‘It’s goodbye Lenin, hello Nazi collaborators in Ukraine these days. Laws signed into effect by President Petro Poroshenko require the renaming of dozens of towns and hundreds of streets throughout the country to eliminate Soviet-era names. At the same time, Ukraine will begin to honor groups that helped Hitler exterminate Ukrainian Jews during World War II.
Ukrainians’ desire for a European identity and a break with the country’s Soviet past is Poroshenko’s biggest political asset, but these latest steps should worry the country’s Western allies.
A law Poroshenko signed May 15 bans all Soviet and Nazi symbols, even on souvenirs, and criminalizes “denying the criminal character” of both totalitarian regimes. It bans place names, monuments and plaques glorifying Soviet heroes, Soviet flags and communist slogans. Statues of Lenin have been toppled in many Ukrainian cities since the “revolution of dignity” last year, but the new law goes further. ‘
- Open Letter from Scholars and Experts on Ukraine Re. the So-Called “Anti-Communist Law”
- US Holocaust museum censures Ukraine over decision to honor Nazi collaborators
- Ukraine erases communist reminders as it tries to ditch past
- Ukraine’s Communism ban will fuel Nazi propaganda and far-right support
- Far-Right Leader Named Ukrainian Military Adviser
- One year on: where are the far-right forces of Ukraine?
- Ukraine underplays role of far right in conflict
- A Guide to Ukraine’s Far Right
- Ukraine has ignored the far right for too long – it must wake up to the danger
- Links to neo-Nazi groups of fighters on both sides of Ukrainian civil war
‘With the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany upon us and relations between the former Allies at their coldest in a generation, one of the more common refrains in Russian nationalist discourse has been the “ingratitude” of the Europeans and Americans for the Soviet Union’s leading role in the victory.
Most recently, that victory has become a prominent rhetorical device in the ongoing war in Ukraine, where Russia constantly juxtaposes the “fascist junta” in Kiev with its own image as a champion against Nazism.
There is no question that the defeat of the Third Reich would have been impossible without the Soviet Union, but, as with all self-congratulatory claims to national exceptionalism, the reality is far more complicated.
The damage done to countries liberated by the Red Army was so great, in both political and human terms, that while Europeans can and should be glad that the Soviet Union triumphed, there are many in Europe who do not feel grateful.
The simple fact that there was no other force capable of dislodging the Nazi armies does not change the somber truth that the liberation was simultaneously a war of expansion by another totalitarian state.’
‘It was churlish for western leaders to boycott this week’s Victory Parade in Moscow that commemorated the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany 70 years ago.
Historic events are facts that should not be manipulated according to the latest political fashions. Being angry at Moscow for mucking about in Ukraine does not in any way lessen the glory, admiration and thanks owed to the Russian people for their heroism during World War II.
Americans and Canadians like to believe they won the war in Europe and give insufficient recognition to the decisive Soviet role. Most Europeans would rather not think about the matter. By contrast, Russians know that it was their soldiers who really won the war. They remain angry that their military achievements are ignored by American triumphalists and myth -makers.
Not only did Stalin’s Soviet Union play the key role in crushing Nazi Germany, its huge sacrifices saved the lives of countless American, British and Canadian soldiers. Were it not for the USSR’s victory, Nazi Germany might be alive and well today.
Let’s do the numbers..’
Richard Overy is a British historian who published multiple books on World War II including The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia.
- Putin thanks WWII allies at Moscow parade despite Western boycott
- Russia hosts victory parade shunned by US and Britain
- Why Russia Celebrates V-E Day on a Different Day Than Everyone Else
- Interview with historian Richard Overy on the truths and myths of World War II
- Russia shows off military might in massive VE Day parade
- Obama’s Petulant WWII Snub of Russia
- Putin’s Great Patriotic Purge
‘Dusk is falling in Treptower Park on the outskirts of Berlin and I am looking up at a statue dramatically outlined against a lilac sky. Twelve metres (40ft) high, it depicts a Soviet soldier grasping a sword in one hand and a small German girl in the other, and stamping on a broken swastika.
This is the final resting place for 5,000 of the 80,000 Soviet troops who fell in the Battle of Berlin between 16 April and 2 May 1945.
The colossal proportions of the monument reflect the scale of the sacrifice. At the top of a long flight of steps, you can peer into the base of the statue, which is lit up like a religious shrine. An inscription saying that the Soviet people saved European civilisation from fascism catches my eye.
But some call this memorial the Tomb of the Unknown Rapist.
Stalin’s troops assaulted an uncounted number of women as they fought their way to the German capital, though this was rarely mentioned after the war in Germany – West or East – and is a taboo subject in Russia even today.
The Russian media regularly dismiss talk of the rapes as a Western myth, though one of many sources that tells the story of what happened is a diary kept by a young Soviet officer.’
‘Every year around Italy’s April 25 liberation day festivities, a group of unapologetic Italians hold a commemoration of their own—they mark the death of Benito Mussolini, who was killed on April 28, 1945, in Giulina di Mezzegra in northern Italy. But it is not to celebrate the event. In what is becoming a trend in Mussolini nostalgia, a growing number of Italians are finding the bright side of a very dark chapter in Italian history.
Commemorating Mussolini is not entirely new in Italy. For years, hundreds of skinheads and self-proclaimed fascists have made pilgrimages to Mussolini’s hometown of Predappio three times a year (at his birth, his death and the October anniversary of his 1922 march on Rome). They visit his old stomping grounds. They flock at the villa where he was born and lay flowers at the mausoleum where he was buried.’
- Mussolini’s Fascism
- The Italians who worship Mussolini
- The Untold Story of Mussolini’s Fake Diaries
- Mussolini’s Latina Remains a Living Monument of Fascist Nostalgia
- Did the Brutal Death of Mussolini Contribute to Hitler’s Suicide?
- ‘Pope And Mussolini’ Tells The ‘Secret History’ Of Fascism And The Church
- Benito Mussolini: What is Fascism
- Mussolini: The Untold Story
- Benito Mussolini – Wikipedia
- How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power
- How the Bush family made its fortune from the Nazis
- What Should We Make of the Charge Linking the Bush Family Fortune to Nazism?
- Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Documentary)
- Bush Property Seized Under Trading with the Enemy Act (Book Chapter)
- Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty (Book)
- Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler (Book)
- America’s Nazi Secret (Book)
‘With the Likud Party electoral victory in Israel, the Republican Party is on a roll, having won two major elections in a row. The first was winning control of the U.S. Congress last fall. The second is the victory by the Republicans’ de facto party leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s recent election. As the Israeli Prime Minister puts together a coalition with other parties “in the national camp,” as he describes them, meaning the ultra-nationalist parties of Israel, it will be a coalition that today’s Republicans would feel right at home in.
The common thread linking Republicans and Netanyahu’s “national camp” is a belief of each in their own country’s “exceptionalism,” with a consequent right of military intervention wherever and whenever their “Commander in Chief” orders it, as well as the need for oppressive laws to suppress dissent.
William Kristol, neoconservative editor of the Weekly Standard, would agree. Celebrating Netanyahu’s victory, Kristol told the New York Times, “It will strengthen the hawkish types in the Republican Party.” Kristol added that Netanyahu would win the GOP’s nomination, if he could run, because “Republican primary voters are at least as hawkish as the Israeli public.”
The loser in both the Israeli and U.S. elections was the rule of law and real democracy, not the sham democracy presented for public relations purposes in both counties. In both countries today, money controls elections, and as Michael Glennon has written in National Security and Double Government, real power is in the hands of the national security apparatus.’
- In Washington, the Real Power Lies With the Spooks, Eavesdroppers and Assassins
- Vote all you want, the secret government won’t change
- Neoconservatism – Wikipedia
- A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm – Wikipedia
- Project for the New American Century
- Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire
- A Family Business of Perpetual War
- Don’t Get Weak
- Carl Schmitt – Wikipedia
- Leo Strauss – Wikipedia
- Nemesis of Power: The German Army in Politics 1918-1945 (Book)
- The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism (Book)
- Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Book)
- Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right (Book)
- Walter Benjamin: Fascism and Crisis
- Reactionary modernism – Wikipedia
‘[…] In an interview with the Guardian, Schavelzon admitted that evidence linking the Teyú Cuaré ruins to a supposed Nazi safe haven plan is slim.
“There is no documentation, but we found German coins from the war period in the foundations,” he said.
But does a handful of old German coins provide sufficient proof of a secret Nazi hideaway plan in northern Argentina?
“That was just speculation on my part,” Schavelzon said. “The press picked it up and magnified it.”’
‘[…] A total of 279 B-29 Superfortresses took part in the raid, dropping 1,665 tons of bombs on the Japanese capital. The majority were 230kg cluster bombs that each released 38 bomblets carrying napalm at an altitude of around 750 meters.
The weapons were able to burn straight through the flimsy homes, schools and hospitals in what was primarily a residential district.
As well as the 100,000 who were killed, an estimated 125,000 were injured and 1.5 million lost their homes. The raid killed more people than the comparable attack on the German city of Dresden, as well as the immediate casualties of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki five months later. The firestorm also destroyed countless small companies churning out equipment for the Japanese war effort.’
‘The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.
“To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened. Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery. They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.’
‘The RAF commander who ordered the controversial fire-bombing of Dresden which killed an estimated 25,000 civilians during World War II said he would do it again in a long lost interview filmed 30 years after the end of the conflict.
Former marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, gave the green light for the 1945 bombing which reduced the city in Saxony, Germany, to rubble.
The attack was widely criticised because of ‘blanket bombing’ which hit civilian areas as well as military targets – killing thousands of innocents.
But the newly-discovered interview with Sir Arthur, which was filmed in 1977 and will be aired for the first time on the BBC tonight, shows the RAF chief defending his decision.’
- Bomber Harris: ‘I would have destroyed Dresden again’
- Remembering Dresden: 70 Years After the Firebombing (Photos)
- Bombing of Dresden in World War II – Wikipedia
- Kurt Vonnegut on the Bombing Dresden and Slaughterhouse-Five
- Dresden survivor: ‘Everything was consumed by flames’
- How Dresden has recovered to become a German cultural centre
- At Auschwitz, a nightmare revisited
- Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Survivors warn of new crimes
- Auschwitz survivors determined that their tales of the Holocaust live on
- Auschwitz liberation ceremony will be the last for many survivors present
- Werner Coppel on Surviving Auschwitz
- WWII Veteran Recalls Liberation Of Buchenwald
- The Twins of Auchwitz
- Hollande: Nazi Germany Had Allies In Vichy France
- Attempts to rewrite Shoah history ‘unacceptable,’ says Putin
- Genocide: a term we use too often or not enough?
- Auschwitz: a short history of the largest mass murder site in human history
- The Holocaust – Wikipedia
- Shoah (Documentary)
‘World War Two was never as close to land in South America as on 13 December 1939, when three Royal Navy cruisers challenged Germany’s Admiral Graf Spee off the coast of Uruguay.
A battle still goes on 75 years later.
This time, however, the matter in dispute is not the control of the South Atlantic but rather a controversial four-tonne bronze eagle that could fetch millions of dollars at auction.’
‘Speaking at his country’s first state commemoration of the Nanjing massacre on Saturday, Xi Jinping criticized Japanese nationalists for denying the atrocity.
“Anyone who tries to deny the massacre will not be allowed by history, the souls of the 300,000 deceased victims, 1.3 billion Chinese people and all people loving peace and justice in the world,” Xi said, adding, “Forgetting history is a betrayal, and denying a crime is to repeat a crime.”
He, however, stated that while history must never be forgotten, China should not bear hatred against an entire region “just because a small minority of militarists set off an invasion and war.”’
‘A strange mix of dramatic styles, one part satiric morality play, one part science-fiction ghost story, The Twilight Zone challenged the sensibilities of both hardened skeptics and true believers. It was never a huge hit, but its stories resonated with an American public tenuously relearning moral ambiguity.
Creator Rod Serling was compelled by the need “not to just entertain but to enlighten.” He wrote 93 of the series’ 156 episodes over the course of its five-season run, which began on CBS in 1959. Most modern shows take an average of 7 seasons to produce as many episodes.
Serling, a veteran of World War II, used the show, and his writing, to deal with the untreated psychological trauma he suffered during his enlistment in the U.S. military. Rather than the glamorized affair the war was to become in subsequent retellings, Serling was intimately acquainted with the horrors of America’s attempt to reclaim its Pacific colonies.’
‘As an RAF veteran of the second world war I know that November is a cruel month for both remembering and forgetting the cost of armed conflict. During these past few days when the light grows dim, I have stumbled around London and remembered a time when, as a young man, I witnessed our capital face death from swarms of Nazi bomber planes.
In this day and age we like to impose uniformity on our past conflicts. We see them through a nostalgic lens of wartime propaganda films in which the hero gladly sacrifices his life for a green and pleasant land. But the past is not as simple or as clear-cut as our TV presenters like to suggest during Remembrance Sunday services. For every act of unique heroism we remember, we often forget or ignore all those who, because of post-traumatic stress disorder or moral or religious objections, were unwilling to put their lives on the line for king and country.’
- This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time
- The Tower of London poppies are fake, trite and inward-looking – a Ukip-style memorial
- How our governments use military charities to evade the real cost of their wars
- Does going to see the Tower of London poppies mean anything?
- The untold truth about WWII deserters the US Army tried to hide
- Memorial honours sacrifice of conscientious objectors
- Neville Chamberlain and appeasement
‘Say one thing about the British public, we will fill collecting tins for armed forces personnel. The Charities Directory lists 276 army, 188 Royal Marines and Navy, 70 RAF and 90 ex-services (military) charities in the UK, and those numbers are growing every year. The Royal British Legion is by far the biggest in terms of income, with over £100m in turnover, and shares the biggest profile with ‘Help for Heroes’. Almost all of these charities have come into existence since 1999, the majority in the past decade.
However, is the government avoiding the full cost of going to war by getting these charities to take care of soldiers after their return? If a fire-fighter, nurse or other government employee was killed or seriously injured in an industrial accident at work, the government would assume responsibility, rehabilitation and care would be provided and compensation would be paid. Surely, if a national decision is made to go to war then care for the people thrust into that war must be something that the government takes responsibility for.
Looking into some of the service personnel relief charities, their relationship to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) certainly raise some questions.’
- Gar Alperovitz: Nuclear Attack on Japan was Opposed by American Military Leadership
- If Hiroshima was unnecessary, how to justify Nagasaki?
- Photos: Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Anniversary
- “War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of U.S. Atomic Bombing
- Japanese Newsreel Footage on Effects of A-Bomb Seized by U.S. 68 Years Ago
- Chomsky: From Hiroshima to Fukushima, Vietnam to Fallujah, State Power Ignores Its Massive Harm
- U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
- John Oliver on America not taking very good care of its 4,800 nuclear weapons
- U.S. Says it Needs Nukes to Defend Against Asteroids
- The five biggest threats to human existence
‘In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.
At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited one-time Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.’
‘Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found.
The payments, underwritten by American taxpayers, flowed through a legal loophole that gave the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal U.S. government records.
Among those receiving benefits were armed SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished; a rocket scientist who used slave laborers to advance his research in the Third Reich; and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.’
‘An anti-Semitic beauty contest is currently underway on the Russian social networking website VKontakte, the local equivalent of Facebook.
Called Miss Ostland 2014 (Ostland was the name Nazi Germany gave to the occupied Baltic states and eastern Poland), the contest is hosted on the site’s Adolf Hitler group page, which has more than 7,000 followers, according to the vocative website.
Women interested in participating in the competition are asked to send in sexy photographs of themselves, as well as to write about their love for Hitler. The candidate who receives the most likes will be declared the winner.’
‘An unnamed Czech nurse has been honoured by her community for her radical method of bringing down the Nazis that invaded her town in the 1930s.
The ‘femme fatale’ divided the people of Trebon in what was then Czechoslovakia when she exacted revenge on Nazi invaders by sleeping with them to give them STDs such as syphilis that would kill them.’
‘Last year, newly published letters written by Nobel prize winner Heinrich Böll appeared to confirm that Nazi troops took crystal methamphetamines in order to stay awake and motivated, despite the desperate conditions they faced on the front line.
Now, new research has revealed that Adolf Hitler was himself a regular user of the drug, now a Class A, prized among addicts for its feeling of euphoria but feared for its mental destructiveness.
According to a 47-page wartime dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence, the Fuhrer was a famous hypochondriac and took over 74 different medications, including methamphetamines.’
‘Every meal could have been her last. And when she had finished eating the bland vegetarian dishes put before her, 25-year-old Margot Wölk and her young female colleagues would burst into tears and “cry like dogs” because they were grateful still to be alive.
Margot Wölk was no Nazi, but she was one of 15 young women who were employed at Adolf Hitler’s heavily guarded Prussian “Wolf’s Lair” headquarters during the Second World War. Her job was to taste the Nazi leader’s food before it reached his lips, to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.’