Hitler’s hate for smoking but not so much for its revenue.

smoke

Something that always fascinated(for lack of a better word) me about Hitler is the double standards he applied. As the leader of his country he always portrayed himself as some one with principles, but yet he so easily broke those principles time and time again.

Hitler hated smoking, he had been a smoker himself but had stopped at a young age. In 1939, German scientists were the first to identify the link between smoking and lung cancer in the first epidemiological study. After those findings Germany initiated a strong anti-tobacco movement.

The campaign announced that  cigarettes were “enemy of the people” it included posters, lectures, psychological counselling, nicotine gums.

Poster

As well as methods to make the  cigarettes less tasteful by injecting chemicals into the cigarettes.Smoking had become Non aryan.

However due to the addictive nature of smoking cigarettes it created one thing that the Nazis just couldn’t ignore, revenue ie money.

Smoking cigarettes became a mass phenomenon after World War I and the interwar years. So popular in fact that by 1929 the SA decided to set up their own Cigarette company in order to create a line of  revenue.

SA CIGS

The factory operated under the umbrella name ‘ Sturm Zigaretten’ it produced four brands: Trommler , Alarm, Sturm and Neue Front.The latter one  was the most expensive brand,

Coercion tactics were used to encourage the sale of these cigarettes. Members of the SA were expected to exclusively. smoke Sturm Cigarette Company cigarettes ,they were even compelled to smoke Sturm cigarettes; bags were searched, and  if any other brand were found, there would be a fine.The SA bullied against and punished the use of other brands, especially the market leader, Reemtsma. SA gangs attacked shops that sold rival brands.

reemtsma

Sturm Zigaretten  first paid dividends to the SA in 1930. By 1932, it had a turnover of 36 million reichsmarks, and the SA made considerable profits; 1933 saw even higher returns.

Reemtsma was banned to advertise in Nazi party publications, which eventually resulted in a negative income stream for the Nazi party, In June 1932 the head of the company  , Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma, met with  Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, and Max the head of the Nazi party’s printing house, Eher Verlag. Although Hitler was furious about Reemtsma’s Jewish partners, he did allow them to advertise again.

Reemtsma also had a pending court case, in relation to Germany’s oldest cigarette company Batschari which went bust.In 1933.Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma approached bribed Hermann Göring to make this court case disappear, Görring agreed for the sum of three million marks; Reemtsma subsequently paid him a million a year, in addition to substantial donations to the Nazi party.

And by July 1934 the Night of the Long Knives had removed the threat of the SA.

knives

At this stage Reemtsma’s Jewish partners had emigrated, along with many of its  Jewish employees, with help from the company.

Reemtsma approached , the new SA leader, SA-Stabschef Viktor Lutze, to see if a deal could be done,Lutze  cancelled the SA’s contract with Sturm Cigarettes and made a deal with Reemtsma; in exchange for a fixed sum of  250 000 reichsmarks, to be paid annually, Reemtsma would now produce the SA’s cigarettes. Sturm, filed for bankruptcy in 1935.

In 1937, Reemstra merged with “Haus Neuerburg cigarettes”  in Cologne and achieved  65% of the total market share.

Haus

Between 1933 and 1939, the firm’s profits increased to 114 Million Reichsmark. In 1939, Philipp F. Reemtsma was promoted leader of the Fachuntergruppe Zigarettenindustrie part of the National Socialist economy and recognized by Göring as an economy leader.

Cigarettes were distributed free to soldiers, including minors, as part of their pay, and the market continued to grow rapidly.

Forced labour was used by Reemtsma during the war, with prison camps set up at some locations. Reemtsma also used forced labour, including child labour, to harvest tobacco in the Crimea.

By 1941, tobacco taxes made up about a twelfth of state income, and the anti-smoking efforts  which had started 2 years prior, were being discouraged. In 1942 there was a shortage of tobacco, and 2/3 of all German tobacco factories were shut down,some were converted into armaments factories. Tobacco went on the ration, but despite that  Reemtsma remained a profitable entity.

Reemtsma’s financial support of the Nazis was unparalleled among German companies. The SA and other party organizations were given six-figure sums, and the Hitler Youth were given an aircraft.

Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH is STILL  one of the biggest tobacco and cigarette producers in Europe and a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco. The company’s headquarters is in Hamburg, Germany,Among their brands are famous cigarette names like Gauloises,Davidoff and John Player Special. Ironically 73 years after WWII, some of the companies once linked to the Nazi regime are still killing people.

JSP

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1978-What a Year

1978

1978 must have been one of the most significant years well at least in a pop culture way, the amount of classic movies that were released that year and classic songs is just phenomenal.

Lets start with some of the songs.

Wuthering Heights

Written by an 18 year old Kate Bush taken from the album which was partially produced by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

It was Kate Bush’s first single and reached Number 1 in January 1978 and stayed there for 4 weeks. It was the first song composed and written by a woman to reach number one in the UK.

 

The Gibb Brothers

gty_bee_gees_andy_gibb_70s_thg_120521_wmain

I deliberately did not say the Bee Gees because in 1978 the Bee Gees and their younger sibling Andy Gibb all had several songs in the charts.

The Bee Gees had several hits from the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever and Barry Gibb’s ‘Grease; sung by Frankie Valli also topped the charts.

Where Andy Gibb had success with songs like “Shadow Dancing” and “An Everlasting Love”

 

 

Dreadlock Holiday

A reggae song by 10CC. Although they had been around for a while and did have other hits like ‘The Wallstreet shuffle’ and ‘ Rubber Bullets’ this British Rock band did get their biggest hit in 1978 with a Reggae Tune.

But the list of massive hits goes on with artists like Michael Jackso,Eric Clapton,Kansas,The Rollong Stones, Paul McCartney and the Wings and ABBA.I could go on forever, therefore swiftly moving to movies

Starting off with the aforemention:

Grease

grease-lightning-allan-carr.jpg

The most successful musical ever and although I am not a great musical fan, Grease did something to my psyche, I absolutely love the movie. I am not going to say too much about it, I will leave the music to the talking. This is my favourite song of Grease, it might surprise you that is not one of the countless hits.

Finishing up with one of the best movies ever made

The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter

Co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers whose lives are changed forever after they fought in the Vietnam War. The same Michael Cimino would cause the demise of United Artists less then 2 years later.

But the Deer Hunter is still in my Top 5 of all tine favourite movies.

 

By the way 1978 was also the year of 3 popes

Pope Paul VI dies at age of 80.
John Paul I Becomes Pope from August 26th , 1978 and dies just 33 days later on September 28, 1978
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II

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