Posted: March 30, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, History, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Associated Press, Jews, Mausoleum, Nazi Germany, Press release, Skull, The Police, World War II
News agency and Third Reich said to have made mutually beneficial deal, with AP providing countless photos for Nazi propaganda; AP denies collaboration.
Raphael Ahren reports: The Associated Press news agency willingly cooperated with Nazi Germany, submitting to the regime’s restrictive rulings on the freedom of the press and providing it with images from its photo archives to be used in its anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda machine, a new report reveals.
When Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists rose to power in 1933, all international news agencies but the US-based AP were forced to leave Germany. The AP continued to operate in the Third Reich until 1941, when the United States joined World War II.
According to German historian Harriet Scharnberg, the world’s biggest news agency was only allowed to remain in Germany because it signed a deal with the regime.
The news agency lost control over its copy by submitting itself to the Schriftleitergesetz (editor’s law), agreeing not to print any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home,” she wrote in an article published in the academic journal Studies in Contemporary History.
“Instead of printing pictures of the days-long Lviv pogroms with its thousands of Jewish victims, the American press was only supplied with photographs showing the victims of the Soviet police and ‘brute’ Red Army war criminals.”
— Harriet Scharnberg, a historian at Halle’s Martin Luther University
Scharnberg’s research was first reported by the UK-based Guardian newspaper.
[Read the full story here, at The Times of Israel]
According to the paper, the Nazis’ so-called editor’s law forced AP employees to contribute material for the Nazi party’s propaganda division. One of the four photographers working for the company in the 1930s was Franz Roth, a member of the SS paramilitary unit’s propaganda division. His pictures were handpicked by Hitler, the Guardian writes.
Photocollage cover of Der Untermensch (The Subhuman), a 52-page SS pamphlet that used images taken by the Associated Press (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
The AP’s images appeared in many of the regime’s propaganda publications. Most of the images in a pamphlet called “Jews in the US” were provided by the AP. In a different publication entitled “The Subhuman,” the AP provided the second-largest number of photographs, according to Scharnberg.
It is possible to argue that the AP’s agreement with the Nazis allowed the West a “peek into a repressive society that may otherwise have been entirely hidden from view,” the Guardian writes. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 29, 2015 Filed under: History, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Allies of World War II, Armia Krajowa, Battle of Britain, Battle of France, Daniel Hannan, EUROPE, Ivan Chernyakhovsky, Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Nazi Germany, Pieniężno, Red Army, RUSSIA, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, World War II
Daniel Hannan is the author of ‘How we Invented Freedom‘ (published in the US and Canada as ‘Inventing Freedom: how the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World‘). He speaks French and Spanish and loves Europe, but believes the EU is making its peoples poorer, less democratic and less free.
Daniel Hannan writes: Seventy-five years ago today, Red Army troops smashed into Poland. Masters of deception and propaganda, they encouraged locals to believe that they were coming to join the battle against Hitler, who had invaded two weeks’ earlier. But, within a day, the true nature of the Nazi-Soviet collaboration was exposed.
The two armies met at the town of Brest, where the 1918 peace treaty between the Kaiser’s government and Lenin’s revolutionary state had been signed. Soldiers fraternised, exchanging food and tobacco – pre-rolled German cigarettes contrasting favourably against rough Russian papirosi. A joint military parade was staged, the Wehrmacht’s field grey uniforms alongside the olive green of the shoddier
Soviets. The two generals, Guderian and Krivoshein, had a slap-up lunch and, as they bade each other farewell, the Soviet commander invited German reporters to visit him in Moscow “after the victory over capitalist Albion”.
[Order Daniel Hannan’s book “How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters” from Amazon.com]
These events are keenly remembered in the nations that were victims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty: Romania, Finland and, most of all, Poland and the Baltic States. But they don’t occupy anything like the place in our collective memory of the war that they deserve.
Almost everyone in Britain knows that the Second World War started when Hitler sent his panzers into Poland. Stalin’s mirror invasion 16 days later, while not exactly forgotten, is not nearly so central in our narrative.
Which is, if you think about it, very odd. The Nazi-Soviet Pact lasted for 22 months – a third of the duration of the entire conflict. We remember, with pride, that we stood alone against Hitler. But in reality, our fathers’ isolation – and commensurate heroism – was even greater than this suggests. I can think of no braver moment in the war than when, having already declared war on Hitler, we prepared to open a new front against Stalin, too. British commandos were on the verge of being deployed to defend Finland, while the Cabinet toyed with various schemes to seize the USSR’s oil supplies in the Caucasus.
In the event, such plans were overtaken by developments. Still, for sheer, bloody-minded gallantry, it was an unbeatable moment, beautifully captured in the reaction of Evelyn Waugh’s fictional hero, Guy Crouchback: “The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off. It was the Modern Age in arms.”
[Order Roger Moorhouse’s book “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941” from Amazon.com]
Why do we downplay that memory? Largely because it doesn’t fit with what happened later. When Hitler attacked the USSR – to the utter astonishment of Stalin, who initially ordered his soldiers not to shoot back – it was in everyone’s interest to forget the earlier phase of the war. Western Communists, who had performed extraordinary acrobatics to justify their entente with fascism, now carried out another somersault and claimed that the Nazi-Soviet Pact had only ever been a tactical pause, a moment when Stalin brilliantly stalled while building up his military capacity. Even today, the historiographical imprint of that propaganda lingers.
[Read the full text here, at Telegraph Blogs]
To the modern reader, George Orwell’s depiction of how enmity alternates between Eurasia and Eastasia seems far-fetched; but when he published his great novel in 1948, such things were a recent memory. It suited Western Leftists, during and after the War, to argue that Hitler had been uniquely evil, certainly wickeder than Stalin. It was thus necessary to forget the enthusiasm with which the two tyrants had collaborated.
The full extent of their conspiracy is exposed in The Devils’ Alliance, a brilliant new history by Roger Moorhouse. Moorhouse is a sober and serious historian, writing with no obvious political agenda. Calmly, he tells the story of the Pact: its genesis, its operation and the reasons for its violent end. When recounting such a monstrous tale, it is proper to be calm: great events need no embroidery. What he reveals is a diabolical compact which, if it stopped just short of being an alliance, can in no way be thought of as a hiccup or anomaly. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 6, 2015 Filed under: History, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: 83rd Infantry Division (United States), Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Harry Truman, Japanese American, National World War II Memorial, Nazi Germany, Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan, United States, Wesley Clark, World War II
J. Samuel Walker writes: President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan in 1945 is arguably the most contentious issue in all of American history. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have generated an acrimonious debate that has raged with exceptional intensity for five decades. The spectrum of differing views ranges from unequivocal assertions that the atomic attacks were militarily and morally justified to claims that they were unconscionable war crimes. The highly polarized nature of the controversy has obscured the reasons Truman authorized the dropping of the bomb and the historical context in which he acted.
The dispute over the atomic bomb has focused on competing myths that have received wide currency but are seriously flawed. The central question is, “was the bomb necessary to end the war as quickly as possible on terms that were acceptable to the United States and its allies?”
[Order J. Samuel Walker‘s book “Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan” from Amazon.com]
The “traditional” view answers the question with a resounding “Yes.” It maintains that Truman either had to use the bomb or order an invasion of Japan that would have cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, and that he made the only reasonable choice. This interpretation prevailed with little dissent among scholars and the public for the first two decades after the end of World War II. It still wins the support of a majority of Americans. A Pew Research Center poll published in April 2015 showed that 56% of those surveyed, including 70% aged 65 and over, agreed that “using the atomic bomb on Japanese cities in 1945 was justified,” while 34% thought it was unjustified.
The “revisionist” interpretation that rose to prominence after the mid-1960s answers the question about whether the bomb was necessary with an emphatic “No.” Revisionists contend that Japan was seeking to surrender on the sole condition that the emperor, Hirohito, be allowed to remain on his throne. They claim that Truman elected to use the bomb despite his awareness that Japan was in desperate straits and wanted to end the war. Many revisionists argue that the principal motivation was not to defeat Japan but to intimidate the Soviet Union with America’s atomic might in the emerging cold war.
[Read the full text here, at TIME]
It is now clear that the conflicting interpretations are unsound in their pure forms. Both are based on fallacies that have been exposed by the research of scholars who have moved away from the doctrinaire arguments at the poles of the debate. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 1, 2015 Filed under: Entertainment, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Allen West (politician), America, Chattanooga, Islamic terrorism, Nazi Germany, Tennessee, U.S. Constitution, United States, United States Constitution, Wesley Clark, World War II
“Everybody knows me to be a progressive or a liberal or lefty or whatever. I think of myself as a bleeding-heart conservative. You will not f— with my Bill of Rights, my Constitution, my guarantees of political justice for all. But does my heart bleed for those who need help and aren’t getting the justice that the country promises them and the equal opportunity the country promises? Yes. I’m a bleeding heart, but I think myself to be a total social conservative. The people who are running just don’t seem to have America on their minds, not the America I think about. When I was a kid we were in love with America. As early as I can remember, there was a civics class in my public school. And I was in love with those things that guaranteed freedom before I learned that there were people who hated me because I was Jewish. I had a Bill of Rights and a Constitution, those words out of the Declaration that protected me. And I knew about that because we had civics in class. We don’t have that much in the country anymore. So before World War II or shortly after, we were in love with America because we understood what it was about and that’s what we were in love with. I believe everybody’s patriotic today. Everybody loves America. But I don’t need their flag plans to prove it. I’d like to go back to civics lessons.”
Who said it?
Answer after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 14, 2015 Filed under: Education, Reading Room, Religion, Think Tank | Tags: Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Aristotle, Baruch Spinoza, Controversy, God, Golden Rule, Great Comet, Honor killing, Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Moral sense theory, morality, Nazi Germany, Nazism, Ukraine, Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defence, Ukrainian nationalism
Are professional ethicists good people? According to our research, not especially. So what is the point of learning ethics?
Eric Schwitzgebel writes: None of the classic questions of philosophy are beyond a seven-year-old’s understanding. If God exists, why do bad things happen? How do you know there’s still a world on the other side of that closed door? Are we just made of material stuff that will turn into mud when we die? If you could get away with killing and robbing people just for fun, would you? The questions are natural. It’s the answers that are hard.
“Shouldn’t regularly thinking about ethics have some sort of influence on one’s own behaviour? Doesn’t it seem that it would? To my surprise, few professional ethicists seem to have given the question much thought.”
Eight years ago, I’d just begun a series of empirical studies on the moral behaviour of professional ethicists. My son Davy, then seven years old, was in his booster seat in the back of my car. ‘What do you think, Davy?’ I asked. ‘People who think a lot about what’s fair and about being nice – do they behave any better than other people? Are they more likely to be fair? Are they more likely to be nice?’
Davy didn’t respond right away. I caught his eye in the rearview mirror.
“Ethicists do not behave better. But neither, overall, do they seem to behave worse.”
‘The kids who always talk about being fair and sharing,’ I recall him saying, ‘mostly just want you to be fair to them and share with them.’
[Read the full text of Eric Schwitzgebel’s article here, at Aeon]
When I meet an ethicist for the first time – by ‘ethicist’, I mean a professor of philosophy who specialises in teaching and researching ethics – it’s my habit to ask whether ethicists behave any differently to other types of professor. Most say no.
I’ll probe further: why not? Shouldn’t regularly thinking about ethics have some sort of influence on one’s own behaviour? Doesn’t it seem that it would?
[Order Eric Schwitzgebel’s book “Perplexities of Consciousness” (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology) from Amazon.com]
To my surprise, few professional ethicists seem to have given the question much thought. They’ll toss out responses that strike me as flip or are easily rebutted, and then they’ll have little to add when asked to clarify. They’ll say that academic ethics is all about abstract problems and bizarre puzzle cases, with no bearing on day-to-day life – a claim easily shown to be false by a few examples: Aristotle on virtue, Kant on lying, Singer on charitable donation. They’ll say: ‘What, do you expect epistemologists to have more knowledge? Do you expect doctors to be less likely to smoke?’ I’ll reply that the empirical evidence does suggest that doctors are less likely to smoke than non-doctors of similar social and economic background. Maybe epistemologists don’t have more knowledge, but I’d hope that specialists in feminism would exhibit less sexist behaviour – and if they didn’t, that would be an interesting finding. I’ll suggest that relationships between professional specialisation and personal life might play out differently for different cases.
“We criticise Martin Heidegger for his Nazism, and we wonder how deeply connected his Nazism was to his other philosophical views. But we don’t feel the need to turn the mirror on ourselves.”
It seems odd to me that our profession has so little to say about this matter. We criticise Martin Heidegger for his Nazism, and we wonder how deeply connected his Nazism was to his other philosophical views. But we don’t feel the need to turn the mirror on ourselves.
“No clergyperson has ever expressed to me the view that clergy behave on average morally better than laypeople, despite all their immersion in religious teaching and ethical conversation. Maybe in part this is modesty on behalf of their profession.”
The same issues arise with clergy. In 2010, I was presenting some of my work at the Confucius Institute for Scotland. Afterward, I was approached by not one but two bishops. I asked them whether they
thought that clergy, on average, behaved better, the same or worse than laypeople.
‘About the same,’ said one.
‘Worse!’ said the other.
No clergyperson has ever expressed to me the view that clergy behave on average morally better than laypeople, despite all their immersion in religious teaching and ethical conversation. Maybe in part this is modesty on behalf of their profession. But in most of their voices, I also hear something that sounds like genuine disappointment, some remnant of the young adult who had headed off to seminary hoping it would be otherwise.
In a series of empirical studies – mostly in collaboration with the philosopher Joshua Rust of Stetson University – I have empirically explored the moral behaviour of ethics professors. As far as I’m aware, Josh and I are the only people ever to have done so in a systematic way.
Here are the measures we looked at: voting in public elections, calling one’s mother, eating the meat of mammals, donating to charity, littering, disruptive chatting and door-slamming during philosophy presentations, responding to student emails, attending conferences without paying registration fees, organ donation, blood donation, theft of library books, overall moral evaluation by one’s departmental peers based on personal impressions, honesty in responding to survey questions, and joining the Nazi party in 1930s Germany. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 11, 2015 Filed under: Diplomacy, History, Politics, Russia | Tags: Adolf Eichmann, Adolf Hitler, Argentina, Associated Press, Germany, History of the Jews in Europe, Israel, Jews, Mass murder, Moscow, Mossad, Nazi Germany, Nazism, Politics of the Soviet Union, Soviet Union, United States, World War II
Carol J. Williams reports: Only six years ago, President Vladimir Putin visited the Polish port of Gdansk, birthplace of the Solidarity movement that threw off Soviet domination, and reassured his Eastern European neighbors that Russia had only friendly intentions.
Putin spoke harshly that day of the notorious World War II-era pact that former Soviet leader Josef Stalin had signed with Adolf Hitler — an agreement that cleared the way for the Nazi occupation of Poland and Soviet domination of the Baltics — calling it a “collusion to solve one’s problems at others’ expense.”
But Putin’s view of history appears to have undergone a startling transformation. Last month, the Russian leader praised the 1939 nonaggression accord with Hitler as a clever maneuver that forestalled war with Germany. Stalin’s 29-year reign, generally seen by Russians in recent years as a dark and bloody chapter in the nation’s history, has lately been applauded by Putin and his supporters as the foundation on which the great Soviet superpower was built.
Across a resurgent Russia, Stalin lives again, at least in the minds and hearts of Russian nationalists who see Putin as heir to the former dictator’s model of iron-fisted rule. Recent tributes celebrate Stalin’s military command acumen and geopolitical prowess. His ruthless repression of enemies, real and imagined, has been brushed aside by today’s Kremlin leader as the cost to be paid for defeating the Nazis.
As Putin has sought to recover territory lost in the 1991 Soviet breakup, his Stalinesque claim to a right to a “sphere of influence” has allowed him to legitimize the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and declare an obligation to defend Russians and Russian speakers beyond his nation’s borders.
[Read more here, at LA Times]
On May 9, the 70th anniversary of the Allied war victory was marked and Stalin’s image was put on display with glorifying war films, T-shirts, billboards and posters. Framed portraits of the mustachioed generalissimo were carried by marchers in Red Square‘s Victory Day parade and in the million-strong civic procession that followed to honor all who fell in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 9, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Diplomacy, Global, War Room | Tags: Almazbek Atambayev, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, China, CHINA NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION, Communist Party of China, Moscow, Nazi Germany, President of the People's Republic of China, Red Square, Rossiya 1, RUSSIA, United States, Victory parade, Vladimir Putin, World War II, Xi Jinping
Echoes of the past as Moscow’s Victory Day parade stirs memories of a previous anti-American alliance
Richard Spencer reports: At first sight, things look very different now. When President Xi Jinping of China took pride of place next to Vladimir Putin of Russia on Saturday, they looked like any other modern world leaders: pragmatic men-in-suits, full of smiles, temporary possessors of power rather than dictators-for-life.
“Once again, the Russia-China axis is the main threat to the West’s vision of peaceful and prosperous international relations.”
Children in Young Pioneer uniforms paraded through the Bolshoi Opera House telling of their ambition to become tractor drivers. Mao wore a “Mao suit” and Stalin military uniform. Both men looked grumpy.
From left: LM Kaganovich, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, NA Bulganin, Joseph Stalin, Walter Ulbricht, J cedenbal, NS Khrushchev and I Koplenig (Getty)
But the two events, six decades apart, have a clear parallel. Once again, the Russia-China axis is the main threat to the West’s vision of peaceful and prosperous international relations.
“China has been railing against a ‘unipolar world’ for a decade. Mr Putin and his allies all have their reasons for disliking the West’s tendency to set a high store on open elections, a free press and ‘cooperative’ foreign policies.”
The line-up of leaders alongside the two men was a walking representation of a new anti-American alliance that has formed bit by bit since the invasion of Iraq demonstrated the frightening ease with which Washington could destroy hostile leaders far away.
[Read the full text here, at the Telegraph]
Alongside Mr Xi were Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Raúl Castro of Cuba, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela: standouts against what Mr Putin called a unipolar world, his code phrase for the spread of western-style democracy.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, centre, and Cuban President Raul Castro, centre right, after the parade (EPA)
In itself, there isn’t much new to this. China has been railing against a “unipolar world” for a decade. Mr Putin and his allies all have their reasons for disliking the West’s tendency to set a high store on open elections, a free press and “cooperative” foreign policies.
[Also see – China Parades Closer Ties in Moscow]
What is stark is that Russia and China are now openly stating their intention to stand together to lead such an alliance….(read more)
Chairman Mao Tse-tung, left, welcomes US President Richard Nixon at his house in Beijing (AFP)
Twenty years ago, when both Presidents Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin of China stood alongside Boris Yeltsin at the 1995 Moscow Victory Day parade, the power relations were self-evident.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 30, 2013 Filed under: Art & Culture, Global, History | Tags: Bild, Bundestag, Cornelius Gurlitt, Germany, Nazi, Nazi Germany, Nazism, Otto von Bismarck
Journalists wait for the start of a news conference of expert art historian Meike Hoffmann and Augsburg state prosecutor Reinhard Nemetz in Augsburg November 5, 2013. A Jewish group accused Germany on Monday of moral complicity in concealment of stolen paintings after it emerged authorities failed for two years to report discovery of a trove of modern art seized by the Nazis, including works by Picasso and Matisse.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Madeline Chambers writes: An art historian has found two art works stolen by the Nazis inside Germany’s parliament, a newspaper reported on Monday, in a new embarrassment for authorities after a huge stash of looted art came to light last month.
The Bundestag, in a statement issued after the report in Bild newspaper, said an art historian was reviewing two “suspicious cases”, but a spokesman would not confirm the find.
The art historian’s investigations into the German parliament’s art collection, which began in 2012, were continuing, the Bundestag spokesman said.
“It is unclear when there will be a result to the investigations,” he said.
Last month German authorities revealed that a trove of Nazi-looted art, valued at 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion), had been found in a Munich apartment.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 3, 2013 Filed under: War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Germany, Iran, Nazi Germany, Nazism, Obama, Soviet Union, Tehran
New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may seem less antagonistic to the west than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (AP File)
By James Jay Carafano
August 23 is called Black Ribbon Day. It reminds us of the horrors inflicted on the world by the twin evils of Nazism and communism.
On that date in 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany inked the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Never again would the two powers threaten one another.
It was a colossal diplomatic blunder. The Soviets thought they could do business with Hitler, that he was doing them a favor. But deals with the devil seldom turn out well. In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Russia.
Read the rest of this entry »