Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust

Busy Week Ahead

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Busy week ahead, so posting will be comparatively light except insofar as I allow the Internets to distract me from my work. We’ll see how I do.

A few links:

* The U.S. has apparently launched not-at-all-October-Surprise forays into Syria and Pakistan.

* Barack draws a record 100,000+ crowd in Denver. (See photo.)

* NBC numbers man Chuck Todd is having an increasingly difficult time keeping “objectivity” in the face of Obama’s overwhelming advantages; here he is on Meet the Press talking about the early voting explosion and the possibility of African-American voter participation in the neighborhood of 95-100%.

* More early voting buzz: the latest official numbers show Democrats taking a lead over Republicans in the votes already cast, 871,251 to 818,799. As early voting tends to favor Republicans due to the disproportionate absentee balloting of military voters and the elderly, this is good news.

* Jewish voters in Pennsylvania have been warned by the state GOP not to make the same mistake their German ancestors did in the 1930s and ’40s. There is so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin.

* Who will replace Obama as the senator from Illinois? Jesse Jackson, Jr., wants the job, despite fears that he may be unelectable statewide.

* The Ann Arbor News endorses *nobody* for president. Well done, sirs.

* And the Internet has created its most bizarrely Dada meme yet: Robocop on a Unicorn.

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October 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm

They Saved Hitler’s Farts

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The untold story of Hitler’s flatulence. Via MeFi.

Hitler’s stomach problems may even have played their part in his losing the war, thanks to this shadowy figure of Dr. Morell, an incompetent quack who took over Hitler’s medical care in 1937. The pair had met at a Christmas gathering in the Berghof, the bucolic mountain retreat decorated with Bavarian knick-knacks and edelweiss, the year before. Morrell was an unpleasant figure even by Nazi standards – grossly obese, with frog-like features, sulfurous B.O. and venomous halitosis. But when he cured a painful case of eczema on Hitler’s legs and provided temporary relief for his stomach cramps, the Führer was won over. To the irritation of other Nazi doctors, Hitler then proceeded to swallow any of Morell’s advice, no matter how hair-brained, for the next eight years.

For example, to combat recurrences of the volcanic stomach problems, Morell plied him with a remedy called “Dr. Köster’s Anti-gas pills,” which contained significant amounts of strychnine – and Hitler often took as many as 16 of the little black pills a day. The sallow skin, glaucous eyes and attention lapses noted by observers later in the war are consistent with strychnine poisoning; another ingredient in the pills, antropine, causes mood wings from euphoria to violent anger. Even more peculiar were the injections of amphetamines that Morell administered every morning before breakfast from 1941, which may have exacerbated the erratic behavior, inflexibility, paranoia and indecision that Hitler began to display increasingly as the war ground on. And there was a barrage of other supplements — vitamins, testosterone, liver extracts, laxatives, sedatives, glucose and opiates, all intended to combat the dictator’s real or imagined ailments. After the war, U.S. intelligence officers discovered that Morell was pumping Hitler with 28 different drugs, including eye-drops that contained 10 percent cocaine (up to 10 treatment a day), a concoction made from human placenta and “potency pills” made from ground bull’s testicles. But despite the barrage of medicines, Morell’s diaries (which were recovered from Germany and are kept in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) make clear that the bouts of “agonizing flatulence” remained a regular occurrence.

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November 3, 2007 at 4:05 pm

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Springtime for Hitler

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Springtime for Hitler: Everyone is all smiles in this photo album from an officer at Auschwitz. Here’s the full album. Via MeFi and Boing Boing.

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September 19, 2007 at 6:27 pm

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Slovenia’s Boris Kobe’s hand-drawn tarot cards from the concentration camp at Allach. Amazing. Via Metafilter.

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August 25, 2007 at 9:02 pm

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In newsreels, he was paraded as ‘the Reich’s youngest Nazi’ and he witnessed some unspeakable atrocities. But his SS masters never discovered the most essential detail about his life: their little Nazi mascot was Jewish. (via)

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August 22, 2007 at 4:14 pm

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Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that it was nothing more than misfortune that made you a willing instrument in the organization of mass murder; there still remains for the fact that you have carried out, and therefore actively supported, a policy of mass murder. For politics is not like the nursery; in politics obedience and support are the same. And just as you supported and carried out a policy of not wanting to share the earth with the Jewish people and the people of a number of other nations—as though you and your superiors had any right to determine who should and who should not inhabit the world—we find that no one, that is, no member of the human race, can be expected to want to share the earth with you. That is the reason, and the only reason, you must hang.

That’s Hannah Arendt putting imaginary words into the mouths of Eichmann’s judges at the close of her excellent Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, which I’ve been reading this week. The book inaugurates what looks to be the second theme of my summer reading, following apocalypse: evil. (Next up: Badiou’s Ethics.) The Eichmann trial was one of the most important twentieth-century events I knew almost nothing about, informing everything from the subtext of The Remains of the Day to the trial of Gaius Baltar last season on Battlestar Galactica—so I’m very glad to finally know a little something about it. And Arendt’s book is, again, very, very good—much if not nearly all of the criticism I’ve seen lobbed against it strikes me as without merit.

Eichmann Trial Transcripts

YouTube has your vintage newsreels:

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June 3, 2007 at 1:32 pm

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