Dirty Eleven Companies that Collaborated With the Nazis #mustread


written by Sam Greenspan

I saw this article today; it’s about a controversy over the German insurance company Allianz buying the naming rights to the new New York Giants and Jets football stadium.

That’s controversial because Allianz has very famous Nazi ties — they insured Auschwitz, their CEO was one of Hitler’s advisers, and, during the Holocaust, instead of paying life insurance benefits to Jews, they sent that money straight to the Nazis.

Jewish groups don’t want Allianz getting the naming rights to the new Meadowlands. Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defanation League, says, quote, “It would be an insult. It’s putting their name in lights for generations to come.”

Since World War Two ended, Allianz has officially apologized for its role in the Holocaust and has paid several million dollars in restitution. Which brings me to a larger point here: At what point should we say to Nazi collaborating companies, “OK. You’ve apologized, you’ve paid, none of your current employees worked with the Nazis, it’s time to move on”?

Because there are a TON of companies that worked with the Nazis. Way more than the Allianz and the other 11 I’m about to talk about here. They’ve all apologized. A lot have paid restitution. Two generations have passed.

I won’t comment on whether I think people should forgive them… boycott them… continue to patronize them, but begrudgingly… or continue to patronize them with statements like, “Wow, Allianz, your insurance is SO good, we’re SO impressed with what you’re doing. And if it wasn’t for the 800 other, better insurance companies out there, we’d TOTALLY sign up with you.”

That’s up to you. I’m just puttin’ the information out there. Here are 11 companies that you may not realize collaborated with the Nazis.


  1. The 12 Nazi collaborating companies featured in this article.

    Kodak. During World War Two, Kodak’s German branch used slave laborers from concentration camps. Several of their other European branches did heavy business with the Nazi government.

    And Wilhelm Keppler, one of Hitler’s top economic advisers, had deep ties in Kodak. When Nazism began, Keppler advised Kodak and several other U.S. companies that they’d benefit by firing all of their Jewish employees. (Source: The Nation)

  2. Hugo Boss. In the 1930s, Hugo Boss started making Nazi uniforms. The reason: Hugo Boss himself had joined the Nazi party, and got a contract to make the Hitler Youth, storm trooper and SS uniforms.That was a huge boon for Hugo Boss… he got the contract just eight years after founding his company… and that infusion of business helped take the company to another level.The Nazi uniform manufacturing went so well that Hugo Boss ended up needing to bring in slave laborers in Poland and France to help out at the factory.

    In 1997, Hugo’s son, Siegfried Boss, told an Austrian news magazine, “Of course my father belonged to the Nazi party. But who didn’t belong back then?” (Source:New York Times)

  3. Volkswagen. Ferdinand Porsche, the man behind Volkswagen and Porsche, met with Hitler in 1934, to discuss the creation of a “people’s car.” (That’s the English translation of Volkswagen.)Hitler told Porsche to make the car with a streamlined shape, “like a beetle.” And that’s the genesis of the Volkswagen Beetle… it wasn’t just designed for the Nazis, Hitler NAMED it.During World War Two, it’s believed that as many as four out of every five workers at Volkswagen’s plants were slave laborers. Ferdinand Porsche even had a direct connection to Heinrich Himmler, one of the leaders of the SS, to directly request slaves from Auschwitz. (Source: The Straight Dope)
  4. Bayer. During the Holocaust, a German company called IG Farben manufactured the Zyklon B gas used in the Nazi gas chambers. They also funded and helped with Josef Mengele’s “experiments” on concentration camp prisoners.IG Farben is the company that turned the single largest profit from work with the Nazis. After the War, the company was broken up. Bayer was one of its divisions, and went on to become its own company.Oh… and aspirin was founded by a Bayer employee, Arthur Eichengrun. But Eichengrun was Jewish, and Bayer didn’t want to admit that a Jewish guy created the one product that keeps their company in business. So, to this day, Bayer officially gives credit to Felix Hoffman, a nice Aryan man, for inventing aspirin. (Source: Alliance for Human Research ProtectionPharmaceutical Achievers)
  5. Siemens. Siemens took slave laborers during the Holocaust and had them help construct the gas chambers that would kill them and their families. Good people over there.Siemens also has the single biggest post-Holocaust moment of insensitivity of any of the companies on this list. In 2001, they tried to trademark the word “Zyklon” (which means “cyclone” in German) to become the name a new line of products… including a line of gas ovens.Zyklon, of course, being the name of the poison gas used in their gas chambers during the Holocaust.

    A week later, after several watchdog groups appropriately freaked out, Siemens withdrew the application. They said they never drew the connection between the Zyklon B gas used during the Holocaust and their proposed Zyklon line of products. (Source: BBC)

  6. Coca-Cola, specifically Fanta. Coke played both sides during World War Two… they supported the American troops but also kept making soda for the Nazis. Then, in 1941, the German branch of Coke ran out of syrup, and couldn’t get any from America because of wartime restrictions.So they invented a new drink, specifically for the Nazis: A fruit-flavored soda called Fanta.That’s right: Long before Fanta was associated with a bunch of exotic women singing a god-awful jingle, it was the unofficial drink of Nazi Germany. (Source: New Statesman)
  7. Ford. Henry Ford is a pretty legendary anti-Semite, so this makes sense. He was Hitler’s most famous foreign backer. On his 75th birthday, in 1938, Ford received a Nazi medal, designed for “distinguished foreigners.”He profiteered off both sides of the War — he was producing vehicles for the Nazis AND for the Allies.I’m wondering if, in a completely misguided piece of logic, Allianz points to the Detroit Lions giving Ford the naming rights to their stadium as a reason why they should get the rights to the Meadowlands. (Source: Reformed Theology)
  8. Standard Oil. The Luftwaffe needed tetraethyl lead gas in order to get their planes off the ground. Standard Oil was one of only three companies that could manufacture that type of fuel. So they did.Without them, the German air force never could’ve even gotten their planes off the ground.When Standard Oil was dissolved as a monopoly, it led to ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP, all of which are still around today. (But fortunately, their parent company’s past decision to make incredible profits off of war have not carried on.) (Source: MIT’s Thistle)
  9. Chase bank. A lot of banks sided with the Nazis during World War Two. Chase is the most prominent.They froze European Jewish customers’ accounts and were extremely cooperative in providing banking service to Germany. (Source: New York Times)
  10. IBM. IBM custom-build machines for the Nazis that they could use to track everything… from oil supplies to train schedules into death camps to Jewish bank accounts to individual Holocaust victims themselves.In September of 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, the “New York Times” reported that three million Jews were going to be “immediately removed” from Poland and were likely going to be “exterminat[ed].”IBM’s reaction? An internal memo saying that, due to that “situation”, they really needed to step up production on high-speed alphabetizing equipment. (Source: CNet)
  11. Random House publishing. Random House’s parent company, Bertelsmann A.G., worked for the Nazis… they published Hitler propaganda, and a book called “Sterilization and Euthanasia: A Contribution to Applied Christian Ethics”.Bertelsmann still owns and operates several companies. I picked Random House because they drew controversy in 1997 when they decided to expand the definition of Nazi in Webster’s Dictionary.Eleven years ago, they added the colloquial, softened definition of “a person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to control a specified activity, practice, etc.” (Think “Soup Nazi”.)

    The Anti-Defamation League called that expanded definition offensive… especially when added by a company with Nazi ties… they said it, quote, “trivializes and denies the murderous intent and actions of the Nazi regime… it also cheapens the language by allowing people to reach for a quick word fix… [and] lends a helping hand to those whose aim is to prove that the Nazis were really not such terrible people.” (Source: New York ObserverADL)

This list was originally published on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at http://www.11points.com/

 

#Censorship row as BBC cuts the Major’s ‘racist’ lines from classic Fawlty Towers episode


  • Viewers complain that only the ‘terminally thin-skinned’ could be offended by the character
  • BBC said it was edited to suit a family audience to reflect changing attitudes

By LAURA COX

PUBLISHED: 23:49 GMT, 22 January 2013 |

It is the episode of Fawlty Towers best remembered for the line ‘Don’t mention the war’ and John Cleese’s silly walk when impersonating Hitler.

The references have proved controversial before, but when The Germans was repeated on BBC2 on Sunday evening it wasn’t our European neighbours that the corporation was worried about offending.

Instead, the episode was edited to omit racist language – only for some viewers to then complain that the BBC was ‘airbrushing history’.

Scroll down to see the clips

'Don't mention the war': John Cleese as Basil Fawlty giving an Adolf Hitler impression to German guests, with Polly in the background played by Connie Booth‘Don’t mention the war’: John Cleese as Basil Fawlty giving an Adolf Hitler impression to German guests, with Polly in the background played by Connie Booth

The Germans episode of Fawlty Towers was voted number 11 in Channel 4¿s One Hundred Greatest TV Moments in 1999The Germans episode of Fawlty Towers was voted number 11 in Channel 4¿s One Hundred Greatest TV Moments in 1999

In one scene one of the hotel’s permanent residents, Major Gowen, uses derogatory terms to describe black people. It was included in the episode’s first airing in October 1975, but this time around the major’s words were edited out.

The scene involves Basil Fawlty and the major, played by actor Ballard Berkeley, exchanging their normal pleasantries before the conversation moves on to Basil’s wife Sybil and women in general.

The major tells Fawlty about the time he took a woman to see India play cricket  at the Oval. He then says: ‘The strange thing was, throughout the morning she kept referring to the Indians as niggers. “No, no, no,” I said, “the niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs”.’

Several years ago there were concerns that the episode would never be shown again because of the offensive words. However, recent editions of The Complete Fawlty Towers DVD, distributed by BBC Worldwide, have not been edited and included the segment that was cut by the BBC on Sunday.

Some fans took to the BBC’s Points Of View message board yesterday to say they ‘despaired’ at the ‘unnecessary’ editing.

One wrote: ‘You can’t airbrush history away and I doubt if anyone but the terminally thin-skinned could be offended by the major, a character we’re clearly supposed to laugh at rather than with.’

Ballard Berkeley as the Major Gowen, who makes the offensive remark. Viewers said that the 'bigoted character' was meant to be laughed at - not withBallard Berkeley as the Major Gowen, who makes the offensive remark. Viewers said that the ‘bigoted character’ was meant to be laughed at – not with

Another posted: ‘The point is that the major is a racist old bigot, incongruous with modern society – even in the Seventies. The audience isn’t supposed to agree with him, they’re supposed to laugh at him. The whole episode is about xenophobia in various forms – it’s social satire. I instinctively dislike the airbrushing of history.’

A third viewer wrote: ‘So how sad BBC you have finally succumbed and lost the guts to transmit the episode of Fawlty Towers “The Germans” in its original form. The major’s speech of his experience of going out with a woman to the Oval is one of the funniest things ever.

‘You edited it because it includes the W-word and the N-word. Let’s face it, the whole episode and much of Fawlty Towers is racist by today’s standards and misogynistic, but above all it is hilarious.

‘We are all grown up, you know. We, the vast majority of us, can laugh at this without being racists.

‘It’s about time you grew up BBC, and trusted your audience. We know what is acceptable and what is not and what is funny and why, and the fact it is of a time which is now long past. We understand context, the major is a figure of fun, he doesn’t whip up hatred.’

Fawlty Towers was written by and starred Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth. The Germans was the sixth episode of the 12 that were made and was voted number 11 in Channel 4’s One Hundred Greatest TV Moments in 1999.

The series has continued to entertain families since being made in the 1970s and was in 2000 voted by industry professionals to be the best British series of all time.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘We are very proud of Fawlty Towers and its contribution to British television comedy.

‘But public attitudes have changed significantly since it was made and it was decided to make some minor changes, with the consent of John Cleese’s management, to allow the episode to transmit to a family audience at 7.30pm on BBC2.’

CENSORED Cleeses’s ‘Hitler Walk’ was previously deemed one of greatest moments of TV

 

Germany marks 80 years since Adolf Hitler rose to power


The rise of the Nazis was made possible because the elite of German society worked with them, but also, above all else, because most in Germany at least tolerated this rise,” Merkel said.
After winning about a third of the vote in Germany’s 1932 election, Hitler convinced ailing President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933 — setting Germany on a course to war and genocide.
“This path ended in Auschwitz,” said Andreas Nachama, the director of the Topography of Terror.
Hitler anniversaryA poster, front center, showing Adolf Hitler, right, and Reich Chancellor Paul von Hindenburg, left, is pictured at the ‘Berlin 1933 – the way to despotism’ exhibition at the Topography of Terror museum in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

David Rising, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 6:57AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 11:18AM EST

BERLIN — On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their principles and not fall into the complacency that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control.

Speaking Wednesday at the opening of a new exhibit at the Topography of Terror memorial documenting Hitler’s election, Merkel noted that German academics and students at the time happily joined the Nazis only a few months later in burning books deemed subversive.

“The rise of the Nazis was made possible because the elite of German society worked with them, but also, above all else, because most in Germany at least tolerated this rise,” Merkel said.

After winning about a third of the vote in Germany’s 1932 election, Hitler convinced ailing President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933 — setting Germany on a course to war and genocide.

“This path ended in Auschwitz,” said Andreas Nachama, the director of the Topography of Terror.

The Topography memorial is built around the ruins of buildings where the Gestapo secret police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office ran Hitler’s police state from 1933 to 1945. A stretch of the Berlin Wall along the edge serves as a reminder of Germany’s second dictatorship under the Communists in the 20th century.

Once chancellor, Hitler was able to use his position to consolidate absolute control over the country in the months to follow.

About a month after being appointed chancellor, Hitler used the torching of the Reichstag parliament building — blamed on a Dutch communist — to strengthen his grip on power. He suspended civil liberties and cracked down on opposition parties, paving the way for the police state.

By midsummer 1933, he had declared the Nazi Party to be the only political party in Germany. He later named himself “Fuehrer” or “Leader” of the country.

The fact that Hitler was able to destroy German democracy in only six months serves as a warning today of what can happen if the public is apathetic, Merkel said.

“Human rights do not assert themselves on their own; freedom does not emerge on its own; and democracy does not succeed on its own,” Merkel said. “No, a dynamic society … needs people who have regard and respect for one another, who take responsibility for themselves and others, where people take courageous and open decisions and who are prepared to accept criticism and opposition.”

Following the morning ceremony, Germany’s Parliament held a special session in tribute to those who died under the Nazi dictatorship.

Inge Deutschkron, a 90-year-old Jewish Berliner and writer, recalled Germans celebrating Hitler’s rise to power as she addressed lawmakers.

She remembered her family growing more tense over the subsequent weeks amid worries about Hitler’s paramilitary SA thugs who roamed the streets.

“Often, I couldn’t get to sleep in the evenings and listened for footsteps in the staircase,” she said. “If they were boots, I became afraid they could be SA men coming to arrest my father.”

Deutschkron’s father managed to escape to England shortly before World War II, while she and her mother were hidden by friends in Berlin for the final years of the war.

She recalled most ordinary Germans’ indifference to the fate of Jews, who were forced to wear yellow stars.

“The majority of Germans I met in the streets looked away when they saw this star on me — or looked straight through me,” she said.

And when she visited West Germany’s capital of Bonn after the war, she recalled that most “had simply erased from their memory the crimes for which the German state had set up its own machinery of murder.”

Deutschkron remembered West Germany’s first postwar chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, saying that most Germans opposed the Nazis’ crimes against Jews and that many had helped Jews to escape.

“If only that had been the truth,” she said.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/germany-marks-80-years-since-adolf-hitler-rose-to-power-1.1135535#ixzz2Jdcot88x

 

German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits-Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


November 1st, 2012 in Technology / Energy & Green Tech

Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, the German government took the nation’s eight oldest reactors offline immediately and passed legislation that will close the last nuclear power plant by 2022. This nuclear phase-out had overwhelming political support in Germany. Elsewhere, many saw it as “panic politics,” and the online business magazine Forbes.com went as far as to ask, in a headline, whether the decision was “Insane—or Just Plain Stupid.”

But a special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE, “The German Nuclear Exit,” shows that the nuclear shutdown and an accompanying move toward renewable energy are already yielding measurable economic and environmental benefits, with one top expert calling the German phase-out a probable game-changer for the nuclear industry worldwide.

In his overview article, “From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out,” Princeton researcher Alexander Glaser puts the German nuclear exit in its historical context, which includes massive, civil war-like confrontations between antinuclear demonstrators and police. Because of longstanding public opposition to nuclear power, by the 1990s few in German political life seriously entertained the idea of new reactor construction. And, Glaser notes, Germany’s decision last year to pursue a nuclear phase-out was anything but precipitous; serious planning to shutter the nuclear industry and greatly expand alternative energy production began more than a decade ago. “Germany’s nuclear phase-out could provide a proof-of-concept, demonstrating the political and technical feasibility of abandoning a controversial high-risk technology. Germany’s nuclear phase-out, successful or not, is likely to become a game changer for nuclear energy worldwide,” Glaser concludes.

Also in the Bulletin’s special issue on “The German Nuclear Exit”: Freie Universität Berlin politics professor Miranda Schreurs says the nuclear phase-out and accompanying shift to renewable energy have brought financial benefits to farmers, investors, and small business; Felix Matthes of the Institute for Applied Ecology in Berlin concludes the phase-out will have only small and temporary effects on electricity prices and the German economy; University of Kassel legal experts Alexander Rossnagel and Anja Hentschel explain why electric utilities are unlikely to succeed in suing the government over the shutdown; and Lutz Mez, co-founder of Freie Universitӓt Berlin’s Environmental Policy Research Center, presents what may be the most startling finding of all. The shift to alternative energy sources being pursued in parallel with the German nuclear exit has reached a climate change milestone, Mez writes: “It has actually decoupled energy from economic growth, with the country’s energy supply and carbon-dioxide emissions dropping from 1990 to 2011, even as its gross domestic product rose by 36 percent.”

More information: “The German Nuclear Exit” by John Mecklin published 01November 2012 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

“From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out”, by Alexander Glaser published 01November 2012 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Provided by SAGE Publications

“Bulletin: German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits.” November 1st, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-bulletin-german-nuclear-exit-economic.html

 

A long shadow: Nazi doctors, moral vulnerability and contemporary medical culture #SundayReading


 

Animated map showing German and Axis allies' c...

Animated map showing German and Axis allies’ conquests in Europe throughout World War II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

ABSTRACT
More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared
with less than 1% of the general population. In so doing,these doctors willingly participated in genocide,
something that should have been antithetical to the values of their chosen profession. The participation of
physicians in torture and murder both before and after World War II is a disturbing legacy seldom discussed in medical school, and underrecognised in contemporary medicine. Is there something inherent in being
a physician that promotes a transition from healer to murderer? With this historical background in mind, the
author, a medical student, defines and reflects upon moral vulnerabilities still endemic to contemporary
medical culture.

 

Read full article here genocide

 

 

 

Idea of Heterosexuality Traced to German Law


Cover of "Virgin: The Untouched History"

Cover of Virgin: The Untouched History

Sunday, February 5, 2012

By Hanne Blank

The revision of legal codes in Germany in the 1860s raised questions about sexual misconduct, says Hanne Blank in her book “Straight.” In this excerpt, she examines how that led to the creation of the concept of heterosexuality and homosexuality.

(WOMENSENEWS)–Had the German-speaking world not been going through some legislative growing pains in the 1860s, we might still live in a world without heterosexuals.

Germany came together in 1866 along geographic lines that are more or less familiar to us today, an amalgamation of the multiple German-speaking kingdoms, duchies and principalities of the North German Confederation joined together under a generally Prussian leadership. Like many civil governments, Germany was still wrestling with the implications of the French Revolution, as well as feeling the aftershocks of its own revolutionary conflicts in 1848.

The new ideals of secular and civil government compelled German lawmakers, as they revised their legal codes to suit a new, composite nation, to figure out what to do with inherited collections of sex-related laws that were often more or less identical to old Church decrees.

It was a fraught process. Paragraph 143 of the Prussian Penal Code of April 14, 1851, in particular, provoked significant protest. P. 143 stipulated harsh punishments, consisting of up to five years of hard labor and accompanied by the loss of civil rights during the period of punishment, for anyone convicted of “unnatural fornication between people and animals, as well as between persons of the male sex.” The rationale given for this law, and the severity of its consequences, was that “such behavior is a demonstration of especial degeneration and degradation of the person, and is so dangerous to morality.”

The law, clearly written to sound dispassionate, nonetheless sounds the old familiar religious gong of morality and sin. As befitting a post-Enlightenment, science-respecting culture, the law invoked nature as both a stand-in for God and a dispassionate secular authority. The addition of degeneracy made it au courant with fears of a decaying race.
Sexual Misconduct Targeted

Taken all together, P. 143 provided highly effective leverage against sexual misconduct for the government. It also, inevitably, provided the same for blackmailers. Officially or unofficially, it was a law to ruin lives with.

Among the individuals who stepped forward to oppose the law were Karl Ulrichs and Karl-Maria Kertbeny. They were not friends, though they corresponded for a while, and only Ulrichs is known to have been attracted to men. But both shared the conviction that P. 143 was unjust and it is due to their work that we have the word and the concept of the “heterosexual.”

Ulrichs’ devoted opposition to P. 143 stemmed from his having been sacked from a promising bureaucratic career when his attractions to men were discovered. The injustice led him to devote his life to arguing, as logically and as rigorously as he could, that same-sex sexuality was natural, inborn and unchangeable, and therefore ought not to be punished.

Ulrichs was no scientist, but he scoured the medical literature for insights into his own sexual condition. Impressed by medical literature about hermaphrodites, he developed a theory that he too was a type of hermaphrodite. Where hermaphrodites’ bodies encompassed both male-typical and female-typical organs in the same body, Ulrichs claimed that the Urning, or man who loved men, had a male body but a female mind. (The notion that gender–the social aspects of sexuality–might be separable from biological sex did not become widespread until the second half of the twentieth century.)

Ulrichs’ theory of “sexual inversion,” rigorously logical by the standards of the day, was presented in 1864 in a pair of pseudonymously self-published pamphlets. Ulrichs hoped that his pamphlets would persuade German legislators to change their minds and thus the law.

Austro-Hungarian Kertbeny shared Ulrichs’ conviction that the Prussian law was unjust. A friend and coworker’s suicide, committed because a blackmailer threatened to expose the young man’s “abnormal tastes,” had opened Kertbeny’s eyes to the problems inherent in a law that made it illegal for two men to engage in activities that a man and a woman could partake of together without consequence. Kertbeny produced two strongly worded, anonymously published pamphlets arguing against P. 143 that employed the notion of human rights as derived from the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

Varying Approach

Ulrichs’ and Kertbeny’s approaches differed in many ways. While Ulrichs leaned on the innate femininity of the Urning psyche in order to emphasize the involuntary character of same-sex desires, Kertbeny insisted that men who loved men were typically manly and virile and deserving of full citizenship in the modern state. Ulrichs’ approach, with its insistence that men who loved men were on some level not male, implicitly endorsed the idea that biological sex could be legitimate grounds for different treatment under the law. Kertbeny, by contrast, took a leaf from English philosopher Jeremy Bentham‘s book and argued simply that it was wrong to punish actions that harmed no one and all the more unethical to punish them selectively according to the biological sexes of the participants.

The two men shared a moderately sized correspondence, but Kertbeny never adopted Ulrichs’ models or his terminology. He preferred his own system of classification, first explicated in a letter to Ulrichs on May 6, 1868, in which he opposed “homosexuals” to “heterosexuals” as two parallel and, he implied, equal types of human beings.

As it turned out neither man’s argument, nor their associated terminology, made any dent in the law. P. 143 and similar laws were retained through multiple incarnations of the German legal code, later becoming P. 175 in 1871 when Germany was fully united. Later, and infamously, Hitler used this law to legitimize the incarceration and murder of thousands of Schwulen, or “faggots,” in the concentration camps.

The law was not removed from the books until 1969. By that time, the “heterosexual” and “homosexual” terminology of those who had so stalwartly resisted it in the beginning had won out, and so for the most part had the view of sexuality those terms implied.

Excerpt from “Straight” by Hanne Blank. Copyright 2012 by Hanne Blank. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston.

Hanne Blank is a writer, historian and public speaker whose work has been featured everywhere from Out to Penthouse. She is the author of “Virgin: The Untouched History” and seven other books that explore the intersections of sexuality, gender, the body and culture. She has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Teaching and Research on Women, as well as an instructor, guest lecturer and visiting speaker at colleges and universities, including Tufts, Brandeis and Johns Hopkins.

For more information:

Buy the Book, “Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality“:
http://www.powells.com/partner/34289/biblio/9780807044438?p_ti

Hanne Blank’s website:
http://www.hanneblank.com/

When Democracy murders Liberty – Paul Gottfriend


Icon for censorship

Image via Wikipedia

In a recent interview with the German weekly Junge Freiheit, popular satirist and onetime fixture of the left Eckhard Henscheid explained why he had moved toward the libertarian right and was fighting censorship in his “democratic” society. Junge Freiheit had been kept from exhibiting its products at the Leipzig Book Fair and for years has been under investigation by a government organization, the Verfassungsschutz, which goes after what are seen as “fascist” or “far rightist” dangers to German democracy. Although the paper’s editors have been accused of “Holocaust denial,” the newspaper has repeatedly featured articles detailing the Nazi regime’s hideous deeds. Its real sin seems to be operating as an old-fashioned (in the European sense) liberal publication, which calls attention to the outrageous abuses of liberty committed by German antifascists and their collaborators in the government.

Henscheid contrasts the fierce opposition to freedom of thought (Denkfreiheit) among German educators, the German media, and throughout the conformist political class to the far milder censorship in an older and supposedly “authoritarian” German society. In the early nineteenth century, German principalities censored subversive works but with few exceptions did so in a bumbling, halfhearted fashion. These clearly undemocratic regimes retained censors who were supposed to examine publications of a certain page length. If the texts appeared to advocate the government’s overthrow or might produce civil unrest, the authors were prohibited from distributing them in their original form. In some cases, the author could amend the text to remove the offending passages. With sufficient influence in the right quarters, they might even be able to bribe the censors to let their works through.

“Contrary to our self-congratulatory bromides, modern democracy is neither in favor of true diversity nor particularly peace-loving.”

Unlike modern democracies, these “authoritarian” regimes did not give a damn about indoctrinating their subjects, and least of all about turning them into antifascist automatons. They aimed at a more modest goal: staying in power. As a means toward that end, they kept the masses from getting stirred up. My now deceased polyglot friend Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was fond of telling a story about his conversation with a Spanish fisherman near Bilbao, whom he asked (probably in Basque) what he thought about the government. The fisherman answered laconically: “Franco worries about the government; I just fish.” The point of this narrative was not to show what a good guy El Caudillo was. It was to indicate how a traditional authoritarian regime proceeded to act once it had settled scores with the revolutionary left. It was interested in order, not in creating a new democratic or socialist man/woman or in opening hitherto undiscovered paths to sensitivity.

Democracies are far more ideologically driven, and almost always in a leftist totalitarian fashion that becomes increasingly obvious as “liberal democracies” reveal their true nature. Read more here  http://takimag.com/article/when_democracy_murders_liberty#ixzz1lV4MJLC9

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