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Wagner's Dark Shadow: Can We Separate the Man from His Works?

Nike Wagner, the composer's great-granddaughter, puts the question that this raises in these terms: "Should we allow ourselves to listen to his works with pleasure, even though we know that he was an anti-Semite?" There's a bigger issue behind this question: Can Germans enjoy any part of their history in a carefree way?

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 27, 2013 - 122 comments

Hitler's plans for the world's largest stadium

"The 1940 Olympics will be taking place in Tokyo. But after that they will be held for all eternity in Germany -- and in this stadium. And it is we who will determine how the sporting field is measured."
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 25, 2012 - 52 comments

Use the enemy's own films to expose their enslaving ends. Let our boys hear the Nazis and the Japs shout their own claims of master-race crud—and our fighting men will know why they are in uniform.

Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the war. Each of them is in the common domain having been produced by the US government, available online, and linked below the fold: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 16, 2012 - 24 comments

Murphy Ranch: the faded dreams of a Nazi Shangri La, just outside of Hollywood

About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound! Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 19, 2012 - 50 comments

You know who else owned things with swastikas on them?

At first, Collectors Weekly deleted virtually anything listed on their site bearing a Nazi swastika. Now they are explaining what changed their mind and why some people collect this particular paraphernalia.
posted by gman on Jun 24, 2011 - 32 comments

A Home Movie Featuring Adolf Hitler (SLYT)

A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.

The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
posted by zzazazz on Aug 12, 2010 - 95 comments

Hitler Goes Bollywood!

The Bollywood film "Dear Friend Hitler" has lost its Hitler, Anupam Kher, due to protests from India's Jewish Community. The film was to focus on "Hitler's love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence...to capture the personality of Adolf Hitler and his insecurities, his charisma and his paranoia during the last few days of his life." Westerners may be puzzled by the project's flippancy towards its subject, but knowledge of the Holocaust is relatively slim in India, where Mein Kampf is a best-seller supposedly lumped in with Who Moved My Cheese. While Hitler may have lent some wispy nominal support to India's independence movement, the fact is most of the people who tried to draw a connection between Hitler's fortunes and that of India were just plain loons. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Jun 18, 2010 - 52 comments

Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi

Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi was born on 1926 in Hamburg and grew up in Nazi-Germany. He dreamed of joining the Hitler youth but besides best efforts was always rejected. But you can see him here wearing a swastika. [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc on Sep 9, 2007 - 26 comments

Heil Honey, I'm Home!

Heil Honey, I'm Home! Somewhere in suburbia, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun live next door to a Jewish couple in this curious artifact from the BBC. The curiosity was canceled after one episode, for reasons somewhere between quality and taste, but now you can see it for yourself.
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 12, 2007 - 33 comments

A Woman Against Time.

Savitri Devi Mukherji. Born Maximiani Portas in 1905, this French woman of Greek and English extraction would, in pilgrimages to Palestine and India, experience a series of strange awakenings - that she was a National Socialist, that she was a Hindu, that the two were entwined in the struggle against the Judeo-Christian order, and that Hitler was the living incarnation of Kalki the Destroyer, the final avatar of Vishnu. Known to many as "Hitler's guru," she stood at the forefronts of Hindu nationalism, Nazi mysticism, Holocaust denial, animal rights, and the international Neo-Nazi movement. The Lightning And The Sun, her most famous work, most directly espouses her philosophy, but perhaps the best place to start would be Long-Whiskers And The Two-Legged Goddess, which is her autobiography as filtered through her many cats. Her nephews were Communists; her own mother was active in the French Resistance; and according to some, the daughter would have shot the mother dead for it. The world is not be a better place for the Savitri Devis of the world, but her presence made this world like none other.
posted by Sticherbeast on Sep 10, 2006 - 22 comments

Furor over Fuhrer Food

Furor over Fuhrer Food But it's not the only Hitler-themed restaurant. Taipei had the Prison restaurant with Concentration Camp murals, and Korea had the infamous 1939 Hitler Bar.

Not that the U.S. was spared. Colorado had a Mao-themed eatery.
posted by FeldBum on Aug 21, 2006 - 69 comments

The Wacky World of Comic Book Propaganda

An official comic book adaptation of the 9/11 commission report is due to hit bookstores this month. The U.S. Army seeks an Arabic-speaking comic book creator. Meanwhile, an Israeli blogger suspects a Kuwaiti company of misusing Marvel and DC comics. These are just the latest incidents in a long-running history of using comic books for propaganda purposes, ranging from Mussolini and Hitler to Captain America vs. the Nazi-affiliated Red Skull to anticommunist comics for Catholic parochial schools to a phony Black Panther comic book created by COINTELPRO to a comic book of the American invasion of Grenada. However, my favorite site of comic book propaganda tends to focus on more innocuous domestic issues such as bicycle safety, USDA nutrition standards, and fighting crack cocaine. (OK, that last issue isn't so innocuous, but comic book propaganda about health & safety issues still generally blows.)
posted by jonp72 on Aug 4, 2006 - 38 comments

Artist stroke Mass-Murdering Fuckhead.

The art of Hitler. For sale. What a roundabout way to up the value of your paintings.
posted by 6am on Jul 16, 2006 - 66 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

Brownlow's and Mollo's Nazi Britain

"The German invasion of Britain took place in July 1940, after the British retreat from Dunkirk". We see, documentary-style, members of the Wehrmacht trooping past Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral, lounging in the parks, having their jackboots shined by old cockneys, and appreciatively visiting the shrine of that good German, Prince Albert, in Kensington Gardens. Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's film "It Happened Here", with its cast of hundreds (.pdf), imagines what a Nazi occupation might have been like — complete with underground resistance, civilian massacres, civil strife, torch-lit rallies, Jewish ghettos, and organized euthanasia. Shot on weekends, eight years in production, made for about $20,000 with nonactors and borrowed equipment and Stanley Kubrick's help, "It Happened Here" was originally envisioned by Brownlow as a sort of Hammer horror flick about a Nazi Britain. Thanks in part to Mollo's fanatical concern with historical accuracy, however, it became something else. The most remarkable thing about this account of everyday fascism is that it has no period footage. Brownlow's 1968 book about the film's production, "How It Happened Here", has recently been republished. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 12, 2006 - 16 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

Wilhelm Furtwängler

The Wartime Ninth. "Berlin. October 7, 1944. In the Beethovensaal a concert is about to begin, but the theater is empty, relieved of its usual audience studded with Nazi elite. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is on stage, awaiting its cue. Conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler stands awkwardly on the podium. The vague meandering of his baton summons the first shadowy note of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony. A Radio Berlin engineer starts his Magnetophon. The most extraordinary orchestral recording of the century has just begun". More inside.
posted by matteo on Oct 5, 2005 - 21 comments

Wagner, the repulsive giant

Wagner, the repulsive giant If, on one hand, you ever wanted to know what a swine Richard Wagner was, this is the book to tell you. It does so at length, in reliable detail, calmly, without prurience, perfectly backed with documentation, and in a translation whose only fault is in giving no Translator’s Notes for in-house German references. Joachim Köhler sustains his story with new ideas, revises other interpretations and modestly deconstructs Cosima née Liszt’s creation of “Richard Wagner Enterprises Inc”. (This she developed so far as to keep Parsifal exclusive to Bayreuth, prompting George Bernard Shaw to remark in 1889 that it “would almost reconcile me to the custom of suttee”!).
posted by matteo on Sep 3, 2005 - 11 comments

Hitler's nuclear program

Hitler's bomb. Adolf Hitler had the atom bomb first but it was too primitive and ungainly for aerial deployment, says a new book by German historian Rainer Karlsch. The book indicates that Nazi scientists carried out tests of what would now be called a dirty nuclear device in the waning days of World War II. US historian Mark Walker, an expert on the Third Reich's atomic weapons program, supports Karlsch's claims: "I consider the arguments very convincing". More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 4, 2005 - 18 comments

Last Nazi Standing.

Rochus Misch is the last man alive from Hitler's underground bunker. His most recent interview is in light of Der Untergang ["Downfall"], the new German film which portrays Hitler as a man, not a monster. Misch asserts that while factually accurate, the movie fails to capture the atmosphere in the bunker... as if anything ever could. The movie has recieved much critical acclaim and has been nominated for best foreign language film at this year's Academy Awards.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Feb 21, 2005 - 23 comments

When der Fuehrer sez, ve ist der master race...

Der Fuehrer's Face, aka Donald Duck in Naziland [80MiB MPEG-1; IMDb]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Sep 19, 2004 - 22 comments

Awake, hobbitses.

Re-emergent American Eugenics Movement looks to unfinished business - The Tennessee primary win of an avowed Eugenicist Republican Congressional candidate underscores the longstanding association of the Republican Party with a resurgent American Eugenics Movement deeply linked to Nazi racial ideology and championed by the Manhattan Institute and the Nazi-associated Pioneer Fund
posted by troutfishing on Aug 7, 2004 - 54 comments

Nazis, UFO's, aliens, Oh my!

Secrets of the Third Reich...UFO's? "...As Sir Roy Feddon, Chief of the Technical Mission to Germany for the Ministry of Aircraft Production stated in 1945. "…I have seen enough of their designs and production plans to realise that if they (the Germans) had managed to prolong the war some months longer, we would have been confronted with a set of entirely new and deadly developments in air warfare.".....upright, vertical take-off aircraft.....a saucer-shaped craft with enclosed twin rotors.....Cruise missiles....the V-2....[predecessor of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles]....a rocket-powered fighter, the ME 163...These then, were some of the known German advances. However there were also hints of darker technologies not fully understood." Woo woo! So begins the four part "Secrets of the Third Reich" - where does fact merge into fiction? It's such a great read that it almost doesn't matter. A version with pictures lives here (go to menu, "Book 4"). Then, there's The Hunt For Zero Point We have met the aliens, and they are us ?
posted by troutfishing on May 12, 2004 - 10 comments

Dictators and their demises

Dictators and their demises: a miscellany. Saddam and the Destruction of Civil Society in Iraq is the timely find, and deals with the entire history of Iraq since the Ba'ath party takeover, including a detailed ideological history of the party and the increasingly totalitarian aspects of Saddam's rule in Iraq. To ask whether democracy, even in a non-Western sense, has a chance in Iraq is to jump one step ahead of the game. The fundamental questions we need to answer first are: What was the nature of Iraqi civil society before the Ba`thist regime destroyed it? How did the Ba`th oliberate it? And can Iraqi civil society be rebuilt after Saddam has left the stage? [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Apr 9, 2003 - 19 comments

Enough Godwin:

Enough Godwin: Saddam Hussein is not Hitler, George Bush is not Churchill, Kofi Annan is not Chamberlain, Israel is not Nazi Germany, neither are those who criticise it. Has Matthew Engel been reading Metafilter?
posted by niceness on Oct 8, 2002 - 70 comments

"He recalls his early, naive acceptance and even admiration of Hitler..."

"He recalls his early, naive acceptance and even admiration of Hitler..."
A rather interesting perspective of that time from a man about growing up Black in Nazi Germany.
posted by tamim on Aug 25, 2000 - 0 comments

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