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Archive for 'History'

“Happy Birthday, President of Russia”

At The Atlantic, Polly Mosendz reports on some of the extraordinary tributes to the increasingly-authoritarian Vladimir Putin on his 62nd birthday.
One of the tributes is an “art” exhibit in Moscow depicting the “Twelve Labors of Putin,” based on the 12 labors of Hercules.
Here he is, for example, conquering the hydra-headed sanctions of the EU, the [...]

Eichmann’s Fanaticism

Book Review
Bettina Stangneth, Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) 608pp.
When I first became aware of Bettina Stangneth’s new book on Eichmann, I rolled my eyes and asked myself a question: how much of the book is really about Hannah Arendt?
This cynicism is not unfounded. The main [...]

The Roosevelts

If you didn’t see it last week on PBS, you can watch online Ken Burns’s seven-part 14-hour series “The Roosevelts,” about Theodore Roosevelt, his fifth cousin Franklin and his niece (and Franklin’s wife) Eleanor.
It begins with Theodore’s birth in 1858 and ends with Eleanor’s death in 1962.
Even the usually wrong-headed George Will has some [...]

“Give me your children”

It was on this date in 1942 that one of the most harrowing events of the Shoah occurred.
It was a speech delivered to the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto in Poland by Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, whom the Nazis had appointed as the ghetto’s Judenrat chairman. Rumkowski had been ordered by the Germans to select 20,000 [...]

200 years ago: a very civilized sacking

On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces entered an undefended Washington, DC, and set fire to the White House, sending President and Mrs. Madison fleeing.

The British also burned the Treasury building, and the building housing the War and State departments. They ransacked the National Intelligencer newspaper office, with [Adm. George] Cockburn [...]

“We’re waiting for you, red plague”

Guest post by Sackcloth & Ashes
Seventy years ago today, the Polish Home Army (the Armia Krajowa, or AK) launched Operation Tempest, a bold if not desperate attempt to seize control of Warsaw as the Wehrmacht retreated from the Soviets. As we all know, Tempest ended in tragedy. For two months the AK and the citizens [...]

Looking on the bright side a century ago

On July 28, 1914, The Roanoke (Virginia) Times reported:
The prospect of a great European war brings with it a prospect of great business for the Virginia and West Virginia coal fields, and, incidentally, the Norfolk & Western and Virginian railroads.

An obscene comparison

By quoting from the excellent historical Twitter account “WW2 Tweets from 1942,” Bob from Brockley demonstrates the utter obscenity (I can think of no other word) of comparing the current situation in Gaza, as bad as it is, to the Warsaw Ghetto– as of course George Galloway (among others) is pleased to do.

“We desire death like you desire life”

For the terminally naive, a reminder: Hamas’s use of women, children and old people as human shields is not just Israeli hasbara. A Hamas MP proudly proclaimed it back in 2008. Recent events have not proven him wrong.

In other words this wasn’t really a slip of the tongue:

By celebrating death, Hamas follows in the footsteps [...]

Still about March 19, 1944: a call against the falsification of Hungarian history

Cross-posted from Eva S. Balogh at Hungarian Spectrum
The following letter was sent to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, the Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas in Berlin, and the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The signatories, as you can see, are from all over the world.
The [...]