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My Learning About Victor Klemperer

by Oui Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 08:13:14 PM EST

    "What is there that embodies the democratic, the German, the humane ideal?"
    Klemperer asked himself in his diary. For his own life, of course, he already
    knew the answer: it lay in the tireless curiosity, the questioning, the generous
    standards of debate of his heroes Voltaire and Montesquieu and of the other
    thinkers of the Enlightenment.

More below the fold ...

I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries Of Victor Klemperer 1933-41

. . . . An old District Court Judge told us that Goebbels had just published an essay in the Europiiische Revue. He said the NSDAP knows that a political system, which is in the least degree dependent on lies, cannot be a lasting one; consequently they, the Nazis, had never made use of even the smallest lie . . . Then also of great and melancholy interest to me, to discover that Toni Gerstle, whom I had always believed to have



a cool head, is a firm believer in astrology. She believes in star positions, "it" has always proved right so far. She was half offended and half contemptuous that my shallow rationalism should doubt these things. Reason was impotent after all, the influence of the constellations, perhaps on the hour of our conception, was absolutely certain. Should I be surprised if Hitler assails "intellectualism" and swears by blood? What else is the daughter of a Jewish Supreme Court judge doing? And in what way are the Zionists different from the Nazis? People treat reason as if it were the most minor and harmful aspect of a whole human being. It is as if a soldier standing guard were to say to himself: What good would my rifle be, if I were now to be attacked by a dozen enemies? I shall therefore lay it aside and smoke opium cigarettes until I doze off.

Fraulein Roth, the librarian, was here on Friday afternoon and evening. Vehemently opposed to the Nazis-- but: "If they had expelled the Eastern Jews or had excluded Jews from the bench, that at least would have been comprehensible." So that would not have seemed absolutely evil to her. So here too Hitler is not without a base.

I love my Dix-huitième more than ever. Besides, Fraulein Roth was very taken with my first Rousseau chapter and pleased at the contemporary references. The fact is, that the Nazi doctrine is in part not really alien to the people, in part is gradually polluting the healthy section of the population. Neither Christian nor Jew is safe from infection. -- Roth further told me that my books have been removed from the library reading room.

Relations between Jewish and non-Jewish Germans 1933-1945:
A case study in the use of evidence by historians

The reason why Klemperer has attracted so much scholarly attention is related to underlying trends in the historiography of Nazi Germany. In the early post-war years, historians had promoted the view that a totalitarian National Socialist regime had imposed its will, top-down, on Germany's citizens. Eventually theories of Polykratie and 'broadly diffused societal complicity' emerged, which led to a shift in focus away from the power structures and activities of the regime to social-historical examinations of the 'ordinary people' in Germany. In this context, Klemperer's diaries provided a unique window for scholars interested in viewing society from a 'bottom-up' approach. Klemperer's comprehensive and even expert viewpoint made him well equipped to comment on the society in which he lived. He was not representative of the powerful elements of his society, but lived and moved among the 'ordinary' people. Because his diaries were articulate and detailed, they have proven to be an invaluable resource for historians interested in the sections of society who generally leave less of an imprint behind them than those who belong to the structures of power.

Music among the Ruins: Classical Music, Propaganda, and the American Cultural Agenda in West Berlin (1945-1949)

With Germany's unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945, the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) prepared to implement the most ambitious cultural re-education program it had ever undertaken.  

An examination of classical music culture in West Berlin reveals how the American Military Government used classical music as a tool for re-education and re-orientation.  Between the years 1945 and 1949, the American agenda evolved from combating Nazism to containing Communism, as alterations in music control policies reflected the incipient Cold War.  An analysis of concert repertoires, interviews, musical scores, photographs, program notes, radio broadcasts, and governmental correspondence, exposes how American authorities altered the performance context of German classical music The early postwar experience of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under American cultural officer John Bitter's guidance, exemplifies the irony of encouraging greater artistic freedom through increased censorship and control, providing an illuminating case study with regard to American cultural re-education efforts.  As the primary ensemble residing in the American sector, the Philharmonic would be complicit in its own symbolic domination, to borrow Pierre Bourdieu's term, by acquiescing to certain American Military Government requirements in order to resume concertizing, such as performing for American troops and agreeing to certain alterations in personnel.

"I am German, the Others Are Un-German" | Der Spiegel |

"Germany is contaminated by Fascism"

To those on the outside, Klemperer's career in East Germany looks like a paradigm. He became a member of the Socialist Unity Party (SED), received awards and assumed important offices in the Socialist state. Klemperer even moved into the People's Chamber as a representative. And yet he kept doubting. He doubted the East, the West, Germany as a whole. "I do not believe in the value of the things that I fight for."

"His" Germany, the land of poets and thinkers, a land flooded with light and without any shadows -- Victor Klemperer probably never found that image in East Germany either. With a sense of resignation, he wrote on New Year's Eve 1959 that "Germany is sort of like a scatter-brained earthworm cut into two pieces. Both parts squirm around, both are contaminated by Fascism, both in their own way." Victor Klemperer died of a heart attack on Feb. 11, 1960 in Dresden.

My reflection about Victor Klemperer was inspired by gmoke’s recent diary:

Notes on The Language of the Third Reich

Thanks for more on Klemperer.  At some point, I intend to read his diaries.

Another ground level view of the rise of Nazism is Sebastian Haffner's Defying Hitler.  My notes are available at

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 09:55:00 PM EST
Quite extensive and interesting study - a doctoral thesis by R. Keeble (1996) - City University of London.

The Gulf War myth: a study of the press coverage of the 1991 Gulf conflict  


This thesis examines the UK and US press coverage of the 1991 Gulf conflict. It outlines the propaganda model of the press identified by Herman and Chomsky and, through a qualitative study of press content, examines the extent to which the predictions of the model are fulfilled in the coverage. The state systems involved are defined as new militarist and the special role played by the press in these systems is identified. In radically problematising the event, the study identifies the way in which broad historical factors (rather than any elite conspiracy) lay behind the press manufacture of the Gulf war spectacle. Interviews with journalists involved and references to many non-mainstream texts and perspectives (silenced or marginalised within the dominant ideological system) are incorporated. The thesis concludes that most of the expectations of the propaganda model were realised in the press coverage of the Gulf "war".

[Large pdf file]

[page 342]

12.1 The waning of the Hitler hype

In some respects, Saddam Hussein's survival was useful for the US/UK elite.

  • With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Iraqi President served as a useful "enemy" to help legitimise the new militarist elite's political and economic privileges. Following the massacres, Pentagon strategists confirmed moves to switch its focus to planning for wars with Third World enemies. The Guardian reported (18 February 1992) that leaked classified documents suggested that military chiefs had been told by the Pentagon to request forces "sufficient to fight large regional wars against Iraq and North Korea, or against both at the same time". (3)

  • It legitimised the Western elites' continuing sales of weapons to the Middle East after the massacres even though publicly calls were made to cut down the arms trade to the region. (4) President Bush created a Center for Defense Trade to stimulate arms sales while offering government guarantees of up to $1bn in loans for the purchase of US arms. Arms sales actually rose from $12bn in 1989 to almost $40bn in 1991. (Chomsky 1993: 104-105)

  • Iraq also proved to be a focus for the US elite's attempts to make the United Nations a mere instrument for the implementation of its imperial policies.

But his survival more importantly represented a serious embarrassment for the US-led coalition. The new militarist strategy was built on the demonization of Saddam Hussein -- to simplify the conflict and make it more credible and acceptable to the doubting masses.

Moreover, according to the Hitler script dreamt up by the Pentagon, Saddam Hussein was meant to "do a Hitler" and die, or commit suicide or be overthrown by some disaffected generals

Significantly, two years later the Nazi analogy, no longer tied to Saddam Hussein, was to be fixed for a few months on to the Serbs of the former Yugoslavia. Images of Bosnian concentration camps, caned throughout the mainstream Western press, reinforced this rhetoric. But when the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic, sought to win over the Bosnian Serbs to support the Contact Group's peace proposals for Bosnia the Nazi jibes suddenly stopped. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the demise of anti-Red/commie rhetoric, Second World War rhetoric, which was used so relentlessly against Saddam Hussein in the 1990-1991 period has clearly become a potent, ideological "weapon" for the Western elites. (Phillips 1992)

The maintenance of crippling sanctions on Iraq was a continuation of "warfare" by other means. And there was a strong element of hypocrisy about this policy, largely ignored in the press: sanctions had been considered inadequate to dislodge Saddam Hussein in 1990. Yet they were felt a suitable "weapon" after March 1991. No mainstream newspaper highlighted this contradiction.

With the country facing estimated reconstruction costs of up to $200 billion, demands that Iraq pay reparations for the destruction of Kuwait could only further victimise the Iraqi people with whom the coalition supposedly "had no quarrel" (as the Times stressed once again in its editorial of 1 March, echoing the rhetoric of President Bush). The New Statesman and Society commented on 1 March 1991: "Making the people pay for the crimes of their leaders -- particularly when, as with Iraq, they are as much the victims of their leaders as anyone -- is morally indefensible and practically insensible.. .At the root of US support for reparations is the same desire to inflict an unequivocal and humiliating defeat upon Iraq that led it to begin the bombing before sanctions had been given sufficient time to work..." That kind of viewpoint was hardly heard in the mainstream press. And, bar a few exceptional features, the press in both the UK and US fell largely silent about the appalling fate of the Iraqi people in the aftermath of the massacres. (5) The on-going low intensity "war" was further intensified with Bush reportedly assigning the CIA extra funds to achieve the assassination of the arch enemy. (6)

This new post Cold War policy has continued unabated by both Republican and Democratic administrations until the present day ... crippling economic and financial sanctions by choice because that's what's left over of American exceptionalism.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 08:25:05 AM EST
Democratic Front NGOs Spreading Capitalism of Greed by Oui @BooMan on May 19th, 2012

This diary is a follow-up of my position in a comment and previous diaries.

Somehow, it comes close to a tribute to our very own AG. Under the first link, there are another number of essays worth reading.

Western Democracies Have Evolved Into Tyrannical Governments by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Activists and dissidents should understand that evil forces and tyrannical governments have evolved. Just as human knowledge and science expand, so do the strategies and instruments used by rulers, elites and plutocrats. By learning from history and using new technology they have smarter tools of tyranny. The best ones prevent uprisings, revolutions and political reforms. Rather than violently destroy rebellious movements, they let them survive as marginalized and ineffective efforts that divert and sap the energy of nonconformist and rebellious thinkers. Real revolution remains an energy-draining dream, as evil forces thrive.

Most corrupt and legally sanctioned forms of tyranny hide in plain sight as democracies with free elections. The toughest lesson is that ALL elections are distractions. Nothing conceals tyranny better than elections. Few Americans accept that their government has become a two-party plutocracy run by a rich and powerful ruling class. The steady erosion of the rule of law is masked by everyday consumer freedoms. Because people want to be happy and hopeful, we have an epidemic of denial, especially in the present presidential campaign. But to believe that any change-selling politician or shift in party control will overturn the ruling class is the epitome of self-delusion and false hope. In the end, such wishful thinking perpetuates plutocracy. Proof is that plutocracy has flourished despite repeated change agents, promises of reform and partisan shifts.  

China Not Backing US on Iran Sanctions and More Fallacies by Oui @BooMan on Jan 8th, 2012

Where did you get the idea China [cached] is on the side of the US, the UNSC isn't (yet) where the US is in enforcing sanctions.

Just for the record, the interpretation by the US and its MSM of the IAEA report is very similar to the Bush era and Iraq's `hidden' biological and chemical weapons.

Related reading ...

Putin Orders Troops Back to Base; East-West Détente by Oui @BooMan on Mar 4th, 2014
The Terrorists Have Always Been Winning by soj @BooMan on Feb 12th, 2007

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 08:28:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As soon as the president is awake, he will tell the world the Atlanta school is unpatriotic and should be closed down ... principle before thoughtfulness. Some call it a fumble ...

NFL And Players' Union Stop The Clock On Anthem Policy And Penalty Until Agreement Is Reached

School reverses Pledge of Allegiance policy after criticism

An Atlanta charter school moved the timing of its recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as the school year started, but reversed course after the move attracted criticism.

Superintendent Morcease J. Beasley of Clayton County said: "Students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. If they choose to participate or not is their individual and constitutional right and the reason the flag of the United States of America exists. Anything that removes their right to choose to participate as their conscience dictates, in my opinion, is un-American and immoral."

Controversy over reciting the Pledge of Allegiance isn't new. In 1943, the United States Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote ruled it is unconstitutional to compel students to salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

More recently, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided that requiring parental permission to opt out of the pledge does not violate the rights of young people.

The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School is a K-8 charter school with two campuses formed by the merger of two charter schools that have been operating in the Grant Park and Ormewood Park neighborhoods since 2002.

Atlanta school removes Pledge of Allegiance from morning ritual | AJC |

"Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence" | Jerusalem Post - Jan. 2012 |

    "Andrew Adler, the publisher of The Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote a column that appeared in his newspaper on January 13 in which he argued killing the president might be justified because he posed a threat to the Jewish state."

I consider these provocations by Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Geert Wilders all about getting media attention to serve their fans. No concern for incitement to violence against minorities. None whatsoever ... total lack of morals, humanity and civic duty to fellow citizens. It's part of propaganda ... feeding lies, obtrusions and changing people's mindset to hate foreigners and minorities.

Just like in the times of Victor Klemperer, it's an evil crawling into society and if unchecked, gains momentum in time. End result a fascist state.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 11:14:32 AM EST
Israeli tank shelled Gaza post during a brokered cease fire by Egyptian authorities.

IDF strikes Gaza post after identifying gunfire; Hamas says shots part of drill
Hamas releases video to prove IDF shelled military drill

Report: Ceasefire reached between Israel and Hamas | Ynet News |

Israel and Hamas have reportedly reached a ceasefire under Egyptian mediation, which went into effect at 10:45pm Thursday, according to Al Jazeera.

A source in Gaza confirmed the ceasefire to Ynet, while two Israeli officials denied a truce had been reached, in line with Israel's policy of ambiguity.

An Israeli official said Hamas has been asking for a ceasefire since Thursday morning, but the IDF continued attacking significant targets.

Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV channel reported late Thursday that a ceasefire has taken hold "on the basis of mutual calm." It said the deal was mediated by Egypt and other regional players.

He said the agreement merely ends the latest two-day burst of violence between Israel and Hamas and added that Egypt would continue efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire.

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said Friday that the reported ceasefire is a mistake.

 "I understand the desire of the government to enter into negotiations, but Israel must end the terror with military assistance. This on and off war is unhealthy," Davidi said.

Of course president Sisi of Egypt sees Hamas as part of a terror group supporting the extremists in the Sinai peninsula. The Muslim Brotherhood of former president Morsi was supported by Hamas and terror groups in the Sinai. Morsi was part of the triad with Erdogan's Turkey and Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar. The times under Hillary Clinton are long gone, HRC was the darling of Al Jazeera. Qatar funded the jihadists moving with arms and munitions from the struggle to overthrow Gaddafi into northern Syria for the overthrow of Bashar al Assad in 2011.

Emir Al Thani, Sultan Erdogan and HRC Foreign Policy of Revolutions

With the "surprise" win of Republican president Trump, the chessboard in the Middle East has changed dramatically to favour Israel and the GCC nations minus Qatar. The bold military actions by Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi (UAE) in the long war in Yemen as a result. The United Kingdom and the United States remain silent as their weapons cause heavy suffering amongst the ordinary people.

Dozens dead in Yemen as bus carrying children hit by airstrike

Saudi critics jab Canada on Twitter and TV as diplomatic feud deepens
Saudi Arabia and Israel are killing civilians - and Britain is complicit | The Guardian Opinion - Owen Jones |

h/t generic

New Triad of evil: nations claiming to be democracies waging deadly wars without effort for diplomacy in search for peace.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 03:09:58 PM EST

expires in 14 days at which time someone, somewhere will refresh the fear.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 11th, 2018 at 01:06:33 PM EST

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