disco-is-dealt-death-blow-by-fans-of-the-chicago-white-sox

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/July-August-08/On-this-Day—Disco-Demolition-Night–Ruins-Chicago-White-Sox-Game.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition_Night

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Hans Retzlaff-killed because he was gay.

Capture

The case of Hans Retzlaff is particularly sad, not only because he was killed in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen but also because he was disowned by his own Father.

Hans had already been in court in 1927 in relation to homosexual activities, which was a criminal offence in Germany at the time, according to paragraph 175  of the German criminal code(this paragraph was only completely deleted in 1994) It is believed he spent a few months in 1935 in concentration camp Lichtenburg Prettin, September to November 1935.

On November 3 1938 he was arrested again and was sentenced on January 4,1939 for “unnatural fornication”. He received further sentencing in February 1940.On September 5,1940 a Telex was sent from the Berlin Police about Hans, in which he was described as an “incorrigible homosexual”

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On September 18,1940 the Police transported him to Sachsenhausen in just over 2 months later, on November 25, at 17.15 he died of an Pulmonary embolism and a chronic heart condition, at least that is what it said on the death certificate. The body was cremated, These causes of death were often put o the death certs even when a prisoner was executed, given the fact that the body was also cremated it sage to make the assumption that Hans was executed.

cert

 

The death cert  and another follow up document also state that the urn with his ashes could be requested from the crematorium authorities in writing, at own costs.

His Father however stated that he refused the estate of his deceased son and that he didn’t want anything to do with any of the matters relating to his son. Heh ad already been estranged from his son for years.

(document stating that the urn with his ashed can be retrieved within 4 weeks)doc2

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Sources

http://www.raunitz.de/sh_tote_opfer/h_retzlaff.html

https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/en/archive/1-1-38-1_100104402/?p=2&doc_id=4135831&tf_document_category=20406672|20472150|14539586|20332256|5075|24735180|5781|20407164|5456|26132683

 

The Shamefvll ende of Bishop John Atherton.

Atherton

The Shamefvll ende of Bishop John Atherton. or in modern day English, the shameful end of Bishop John Atherton is probably a good example of”Be careful what you wish for because you may just get it”

John Atherton  was the Anglican Bishop of Waterford and Lismore in the Church of Ireland. But prior to that he was canon of St John’s, Dublin in 1630; chancellor of Killaloe in 1634; chancellor of Christ Church and rector of Killaban and Ballintubride in 1635. In 1636, under the patronage of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Atherton was appointed as Lord Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

Although a Buggery Act had already been in place in England since 1533, it was found in 1631, that this law did not apply to Ireland. The buggery act was basically a Sodomy Law.

A sodomy law defines certain sexual acts as crimes. It is fairly vague in its definition of what sexual acts meant by the term sodomy and are rarely spelled out in the law, but were  generally  understood by courts to include any sexual act deemed to be unnatural or immoral. Sodomy typically includes anal sex, oral sex, and bestiality. The Sodomy laws were really targeted against Homosexuals and not so much against Heterosexuals.

Atherton was outraged that this act did not apply in Ireland and pushed for the enactment of “An Act for the Punishment for the Vice Of Buggery” in 1634.

On November 11 1634 the Irish House of Commons passed the act.

house of

In 1640 Atherton  accused of buggery with his steward , John Childe. The Bishop’s fellow clerics desperately tried everything  to prevent the judgement being carried out , in order to avoid disgrace to the reformed religion of Ireland. But the verdict of guilty was greeted  by cheers in court, and Atherton  was nearly lynched  on his way from court  to the jail in Cork.

Atherton was executed by hanging in Stephen’s Green, Dublin, after reading the morning service for his fellow cellmates. Allegedly, he confessed about the ‘crime’ to the priest ministering him immediately before his execution, even though he had proclaimed he was  innocence before that and maintained that claim during the execution.

The irony of it was that he was the first to be executed for buggery in Ireland under the law he pushed so hard to enact.

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When music and politics collide.

Vienna Philharmonic

Music is one of my biggest passions, it has helped mte through many tragedies in my life and it still plays a very important part in my life.

Something that worries me is when music is used for political reasons or when musicians make political statements. They are of course entitled to have political views but they have to remember that they are on a platform, where they can reach many of their fans. They have to be very careful in relation to what political ideology they subscribe. Mostly they mean well and want to use the influence they have to get a message across, but it can backfire on them and it may actually damage their careers. They could even be accused of hypocrisy . I remember a few years ago a well known rock star decided not to have a concert in a city in the US because they could not provide all facilities requested by the LGBT community. However this same rock star had no difficulties touring in countries where gay men were executed for having sexual relations with other men.

Throughout history there have been cases where politics were used to influence music and vice versa with devastating effect.

On 23 March 1938, the violinist Viktor Robitsek received a notification from the management of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, telling him he was fired. viktorThis was not because he was a bad violinist, in fact he was one of the best in Austria, he was fired for being Jewish. He had served 35 years with the Orchestra devoting his life to his art and the orchestra.

He had Joined the Vienna Court Opera Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic on November 11, 1902. On Mar 23, 1938 he was told that his services were no longer required. Discarded as a disposable piece of material.

Robitsek was Deported on October 28, 1941 together with his wife, Elsa Robitsek), from Vienna to Litzmannstadt, where he was murdered on June 1942.

On March 12,1938 11 days before Robitsek was sacked from the orchestra er Hitler’s troops  had  marched in to Austria and were  met with no resistance, The Anschluss was welcomed by most Austrians.

anschluss

Many already had become members of the Nazi party, among them a few dozen musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Viktor Rubinek was not the only Jewish musician to be fired, most of the  Jewish musicians were sacked from the orchestra.

A total of seven members of the Philharmonic were killed,

Murdered after Deportation:

1. Moriz Glattauer (Violin I)
2. Viktor Robitsek (Violin II)
3. Max Starkmann (Violin I, Viola)
4. Julius Stwertka (Concertmaster, Violin I)
5. Armin Tyroler (Oboe II)

Philharmonic Members who died in Vienna:
6. Anton Weiss (Violin I, section leader)
7. Paul Fischer (Violin I)

In 1938, thirteen active musicians were expelled from the Association of the Vienna
Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Three additional retired members of the Philharmonic also fell victim to the Holocaust.

The violinist Moriz Glattauer was deported together with his wife, Anna, to Theresienstadt on July 14, 1942. He died there on February 2, 1943. His wife Anna Glattauer was transferred to Auschwitz on May 15, 1944 although it is not entirely clear how she died, she more then llikely was killed in the Gas chambers.

None of the fellow musicians did anything to safe their colleagues, some whom they had performed with for decades,instead they signed up to the Nazi political ideology. They had allowed their music to collide with politics, Not only had this evil infiltrated this evil their lives it alsi tainted their art forever.

 

The Vienna Philharmonic orchestra is just one example but there were many other orchestras and musical institutions across the world  who treated their Jewish colleagues in a similar way

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Sources

https://www.wienerphilharmoniker.at/orchestra/history/national-socialism

The Guardian

 

The weird case of Violette Morris

viole

Of all stories relating to spies and collaborators during WWII this most be one of the most intriguing ones.

When I first read about Violette Morris and saw the date she died,26 April 1944, I assumed she was killed for being a member of the French resistance. Why I thought that I don’t know.

Born in France on 18 April 1893. She was a French athlete who won two gold and one silver medals at the Women’s World Games in 1922 and the Women’s Olympiad in 1924.

violette

She excelled in those sports that require strength and power such as shot put and javelin.However those weren’t the only sports she was involved in.

She partook in football,water polo ,road bicycle racing, motorcycle racing, airplane racing, horseback riding, tennis, archery, diving, swimming,weightlifting, and Greco-Roman wrestling,boxing and car racing.

She loved car racing so much that she had her breasts removed to fit better in the car.

car

She married Cyprien Edouard Joseph Gouraud on 22 August 1914 in Paris. They divorced in May 1923. She had served in World War I as a military nurse during the Battle of the Somme and a courier during the Battle of Verdun.

Although she had been married, she was attracted to women.

Her motto was “Anything A Man Can Do, Violette Can Do, Too”

Her lifestyle was of no shame to her. She lived as a man and made no secret of the fact that her lovers were women. This was considered really scandalous behaviour in 1920’s France.

In 1928, she was refused license renewal by the Fédération française sportive féminine and as a result was not allowed to compete in the 1928 Olympic Games.

Despite her being openly gay she had a big fan in Adolf Hitler. This one of the anomalies in the Nazi policies,according to the Nazi doctrine women could not be gay.

In 1935 she was approached an recruited by by the Sicherheitsdienst. On the personal behest she was invited to attend the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

1936

She provided the Nazi regime in Germany  with partial plans of the Maginot Line, detailed plans of strategic points within the city of Paris, and schematics of the French army’s main tank, the Somua S35. Her information was vital to the German invasion of Paris in 1940.

tank.JPG

After the Nazi invasion, Morris remained close to the Germans and started working for the French Gestapo, the Carlingue. She had the nickname, ‘The Hyena of the Gestapo,’ because apparently she got a lot of sadistic pleasure by torturing people and extracting information.

On 26 April 1944, when she went for a  drive in her Citroën Traction Avant car with two friends and their two children for a spin on a country road.

citoen

Her engine sputtered and the car came to a halt. Earlier tha day, the engine had been tampered with by  the French Resistance Maquis Surcouf group. Members of the group  then emerged from a hiding spot and opened fired on the car. Although Morris was the target, all five people in the car were killed. Morris’ body, riddled with bullets.

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The Buchenwald experiments

10105

On October, 1  1944, the first of two sets of medical experiments involving castration were performed on homosexuals at the Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany.

Buchenwald was one of the first concentration camps established by the Nazi regime. Constructed in 1937, it was a complement to camps north (Sachsenhausen) and south (Dachau), and was built to hold slave laborers, who worked in local munitions factories 24 hours a day, in 12-hour shifts.

Holocaust

Although not technically a death camp, in that it had no gas chambers, nevertheless hundreds of prisoners died monthly, from malnutrition, beatings, disease, and executions.

The camp boasted a sophisticated-sounding facility on its grounds called the Division for Typhus and Virus Research of the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS. In truth, it was a chamber of horrors where medical experiments of the cruelest kind were carried out on prisoners against their will. Victims were often intentionally infused with various infections to test out vaccines. Euthanasia was also performed regularly on Jews, Gypsies, and mentally ill prisoners.

Among the cruelest of Buchenwald’s overseers was the infamous Ilse Koch, wife of SS commandant Karl Koch and known as the “Witch of Buchenwald.”

Ilse_Koch

Among her fetishistic tendencies was her penchant for lampshades, gloves, and other items made from the tattooed skin of dead inmates. She also had a reputation for forcing prisoners to participate in orgies. She was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for her sadism, but she hanged herself after 16 years behind bars.

The SS left behind accounts of the number of prisoners and people coming to and leaving the camp, categorizing those leaving them by release, transfer, or death. These accounts are one of the sources of estimates for the number of deaths in Buchenwald. According to SS documents, 33,462 died. These documents were not, however, necessarily accurate: Among those executed before 1944, many were listed as “transferred to the Gestapo”. Furthermore, from 1941, Soviet POWs were executed in mass killings. Arriving prisoners selected for execution were not entered into the camp register and therefore were not among the 33,462 dead listed.

W-Buchenwald-Gallows

One former Buchenwald prisoner, Armin Walter, calculated the number of executions by the number of shootings in the back of the head. His job at Buchenwald was to set up and care for a radio installation at the facility where people were executed; he counted the numbers, which arrived by telex, and hid the information. He says that 8,483 Soviet prisoners of war were shot in this manner.

According to the same source, the total number of deaths at Buchenwald is estimated at 56,545. This number is the sum of:

  • Deaths according to material left behind by the SS: 33,462[34]
  • Executions by shooting: 8,483
  • Executions by hanging (estimate): 1,100
  • Deaths during evacuation transports (estimate): 13,500

This total (56,545) corresponds to a death rate of 24 percent, assuming that the number of persons passing through the camp according to documents left by the SS, 240,000 prisoners, is accurate

Buchenwald was liberated by the Allies on April 11, 1945, one day before the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. It was later used by the Soviet Union as a concentration camp for the enemies of East Germany.

JedemDasSeine04

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