In this 1915 photo, the children appear to be raising their arms in a siege heil salute of the American flag. Actually, this gesture was part of the Pledge of Allegiance ritual for decades. Then, um, Hitler happened. From Smithsonian:
Originally known as the Bellamy Salute, the gesture came to be in the 1890s, when the Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis J. Bellamy. The Christian socialist minister was recruited to write a patriotic pledge to the American flag as part of magazine mogul Daniel Sharp Ford’s quest to get the flag into public schools.
At the time... Bellamy and his boss both agreed that the Civil War had divided American loyalties and that the flag might be able to bridge those gaps. His campaign centered around the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the new world. He published his new Pledge as part of a unified Columbus Day ceremony program in September 1892 in the pages of the Youth’s Companion, a popular children’s magazine with a circulation of 500,000.
“At a signal from the Principal,” Bellamy wrote, “the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag…'”
Then in the 1930s, Hitler reportedly saw Italian Fascists doing a similar gesture, likely based on an ancient Roman custom, and adopted it for the Nazi party. Read the rest
Everyone hates Nazis. For decades they've been the go-to villains for movies that need bad guys. With the modern sensitivity toward Native Americans, Russians and other traditional villains of American screenwriting, I predict we will see a resurgence in film and television with lots more nasty Nazis. The Man in the High Castle, anyone?
So what could be more fun than a gift whose function perfectly follows its form than this candle of that nasty Nazi rat-bastard SS agent Arnold Ernst Toht, Gestapo agent? The little weasel gets his well-deserved comeuppance in perfect style when his face melts off like hot butter, when the hell hiding in the Ark of the Covenant is unleashed at the end of first Indiana Jones flick Raiders of the Lost Ark.
You gotta love this candle! Let's watch his soul get sucked out of his stinking Nazi skull with the flick of a match. Available from Firebox for a mere $28.39 in the UK (hence the odd price), I really have to buy two: one to keep, and one to melt.
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Here's a report about a Catholic priest said to have been found snorting cocaine in a room adorned with Nazi symbols. In other words, another Monday on the internet.
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New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer has a new book coming out, Dark Money, which chronicles the influence of a small handful of ultra-rich dynastic American families on US politics.
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Donald Trump, a Republican candidate for Führer of the United Fascist States of America, said today there should be a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” including Muslim citizens who are currently abroad.
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What if the Axis won World War II? An America occupied by Germany and Japan is the premise of Philip K Dick's novel, The Man in the High Castle, and it's been filmed by Amazon Studios as an exclusive drama for Prime subscribers.
The new trailer is striking: the script seems restrained and measured, almost like an old BBC spy drama, but with the handsome looks that big budgets bring. I even thought for a moment that I saw Colin Firth in there, but it turned out to be Rupert Evans looking particularly determined in the shadows. It all gets unlocked Nov. 20.
Previously: Amazon's The Man in the High Castle Read the rest
I love reading about all the drugs Hitler was on and the implication that his insane medical treatments made him even crazier and nastier than he otherwise was. Andrea Maurer takes a deep dive into the "High Hitler" story and finds it to be even more disturbing than popularly understood. Read the rest
Yep, pretty sure this is all of it. Read the rest
Michael Shaughnessy reports the untold story of Frieda Thiersch—and the mysteries of her life, her motives and her books
Surprisingly, there are a good half-dozen medical eponyms that come from Nazi doctors who performed experiments on unwilling human subjects or used bodies of executed prisoners in their work — often in the course of discovering the very things that now bear their names. Clara cells, for instance, are a type of cell that lines small airways in your lungs. They're named for Max Clara, who discovered them by dissecting executed political prisoners
. Read the rest
Michael Karkoc — a 94-year-old Ukranian immigrant who lives in a neighborhood of Minneapolis known for housing populations of both Eastern Europeans and artists — has turned out to be a former Nazi SS commander whose unit was involved in cracking down on the Warsaw uprising, as well as other brutal attacks on civilians. The Associated Press broke the story and Minnesota Public Radio has some great, in-depth coverage
. Reached at his home, Karkoc told AP reporters, "I don't think I can explain." (Strangely, this has been a big week for Nazi-related news. Yesterday, Xeni posted a story about the discovery of a diary
belonging to one of Hitler's confidants.) Read the rest
A Dusseldorf production of Wagner's Tannhauser was cancelled this week
after the producer "refused to tone down the staging, set in a concentration camp during the Holocaust." [BBC] Read the rest
Dan Amira writes,
An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to "challenge" his/her students to "formulate a persuasive argument" tasked them with writing an essay about why "Jews are evil," as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty
Time for a teacher training day! Read the rest
Gisella Perl was Romanian and Jewish. She was a gynaecologist at a time and place where very few women went into the medical professions. In 1944, she and her entire family were shipped off to Auschwitz, where Perl was instructed to provide medical care for her fellow inmates — medical care that was supposed to happen without even the most basic medical supplies.
In this position, she was officially employed by Josef Mengele, and she saw what happened to women who entered Auschwitz while pregnant. The short answer was death. The long answer was that those deaths were often horrifying and drawn-out. So Gisella Perl gave herself a new job — protecting women by helping them hide evidence of pregnancy and by performing abortions with her bare hands.
I'd never heard Perl's story before. It's heartbreaking. And it's riveting. The Holocaust History Project has a long and well-cited version. Read the rest