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Posts Tagged ‘Adolf Hitler

Sometimes the Internet offers odd combinations

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And this morning I found an odd one indeed. Hitler, Zuckerberg and Stalin, who each made Time’s MAN OF THE YEAR:

Let me be crystal clear I did not set this combination up, I simply found it and found it curious. Maybe such combinations point to the trivial value of Time’s nomination of a Man of the Year. The connection between these three is a bit of trivial interest, but does indicate how some people do “free association” and then post such on the Web.

I did kind of like the Borovitz report that Time made a startling discovery in finding that Zuck was a man/person and not just some online abberration!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/19 at 15:59

In 1940 Hitler and Stalin were doing their very best to destroy Poland

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One of the mass graves at Katyn.
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I just viewed Andreaj Wajda’s film about the Katyn Forest Massacre. This event characterized Stalin’s paranoid politics as no other event could. We have the basic human honesty of the Poles to thank for that. They seemed beaten down by Hitler, Stalin and their own Communist politicians, but they survived and now they are telling their stories.

This morning I read that the conflict in Kashmir has taken the lives of over 70,000 over the last 40+ years. The title of this post by Arundhati Roy, an Indian writer, is titled “Is Democracy melting?”

I can recall too many reminders that India is the oldest and largest democracy in the world that works! And there is little doubt that if you need to find evidence of how messy democracy can be, there is no better democracy than India’s.

In the dirty thirties and bloody forties of the 20th century it was all about Hitler and Stalin. Now there is a leaky virulent strain of political violence that nests very effectively in SE Asia.

SRINAGAR, INDIA - OCTOBER 6: Indian security f...
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Wajda’s movie gave me the creeps with it’s forthright truth telling. The story revealed by Ms. Roy gives me the shivers, especially because so many new Canadians are from SE Asia. Will the virulent strain of political violence leak from Kashmir to India to Canada?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/30 at 09:53

Background reading and viewing about Hitler-Stalin mutual support pact in 1939

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The first is a review of a recent book by Richard Overy, who is a recognized historical expert about Hitler and Stalin. And here is an excerpt from that review:

Poland is central to Overy’s analysis, which suggests he may not be offering anything very new. His preface outlines the role of Danzig after the Treaty of Versailles, the vital supply channel for Polish trade that ultimately provoked Hitler’s disquieting request for lebensraum. Danzig remains the fault-line for the declaration of war, although clearly there are other causes: pride and obstinacy, failed brinkmanship and both sides’ belief that they were the last true upholders of western values. Overy suggests that the sheer exhaustion of the antagonists, particularly Neville Chamberlain, also played a part. A week after the war began, the prime minister wrote to his sister that his days “of stress and strain” had made him lose all sense of time: “Life is just one long nightmare.”

Then there is this video of an interview with Overy about that very subject.

My own personal connection with this very sad part of WW2 history is that I was living in Paris with my birth family since my father had, since April 1939, taken up his posting with RBofC as manager of their 10, rue Scribe branch in Paris. By then I had lived in three countries, born in Barcelona in Oct 1935, in Montmagny QC with my mother and siblings in Aug 1936 till Oct 1937 and then Vernets-l-bains in the French Pyrenees. We had been unwillingly chased from Barcelona in mid-July 1936 by the outbreak of

The Eiffel Tower and La Défense business distr...
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the Spanish Civil War, which happened with violent clashes in and around Barcelona, which was the industrial heartland of Spain then.

My mother and I were forced to leave Paris after the German Wehrmacht invaded Western Europe so successfully on May 10, 1940. After lots of scrambling we made our way with my father and all siblings, Helen, Jean-Paul and Annette the latest arrival (May 16, 1940) back to Canada via the south of France, Portsmouth UK, and convoy out of Greenock, Scotland to Halifax, where we finally landed on July 13, 1940.

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Some leaders of nearly failed states just can’t face historical facts

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Here is the headline that got my attention:

Medvedev: Blaming Soviets for WW2 a ‘Cynical Lie’

It seems that Medvedev is ready to deny that Stalin, the practical dictator of and head of state of the USSR during the dirty ’30s and ’40s, directed foreign policy that focused on direct intervention in the affairs of many countries such as Spain during it’s Civil War, China during the ascent of Mao Zedong to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the brutal partition of Poland after signing an agreement of mutual support with Hitler in 1939 days before the Nazi horde invaded Poland.

According to Medvedev all those terrible historical verities are a string of cynical lies, which is on the face of it a much bigger CYNICAL LIE today.

There is little doubt that the USSR suffered enormously during the German Nazi invasion and spoliation of the Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian homelands from 1941 until counterattacks from the USSR armies in 1943-44 and 1945. There is also little doubt that that conflict had more to do with the demise of the Hitlerian 1000 year Reich than any number of pinpricks by Western Allied armies. Those are big facts, but it’s not a fact that the USSR had nothing to do with the invasion and partition of Poland in 1939-40. That was deliberate foreign and military policy/action of the USSR. During that time the USSR armies invaded Finland also!

BEIJING - AUGUST 25:  A Chinese paramilitary o...
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Health care reform, birthers, violent protests and Hitler talk in the US

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Philippe Pétain, head of the French collaborat...
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Given my own childhood “escape” from Nazi occupied France in 1940, I feel something when media people like Limbaugh start painting Obama, the US President with the Hitler and fascism brush.

I read this blog post with great interest because of it’s title “So you wanna talk about Hitler”. I highly recommend it for the views expressed and the images from Nazi Germany!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/09 at 08:13

The Prussians learned an important lesson when they were beaten by Napoleon’s “Industrial Warfare”

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The Kingdom of Prussia within the German Empire
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Here is an explanation from Goldman and Eliason:

By repeatedly beating Prussian generals in battle, Napoleon provoked a radical reaction from the Prussians who eventually outdid his brilliance in battle, beginning in the battles of the 1811 to 1815 at Waterloo, especially.

In fact, the Prussian military realized that innovating and rebuilding their military machine required basic political reforms, or freeing its serfs so that they could become citizen soldiers like the French soldiers were. The serfs and mercenaries that made up Prussian armies lacked the ability and willingness to adopt the tactical and operational innovations introduced by Napoleon’s industrialized armies.

Maj. Gen. Scharnhorst, a political liberal and a reformer leading the effort to transform Prussia‘s military capability to meet and then beat Napoleon in the field, recognized that it was necessary to free serfs politically to then train them in the new tactics used by Napoleon’s armies.

It is to easy to project this basic idea of revolutionary change into the predominance that Prussian and then German armies exercised over the next 125 years up until June 1940, which saw the lightning defeat of the larger better equipped French Armies by the Wehrmacht in Western Europe.

Decal for German helmet, Sieg Heil !! Alles ju...
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This predominance was finally stretched and broken by the radical over-reach of Hitler in Eastern Europe from 1941 till the crushing defeat of his armies in 1945 by the Soviet military juggernaut, marshalled by Stalin.

It’s clear then that the predominance of one army over the others comes mostly from the ability to train its soldiery in use of tactics and technology. That certainly was amply demonstrated in May and June 1940 in Western Europe and again in 1943 till 1945 by the Soviet military.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/02 at 17:49

Whatever Tom Cruise says or thinks here is what historians say about …

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Adolf Hitler, head-and-shoulders portrait, fac...
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Count Von Stauffenberg and his attempted coup against Hitler and his thugs in 1944. It ain’t quite the story that Cruise tells about that desparate attempt to eliminate an obviously unbalanced regime and begin to arrive at peace with the Allies, especially the US of A.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/01/09 at 10:33

Apparently Adolf Hitler had a “major flatulence problem”!

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I've been tagged!
Image by tanakawho via Flickr

Click here to get into the smell of it!

There were many sides of him that were repellant. It’s ironic to read that he farted more than a normal human!

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/12/09 at 05:41

Hitler’s interest in books

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Timothy Ryback_s _Hitler_s Private Library_ - September 24, 2008 - The New York Sun.jpg

The last edition of ...

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Timothy Ryback‘s “Hitler‘s Private Library” was published recently. A review in the New York Sun written by Sir Ian Kershaw a well known author of of books about Hitler, had this interesting comment:

As Mr. Ryback aptly adjudges, what Hitler’s attention to such works shows is

Not a profound, unfathomable distillation of the philosophies of Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, but instead a dime-story theory cobbled together from cheap, tendentious paperbacks and esoteric hardcovers, which gave rise to a thin, calculating, bully mendacity rather than some profoundly grounded source of evil, less the triumph of the will than of the shrill.

Unfortunately the NY Sun is no longer published!

This review was written by Sir Ian Kershaw, who is a professor at the University of Sheffield and the author of “Hitler, 1899-1936: Hubris,” “Hitler, 1936-1945: Nemesis,” and “Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution,” among other works.

In an article for The Atlantic about this very subject, Ryback noted the following not very conventional view gleaned from a close examination of this collection of Hitler’s books:

Given Hitler’s legendary disdain for organized religion in general and Christianity in particular, I didn’t expect him to have devoted much time to the teachings of Christ, let alone to have marked this quintessential Christian virtue. Had this in fact been made by the pencil of Hitler’s younger sister, Paula, who occasionally visited her brother at the Berghof and remained a devout Catholic until her dying day? Might some other Berghof guest have responded to this holy Scripture?

Possibly—but though most of the spiritually oriented books in the Hitler Library were gifts sent to the Führer by distant admirers, several, like Worte Christi, were obviously well read, and some contained marginalia in Hitler’s hand that suggested a serious exploration of spiritual matters. If Hitler was as deeply engaged with spiritual issues as his books and their marginalia suggest, then what was the purpose of this pursuit?

As I sat in the rarefied seclusion of the Jefferson Building’s second-floor reading room one day, listening to the muffled roar of traffic and the distant wail of police sirens in late-summer Washington, I attempted to comprehend the full significance of this sentence to which Hitler seems to have responded so emphatically. Back in 1943 Walter Langer had concluded—correctly, to my mind—that in order to understand Hitler one had to understand his profound belief in divine powers. But Hitler believed that the mortal and the divine were one and the same: that the God he was seeking was in fact himself.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/04 at 08:26

70 years ago the Hitlerian juggernaut was taking its next step

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Neville Chamberlain holding the paper containi...
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Do you wonder about Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain‘s actions 70 years ago concerning Hitler’s threats to invade Czchecoslovakia? The London Times offers wide ranging access to its news archives to give a wide ranging picture of what was happening in Europe in the months leading to WW II.

In 12 short months the world went from “peace in our times”, declared by PM Chamberlain on his return by plane to England after meeting with Hitler & Co in Munich, to a declaration of war by Chamberlain on Sep 3, 1939.

It was around this time that a panel on CBC shared the following views about the impact of the end of the Spanish Civil War:

Could the end of the Spanish Civil War fuel a European crisis?
Broadcast Date: Feb. 26, 1939

In February 1939, the Spanish Civil War seems to be ending. But the conclusion of this war could mean renewed crisis in Europe. “And by crisis, I presume we mean the choice between further concessions to the dictators or war,” says historian R.G. Riddell in this half-hour-long CBC Radio panel discussion. Fellow historian Frank Underhill thinks crisis is indeed coming. But panellist J.L. Stewart thinks everyone is overreacting: “Now Underhill, I must say that I think that you’re inclined to view this situation with too much alarm.”

My septuagenarian memories: I was 3 years old in Oct 1938 and I was living in Vernet-les-bains in the French Pyrenees with my mother. In April 1939 we moved to Paris when my father became Branch Manager of the Royal Bank of Canada in Paris.

By July 13 1940 we ended up in Halifax NS after crossing U-Boat infested waters in the North Atlantic. Phew!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/10/10 at 07:59