Posted: August 25, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, History, Mediasphere, Politics, Russia, U.S. News | Tags: 21st Century Fox, Adam McKay, Albert Einstein, Alexander Pushkin, Fox News Channel, Joseph Stalin, Nazism, The New York Times, Vladimir Putin, World War II
The Red York Times: First in Fake News.
Michelle Malkin writes: Newsflash from The New York Times: Women may have starved under socialist regimes, but their orgasms were out of this world!
That’s the creepy gist of one of the Grey Lady’s recent essays this summer hailing the “Red Century.” The paper’s ongoing series explores “the history and legacy of Communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.” When its essayists aren’t busy championing the great sex that oppressed women enjoyed in miserable Eastern Bloc countries, they’re extolling Lenin’s fantabulous conservationist programs and pimping “Communism for Kids” propaganda.
Since this is back-to-school season, it’s the perfect time to teach your children about faux journalism at the Fishwrap of Record. As the publication’s pretentious own new slogan asserts, “The truth is more important than ever.”
While the Times hyperventilates about the dangers of President Trump’s “art of fabrication” and “Russian collusion,” this is the same organization whose famed correspondent in Russia, Walter Duranty, won a Pulitzer Prize for spreading fake news denying Joseph Stalin‘s Ukrainian genocide.
[read the full story here, at Frontpage Mag]
An estimated 10 million men, women and children starved in the Stalin-engineered silent massacre between 1932-1933, also known as the Holodomor. Stalin had implemented his “Five Year Plan” of agricultural collectivization — confiscating land and livestock, evicting farmers, and imposing impossible grain production quotas. At the peak of the famine, about 30,000 Ukrainian citizens a day were dying. Untold numbers resorted to cannibalism. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 13, 2017 Filed under: Cinema, Entertainment | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Agoura Hills, Edward G Robinson, German military administration in occupied France during World War II, Jews, Nazism, Orson Welles, Taraji P. Henson, The National WWII Museum, World War II
Set in Connecticut after World War II, The Stranger is a cat and mouse game between Wilson (Edward G. Robinson), a member of the Allied War Crimes Commission and Franz Kindler (Orson Welles), a Nazi who has assumed the false identity of Dr. Charles Rankin. To complete his new intelligentsia disguise, Kindler marries Mary Longstreet, daughter of a Supreme Court justice.
Run time 95 min Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 2, 2017 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Associated Press, Auschwitz concentration camp, El País, Extermination camp, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany, Nazism, Pope Francis, Telephone, WW2
Libby Watson reports: If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars and are extremely creepy, you can now buy a one-of-a-kind piece of history: Adolf Hitler’s personal telephone.
The phone will be sold by Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland, and is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000. It was taken from Hitler’s bunker shortly after his death by Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner, who died in 1977; his son Ranulf inherited the phone. According to the auction listing, Rayner was given the phone by Russian officers:
Very likely the first non-Soviet victor to enter the city, Rayner went to the Chancellery where Russian officers offered him a tour. On entering Hitler’s private quarters, Rayner was first offered Eva Braun’s telephone, but politely declined claiming that his favorite color was red. His Russian hosts were pleased to hand him a red telephone – the telephone offered here.
The listing goes on to note the phone’s uniquely horrific history:
It would be impossible to find a more impactful relic than the primary tool used by the most evil man in history to annihilate countless innocents, lay waste to hundreds of thousands of square miles of land, and in the end, destroy his own country and people…with effects that still menacingly reverberate today. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 27, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, History, Mediasphere | Tags: Ellsworth Kelly, Kraków, Money train, Nazism, New York, New York City, Politics of Poland, The New York Times, World War II
Holland Cotter reports: Ellsworth Kelly, who in the years after World War II shaped a distinctive style of American painting by combining the solid shapes and brilliant colors of European abstraction with forms drawn from everyday life, died on Sunday. He was 92.
His death was announced by Matthew Marks of the Matthew Marks Gallery in Manhattan.
Mr. Kelly’s simple shapes and flat colors — which he sometimes relegated to separate panels — were an important departure form the fussier geometric abstraction, heavily influenced by Mondrian, that most American abstract painters were pursuing at the end of the 1940s. His work was startlingly clean and airy, its plainness creating a bold sense of scale.
[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]
Often his paintings consisted of only two colored shapes. Their contrasts could be stark — blue and yellow, or red and white — or subtle, as with two shades of gray. He derived spatial tension from gently curving the edges of shapes, pitting them against the straight edges of the canvas. But he also made some of the first shaped canvases of the postwar period. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 17, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Auschwitz concentration camp, Emmy Award, EWTN, Extermination camp, Final Solution, Hungary, Jerry Lewis, Jews, Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, Nazism, The Bellboy, The Day the Clown Cried, The Errand Boy, The Holocaust, The Nutty Professor, United States, World War II
On his career, Trump, MDA, and the film that got away.
Raymond Arroyo writes:
…As writer and director of his own films, Lewis is responsible for some of the greatest slapstick gags in history. Just watch “The Nutty Professor,” “The Bellboy,” “The Errand Boy,” “Cinderfella” or “The Ladies Man,” and his particular comic genius is evident. In Europe, he has been named Best Director of the Year eight times since 1960.
He created Video Assist, a technology that allowed him to watch his on-screen performances, instantly, before the film was developed. Video Assist is still used by nearly every film and TV director to this day.
One Lewis project has been shrouded in mystery for decades: “The Day the Clown Cried.” It’s a World War II drama concerning a clown in Auschwitz. The film was mired in legal troubles, and Lewis has never allowed it to be seen.
Now, in an exclusive interview, he tells me why he has kept the film under wraps for so long.
Here’s a clip:
“That’s the problem, there was no artistry,” Lewis said. “The work was bad.”
[Read the full story here, at LifeZette]
This is just one of the many revelations he shared with me during a hilarious and moving interview that will air Thursday on “The World Over” on EWTN.
Lewis will be 90 in March. As he closes in on that milestone, I caught up with the legendary performer at his home in Las Vegas for an hour-long conversation touching on everything from his breakup with Martin to the real reason he led the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon
for nearly 50 years.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 9, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, Self Defense, War Room, White House | Tags: American Thinker, Anti-Defamation League, Antisemitism, Ben Carson, Civil Rights, Flags of the Confederate States of America, Gun control, Human rights, Israel, Jonathan Greenblatt, Nazi salute, Nazism, propaganda, Self-defense, Smear Campaign, The Holocaust, Time Magazine, United States
BEN CARSON IS RIGHT: YES, JEWS SHOULD HAVE HAD GUNS IN THE HOLOCAUST
Anyone who would deny such people guns because ‘it wouldn’t have mattered anyway’ ought to be cut off from the class of decent human beings.
Ben Shapiro writes: On Thursday, Republican 2016 presidential contender Dr. Ben Carson stated on CNN that the Holocaust would have been less likely had Jews been armed.
In his new book, A More Perfect Union, Carson contends, “Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.” He defended that argument on national television, explaining, “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”
“The Nazi genocide against Jews relied on two factors: a population that, understandably, believed no sane or rational force on the planet, let alone the highly civilized Germans, would systematically murder civilians for no discernable purpose; and disarming that population before they could recognize the truth. Gun control had a long history in Germany long before the Holocaust.”
The media cynically objected to Carson’s language. Good Morning America labeled Carson’s comments “bizarre.” Politico accused Carson of “linking Hitler to gun control” – a ridiculous notion, given that Hitler is the one who linked Hitler with gun control.
“Just because the Nazis shot those who tried to resist them with armed force does not mean that Jews should not have had the ability to fight the Nazis. It is difficult to think of a more evil argument than the argument that you will undoubtedly be killed whether or not you have a gun, so we might as well remove your ability to defend your life.”
The media quickly ran to its leftist allies in the Anti-Defamation League, a longtime opponent of gun rights. “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” National Director Jonathan Greenblatt told Yahoo! News. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”
“Defending your own life is a basic human right. Jews are human beings, even if the media would hope to treat them as less than that. Ask any Holocaust survivor whether they would, in retrospect, have preferred to have a gun rather than being forced at gunpoint onto a train and then into Auschwitz, separated from their soon-to-be-gassed families, and then forced into starvation for years.”
Well, of course the “small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews” wouldn’t have prevented the Holocaust. That was the entire goal of prohibiting Jews from owning firearms over the course of years….
[Read the full text here, at Breitbart.com]
…In 1933, upon Hitler’s assumption of power, “non-Nazis throughout Germany were disarmed as ‘Communists,’” according to legal scholar Stephen Halbrook; simultaneously, Nazis were armed. The Nazis banned ownership of any “military” firearms by non-Nazi civilians, but naturally put special emphasis on seizing any guns from Jews. Handgun importation was banned.
“The argument against Carson has serious real-world consequences that extend beyond the argument against domestic gun seizures.”
Finally, in 1938, the Nazis enacted the Weapons Law, which banned weapons ownership without a license, just like the 1928 law; the law itself did not explicitly deny licenses to Jews. But the law did ban Jews from firearms businesses, and further required full government-available records of all gun sales. After Kristallnacht, the Nazis utilized the law to ban guns from all Jews after utilizing the media to blame “armed Jews” for unrest…
[Order Ben Carson’s book “A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties“ from Amazon.com]
…German Jewish leadership said that any failure to comply would only drive more brutality. This strategy, needless to say, led to catastrophe.
Nonetheless, the media continue to lay out arguments that Carson was wrong, and that presumably, the Jews should have avoided guns even as the Germans came for their children. 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 16, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, History, War Room | Tags: Anne Sinclair, Associated Press, Cornelius Gurlitt (composer), Henri Matisse, Jewish culture, Max Liebermann, Munich, Nazism, Paris, Paul Rosenberg (art dealer)
A valuable piece of modern art is finally being returned to the heirs of an art dealer who fled the Nazis.
“The pieces had been stashed in the apartment because Gurlitt’s father, an art dealer named Hildebrand Gurlitt, had helped broker deals between Nazis who traded modern art—works Nazis derisively called ‘degenerate art.’”
The artwork, Matisse’s Seated Woman,was eventually intercepted by German authorities in 2010 after they stopped an elderly man, Cornelius Gurlitt, on a train from Zurich to Munich for carrying a large amount of money on him, NPR reports. They then inspected his apartment, where they found more than 1,000 works by artists including Chagall, Degas and Renoir, worth an estimated $1 billion.
The pieces had been stashed in the apartment because Gurlitt’s father, an art dealer named Hildebrand Gurlitt, had helped broker deals between Nazis who traded modern art—works Nazis derisively called “degenerate art.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 23, 2015 Filed under: History | Tags: Anti-Defamation League, Auschwitz concentration camp, Holocaust victims, Jews, Nazi concentration camps, Nazism, Pink triangle, Poland, Red Army, Urban Outfitters
A tourist attraction geared at families and children in Birmingham, England has drawn flak for its “Railways in Wartime” Auschwitz display, depicting model trains shepherding Holocaust victims to their death in Nazi concentration camps…(read more)
Posted: January 30, 2015 Filed under: History, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Antisemitism, Ashkenazi Jews, Auschwitz concentration camp, Charlie Hebdo, Extermination camp, Final Solution, German-occupied Europe, Israel, Jews, List of Holocaust memorials and museums, Nazism, The Holocaust
The Final Solution: a Nuclear Iran
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, and in the Middle East a new Holocaust looms
Charles Krauthammer writes: Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.
It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
“From the Jewish point of view, European anti-Semitism is a sideshow. The story of European Jewry is over. It died at Auschwitz.”
The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.
“Europe’s place as the center and fulcrum of the Jewish world has been inherited by Israel, now the largest Jewish community on earth.”
The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!” Berlin, mind you.
European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It’s a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 29, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Politics, War Room | Tags: Academy Award, Allies of World War II, American Sniper, Bradley Cooper, Chris Kyle, Clint Eastwood, EUROPE, Inglourious Basterds, Michael Moore, Nazi propaganda, Nazism, Quentin Tarantino, Seth Rogen, Twitter, World War II
What ‘American Sniper’ Tells You About Its Critics
A veteran reviews ‘American Sniper’
Matthew Braun writes: I am not at all surprised that Michael Moore and Seth Rogen don’t like American Sniper . For them, the idea of military sacrifice is absurd. We get an idea of how badly they understand the motivation of the modern American fighting man and woman when they can’t tell the difference between someone like me, with 15 years of experience in law enforcement, military intelligence, and counterterrorism, and a Nazi. No. Seriously.
That movie is “Nation’s Pride,” the faux Nazi propaganda film-within-a-film directed by Eli Roth that plays during the film’s climactic theater scene. Moore, for his part, offered these thoughts:
“The American Left has never been able to find the line between patriotism and jingoism.”
He later said, implausibly, he just happened to tweet this while “American Sniper ” was pulling in a massive $105 million opening weekend box-office haul and wasn’t talking at all about “American Sniper .”
An Oscar statuette earned by Frank Capra’s 1942 documentary “Prelude to War,” the first film in the United States Army Special Services’ seven-picture “Why We Fight” series, has been removed from the auction block and was returned to the care of the U.S. Army. Pictured: Frank Capra and John Ford
“Where John Ford and Frank Capra once did propaganda films during World War II, Hollywood today is irredeemably corrupted by a worldview that blames America for all the ills of the world.”
Moore’s experience with martial matters is exactly zero, and his understanding of snipers is based on a tragic anecdote from World War II. Moore never allows for the possibility that Nazi snipers might have been cowards, and that American snipers might be saving lives.
Newsflash: Like the Nazis, Al Qaeda Is Bad
War movies have changed a lot since the 1940s. War movies in the 1940s didn’t have to explain that the Nazis were bad. We take Nazis as evil for granted now; with 65 years of hindsight there are far more people around now who were never alive for Hitler’s Reich, but all of us understand that Nazis are bad.
“The American Left can’t imagine a person who actually fights to protect other Americans, who actually believes America is the greatest country on Earth, and who does it all with a Bible in his pocket. That’s a farce to them.”
Film has been, perhaps, the best teacher of this simple truth. Nazis were just Nazis in movies, even when their evil was supernatural or no longer based in reality.
“…It’s too far off from the people they have known and deal with every day to be real, so they think it’s propaganda for the Right, for America, for war.”
Unlike the war films of generations past, ‘American Sniper’ actually has to explain onscreen that al Qaeda insurgents were (and still are) bad.
The Left continues to think of the American military and foreign illegal fighters as basically being two sides of the same coin. Worse, they can’t seem to tell the difference between American service members and al Qaeda. Unlike the war films of generations past, “American Sniper” actually has to explain onscreen that al Qaeda insurgents were (and still are) bad. In explaining, and in depicting, Kyle’s firm and unflinching lack of remorse or understanding for the plight of the torturing, ambushing, child-murdering insurgent, we see a fun word on Twitter: Jingoistic.
The American Left has never been able to find the line between patriotism and jingoism. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 27, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, History | Tags: Allies of World War II, Alternate history, Amazon Studios, Axis powers, Garry Trudeau, Nazism, Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, The Man in the High Castle, United States, World War II
Amazon’s new pilot proves that alternative-history shows are an uphill battle
The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick, is an acknowledged classic of the alternative-history genre — the sort of books that imagine a world in which something important had gone differently. (In this case, it’s if the Axis powers had won World War II.) The TV show of the same title, whose pilot is currently streaming on Amazon, is unlikely to meet as much success, not least because the alternative-history genre of TV isn’t something that exists. In general, TV has been uniquely bad at conveying dystopian fantasies. So far, The Man in the High Castle is worse than it could be — but it’s hard to call it a disappointment, given how low expectations should have been.
[Order Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” from Amazon]
The power of books that imagine the apocalypse (or a far worse alternate present) is their power to parcel out information about the state of the world we’re witnessing through context. When television attempts to do the same, it feels sledgehammer-level unsubtle. In a book, a mention of a popular current movie or song, or a quick description of a poster or work of art, can be easily absorbed in the flow of information. In Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle pilot, when the camera pauses on a movie theater marquee or poster of a Third Reich soldier, it feels as though we’re being nudged in the ribs: This will be important later! The important stuff that’s actually interesting gets withheld to a frustrating degree, in favor of fairly dull characters who are on quests we don’t get enough information about to care. What would it really be like to live under Nazi rule in America? We don’t get a strong sense, aside from a vague feeling that the police would be far more aggressive.
Subtlety isn’t television’s strongest trait, but shows like The Man in the High Castle, which exist in a wildly different universe than our own, only exacerbate the medium’s problems with obviousness. We want to know how America ended up overrun with German and Japanese soldiers — just as how, in Under the Dome, we want to know how the town ended up under a dome, or how in the late ABC reboot of V we wanted to know the alien’s plots. Those last two shows are but two easy examples of an irritating phenomenon: when they did parcel out information about the world in which their characters found themselves, it was heavy-handed in a way that only emphasized how much the rest of the show was wheel-spinning. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Religion, War Room | Tags: Aggression, Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Bernard Cazeneuve, EUROPE, France, History of the Jews in France, Honey, Israel, Jews, Kosher restaurant, Nazism, Synagogue
“What happened in Sarcelles is intolerable. An attack on a synagogue and on a kosher shop is simply anti-Semitism. Nothing in France can justify this violence.”
— France’s prime minister Manuel Valls
JULY 2014: France’s politicians and community leaders have criticised the “intolerable” violence against Paris’ Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars.
It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city’s Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews”, as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as “little Jerusalem”.
Manuel Valls, France’s prime minister said: “What happened in Sarcelles is intolerable. An attack on a synagogue and on a kosher shop is simply anti-Semitism. Nothing in France can justify this violence.”
Religious leaders gathered for an interfaith service on Monday to call for calm, and Haim Korsia, the chief rabbi of France, and Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy shook hands on the steps of the synagogue.
Francois Pupponi, the mayor of Sarcelles, told BFMTV that the violent attacks were carried out by a “horde of savages.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 19, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Art of the Third Reich, Cornelius Gurlitt (art historian), Der Spiegel, Marc Chagall, Museum of Fine Arts Berne, Nazism, Ronald Lauder, Switzerland, World Jewish Congress
The Kunstmuseum Bern is expected to decide as early as Saturday to accept the estate of the late Cornelius Gurlitt.
BERN, Switzerland— MARY M. LANE reports: A small art museum in the Swiss capital is preparing to take possession of more than 1,000 artworks bequeathed to it by the son of one of Hitler’s main art dealers, unshackling Germany from an embarrassing burden that has weighed on it for a year.
Barring any last-minute legal objections, the Kunstmuseum Bern is expected to decide as early as Saturday to accept the estate of the late Cornelius Gurlitt, according to three people familiar with the museum board’s discussions.
‘When something like this falls into your lap of course you’re going to vote to take it.’
—A person at the Kunstmuseum Bern’s board meetings
That could expedite restitution for heirs of Holocaust victims, many of whom have seen their claims that the art was stolen from their families languish since the existence of the trove was publicly revealed a year ago. For some works, restitution could happen within days if the museum accepts the bequest.
Stuart Eizenstat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ’s special adviser on Holocaust issues, called the prospect “tremendously welcome and wonderful.”
“It was obvious from the start, and a huge source of angst, that accepting the works would fundamentally change the identity of our museum forever.”
The collection includes masterpieces by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Pierre Auguste-Renoir and was amassed during and shortly after World War II by Mr. Gurlitt’s father, a museum director turned art dealer for Hitler. Historians and lawyers have already concluded the trove contains several pieces stolen from European Jews by the Nazis.
The Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland.European Pressphoto Agency
The German government has been quietly urging the museum to accept the art, according to the people familiar with the discussions. Since the existence of the trove was revealed a year ago, Berlin has been under pressure from Holocaust victims’ families as well as the U.S. and Israeli governments to return all stolen pieces to their original owners.
“One of the prime pieces is an Henri Matisse portrait of a creamy-skinned brunette that a German-government appointed group of experts has already determined is looted.”
Mr. Gurlitt unexpectedly bequeathed his estate to the museum shortly before he died May 6 at 81. According to the will Mr. Gurlitt signed on his deathbed, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Kunstmuseum Bern would be required to conduct this research and restitution. Museum director Matthias Frehner has pledged that it would do so if it accepts the bequest.
If the museum were to decline the collection, it would go to Mr. Gurlitt’s distant relatives, who are dispersed in and outside Germany. While his will stipulates that they also return Nazi-looted art, lawyers say there is no way to make sure the multiple heirs conduct such research properly or efficiently outside of going to court, meaning individual cases could drag on for years.
One of the prime pieces is an Henri Matisse portrait of a creamy-skinned brunette that a German-government appointed group of experts has already determined is looted. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 5, 2014 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Face the Nation, Israel, Jew, Jews, Nazism, Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, United Nations, United States
“I wrote 20 years ago that you will see domestic international terrorists, because you will see them send people — jihadists — to live in the West to raise jihad against the West, and unfortunately that has come about.”
Said Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Face the Nation. But an even greater danger exists, he says:
“…that they will marry their mad ideologies to weapons of mass death. That is a threat not only to my people — the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel — but to your people.”
Netanyahu continued… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 12, 2014 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion | Tags: Agence France-Presse, Antisemitism, Castrillo Matajudíos, Courtemaux, France, Jews, Nazi, Nazism, Paris, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Vichy France
For TIME, Laura Stampler reports: A Jewish organization is petitioning French officials that a small hamlet outside of Paris change its name from what translates in English to “Death to Jews.”
“No one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn’t surprise me that this is coming up again. Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names.”
— Marie-Elizabeth Secretand, to to an AFP reporter
“[The fact that the name] was unnoticed during seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy is most shocking,” Shimon Samuels, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s international affairs, wrote to France’s interior minister.
Here’s the town on Yahoo! Maps.
But the deputy mayor of Courtemaux, the 289-population village that oversees the contested hamlet, is resistant to a name change, arguing that the tradition should be respected. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 14, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Frankfurt, Frankfurter Rundschau, Israel, Jews, Nazism, Saudi Arabia, Turkey
For JPost, Benjamin Weinthal reports: A demonstration in Frankfurt against Operation Protective Edge erupted into violence, with protesters tossing stones at the police.
According to the Frankfurter Rundschau paper, about 2,500 protesters appeared in downtown Frankfurt, screaming “God is great,” and slogans such as “freedom for Palestine” and “children-murderer Israel.”
Eight police officers were injured. One sign at the rally was titled, “You Jews are Beasts.”
German media reported that after the protests, groups sought to locate Jewish institutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 29, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, History | Tags: Degenerate art, Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Germany, Joseph Goebbels, Max Beckmann, Nazi, Nazism, Neue Galerie New York, New York City
Max Beckmann‘s biblical and political triptych Departure (right) hangs on the same wall as his Four Elements triptych, which Hitler owned. Courtesy of Hulya Kolabas for Neue Galerie New York
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner A Group of Artists (The Painters of the Brücke) 1925-26. Oil on canvas. Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Photo: © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Cologne
For NPR, Lloyd Schwartz writes: One of the most unsettling rooms in an important art exhibit at New York’s Neue Galerie is a room in which numerous empty frames are hanging, with guesses about which paintings might have been in them. The paintings themselves were all lost or destroyed by the Nazis. Encouraged by Hitler, most Nazis (Joseph Goebbels was the rare exception) considered everything but the most hidebound, traditionally realistic paintings and sculptures to be “degenerate,” a threat to the Aryan ideals of German culture. To bring this home, there was a series of “exhibitions of shame” designed toteach the German public to despise modernist art. This culminated in a major show in Munich in 1937, which later toured Germany and Austria. The public crowded to see it. That same summer in Munich, a counterexhibit called “The Great German Art Exhibition,” which included at least one work owned by Hitler, showed what the Nazis thought art should be. The Neue Galerie’s exhibit, called “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937,” includes some 80 works from both of these landmark shows.
[Originally broadcast on NPR’s Fresh Air – Download the audio]
The Nazis considered Jewish art collectors and dealers a major force behind the success of modernist art. Works depicting outsiders — Jews or blacks (jazz was also considered degenerate) or anyone unhealthy, neurotic or suffering — were also targets of their disapproval. So even though there were only six Jewish artists in the original exhibition, such non-Jews as the Bavarian Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (an innovative colorist), the Austrian master Oskar Kokoschka and the fanciful Swiss artist Paul Klee were also the objects of attack. Their art was removed from museums, and thousands of so-called degenerate works were destroyed. Kirchner committed suicide in 1938. The strangest case may be that of the German expressionist Emil Nolde, a card-carrying Nazi who was a favorite of Goebbels’. In spite of his high-placed connections, the Nazis turned against him, forbade him to show his work and destroyed many of his paintings. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 22, 2014 Filed under: Global, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Aleksandr Dugin, Bolshevik, Eurasian Union, Eurasianism, European Union, Foundations of Geopolitics, Jonah Goldberg, National Bolshevism, Nazi, Nazism
The Eurasian movement of Putin and his allies draws from both Nazism and Stalinism
From the weekly G-File, Jonah Goldberg writes: Timothy Snyder has written the best piece I’ve seen on what’s going on in Kiev. It’s worth reading just as a primer. But it’s also interesting in other ways. I had not read a lot about the “Eurasian Union,” a proposed counterweight to the European Union, in much the same way the Legion of Doom is a counterweight to the Justice League. Putin and a band of avowed “National Bolshevik” intellectuals are in effect trying to put the band back together. Snyder writes:
The Eurasian Union is the enemy of the European Union, not just in strategy but in ideology. The European Union is based on a historical lesson: that the wars of the twentieth century were based on false and dangerous ideas, National Socialism and Stalinism, which must be rejected and indeed overcome in a system guaranteeing free markets, free movement of people, and the welfare state. Eurasianism, by contrast, is presented by its advocates as the opposite of liberal democracy.
[Order Jonah’s book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” from Amazon]
The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin’s major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 14, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Global, History, Politics | Tags: Adolf Eichmann, Anne Applebaum, Hannah Arendt, Holocaust, John Fund, Jonah Goldberg, Nazism, Olympic games, Soviet Union
From Russia with Euphemisms
In a similar vein as John Fund‘s Whitewashing Communism, Jonah Goldberg writes:
Hannah Arendt coined the term “the banality of evil” to describe the galling normalcy of Nazi mass-murderer Adolf Eichmann. Covering his trial in Jerusalem, she described Eichmann as less a cartoonish villain than a dull, remorseless, paper-pushing functionary just “doing his job.”
The phrase “banality of evil” was instantly controversial, largely because it was misunderstood. Arendt was not trying to minimize Nazism’s evil but to capture its enormity. The staggering moral horror of the Holocaust was that it made complicity “normal.” Liquidating the Jews was not just the stuff of mobs and demagogues but of bureaucracies and bureaucrats.
“To read Anne Applebaum’s magisterial Gulag: A History is to subject yourself to relentless tales of unimaginable barbarity…”
Now consider the stunted and ritualistic conversation (“controversy” is too vibrant a word for the mundane Internet chatter) about the Soviet Union sparked by the Winter Olympics. The humdrum shrugging at the overwhelming evil of Soviet Communism leaves me nostalgic for the Eichmann controversy. At least Arendt and her critics agreed that evil itself was in the dock; they merely haggled over the best words to put in the indictment.
[Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History at Amazon]
What to say of the gormless press-agent twaddle conjured up to describe the Soviet Union?
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: December 2, 2013 Filed under: Politics, Self Defense, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Gestapo, Gun control, Gun rights, Jews, Kristallnacht, Nazi, Nazism, Second Amendment, Self-defense, Stephen P. Halbrook, Weimar Republic, Werner Best
The Weimar Republic’s well-intentioned gun registry became a tool for evil.
Stephen P. Halbrook writes: The perennial gun-control debate in America did not begin here. The same arguments for and against were made in the 1920s in the chaos of Germany’s Weimar Republic, which opted for gun registration. Law-abiding persons complied with the law, but the Communists and Nazis committing acts of political violence did not.
In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover in which Jews would be denied food and persons refusing to surrender their guns within 24 hours would be executed. They were written by Werner Best, a future Gestapo official. In reaction to such threats, the government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for “public safety.” The interior minister warned that the records must not fall into the hands of any extremist group.
In 1933, the ultimate extremist group led by Adolf Hitler seized power and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews. Constitutional rights were suspended, and mass searches for and seizures of guns and dissident publications ensued. Police revoked gun licenses of Social Democrats and others who were not “politically reliable.”
During the five years of repression that followed, society was “cleansed” by the National Socialist regime. Undesirables were placed in camps where labor made them “free,” and normal rights of citizenship were taken from Jews. The Gestapo banned independent gun clubs and arrested their leaders. Gestapo counsel Werner Best issued a directive to the police forbidding issuance of firearm permits to Jews. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 13, 2013 Filed under: Art & Culture, Global, History, War Room | Tags: Berlin, Cornelius Gurlitt, Die Welt, Munich, Nazi, Nazism, Ronald Lauder, World Jewish Congress
The Austrian home of German Cornelius Gurlitt in Salzburg, Austria, on Nov. 11, 2013. The German government said some 590 artworks discovered in Gurlitt’s Munich apartment may have been looted by the Nazis from Jewish collections.
Josie Le Blond in Berlin and Damien McElroy report: The German government has bowed to international pressure and begun publishing an online list of works from a huge art trove found in a Munich flat.
Twenty-five of the 1,406 paintings discovered in Cornelius Gurlitt’s home will be displayed on a website created to help establish the provenance of works seized by the Nazis, following calls from Jewish groups and art experts.
The government has been heavily criticised for keeping silent for 21 months about the cache – thought to be worth up to $1.4 billion – notably by families whose relatives were robbed by the Nazis.
Mr Gurlitt has been seen in public for the first time since the discovery was made public two weeks ago.
The 80-year-old collector, who has been in hiding, was spotted in a winter coat and scarf as he wandered around a Munich shopping centre.
He was reported Tuesday to have written to the news magazine Der Spiegel asking that his name never appear again on its pages.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 9, 2013 Filed under: History, Reading Room, Self Defense, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Alfred Flatow, Germany, Jews, Kristallnacht, Nazi, Nazism, Weimar Republic
Stephen P. Halbrook writes: This week marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass, the Nazi pogrom against Germany’s Jews on Nov. 9-10, 1938. Historians have documented most everything about it except what made it so easy to attack the defenseless Jews without fear of resistance. Their guns were registered and thus easily confiscated.
To illustrate, turn the clock back further and focus on just one victim, a renowned German athlete. Alfred Flatow won first place in gymnastics at the 1896 Olympics. In 1932, he dutifully registered three handguns, as required by a decree of the liberal Weimar Republic. The decree also provided that in times of unrest, the guns could be confiscated. The government gullibly neglected to consider that only law-abiding citizens would register, while political extremists and criminals would not. However, it did warn that the gun-registration records must be carefully stored so they would not fall into the hands of extremists.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 26, 2013 Filed under: History, Reading Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Bernhard Schlink, Germany, Holocaust, Ilse Koch, Irma Grese, Nazism, Schutzstaffel
It’s worth remembering here that many of those women who committed crimes could not resort to the time-worn excuse that they were “following orders”. They were not.
Vortex of power: German women ‘adapted’ to war. Image: Underwood Archives/ Getty Images
Roger Moorhouse writes: The conventional image of women in Nazi Germany is well known. In what was a very masculine world, women generally appear either as hysterical, weeping Hitler fanatics or as hapless rape victims, reaping the Soviet whirlwind. Some readers, however – those familiar with the execrable concentration camp guards Irma Grese and Ilse Koch or perhaps with Bernhard Schlink’s novel The Reader – might recognize a third stereotype: that of the woman as perpetrator.
Hitler’s Furies, a new book by the American academic Wendy Lower, brings this latter image to a non-specialist audience. Distilling many years of research into the Holocaust, Lower focuses her account on the experiences of a dozen or so subjects – not including Grese and Koch – ranging from provincial schoolteachers and Red Cross nurses to army secretaries and SS officers’ molls. Despite coming from all regions of Germany and all walks of life, what they had in common was that they ended up in the Nazi-occupied east, where they became witnesses, accessories or even perpetrators in the Holocaust.
Lower is scrupulously fair to her subjects, providing a potted biography of each, explaining their social and political background and examining the various motives – ambition, love, a lust for adventure – that propelled them to the “killing fields”. This objectivity is admirable, particularly as most of the women swiftly conformed to Nazi norms of behaviour, at least in turning a blind eye to the suffering around them. One woman, a Red Cross nurse, organised “shopping trips” to hunt for bargains in the local Jewish ghetto, while another, a secretary, calmly typed up lists of Jews to be “liquidated”, then witnessed their subsequent deportation.
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 »
Posted: April 9, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: History, Holocaust, Holocaust Memorial Days, Jews, Nazism, Twentieth Century, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Yom HaShoah
Victims. Helpless. Downtrodden.That’s the narrative that’s been spread about Jews for the last 70 years since the Holocaust. We’ve embraced it to our detriment. We can’t seem to address antisemitism without running to the world and screaming that we’re being persecuted, rather than standing up strongly in defiance, aware of our own inner strength.
The Holocaust has scarred us, a yetzer hara sneaky bastard of a voice in our heads, that keeps trying to tell us how we are defined by our past, controlled by events that happened to us, instead of using those moments as points of growth.
And, in a weird way, that’s why all those images of us looking so helpless, so gaunt, in heaps of nameless bodies, have become a morbid fascination for us. We, and by extension the rest of the world, have chosen to define the Holocaust with these images.But there are other images. Images that show a more subtle, more true, story. A story that shows our inner power, our inner turmoil in dealing with a situation we cannot comprehend, our attempts to gain justice, and our final steps into moving above and beyond our past and into a new future.
These are the images you will see below. Some of them may be disturbing to you. Some of them may inspire you.But in the end, they do one thing that we desperately need as a people: they tell the real story of the Holocaust. A story that goes beyond victimhood and into our present-day lives. And today, on Yom HaShoa, 2013, it’s about time that story got told.
via 20 Photos — Pop Chassid