Mar 10, 2011

Rhonda Garelick and the Jewish Hatred of Aryan Beauty


Rhonda Garelick and the Jewish Hatred of Aryan Beauty

Rhonda Garelick, an English professor at the University of Nebraska, has a comment on John Galliano's outburst in a Paris bar ("High Fascism"; NYtimes,  3-7-2011). Garelick can't resist finding Galliano's behavior symptomatic of fascist/Aryan tendencies deeply rooted in French culture—despite the fact that Galliano was fired and now faces persecution for uttering a racial insult. (Of course, one might argue that these recent events simply indicate the triumph of the culture of critique in post-WWII Europe.) The French are evil because during the German occupation, French women continued to dress fashionably:

"Every woman in Paris is a living propaganda poster, the universal function of the Frenchwoman is to remain chic," wrote one fashion journalist in the early 1940s. "Frenchwomen are the repositories of chic, because this inheritance is inscribed in their race," wrote another.

That's not the worst of it:

And as Vichy continued to toe the Nazi line about Aryan physical fitness, more French fashion magazines began focusing on exercise and diet for women.

Ah, the horrors of National Socialism, encouraging women to eat well and be physically fit.

But even more horrifying than physical fitness, these Aryan standards of beauty are still with us. After all, who won the war anyway?

And although we insist on the racial diversity of fashion's current standards of beauty, the fascists' body ideal has persisted and expanded far beyond Europe. The hallmarks of the Nazi aesthetic — blue eyes, blond hair, athletic fitness and sharp-angled features — are the very elements that define what we call the all-American look, still visible in the mythic advertising landscapes of designers like (the decidedly non-Aryan) Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.

This is a fairly routine exercise emanating from the highest reaches of the mainstream media expressing Jewish hatred and revenge seeking against Whites and especially Nordic-looking Whites. One is tempted not to make too much of it except that the issue of physical beauty and health goes to the heart of the long conflict between Jews and non-Jews over the construction of culture. There is a long history of  Jewish hostility to Western concepts of physical beauty, going back to the war of the Macabees against the Greeks commemorated at Hanukkah. The standard Jewish interpretation is that it was a rebellion against the Greek concept of physical beauty as a value in itself, as opposed to Jewish "holiness" as the ultimate virtue (which, being a bit cynical, I would parse as group commitment). Especially abhorrent to the Jews was the Greek practice of honing their bodies in gymnasia.

Tom Sunic has written extensively about this topic for  TOO: "The Artful Race"and his 5-part series, "Beauty and the Beast." The ideal of Aryan physical beauty was an aspect of 20th-century racial science, and during the National Socialist period there was a revival of classical art:

Numerous German sculptors worked on their projects while benefiting from the logistic and financial support of the National Socialist political elite. Their sculptures resembled, either by form, or by composition, the works of Praxiteles or of Phidias of ancient Greece, or those executed by Michelangelo during the Renaissance. The most prominent German sculptors in the Third Reich were Arno BrekerJosef Thorak,  and Fritz Klimsch….

The Wave/Die Woge, Fritz Klimsch, 1942

In "The Artful Race" Sunic mentions the Frankfurt School as dedicated to subverting Western images of physical beauty–a theme also of Elizabeth Whitcombe. (My chapter on the Frankfurt School discusses a different kind of subversion of the healthy: family life. Children with strong ties to their parents and a sense of pride in their families are said to be forerunners of fascism and anti-Semitism.)  Lasha Darkmoon illustrates the subversion of the  beautiful by Jewish critics and art collectors in her "The plot against art"). And Michael Colhaze juxtaposes images of women by Lucian Freud and Sandro Botticelli.

Garelick's little article is in the tradition of Jewish antipathy toward the physical beauty of Europeans and for the value that Europeans place on physical beauty. I suspect that these traits of Europeans are an aspect of European individualism. Peter Frost has argued convincingly that there was sexual selection for traits like blond hair and blue eyes (Peter Frost, "European hair and eye color: A case of frequency-dependent sexual selection?Evolution and Human Behavior 27 (2006) 85–103). This means that traits like blond hair and blue eyes were seen as sexually attractive—like the peacock's tail, so the became more common in the population because they were sought after in mates.  Frost associates sexual selection among Europeans with monogamy as a marriage system, selected for in the northern areas where Whites evolved because of the need for fathers to provision children. Rather than marry on the basis of known kinship relations and family dictates, marriage is based on individual choice. And one criterion of importance (among others) is physical beauty.

Such selection pressures would also lead Europeans to value love as the basis of marriage–analysed as a trait that makes close relationships between spouses mutually rewarding. John Murray Cuddihy remarked on how love was seen as foreign by Jews emerging from the ghetto, resulting in theories like Sigmund Freud's where love was analyzed as repressed sexuality—little more than a neurosis.* Nor was physical beauty in marriage partners valued among Jews. A passage in the Talmud says that physical appearance was not to be a critical resource for a woman: "For 'false is grace and beauty is vain.' Pay regard to good breeding, for the object of marriage is to have children." Instead of personal attraction, arranged marriages were common into the modern era.

Hence the culture clash exemplified by Garelick, abetted by Jewish historical grudges against the West.

And as for why White standards of beauty still predominate, there's still quite a few of us around who appreciate the aesthetic exemplars of our race and we buy stuff. Try selling clothes with Lucian Freud-type models.

*This is the passage from Chapter 4 of CofC, p. 138:

Although high-investment parenting was an important aspect of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy, conjugal affection was not viewed as central to marriage with the result that, as Cuddihy (1974) notes, a long line of Jewish intellectuals regarded it as a highly suspect product of an alien culture. Jews also continued to practice consanguineous marriages—a practice that highlights the fundamentally biological agenda of Judaism (see PTSDA, Ch. 8)—well into the twentieth century whereas, as we have seen, the Church successfully countered consanguinity as a basis of marriage beginning in the Middle Ages. Judaism thus continued to emphasize the collectivist mechanism of the social control of individual behavior in conformity to family and group interests centuries after the control of marriage in the West passed from family and clan to individuals. In contrast to Jewish emphasis on group mechanisms, Western culture has thus uniquely emphasized individualist mechanisms of personal attraction and free consent (see PTSDA, Ch. 8).

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The Gibson Scale | Jewish Journal


The Jewish Journal

March 9, 2011

The Gibson Scale

By Rob Eshman rob_eshman/article/the_gibson_scale_20110309/

The sheer volume of anti-Semitic spoutings and sputters in the past couple of months poses a serious question for Jews: When should we laugh? When should we worry?

When should we fight back?

The problem is one of priorities. It is so tedious to drop everything we're doing and lavish attention on some offhand derogatory comment. On the other hand, it is easy to become inured to the babble. Sometimes a drizzle means a storm.

What we need is a standard way to assess the severity of the anti-Semitism, a unit of measurement, like watts and APGAR and Richter. A standard unit can serve as a shorthand early-warning system to us all. The people who keep track of such things can let us know, immediately, alphanumerically, just how much the latest anti-Semitic outburst should worry us. Unless someone has a better idea, I say we call the unit of measurement a Gibson.

The Gibson scale measures the severity of an anti-Semitic remark from 1— think Woody Allen in "Annie Hall" imagining he heard someone say "Jew eat?"— to 10 — think the vicious hate-filled images on al-Qaeda and Hamas "educational" materials that inspire the murder of innocents.

I'm not sure who gets to actually do the rating. It would be terrible for this to turn into a turf war between competing Jewish acronyms, and even worse if Jewish defense organizations used the fear of anti-Semitism to grab donor attention. I suggest a or aggregator approach, where many professionals can rate, and the average appears on a Web site, Conveniently, I just bought that URL.

So, let's move from theory to practice. 
Charlie Sheen: 2 Gibsons

The actor Charlie Sheen's reference to "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre as "Chaim Levine" seems to be a one-off. I don't believe Charlie Sheen hates Jews. I believe he hates a Jew. The last time I checked, that's allowed. Sheen is also nearing the perigee of a spectacular flame-out, fueled either by too much booze, too much coke or just too much Charlie Sheen. If you heard Sheen last week on "The Howard Stern Show," you wouldn't be worried for Jews, you'd be worried for Sheen's parents

John Galliano: 4 Gibsons

In a drunken hissy-fit, Christian Dior designer John Galliano spewed hate at a couple in a French café, then a video surfaced in which he said, "I love Hitler." Now he will stand trial in French court on charges of making "public insults based on … origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity."

Galliano was fired, made an apology and faced the wrath of actress Natalie Portman. For all that, this was garden-variety claptrap from the potty mouth of someone whose followers are looking for fall fashion, not political marching orders.

Julian Assange:  5 Gibsons

Assange is the WikiLeaks mastermind who claimed that a cabal of powerful Jewish journalists is behind the smearing of WikiLeaks. What's spooky here is that Assange's legions of followers are conspiracy-minded in the first place. Add the word Jew to the mix, and their overheated imaginations can fill in the blanks. On the other hand, whatever credibility Assange did have with most journalists and admirers went down several notches when the cutting-edge anarchist reached for the most stale of stereotypes.

Glenn Beck: 7 Gibsons

Sorry, Fox News fans, but the network's highest profile broadcaster moves the needle into the light-red zone.  In the past few months, he has launched diatribes against billionaire George Soros that regurgitate every Euro-trope about the International Jew. Lately, Beck compared Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam."     

This is no Chaim Levine. Beck has a politically engaged following that hangs on his every word. He has sold 4 million books, reaches millions more through his Web site and has the bully pulpit provided him by Roger Ailes (interesting question: how many Gibsons accrue to Roger Ailes as Beck's enabler?).

The only thing that pushes Beck's Gibson rating down are his TV ratings: They're down, too. Beck has lost a million viewers from his peak (though he still has more than all his competitors combined), and The New York Times' David Carr puts the blame for that on what appears to be Beck's nonstop shrill, panicky, End Times rants.

In other words, Glenn Beck appears to be losing it.

And there, I suppose, is a lesson the Gibson scale can teach us: Anti-Semitism is the last stop on the way to Crazy Town. A 1996 study by the psychiatrist and neuroscientist Mortimer Ostow determined that the more one held anti-Semitic beliefs, the more likely he was to harbor psychotic thinking. (The opposite was true as well: The less you believe in anti-Semitic stereotypes, the less of a nutter you are.)

"In the presence of a sense of disorganization and chaos, societies congeal into fundamentalist groups that require a mythic enemy," wrote Ostow. "These groups tend to cultivate apocalyptic paranoia. Under those circumstances, anti-Jewish sentiment and discrimination become active persecution."

Apocalyptic thinkers like Beck need an enemy to kill so society can be reborn. That's what shoots Beck to the top of the charts, with Assange behind, though with a bullet.

As for Sheen, Galliano and Gibson, the Jews are the least of their problems. And they are the least of ours.

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The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes @ Nine-Banded Books



In short, it will be possible to see that the generation of a delusion of mass gas extermination did not require a conspiracy or a hoax, nor much conscious effort at all, but only a social and cultural climate that would facilitate such claims, at a time of war, hatred, and social anomie. We will see that such claims, reinforced here and there by a little helpful fraud, but above all by a simple willingness to believe the worst about one's enemies, would allow dark rumors to be stated as fact and become themselves part of that social and cultural landscape of which we are onlyhalf-consciously aware.

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The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes @ Nine-Banded Books


Samuel Crowell


Perfect binding, 6 x 9, 420 pp.
Release date: April, 2011
ISBN 1616583479
Price: $20
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Among scholars and the general public, the prevailing consensus holds that millions of European Jews were sent to death in gas chambers as part of an official Nazi policy of mass extermination during the Second World War. So entrenched is this consensus that throughout the Western world those who publicly question its accuracy are now routinely subject to censorship, academic censure, and even criminal prosecution. In contemporary society, no other species of dissident scholarship is met with comparably illiberal reaction.

In an intellectual atmosphere  poisoned by acrimony and haunted by the specter of persecution,The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes stands as a calm, deftly reasoned, and highly original affirmation of intellectual freedom. Drawing on extensive empirical and documentary evidence as well as methods of cultural criticism conventionally eschewed by field historians, Samuel Crowell argues that the "canonical" Holocaust gassing claim can be traced to a fateful crisis of modernism — a crisis revealed in popular texts and long-forgotten cultural ephemera. Spanning from the earliest broadcast rumors to the extermination narrative that was sealed at Nuremberg, Crowell's probing analysis permits us to consider how a grim story emerged and evolved in the cyclonic momentum of an era marked by social upheaval, total war, and unprecedented technological change.

Though it has achieved the status of an underground classic, The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes has until now been available only in samizdat editions and on the Internet. This definitive edition has been updated and revised and includes a new introduction by the author. In addition to the title essay, supplemental texts include an appended restatement of Crowell's important monograph, "Bomb Shelters at Birkenau," as well as the never-before-published essay, "The Holocaust in Retrospect."


In short, it will be possible to see that the generation of a delusion of mass gas extermination did not require a conspiracy or a hoax, nor much conscious effort at all, but only a social and cultural climate that would facilitate such claims, at a time of war, hatred, and social anomie. We will see that such claims, reinforced here and there by a little helpful fraud, but above all by a simple willingness to believe the worst about one's enemies, would allow dark rumors to be stated as fact and become themselves part of that social and cultural landscape of which we are onlyhalf-consciously aware.

About the Author:

Samuel Crowell is the pseudonym of a self-described "moderate revisionist" who has written extensively on the Holocaust controversy and other subjects. He is a graduate of the University ofCalifornia (Berkeley), where he studied philosophy, foreign languages, and modern European history. Mr. Crowell continued his studies in history at Columbia University, and taught on the college level for six years.

The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes will be available in April, 2011. We are now accepting advance orders.

SPECIAL OFFER: Place an order for The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes through Nine-Banded Books and receive a FREE copy of Bradley Smith's Break His Bones.


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Bulgaria marks its Holocaust Remembrance day


March 10


Bulgaria marks its Holocaust Remembrance day

Bulgaria marks Holocaust Remembrance day on March 10. The ceremony will be 
attended by Parliament speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and other MPs who will gather 
before the memorial by the National Assembly, commemorating the 68th 
anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews.

The Council of Minister had declared March 10, by dint of a resolution on 
February 13 2003, as Holocaust Remembrance Day and the "Day of the Salvation of 
the Bulgarian Jews and of the Victims of the Holocaust and of the Crimes 
against Humanity".

The event is initiated by the Bulgarian Jewish Association Shalom, and the 
Sofia Regional Jewish Organisation, the private television channel bTV 

The solemn ceremony will be opened by Maxim Benvenisti, president of Shalom, in 
the presence of schoolchildren from the 134th secondary school Dimcho 

The anniversary will be commemorated also by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 
in the presence of Israeli ambassador to Bulgaria, Noah Gal Gendler, as well as 
representatives of religious organisations and NGOs.

During World War Two, Bulgaria, an ally of Germany, successfully managed to 
save the Jewish population in Greater Bulgaria from deportation and death, 
although Jews in other areas under Bulgarian jurisdiction, Macedonia and 
Thrace, were sent to their deaths.

Bulgaria also adopted various discriminatory laws against Jews at the behest of 
Berlin. Anti-Semitic laws modelled on the Nuremberg laws were approved by MPs 
in Sofia, and in December 1940, Bulgaria's National Assembly adopted the 
Defence of the Nation Act.

Bulgaria's Jews were saved from deportation and death when the then-deputy 
speaker of Parliament, Dimitar Peshev, and Bulgarian Orthodox Church leaders 
Sofia Metropolitan Stefan and Plovdiv Metropolitan Kiril, stood up in 1943 
against intentions to send Bulgarian Jews to concentration camps.

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sent an official letter to 
Boris, to the National Assembly, and to the Cabinet demanding that there be no 
deportations. It is widely accepted that in the process, Bulgaria saved about 
50 000 Jews from deportation.

At the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel to the Holocaust, 14 Bulgarians are listed 
as Righteous Among the Nations, including the then-deputy speaker of 
Parliament, Dimitar Peshev, and Bulgarian Orthodox Church leaders Sofia 
Metropolitan Stefan and Plovdiv Metropolitan Kiril, who were prominent in the 
campaign against the deportations.

(source: The Sofia Echo)


Macedonia opens Holocaust memorial centre

A memorial museum devoted to Macedonian Jews who were victims of the Holocaust 
during World War II opened on Thursday in the capital Skopje.

The inauguration ceremony was marked by symbolical placing of three urns with 
ashes of Macedonian Jews killed in the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland, 
where 7,148 of them lost their lives after being deported there in 1943.

The urns were carried by Macedonian soldiers who marched through the centre of 
Skopje followed by several hundred people.

"The lessons of the Holocaust in your country must serve as en early warning 
system to those of your neighbours, where anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial 
are resurgent," Shimon Samuel of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said at the 

The memorial centre, built in an area once populated by the Jewish community, 
was inaugurated in the presence of Macedonian President George Ivanov, Israeli 
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya?Alon and officials and diplomats from 
neighbouring countries.

"The only surviving member of the 81-strong Misrahi family was my father," 
Viktor Misrahi, one of the rare survivors, told AFP.

"Today, the ashes of our people were brought back here from Treblinka and they 
will remain here, at their home," he added.

Only an estimated 200 Jews live in Macedonia today, most of them in the capital 

(source: Agence France-Presse)


Publisher dusts off missing chapter in Hans Fallada's Alone in 
Berlin----Bestseller set in Nazi Germany and published in communist era is to 
have controversial chapter reinstated

The newly discovered chapter of Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin depicts the 
Quangels as grateful to Hitler, seen here at the 1936 Olympics. Photograph: 
Getty Images

More than 60 years since Hans Fallada's international bestseller Alone in 
Berlin was published, readers will be able to digest the unabridged version for 
the first time.

Germany's Aufbau publishing house recently dug out Fallada's original 
manuscript from its archive, only to find there was an extra chapter, and a 
rather different story. They decided to reprint the novel as Fallada originally 
wrote it.

Based on fact, Alone in Berlin tells the bleak story of a working-class couple, 
Otto and Anna Quangel, in wartime Berlin. Crushed by the news that their son 
has been killed at the front they begin a resistance campaign, distributing 
anti-Nazi postcards. Hounded by the Gestapo, the couple are finally tried and 

The missing chapter 17 reveals a side of the Quangels only hinted at in the 
first version. "No one suspected that the original in our archive differed from 
the published version," says René Strien, the director of Aufbau.

Yet the changes were considerable. Handwritten corrections on the original 
manuscript show that chapter 17 was completely cut, and the style and politics 
of the novel consistently toned down.

"The first edition was more tame, more black and white. There are more shades 
of grey in this original edition," said Strien. "But remember, Aufbau was an 
East German publisher and there was censorship back then. A communist should be 
a marvellous person, a Nazi should be bad."

Founded in 1945, Aufbau became the major publishing house in postwar East 
Germany and specialised at first in communist and anti-fascist literature.

The changes shift the reader's understanding of the story, according to the 
Penguin editor Adam Freudenheim. "I was surprised to read the new chapter," he 
said. "It was clear in the existing version that they are not heroic resisters, 
it's the death of their son that causes them to search their consciences. But 
this is more dramatic. There's not just good and evil."

Fallada's original portrayal of the Quangels is more ambivalent. At the start, 
they are an average German family, settled into the political status quo. 
Chapter 17 depicts them as actively taking part in national socialist society.

They are grateful to Hitler that Otto has work as the foreman in a furniture 
factory. His wife admires the Führer and volunteers for the National Socialist 
women's league – details deleted from the published edition.

It is only after they lose their son that the couple turn against the regime.

"This is really exciting," said Manfred Kuhnke, a Fallada researcher and old 
family friend. "These are substantial changes. Fallada didn't want flawless 
anti-fascists. He would never have taken this chapter out."

Linguistically, the original also brings you closer to the writer, according to 
the critic Hajo Steinart. "It's grittier, more authentic, we're learning more 
about the author's state of mind," he said.

Fallada's life was troubled by mental illness and addiction. He died shortly 
before the novel was published and it is not clear whether he ever proofread 
the corrections. Aufbau says the first edition may even have been the version 
Fallada wanted.

"It's not as if the poor British readers have the wrong book," said Strien. 
"They are both legitimate versions."

The reprint will initially only be available in Germany but Penguin said it was 
considering a reprint with the rediscovered chapter 17 as an appendix.

The novel has been translated into 20 languages and sold more than 300,000 
copies in the UK alone. In Germany, it is called Jeder stirbt für sich allein 
(Everyone Dies Alone).

(source: The Guardian)


A Hero in His Own Mind----Hitler Biography Debunks Mythology of Wartime Service

After analyzing recently found documents about Adolf Hitler's days as a soldier 
in World War I, historian Thomas Weber has concluded that he was not the hero 
he was later made out to be and that his radicalization shouldn't necessarily 
be attributed to his wartime experiences.

The blood streaming out of his right temple had formed a large pool on the 
floor. Adolf Hitler, the dictator and the greatest mass murderer of all time, 
had taken his own life with a bullet from his pistol in the catacombs of his 
bunker in Berlin. It was a well thought-out death.

In death, Hitler looked more like a man who had stepped out of the past. He 
wore a simple, field-gray military coat bearing only two medals -- the wound 
badge and the Iron Cross First Class -- both of which were from World War I. 
Throughout his life, Hitler was proud of these medals because they had been 
"soiled with the dirt of France and the mud of Flanders."

Hitler's "political will," dictated shortly before he committed suicide on 
April 30, 1945, was meant to convey the message that he, as a man of the 
people, had been deeply influenced by these early experiences. It spoke about 
how, beginning in 1914, he had served as a "volunteer" and made his "modest 
contribution to the First World War, which had been forced upon the German 

Previously, Hitler had boasted about having "risked his life, probably every 
day" and having always "looked death in the eye." In other words, by his own 
account, he was a hero who "as if by a miracle" had remained healthy, defying 
the hail of bullets and remaining steadfastly fearless in the "most 
unforgettable and greatest time of my earthly life."

One widespread theory holds that Hitler's World War I experiences are what 
radicalized him and set him on the path toward becoming a committed and 
merciless anti-Semite. According to this reading, World War I can be viewed as 
the original catastrophe of the 20th century. For example, in his book "The 
Dictators," British historian Richard Overy concluded that: "The war made 
Hitler, as the revolution made Stalin." And his fellow Briton Ian Kershaw 
believes that Hitler's worldview became more sharply defined at the time. 
Joachim Fest, whose magnum opus "Hitler" has become the authoritative 
biography, was also convinced of this causal relationship in the dictator's 

Useful Lies

One newcomer holds a completely different view -- and one that will undoubtedly 
trigger much discussion. Thomas Weber, a 37-year-old historian from the western 
German city of Hagen who teaches at the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, 
examined a group of documents that -- astonishingly enough -- had remained 
virtually untouched under layers of dust in Bavaria's main state archive. The 
find includes documents relating to Hitler's regiment, brigade and division, 
court documents complete with witness testimony, and confiscated letters that 
had been sent with the field post -- a treasure trove for any researcher.

In his book "Hitler's First War" (published in German for the first time this 
week), Weber uses these documents to help rebut the widely held views about 
Hitler's early years and demystify certain legends about them. For example, 
Weber concludes that the unit Hitler served with was by no means a sort of 
precursor to the Nazi Party, as some have claimed. In fact, as Weber and his 
researchers discovered, only 2 percent of the soldiers in that unit would later 
go on to join the Nazi Party.

What's more, Weber finds that Hitler was never the front-line soldier that he 
and the Nazi propagandists would later make him out to be. Instead, he says 
that this historical whitewashing was a highly political act in the run-up to 
the so-called Machtergreifung, the Nazi seizure of power. Indeed, as historian 
Gerd Krumeich writes, this was necessary because there was "hardly any other 
overlapping of the opinions of society at large and the so-called Nazi 
'revolution'" that was as solid as their shared opinion of the legacy of World 
War I and all the dramatic events associated with it. In reality, however, 
Hitler spent almost the entire four years of World War I a few kilometers 
behind the main battle line and therefore often outside the most dangerous 
areas. His job as a runner also meant that he was by no means in the "midst of 

According to Weber's provocative conclusion, Hitler's political identity was 
hardly burned into his consciousness by traumatic experiences at the front. In 
fact, Weber writes, Hitler was "confused" when he returned from the war, and 
his political identity "could have still developed in different directions."

Debunking the Hitler Mythology

Hitler was already 25 when he became a soldier, and he was presumably a 
deserter. In May 1913, the sinister painter of postcards went to Bavaria 
"almost certainly in an attempt to dodge the Austrian draft," Weber writes. But 
now, surrounded by the cheering and patriotic frenzy at the beginning of World 
War I, he was drawn to battle -- a struggle, as Hitler wrote, that "was not 
forced upon the masses, by God, but was desired by the entire people." Hitler 
was assigned to the Bavarian reserve infantry regiment No. 16 (RIR 16), 
commanded by Colonel Julius List. According to Weber, RIR 16 was not the 
volunteer regiment it has been described as, and List's regiment was not 
teeming with students, artists and university graduates, as many Nazi 
propagandists would later claim.

In fact, the share of budding and real academics among the roughly 30 percent 
of the army made up of volunteers was only marginal. Instead, a 
disproportionately large number of Jews volunteered to defend "the Fatherland" 
and, as Weber concludes, it's unlikely that any of them suffered from 
anti-Semitic treatment. On the contrary, the Kaiser's officers were apparently 
anxious to make it possible for Jewish soldiers to practice their faith on the 

In late October 1914, the poorly trained and inadequately equipped regiment 
experienced its "baptism by fire" during battles for the Flemish village of 
Gheluvelt. With dramatic exaggeration, Hitler claimed that he was the only 
survivor in his platoon, which seems unlikely. According to the records, 13 men 
in his company died on Oct. 29. In "Mein Kampf," Hitler wrote that this battle 
was only the "beginning," adding: "It went on in much the say way, year after 
year, but horror had replaced the romance of the battlefield."

After Gheluvelt, Hitler served as a courier, usually outside the firing range 
of artillery and machine guns, embedded in the relatively comfortable rear 
echelon, a place where soldiers even had set amounts of time off. These were 
conditions "like paradise," Weber writes, in the eyes of the soldiers at the 
front, who were constantly confronted with death.

Fostering the War Hero Myth

After his failed putsch attempt in 1923 and a brief time in prison, Hitler and 
his minions cleverly used the supposed wartime experiences of the would-be 
World War I hero to win more votes on his way to the top. "It was thus really 
in the period of 1925 to 1933 that the myth of the List Regiment took center 
stage in Hitler's rhetoric," Weber writes.

Former comrades published highly sugar-coated versions of their memories under 
titles like "With Adolf Hitler in the Bavarian RIR 16 List" and "Adolf Hitler 
in the Field, 1914-1918." One author wrote glowingly that it was only from the 
ranks of this regiment "that the man could have come who became the guide to a 
new era and this undisputed, natural leader." Even in a children's book, Hitler 
was described as "always one of the bravest soldiers in every battle."

Anyone who objected to this falsification of history was mercilessly persecuted 
-- and sent to a concentration camp. Hugo Gutmann, for example, one of the 
regiment's Jewish officers, fell into the clutches of the Gestapo in 1937 and 
was imprisoned for two months for "contemptuous, derogatory and untrue comments 
about the Führer."

The same lieutenant had seen to it that Hitler, like all runners, was decorated 
with the Iron Cross First Class -- and told an opponent to the Nazi regime 
about that fact. It was the same medal Hitler was wearing when he committed 

(source: Spiegel Online)


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