Education for Death- and other WWII propaganda movies.

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During WWII Hollywood did not sit still, it actively contributed to the US propaganda machine.

These propaganda movies were not done by unknown or obscure movie makers. They were done by some of the biggest studios in Tinseltown.One of the more surprising was no other then Walt Disney.

Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi is an animated propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released on January 15, 1943, by RKO Radio Pictures, directed by Clyde Geronimi and principally animated by Ward Kimball. The short is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by American author Gregor Ziemer.

A propaganda look into the mind of Hans, a boy born into a German family. Watch as his attitude about the value of human life degrades as he is exposed to Hitler Youth and other Nazi organizations and attitudes.In the end, Hans and the rest of the German soldiers march off to war only to fade into rows of identical graves, with nothing on them except a swastika and a helmet perched on top. Thus Hans’s education is complete – “his education… for death.”

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Der Fuehrer’s Face (originally titled Donald Duck in Nutzi Land) is a 1942 American animated anti-Nazi propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures.

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In World War II, a marching band playing “Der Fuehrer’s Face” passes by Donald Duck’s house. He awakes, has a poor breakfast with stale bread. Then he goes to an army factory where he works in the production of ammunition brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda. Donald Duck has a nervous breakdown with the stressed situation but when he awakes, he finds that he had a nightmare and he actually lives in United States of America.

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Der Fuehrer’s Face won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 15th Academy Awards. It was the only Donald Duck film to receive the honor.

Given the fact that Adolf Hitler actually had been a great fan of Disney movies,Snow White was his favourite movie, this surely would have antagonized him.

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Gregor Ziemer’s book Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi was also used for another 1943 movie”Hitler’s Children”.

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Hitler’s Children is a 1943 American black-and-white propaganda film made by RKO Radio Pictures. It was directed by the Canadian-American director, Edward Dmytryk, from an adaptation by Emmet Lavery of Gregor Ziemer’s book Education For Death.

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This propaganda piece starts in 1933. Prof. Nichols’ American school in Berlin is next door to a school for the Hitler Youth. Karl, from the latter, is attracted to German-American Anna, but events lead to their separation. Six years later, near the outbreak of war in Europe, Anna is removed from Nichols’ school on presumption of German citizenship. Nichols becomes obsessed with finding her, as Anna undergoes a rather lurid odyssey through the Nazi nightmare.

Hitler – Dead or Alive is a 1942 American war film directed by Nick Grinde.

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The plot of this film was inspired by true events. During the early stages of World War II a prominent American businessman offered a reward of one million dollars to bring Adolf Hitler to justice, dead or alive. Russell Hicks plays the part of the American businessman in this film who hires three gangster ex-convicts released from Alcatraz prison. The gangsters are played by Ward Bond, Warren Hymer and Paul Fix.

The quasi-comic tone of the film turns dead serious at the end, when a desperate Hitler makes a break for it and is shot by the SS officer in charge, who states disdainfully (and ironically): “To think that Germany could produce a piece of filth like you”, and Bond makes a long patriotic speech while facing a firing squad.

In November 2012, while being interviewed by Playboy magazine, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino admitted the inspiration for his film Inglourious Basterds came from Hitler – Dead or Alive.

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The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler is a US-american film,directed by James P. Hogan. It’s probably more of a War movie then Propaganda film. The film follows a man who plans to murder Adolf Hitler and steal his identity.

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A clerk in 1942 Vienna who has a gift for mimicry, is arrested for doing a Hitler impression. The Gestapo decide to give him plastic surgery to look like Hitler so he can take his place in public, acting as a decoy for assassination attempts.

The Hitler Gang is a 1944 American pseudo-documentary film directed by John Farrow, which traces the political rise of Adolf Hitler.

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Described as a “documentary-propaganda” film by its studio, Paramount Pictures, the historical drama is based on documented fact and marks the first serious effort to portray Hitler in film. The filmmakers chose to avoid casting stars in the lead roles, assembling instead a remarkable company of lookalikes to play Hitler, Goebbels, Hess and other leading Nazis.

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This movie shows us the rise of Adolf Hitler from a small radical political adventurer to the dictator of Germany in the way of a gangster film. Except for some minor inaccuracies the historical facts are given in a correct way.

 

 

 

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“Loose Lips Sink Ships”-WWII instruction for US service men.

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Millions volunteered or were drafted for military duty during World War II. The majority of these citizen-soldiers had no idea how to conduct themselves to prevent inadvertent disclosure of important information to the enemy. To remedy this, the  US government established rules of conduct. The following is excerpted from a document given to each soldier as he entered the battle area.

WRITING HOMETHINK! Where does the enemy get his information — information that can put you, and has put your comrades, adrift on an open sea: information that has lost battles and can lose more, unless you personally, vigilantly, perform your duty in SAFEGUARDING MILITARY INFORMATION?

THERE ARE TEN PROHIBITED SUBJECTS 

1. Don’t write military information of Army units — their location, strength,, materiel, or equipment.

2. Don’t write of military installations.

3. Don’t write of transportation facilities.

4. Don’t write of convoys, their routes, ports (including ports of embarkation and disembarkation), time en route, naval protection, or war incidents occurring en route.

5. Don’t disclose movements of ships, naval or merchant, troops, or aircraft.

6. Don’t mention plans and forecasts or orders for future operations, whether known or just your guess.

7. Don’t write about the effect of enemy operations.

8. Don’t tell of any casualty until released by proper authority (The Adjutant General) and then only by using the full name of the casualty.

9. Don’t attempt to formulate or use a code system, cipher, or shorthand, or any other means to conceal the true meaning of your letter. Violations of this regulation will result in severe punishment.

10. Don’t give your location in any way except as authorized by proper authority. Be sure nothing you write about discloses a more specific location than the one authorized.

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SILENCE MEANS SECURITY — If violation of protective measures is serious within written communications it is disastrous in conversations. Protect your conversation as you do your letters, and be even more careful. A harmful letter can be nullified by censorship; loose talk is direct delivery to the enemy.

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If you come home during war your lips must remain sealed and your written hand must be guided by self-imposed censorship. This takes guts. Have you got them or do you want your buddies and your country to pay the price for your showing off. You’ve faced the battle front; its little enough to ask you to face this ‘home front.

 

CAPTUREMost enemy intelligence comes from prisoners. If captured, you are required to give only three facts: YOUR NAME, YOUR GRADE, YOUR ARMY SERIAL NUMBER. Don’t talk, don’t try to fake stories and use every effort to destroy all papers. When you are going into an area where capture is possible, carry only essential papers and plan to destroy them prior to capture if possible. Do not carry personal letters on your person; they tell much about you, and the envelope has on it your unit and organization

More WWII Propganda

It can be argued that the deadliest weapon during WWII was propaganda,below are some examples of WWII propaganda from the allied forces and the axis powers.

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“Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people… Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea.” Adolf Hitler wrote these words in his book Mein Kampf (1926), in which he first advocated the use of propaganda to spread the ideals of National Socialism—among them racism, antisemitism, and anti-Bolshevism.Nazi propaganda often portrayed Jews as engaged in a conspiracy to provoke war.

Illustration from a German antisemitic children’s book titled “Trust No Fox in the Green Meadow and No Jew on his Oath” (translation from German). The headlines depicted in the image say “Jews are our misfortune” and “How the Jew cheats.” Germany, 1936.

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Nazi propaganda photo depicts friendship between an “Aryan” and a black woman. The caption states: “The result! A loss of racial pride.” Germany, prewar.

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Nazi propaganda poster warning Germans about the dangers of east European “subhumans.

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Even Santa Claus was used to promote the war efforts

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Germany: Postcard of a German Soldier Arriving Home During Christmas

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Comic book Super Heroes in WWII

 

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I am actually not a great fan of Comic books or Graphic Novels as they are called now, although I did read them as a kid but was never really fascinated by them.

However I do like the notion of Super Heroes and I do like them portrayed in the movies.

But in a time when you are not sure if there will be a tomorrow it is important to have something to cling to, albeit fictional and especially youngsters.

WWII was for most people a time of great uncertainty and it was important for many young men and women to be able to escape the daily realities every now and them.Comic books were a great tools to do just that. To dream away and to hope that all would be great again.

And of course the propaganda value was pricesless.

Here are some examples of ‘Comic Book heroes that helped some kids cope with the realities of WWII

Nick Fury

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Before the one-eyed cigar chomper became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.(played ny Samuel L. Jackson), Nick Fury was waist deep in the trenches of World War II. Fighting alongside Captain America, Bucky, and the Howling Commandos, Sgt. Fury played an instrumental part in defeating the Nazis and their fictional brethren, HYDRA. It was in the war where Fury discovered his leadership skills and the true definition of a selfless hero. With the tools and experiences he gained abroad, Fury acquired the smarts needed to become the Marvel Universe’s top super sleuth.

Captain America

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The cover to Captain America Comics #1 says it all. When America needed a hero to confront the Nazi regime even before World War II began, creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby gave the nation one of its boldest icons. As Captain America, Sgt. Steve Rogers saved the world time and time again from the tyranny of the Third Reich. But even after the war ended, Captain America did not. When the Avengers resuscitated Cap from suspended animation decades later, Rogers continued to fight for the morals and ideals that founded this nation. Sporting the country’s colors proudly across his uniform, Captain America is the true comic book embodiment American patriotism.

Comic Propaganda

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In modern times, comic book superheroes tend to view armed conflict with a healthy dose of skepticism regardless of which side they’re on. But that wasn’t the case during World War II, when costumed do-gooders from Superman all the way down to the lowliest nobody of a crime fighter eagerly signed up to wallop the Axis powers on behalf of Uncle Sam. And hey, if they had to break the law and do a few political incorcect things to get the job done, who were we to question that?

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The Eternal Jew-Art Exhibition

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The title mentions “Art Exhibition” but this is really for lack of a better description. In reality it was Propaganda disguised as an art exhibition. The exhibition opened today 79 years ago.

The Eternal Jew (Der ewige Jude) was the title of an exhibition of degenerate art (entartete Kunst) displayed at the Library of the German Museum in Munich from 8 November 1937 to 31 January 1938. The exhibition attracted 412,300 visitors, over 5,000 per day.

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After the exhibition ended in Munich, it was displayed in Vienna from 2 August until 23 October 1938 and subsequently in Berlin from 12 November 1938 until 31 January 1939.

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Although this was one of the most famous Nazi-sponsored exhibition of degenerate art, it was preceded by a number of other exhibitions in cities such as Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Dresden, Munich, Berlin and Vienna.The works of art displayed at these exhibitions generally consisted of works executed by avant-garde artists, especially expressionist German artists such as Max Beckmann, Ernst Kirchner and Emil Nolde, who had become recognized and esteemed in the 1920s.

The objective of the exhibition was not to hold these works up as exemplary and admirable but to present them as worthy of condemnation and derision.The large numbers of attendees may indicate that the art shown was actually more popular than the Nazis supposed, although entrance was free, another attraction to the public.Attendance of over two million visitors was recorded.

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The exhibition  was followed up with the publication of a book of the same title, consisting of 265 photographs, each with a derogatory caption asserting the degeneracy of the Jewish race.

On the 5th of September 1941 a similar exhibition called “Le Juif et la France” (The Jew and France) opened in Paris.

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In November 1940 a film with the same title was released, it had been commissioned by Joseph Goebbels and was directed by Fritz Hippler

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The exhibitions and the film are prime examples how a well developed propaganda machine can effectively brainwash the masses.Unfortunately this is a lesson which we still haven’t learned.

Der Stürmer-Nazi Propaganda tool

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Der Stürmer was an anti-Semitic “tabloid style” newspaper published by Julius Streicher from 1923 almost continuously through to the end of World War II. Der Stürmer was viewed by Hitler as playing a  significant role in the Nazi propaganda machinery and a useful tool in influencing the “common man on the street”.

It was a significant part of Nazi propaganda and was vehemently anti-Semitic. the paper’s tag line was “The Jews are our misfortube”.Unlike the Völkischer Beobachter the official party paper which gave itself an outwardly serious appearance.

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Der Stürmer often ran obscene material such as antisemitic caricatures of Jews and accusations of blood libel, as well as sexually explicit, anti-Catholic, anti-Communist, and anti-monarchist propaganda.

The newspaper originated at Nuremberg during Adolf Hitler’s attempt to establish power and control. During that struggle, Streicher was accused by the opposition of the Nazi party as being “a liar, a coward, of having unsavory friends, mistreating his wife and of flirting with women.

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Despite the accusations, the first copy of Der Stürmer was published on 20 April 1923.Der Stürmer’s circulation grew over time, distributing to a large percentage of the German population as well as Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States.Streicher wanted Der Stuermer to appeal to the common man, to the worker with little time to read.

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Thus, Der Stuermer’s articles used short sentences and a simple vocabulary. Ideas were repeated. Headlines grabbed a reader’s attention. And the cartoons were easily understood.

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Rather then going into the ins and outs of the ‘Newspaper’ below some of the paper’s front pages and cartoons, which will explain why it was such a powerful tool.

Julius Streicher, warned of a Jewish program for world domination in this 1934 issue. The article, titled “Who is the Enemy?” blamed Jews for destroying social order and claimed that Jews wanted war, while the rest of the world wanted peace.

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A Nazi is pumping poison gas into a tunnel beneath an oak tree representing Germany. Dead Jewish rats are strewn about.  The head lines says “The poisoned King”with the context : “When the vermin are dead, the German oak will flourish.” Since this is from 1927 it clearly indicates the plans by the Nazi’s in relation to gassing the jews,long before Kristallnacht and the Wannsee convention.

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1934 Stürmer issue: “Storm above Judah” – criticizing institutional churches as “Judaized” organizations.

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Front page of the most popular issue ever of the Nazi publication,Der Stürmer, with a reprint of a medieval depiction of a purported ritual murder committed by Jews.der-sturmer-ritual-murder

Der Stürmer, was removed from news kiosks during the Games as a concession to the International Olympic Committee. But the paper was still published, using racist slurs and caricatures to malign Jews in its special Olympics issue. July 1936.

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This image depicts the “Jew” as a warmonger who looks on approvingly as the non-Jewish world is crucified on a cross marked “war” (Krieg).

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Julius Streicher was not a member of the military and did not take part in planning the Holocaust, or the invasion of other nations. Yet his pivotal role in inciting the extermination of Jews was significant enough, in the prosecutors’ judgment, to include him in the indictment of Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal – which sat in Nuremberg, where Streicher had once been an unchallenged authority. Most of the evidence against Streicher came from his numerous speeches and articles over the years. In essence, prosecutors contended that Streicher’s articles and speeches were so incendiary that he was an accessory to murder, and therefore as culpable as those who actually ordered the mass extermination of Jews (such as Hans Frank and Ernst Kaltenbrunner). They further argued that he kept them up when he was well aware Jews were being slaughtered.

He was acquitted of crimes against peace, but found guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced to death on 1 October 1946. The judgment against him read, in part:

For his 25 years of speaking, writing and preaching hatred of the Jews, Streicher was widely known as ‘Jew-Baiter Number One.’ In his speeches and articles, week after week, month after month, he infected the German mind with the virus of anti-Semitism, and incited the German people to active persecution. … Streicher’s incitement to murder and extermination at the time when Jews in the East were being killed under the most horrible conditions clearly constitutes persecution on political and racial grounds in connection with war crimes, as defined by the Charter, and constitutes a crime against humanity.

What if? The assassination attempts on Hitler.

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There have been many attempts to assassinate Hitler, it is estimated there have been around 35 attempt, some of them were quiet bizarre. If any of them would have been successful the outcome of the war would have been drastically different, in fact if the earlier ones in the 1920’s and 1930’s had succeeded there may never have been a World War 2 or a Holocaust.

I do wonder sometimes if some of these plots to kill Hitler were really plots or were they mere propaganda stunts. Let’s think about for a minute, the Germans who pride themselves in being very efficient were not able to kill one man, not even after dozens of attempts.But yet they were able to eradicate millions in a relatively short time frame.What if these plots were just schemed designed by Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler,to create the myth that Hitler was immortal and invincible.

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One thing that often disturbs me is the fact that the officers that tied were responsible for the July 1944 plot are often portrayed as heroes,in my opinion they weren’t. The only reason why they wanted to kill him is because the war wasn’t going they way they had initially they had envisaged it would go. They did not attempt to take his life because they felt compassion for the millions of innocent people that died in the concentration camps.If the war would have gone Germany’s way I doubt they would have done anything to stop the genocide.

I am not going through all 35 attempts but I will highlight a few.

1921: The Munich Beer Hall Melee

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Nearly 20 years before the start of World War II, the first assassination attempt on Hitler’s life took place at a beer hall in Munich. Hitler had gathered at the famous Hofbrauhaus beer hall with other members of the newly formed Nazi Party. The crowd was packed with Nazis, social democrats, and communists, and Hitler rose up to make a speech that incited a large drunken riot. The brawl escalated and before long, chairs and beer steins were flying through the air. Hitler, who was standing at the speaker’s podium, was nearly hit by a stray bullet. Apparently, the event fueled the dictator’s commitment to the Nazi cause and the site would later become the setting for the Beer Hall Putsch that landed him in jail.

1938: Maurice Bavaud’s Plot

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In late-1938, a Swiss theology student named Maurice Bavaud bought a pistol and began stalking Hitler across Germany. Bavaud was convinced the so-called “Führer” was a threat to the Catholic Church and an “incarnation of Satan,” and he considered it his spiritual duty to gun him down. He finally got his chance on November 9, 1938, when Hitler and other Nazi leaders marched through Munich to celebrate the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. Bavaud took a seat in a grandstand along the parade route and waited until Hitler approached. He had his pistol tucked into his pocket, but before he could draw and take aim, the swooning, swastika-waving crowd raised their arms in a Nazi salute and blocked his view. Bavaud reluctantly gave up his hunt and was later arrested as he tried to stow away on a train out of Germany. When the Gestapo found his gun and maps, he confessed under interrogation to plotting to kill Hitler. In May 1941, he was executed by guillotine in Berlin’s Plötzensee Prison.

1939: Georg Elser’s Beer Hall Bomb

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Georg Elser was a struggling German carpenter and communist who was vehemently opposed to Nazism. He anticipated that Hitler’s regime would lead his country on the path toward war and financial ruin, and in late-1938, he resolved to do something about it. Knowing that Hitler would speak at Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller brewery the following year on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch, Elser spent several months building a bomb with a 144-hour timer. When his weapon was complete, he moved to Munich and began sneaking into the Bürgerbräukeller each night to hollow out a cavity in a stone pillar behind the speaker’s platform. After several weeks of painstaking clandestine labor, Elser successfully installed his bomb. He set it to explode on November 8, 1939 at 9:20 p.m.—roughly midway through Hitler’s speech.

Elser had planned his bombing to perfection, but luck was not on his side. World War II had started in earnest a few months earlier, and Hitler moved the start time of his speech to 8 p.m. so he could be back in Berlin as soon as possible. The Führer finished his remarks by 9:07, and by 9:12, he had left the building. Only eight minutes later, Elser’s bomb went off, leveling the pillar and sending a section of the roof crashing down on the speaker’s podium. Eight people were killed and dozens more injured, but Hitler was not among them. Elser was captured that same night while trying to steal across the Swiss border, and he later confessed after authorities found his bomb plans. He would spend the next several years confined to Nazi concentration camps. In April 1945, as the Third Reich crumbled, he was dragged from his cell and executed by the SS.

1943: Henning von Tresckow’s Brandy Bomb

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One of the most audacious plots unfolded on March 13, 1943, when Hitler arrived at the Smolensk post of Henning von Tresckow—a disillusioned German military officer—for a brief visit. Before the Führer and his entourage boarded their plane for the return trip, Tresckow approached a member of Hitler’s staff and asked if the man would take a parcel containing two bottles of Cointreau brandy to a friend in Berlin. The officer obliged, not knowing that the package actually held plastic explosives rigged to a 30-minute fuse.

Tresckow and his co-conspirator Fabian von Schlabrendorff hoped Hitler’s death would be the catalyst for a planned coup against the Nazi high command, but their plan went up in smoke only a few hours later, when they received word that the Führer’s plane had landed safely in Berlin. “We were stunned and could not imagine the cause of the failure,” Schlabrendorff later remembered. “Even worse would be the discovery of the bomb, which would unfailingly lead to our detection and the death of a wide circle of close collaborators.” A panicked Tresckow phoned the staff officer and told him there had been a mistake with the package. The next day, Schlabrendorff traveled to Hitler’s headquarters and exchanged the concealed bomb for two bottles of brandy. Upon inspection, he found that a defective fuse was all that had prevented Hitler’s plane from being blown out of the sky.

1943: Rudolf von Gertsdorff’s Suicide Mission

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Only a week after Tresckow’s brandy bomb failed to explode, he and his co-conspirators made yet another attempt on Hitler’s life. This time, the scene of the assassination was an exhibition of captured Soviet flags and weaponry in Berlin, which the Führer was scheduled to visit for a tour. An officer named Rudolf von Gertsdorff volunteered to be the triggerman for a bomb attack, but after scouting the premises, he came to a grim realization: security was too tight to plant explosives in the room. “At this point it became clear to me that an attack was only possible if I were to carry the explosives about my person,” he later wrote, “and blow myself up as close to Hitler as possible.” Gersdorff decided to proceed, and on March 21, he did his best to stay glued to the Führer’s side as he guided him through the exhibit. The bomb had a short 10-minute fuse, but despite Gersdorff’s attempts to prolong the tour, Hitler slipped out a side door after only a few minutes. The would-be suicide bomber was forced to make a mad dash for the bathroom, where he defused the explosives with only seconds to spare

1944: The July Plot

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Shortly after the D-Day invasions in the summer of 1944, a clique of disgruntled German officers launched a campaign to assassinate Hitler at his “Wolf’s Lair” command post in Prussia. At the center of the plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies.

Stauffenberg put the plan into action on July 20, 1944, after he and several other Nazi officials were called to a conference with Hitler at the Wolf’s Lair. He arrived carrying a briefcase stuffed with plastic explosives connected to an acid fuse. After placing his case as close to Hitler as possible, Stauffenberg left the room under the pretense of making a phone call. His bomb detonated only minutes later, blowing apart a wooden table and reducing much of the conference room to charred rubble. Four men died, but Hitler escaped with non-life-threatening injuries—an officer had happened to move Stauffenberg’s briefcase behind a thick table leg seconds before the blast. The planned revolt unraveled after news of the Führer’s survival reached the capital. Stauffenberg and the rest of the conspirators were all later rounded up and executed, as were hundreds of other dissidents. Hitler supposedly boasted that he was “immortal” after the July Plot’s failure, but he became increasingly reclusive in the months that followed and was rarely seen in public before his suicide on April 30, 1945.

One Last Attempt On Hitler’s Life From Albert Speer

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Albert Speer was Hitler’s Armaments Minister. He decided to put some lethal gas into the ventilation system of Hitler’s bunker. However, before he could procure sufficient gas Hitler doubled security around the bunker meaning that Speer would be unlikely to have the opportunity to put his plan into operation.

 

Ending with a strange one.

The Pornographic attempt to kill Hitler.

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A group of US airmen hatched a plot to fly over Hitler’s mountain retreat and drop huge quantities of pornographic material. They hoped that the normally puritan Hitler would go mad with lust and kill himself. The plan was blocked by the military as foolish and silly.

On this day in WW2-18 September: 6 events

There were several events which happened on the 18 of September during WW2 happened On this day.Between 1939 and 1945 there were 6 extraordinary events which happened on this particular date of 18 September

I am not sure if it is a coincidence or planned that way. Or maybe I just happened to spot it, either way it is a bit eerie and most of these 6 events were awful crimes against humanity.

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The Nazi propaganda broadcaster known as Lord Haw-Haw begins transmitting.

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https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/28/william-joyce-aka-lord-haw-haw/

1940

The British liner SS City of Benares is sunk by German submarine U-48; those killed include 83 children.

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City of Benares was part of convoy OB-213, and was being used as an evacuee ship in the overseas evacuation scheme organised by CORB. She was carrying 90 child evacuee passengers who were being evacuated from wartime Britain to Canada. The ship left Liverpool on 13 September 1940, bound for the Canadian ports of Quebec and Montreal, under the command of her Master, Landles Nicoll. She was the flagship of the convoy commodore Rear Admiral E.J.G. Mackinnon DSO RN and the first ship in the centre column.

Late in the evening of 17 September, the City of Benares was sighted by U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Bleichrodt, who fired two torpedoes at her at 23.45 hours. Both torpedoes missed, and at 00.01 hours on 18 September, the U-boat fired another torpedo at her. The torpedo struck her in the stern, causing her to sink within 30 minutes, 253 miles west-southwest of Rockall.

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Fifteen minutes after the torpedo hit, the vessel had been abandoned, though there were difficulties with lowering the lifeboats on the weather side of the ship. HMS Hurricane arrived on the scene 24 hours later, and picked up 105 survivors and landed them at Greenock.

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During the attack on the SS City of Benares, the SS Marina was also torpedoed. Hurricane mistakenly counted one of the lifeboats from the SS Marina for one of the lifeboats from SS City of Benares. As a result, Lifeboat 12 was left alone at sea. Its passengers had three weeks supply of food, but enough water for only one week. In the lifeboat were approximately 30 Indian crewmen, a Polish merchant, several sailors, Mary Cornish, Father Rory O’Sullivan (a Roman Catholic priest who had volunteered to be an escort for the evacuee children), and six evacuee boys from the CORB program. They spent eight days afloat in the Atlantic Ocean before being sighted from the air and rescued by HMS Anthony. In the end, of the 90 children, 83 died of exposure on lifeboats or were missing presumed lost at sea.

1943

On this day, September 18, 1943, Jewish prisoners from Minsk were massacred at Sobibór. This massacre, combined with rumors that the camp would be shut down, led Polish-Jewish prisoners to organize an underground committee aimed at escape from the camp.

The exact number who were killed is not known.

1943

Adolf Hitler orders the deportation of Danish Jews.

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(Danish fishermen (foreground) ferry Jews across a narrow sound to safety in neutral Sweden during the German occupation of Denmark. Sweden, 1943.)

When Germany occupied Denmark on April 9, 1940, the Jewish population was approximately 7,500, accounting for 0.2% of the country’s total population. About 6,000 of these Jews were Danish citizens. The rest were German and eastern European refugees. Most Jews lived in the country’s capital and largest city, Copenhagen.

Until 1943, the German occupation regime took a relatively benign approach to Denmark. The Germans were eager to cultivate good relations with a population they perceived as “fellow Aryans.” Although Germany dominated Danish foreign policy, the Germans permitted the Danish government complete autonomy in running domestic affairs, including maintaining control over the legal system and police forces.

Considering the relatively small Jewish population and the support most Danes gave to their fellow Jewish citizens, Germany initially decided not to make a major issue of the “Jewish question” in Denmark. In fact, the representative of the German Foreign Office at the Wannsee Conference recommended that the Scandinavian countries be excluded from the “Final Solution” on the assumption that the “Jewish question” could be resolved there once overall victory had been achieved.

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While the implementation of the Final Solution in Norway negated this recommendation, the general policy of non-interference in Denmark was decisive for the absence of such measures there.

Unlike in other western European countries, the Danish government did not require Jews to register their property and assets, to identify themselves, or to give up apartments, homes, and businesses.

The tone of the German occupation changed in early 1943. Allied victories convinced many Danes that Germany could be defeated. While there had been minimal resistance to the Germans during the first years of the occupation, labor strikes and acts of sabotage now strained relations with Germany. The Danish government resigned on August 28, 1943, rather than yield to new German demands that German military courts try future saboteurs. The following night, the German military commander,General Hermann von Hannecken, declared martial law.

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German authorities arrested Danish civilians, Jews and non-Jews alike, and Danish military personnel. Under the state of emergency German authorities took direct control over the Danish military and police forces.

On September 8, 1943, SS General Werner Best, the German civilian administrator in Denmark, sent a telegram to Adolf Hitler to propose that the Germans make use of the martial law provisions to deport the Danish Jews. On the 18th of September Adolf Hitler ordered the deportation of Danish Jews.

1944

The British submarine HMS Tradewind torpedoes Jun’yō Maru, 5,600 killed.

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The 5,065-ton tramp steamer Junyo Maru sailed from Batavia (Tandjoeng Priok) on 16 September 1944 with about 4,200 romusha slave labourers and 2,300 POWs aboard. These Dutch POWs included 1,600 from the 10th Battalion camp and 700 from the Kampong Makassar camp. This 23rd transport of POWs from Java was called Java Party 23. Java Party 23 included about 6,500 men bound for Padang on the west coast of Sumatra to work on the Sumatra railway (Mid-Sumatra).

Unbeknown to the Commanding Officer of Tradewind, Lt.Cdr. Lynch Maydon, lynch_maydon_largethe Japanese ship was carrying 4,200 Javanese slave labourers and 2,300 Allied prisoners of war from Batavia to Padang.

On 18 September 1944 the ship was 15 miles off the west coast of Sumatra near Benkoelen when HMS Tradewind hit her with two torpedoes, one in the bow and one in the stern.

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About 4,000 romushas and 1,626 POWs died when the ship sank in 20 minutes. About 200romushas and 674 POWs were rescued by Japanese ships and taken to the Prison in Padang, where eight prisoners died.

1945

General Douglas MacArthur moves his command headquarters to Tokyo

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WWII Propaganda Part 2

Propaganda was and still a very effective tool to win the hearts and minds of the population.Both allies and axis nations used propaganda to recruit and raise funding for the war efforts, and also the political good will of the ordinary citizen.

In this blog I will be looking the Propaganda used by the allies

 

This image depicts a WWW-II-era ad issued during food-rationing days in America. From 1943, the “Fleischmann Yeast Bread Recipe,” promoted by a character known as “War Production Joe,” encourages people to eat bread. There was a time, during January of 1943, when the federal government (via the Food Administrator Claude R Wickard) issued a ban on sliced bread. It was soon abandoned, however, since monetary savings (from not slicing the bread) were negligible.

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During WWII, Americans—like people in other parts of the world—were subject to rationing of items like gasoline and food. Encouraging U.S. citizens to grow—and preserve—their own food, the federal government hired artists—such as Alfred Parker, who created this poster during 1943—to be as self-sufficient as possible.

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Photograph of an American World War II propaganda poster, called “In the Face of Obstacles – Courage,” by Jes Wilhelm Schlaikjer / U.S. War Department.

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As depicted in this WWII-era poster, the U.S. federal government urged people to set-aside 10% of their income to buy war bonds. Poster-creators often used the theme of sacrifice—particularly the sacrifice made by war-widows—as a theme for war-bond posters.

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The U.S. government, via the various branches of military service, created many posters to recruit American women during World War II. This image depicts one such poster, intended to influence women to become members of the Womens Army Corps (WACs)

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People in America, the UK and the Soviet Union worked extremely hard to create war assets to use against Hitler and his Nazis. This image depicts a poster, created by the TASS News Agency on or about 26 May 1944, which reflects the cooperation between these WWII Allies. Their mutual objective was to annihilate Hitler and his forces.

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Joe Dope was a fictional cartoon character created by artist Will Eisner. Joe’s purpose was clear, during the WWII era—to remind American military men to avoid doing inapproriate things on and off the job. Image online via the Library of Congress. Click on it for a much-better view.

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During the war, the U.S. government (via “Uncle Sam”) urged Americans to grow gardens whether they lived in the city or in the country. This poster is an example.

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The poster below is a Dutch poster with the text” Get out, Indonesia has to be liberated”

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The 2 posters below were Polish, unfortunately I don’t know what they say, but the pictures are clear enough.

A big worry was that people would unwittingly give information to people who were not suppose the hear the information, a great number of posters would warn for this.

We have all seen the “Keep Calm and …….” Posters,Memes,T-Shirts etc and most of us, me included, would have presumed the origin of this slogan was fairly recent. But in fact it first appeared in 1939, it was rediscovered in 2000.The posters were designed in Spring of 1939 and were aimed to re-assure the British public.There were 2 more posters which had the same lay out one said “Your Courage,Your Cheerfulness.Your Resolution will bring us Victory.” the 3rd one said “Freedom is in Peril, defend it with all your might”

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Nazi Propaganda

I often wonder how the Nazi’s became so powerful because anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure out what their ultimate aim was, especially in a land of scholars and scientists  like Germany.

The one thing you have to give the Nazi’s is they knew how to play the media, their propaganda machine was second to none.

Combine the propaganda with the actually ability of fulfilling the promises of creating jobs and bringing prosperity and you have the most powerful weapon a man can build. And by the time the masses will have found out that the jobs and prosperity are only to serve a warped ideology and are really only temporary, they will have bought in to the whole idea of making your country ‘great’ again.

In charge of the Nazi Propaganda machine was Joseph Goebbels.

Mein Kampf contained the blue print for the Nazi propaganda.

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“Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed.The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another.The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood”

The propaganda machine already started rolling years before WWII started.Below are examples of the Nazi propaganda.

Nazi Party election poster used in Vienna in 1930. Translation: “We demand freedom and bread”.

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A 1937 anti-Bolshevik Nazi propaganda poster. The translated caption: “Bolshevism without a mask – large anti-Bolshevik exhibition of the NSDAP Gauleitung Berlin from November 6, 1937 to December 19, 1937 in the Reichstag building”.

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Photo of front page of Der Stürmer, dated May 1934, which is on permanent display at the Jewish Museum, Berlin. Subject matter is the Blood libel against Jews.

Der Stürmer, a weekly magazine published by Julius Streicher, was the most vile anti-Semitic publication of the National Socialist period. This special edition was dedicated to the practice of ritual murder ascribed to the Jews. The authors presented their prejudices as fact in order to intensify anti-Semitic hatred towards the ‘murderers of Christ.’ This accusation, which emerged in the Middle Ages, maligned Jews as ‘murderers’ of Christian children for ritualistic purposes. Der Stürmer attempted to keep this old prejudice alive by citing alleged current examples.

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The same publisher also released in  1938 Der Giftpilz (translated into English as The Toadstool or The Poisonous Mushroom), one of the most widespread pieces of propaganda, which warned about insidious dangers Jews posed by using the metaphor of an attractive yet deadly mushroom.

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Nur für Deutsche (“Only for Germans”), a Nazi slogan used in occupied territories, mainly posted at entrances to parks, cafes, cinemas, theatres and other facilities.

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Our last hope,Hitler

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Goebbels had commissioned a great number of movies A particularly nasty one was a documentary called “Der ewige Jude” -the eternal Jew.

The Jews of Poland (invaded by Germany in 1939) are depicted as filthy, evil, corrupt, and intent on world domination. Street scenes are shown prejudicially, along with clips from Jewish cinema of the day and photos of Jewish celebrities, while the narrator “explains” the Jewish problem. The climax and resolution of the film is Hitler’s 1939 announcement that the Jewish race will meet its “annihilation”

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There were numerous posters of portraying the Aryan race as the master race, mostly depicting youthful wholesome and athletic looking men and women.

Given the fact that the world was in turmoil in the 1930’s it is not hard to understand that a lot of people fell for the promise of a better life.

Unfortunately the similarities to what is happening globally at the moment is staggering.