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"brilliant, sardonic, and contemptuous of most of mankind"

Fay started with gimmicks like everyone else, wearing baggy pants, squirting seltzer, delivering straight lines for a comedian that circled him on roller skates - and he hated it. After humiliating himself onstage for two years, Fay decided to use the same persona he had offstage. No props, no costumes, no partner, he took to the stage wearing a well-tailored tuxedo and told jokes alone. It was so unconventional that The New York Times frowned: "“Fay needs a good straight man, as before, to feed his eccentric comedy." There was initial resistance to a man just standing and talking, but Fay's success would transform stand-up as an artform. Fellow comedians saw Fay succeed and they abandoned their props and emulated his style. Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Bob Hope and Jack Paar all cited him as an influence. Fay became one of the most influential stand-up comics of all time.

He was also comedy's most notorious racist. In January 1946, several months after Germany had been defeated, a rally of ten thousand white supremacists gathered at Madison Square Garden. They delivered speeches in support of Franco, Mussolini and their fallen hero Adolf Hitler. They promised that the defeat of Germany would not go unpunished. The podium was beneath a banner that saluted their guest of honor. The event was called "The Friends of Frank Fay."
Frank Fay: The Fascist Stand-Up Comic by Kliph Nesteroff (for WFMU's Beware of the Blog) [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Sep 9, 2014 - 45 comments

The other Göring brother

In downtown Vienna under the Nazis, two members of the SA had decided to humiliate an old woman. A crowd gathered and jeered as the stormtroopers hung a sign bearing the words "I'm a dirty Jew" around the woman's neck. Suddenly, a tall man with a high forehead and thick mustache pushed his way angrily through the mob and freed the woman. "There was a scuffle with two stormtroopers, I hit them and was arrested immediately," the man later said in a matter-of-fact statement. Despite this open act of rebellion, the man was released immediately. He only had to say his name: Albert Göring, brother of Hermann Göring, the commander of the German air force and Hitler's closest confidant.
[more inside]
posted by daisyk on Jul 22, 2012 - 31 comments

Pay taxes. Kill Nazis. Keep Democracy on the March.

Donald Duck wants you to pay your taxes to fight Nazism, when he's not dreaming he's a Nazi. Of course, Disney didn't need Donald Duck in every propaganda film.
posted by hoyland on Mar 6, 2012 - 15 comments

Entartete Kunst

74 years ago today, Nazi officials debuted an exhibit of "degenerate art" in Munich made up from pieces among the over 5,000 works of art the government had confiscated, including works by Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Piet Mondrian, and Wassily Kandisnsky. Most of the pieces the Nazis confiscated were later publically burned, although some was auctioned off or kept by prominent Nazis. Last year, a few of the confiscated sculptures were recovered from a bombed-out basement and exhibited. Today, you can view images from the exhibition catalogue as well as an unfinished recreation of the exhibit. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus on Jul 19, 2011 - 33 comments

Knut Hamsun.

Street Time for Hamsun. This month marks 150 years since the birth of the Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, Nobel laureate in 1920. As well as the opening of a new centre dedicated to the man and his work, a whole range of events have been held in relation to this anniversary. It has also been the occasion for academic conferences, commemorative coins, tourism campaigns, and stamps. A writer of brilliance; a deeply problematic legacy. Previously on mefi.
posted by hydatius on Aug 27, 2009 - 24 comments

Say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

The Corn Refiners Association has created a series of commercials to counter the increasing sentiment against high-fructose corn syrup. One commercial presents a lovely tableau of a couple in a park on a sunny day discussing how HFCS is not much to worry about (previously). A filmmaker reuses the technique to sell something a little bit less sweet.
posted by grouse on Aug 12, 2009 - 136 comments

Questioning the banality of evil

Questioning the banality of evil. "There is a widespread consensus amongst psychologists that tyranny triumphs either because ordinary people blindly follow orders or else because they mindlessly conform to powerful roles. However, recent evidence concerning historical events challenges these views. In particular, studies of the Nazi regime reveal that its functionaries engaged actively and creatively with their tasks. Re-examination of classic social psychological studies points to the same dynamics at work. This article summarises these developments and lays out the case for an updated social psychology of tyranny that explains both the influence of tyrannical leaders and the active contributions of their followers." [Via Mind Hacks.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 2, 2008 - 107 comments

Hitler's record collection

Know who else liked tunes by "subhuman" Jewish and Russian musicians? That's right.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 7, 2007 - 36 comments

“I study dead Jews”

"So much for “never again.” So the problem has obviously not disappeared."
Raul Hilberg (1926-2007, NYT obit) explains why he added a chapter on Rwanda to the last edition of The destruction of the European Jews, a work that took him a lifetime and 3 editions to complete, meeting with indifference, then with criticism from those who didn't share his (at the beginning) functionalist view of the Holocaust. Hilberg became involved in other controversies about the Holocaust, but "The Destruction..." remains the "the closest of any work in print to being the Summa of Holocaust studies" (Christopher Browning). Also: Hilberg intervied by Claude Lanzmann in "Shoah" (YT) (previously).
posted by elgilito on Aug 7, 2007 - 41 comments

They Saved Hitler's Self-Hating Jewish Sea Monkeys

Hitler and the Sea Monkeys. When Harold von Braunhut "discovered" a new species of brine shrimp, artemia nyos, he made millions marketing them as Sea Monkeys. Using profits from that and his other inventions (such as X-Ray Specs), von Braunhut funded anti-Semitic groups, including the Aryan Nations, despite being Jewish himself.
posted by jonp72 on Sep 25, 2006 - 55 comments

"The Holocaust is ultimately a ghost story, and Poles have many reasons to be haunted."

In 1945-46, some of the (very few) Polish Jews who had survived the Final Solution returned -- sick, poor, wounded -- to Poland. In Elie Wiesel's words, "they had thought all too naively that antisemitism, discredited 6 million times over, had died at Auschwitz with its victims. They were wrong." In 2001 Princeton professor Jan T Gross published the story of the 1941 destruction of the Jewish community at Jedwabne, Poland, and proved how Jews were rounded up, clubbed, drowned, gutted or burned to death not by German forces as previously believed but by mobs of their own non-Jewish neighbors. Now professor Gross tells the story of the Kielce pogrom in his new book, "Fear". Of course, the Kielce butchery took place in 1946 -- more than a year after the end of WWII and defeat of Nazism. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jun 25, 2006 - 107 comments

Full Fathom Nine

Mahler performances were rare in Vienna in those days because Mahler's city had already been contaminated by the acolytes of Adolf Hitler. By their reckoning, Mahler's music was loathsome — a product of "Jewish decadence." To put Mahler's music on the program was therefore a political act. It was to protest and deny the hateful faith that blazed across the border from Germany. That much I understood quite clearly, even as a boy.
The New Yorker's Alex Ross reprints Hans Fantel's New York Times 1989 essay on Bruno Walter's 1938 performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony -- the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic before Hitler invaded Austria.
posted by matteo on Apr 10, 2006 - 7 comments

He has cavorted naked with Charlotte Rampling [this is VERY NSFW] and covered himself in caviar for Marc Jacobs, but Jürgen Teller thinks "fashion is a wank". Teller's first solo show in Paris is entitled "Nurnberg", it consists of a sequence of images (annoying Flash site, sorry) taken at the infamous Zeppelintribune parade ground, site of Nazi propaganda rallies, which was designed by Hitler's favourite builder, Albert Speer. Over several months, Teller (.pdf) has photographed the monument, the podium and the steep, ruthless steps, all of which have been left to decay. Or not. "It wasn't really maintained, but if there was a broken step, or a smashed wall, it would be mysteriously replaced with a new one." Teller's photographs show the delicate weeds, flowers and lichen [NSFW] that have grown up around the stone blocks. "In Germany, there is a saying about letting the grass grow over things, meaning that events will eventually be forgotten".
posted by matteo on Mar 22, 2006 - 19 comments

Despotism

Despotism. In 1946, Encyclopedia Britannica and Harold Lasswell produced an educational film about the nature of Despotism. Calls to mind contemporary examples of despotism, and (in view of Lasswell's own views on the subject) raises some interesting questions about the uses and misuses of persuasion and propaganda. Film link via the Prelinger Archive, previously discussed here).
posted by washburn on Mar 16, 2006 - 8 comments

Operation Anthropoid

Operation Anthropoid. In 1942, a group of Czech and Slovak exiles parachuted into their Nazi-occupied homeland and assassinated (hi-res pictures, scroll down) SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, one of the architects of the Final Solution, the "Butcher of Prague." For the first time since the end of the World War Two, a German museum is offering a close look at "Operation Anthropoid," the codename for the only successful assassination of a member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle.
posted by matteo on Jan 31, 2006 - 36 comments

Herr Goering: Self-Hating Nazi?

Nazi's relative turns Israel lover. Matias Goering is a direct descendant of Hitler's right-hand man. He also keeps Shabbat, wears a kippa, and identifies with the Greater Israel vision of West Bank settlers. (via jewlicious)
posted by matteo on Jan 24, 2006 - 26 comments

The London Cage

The London Cage. Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most exclusive addresses in the world. Between July 1940 and September 1948 three magnificent houses there were home to one of Great Britain'smost secret military establishments: the London office of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, known colloquially as the London Cage. It was run by MI19, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war, and few outside this organisation knew exactly what went on beyond the single barbed-wire fence that separated the three houses from the busy streets and grand parks of west London. The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. A number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948. More inside.
posted by matteo on Nov 12, 2005 - 12 comments

Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005

Goodnight, mr. Wiesenthal
posted by matteo on Sep 20, 2005 - 68 comments

Singing, Painting and the Holocaust: Interview with Leon Greenman

you'll then have a grave in the clouds where you won't lie too cramped
"No, no, I never met Paul Celan. This poem is too CLASSIC, too cold, and too difficult to follow. It does nothing to me".
Singing, Painting and the Holocaust: Interview with Leon Greenman, Auschwitz Survivor 98288
posted by matteo on Aug 29, 2005 - 9 comments

violent night

"Tell me, where do all these uncontrollable blacks come from?"
In 2004, neo-Nazis killed 44 people across Russia -- more than double the previous year. A grim storm gathering.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Aug 16, 2005 - 25 comments

"beyond the bounds of freedom of expression"?

Jewish group denounces video on Auschwitz Housewitz, a incredibly racist video mixing Auschwitz with a dance party, has come under fire from, well, everyone. Creator claims it was a joke. The video (Warning: GRAPHIC, RACIST, NSFW).
posted by null terminated on Aug 10, 2005 - 61 comments

The Rise of the American Reich

Who is Laszlo Pastor ?
An in-depth and on-going study into just one of the players in the political underpinnings of America today. You may be shocked how much influence this person has and the history and background that inform his positions. Worth the time it takes to read and extensively sourced.
posted by nofundy on Oct 28, 2004 - 7 comments

"Nazis looking for the Abominable Snowman".

Himmler's Crusade: The True Story of the 1938 Nazi Expedition to Tibet.
In 1935, the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler founded an organisation called Ancestral Heritage , to uncover the hidden past of the Aryan race he and his Führer regarded as the noblest and most vital force in human history. One of the scientific missions Himmler sponsored was a multitasked expedition to Tibet under the leadership of ornithologist Ernst Schäfer, an expert on rare Tibetan birds who liked to smear the blood of exotic kills on his face. Schäfer recruited an anthropologist to measure noses and skulls and to make face-masks; a geographer who specialised in the earth's geomagnetism; and a botanist who was also handy with a film camera. They managed to con their way into Tibet, past the British. The expedition is at the basis of a masterful story by Jim Shepard, the author of Love and Hydrogen (full text). More inside.
posted by matteo on Oct 25, 2004 - 12 comments

LNSGP

The Nazis are back and this time they're green! I can't seem to tell if it's real or not... which is kind of worrying.[Via memepool]
posted by knapah on Aug 1, 2003 - 19 comments

Google censors search results

Google censors search results "Google, the world's most popular search engine, has quietly deleted more than 100 controversial sites from some search result listings. "
posted by mert on Oct 24, 2002 - 53 comments

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network has taken some heat lately for being too P.C., even here on MetaFilter. Well, here's their chance to redeem the network. Sunday evening, 9:00 - 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific, ToonHeads Goes To War, including four rarely-seen wartime cartoons in their entirety: "Blitz Wolf" where the three little pigs face off against a treaty-breaking, German-speaking wolf; "Scrap Happy Daffy" featuring Daffy promoting the recycling of scrap metal and butting heads with a goat that bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler; "Herr Meets Hare," where Bugs Bunny tangles with Nazi minister Hermann Goering; and in "Russian Rhapsody", a plane full of "gremlins from the Kremlin" attack a bomber piloted by the Nazi leader himself.
posted by mr_crash_davis on May 24, 2002 - 7 comments

Unlikely Allies Bound by a Common Hatred. "Herr von Laden is an example for our children." The bridge between radical Muslims and the neo Nazis in Europe and the United States. In 1991, German neo-Nazis tried to form a "Condor Legion" to fight alongside Iraqis against the U.S.-led international coalition. More recently, members of the European far right have journeyed to Baghdad to express solidarity with Saddam Hussein.
posted by semmi on Apr 29, 2002 - 15 comments

Documents Show Nazis Planned to Eliminate Christianity

Documents Show Nazis Planned to Eliminate Christianity interesting for those who care.
posted by heimkonsole on Jan 11, 2002 - 19 comments

Whitwell Middle School Holocaust Group: Paperclip Project:

Whitwell Middle School Holocaust Group: Paperclip Project: During World War II, Norwegians wore paper-clips on their clothes to silently show their opposition to Nazism and anti-Semitism. The eighth-graders at this Tennessee middle school are learning about the Holocaust and are collecting 6 million paperclips as a reminder of what happened. [More inside]
posted by ahughey on May 1, 2001 - 22 comments

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