A Daily History of Holes, Dots, Lines, Science, History, Math, the Unintentional Absurd & Nothing |1.6 million words, 7500 images, 4 million hits| Press & appearances in The Times, Le Figaro, MENSA, The Economist, The Guardian, Discovery News, Slate, Le Monde, Sci American Blogs, Le Point, and many other places... 4,200+ total posts
S.H.A.E.F. Mission (Netherlands) Political Intelligence Report No. 5. For Fortnight ending 14 February 1945.
Intelligence from the Liberated Netherlands.
This is a situation report conducted for the Office of Strategic Services (the O.S.S.) on the social and economic conditions in the Netherlands, including the situations on food, fuel, living conditions, attitudes of the population towards U.S. soldiers, and so on. This is a fragile, offset production, and not at all found in the WorldCat/OCLC, which means that no copy of this exists in libraries around the world. The work is annotated "OSS", stamped "R & A Library" and also stamped on the verso of last sheet "received CID 1945 Mar 3 PM", which means that the paper was received by the Central Information Division of the Office of Strategic Services, the Research and Analysis Branch. The provenace of the paper therefore is the O.S.S. (the precursor to the C.I.A.), and then on to the Library of Congress. [13x8", 3 leaves/5pp.]
Given the rarity and its interesting nature, I've reproduced the document, below.
This rare report asserts and outlines all manner of Nazi war crimes committed against the Soviet Union to April 1943 and issues an official call to keep track of every horror in the form of the Extraordinary State Commission to Investigate Nazi Atrocities via a decree of the Supreme Soviet. At this point the German attack against the U.S.S.R. was nearly two years old and involved the majority of the German army; in April 1943 nearly 4 million German soldiers were waging war against about 10,000,000 Soviets in the largest military campaign in history, ultimately costing the lives of 10 million Soviets and 5 million Germans, with millions more on each side being MIA and captured--staggering numbers.In the midst of all of this the Germans flayed the Soviet Army, people, and land, and the Russians were very highly decided that now that the turning of the offensive was in sight (now just a few months after the great victory at Stalingrad),that they would absolutely not forget anything that the Germans did there. This fragile pamphlet was one announcement of this intention.
I've attached the full pamphlet, below, a text-only reproduction from the Internet Archive--I would reproduce my copy with the full flavor of the original except that it might not survive being opened and folded flat over the scanner.
Some of the prominent statements in the pamphlet include the murder of the civilian population as well as their enslavement. Lastly, at the end of this grim spectacle, there is a section naming the German officers responsible for the mass of killing and torture.
"the murder of peaceful citizens and the violation of defenceless citizens, women, children and old folk by the invaders, and also of facts relating to the exportation of Soviet people into German slavery"
"destroying monuments of art and culture of the plundering valuable artistic and historical documents, demolishing buildings and stealing the valuable property of various religious bodies."
"losses inflicted by the marauding and plundering activities of the German Fascist invaders on collective farms, co-operatives, trade union and other social organisations by the plunder and destruction of buildings, devices and equipment designed for production and cultural purposes, by the plunder or destruction of stores of raw and other materials, products and goods, agricultural crops, forests, fruit, vegetables, etc., and other collective farm and co-operative property"
"...torturing and murdering peaceful citizens. They are plundering wholesale the population of towns and villages and exporting the personal property of Soviet citizens, accumulated by their honest labour, to Germany, together with collective and State farm property."
And this incredible statement of truth:
"the German-Fascist Army mercilessly destroys Soviet towns and villages, engages in violence, torture and the tormenting and murder of non-combatant citizens as well as of Soviet war prisoners. History has never before witnessed such mass extermination of human beings as that perpetrated by the German-Fascist invaders. " There is a full section on the "Murder and Torture of Soviet Civilians".
There's much more if you give the work a full reading.
[Source: Internet Archive, https://archive.org/stream/investigationofn00unse/investigationofn00unse_djvu.txt]
This is another in this blog's reprint series of rare and semi-non-existent pamphlets. Although this pamphlet has a somewhat lazy title it does get the point of its contents across, which was mostly how to recognize and challenge Fifth Column work by the Nazis. It is only 15 pages long but there's actually a lot of good common sense on what to do with propaganda--it is really just an invitation to think for yourself. I couldn't find any reference to this online, and there are no copies of the work found in WorldCat/OCLC. Here it is, in full: Download Reprint series-- You Can Outwit Goebbels:
Today this document put the "living" into history--or at least it did for me. Given how much reading I've done in this area and the amount of exposure I've had to the literature, I knew a fair amount around the edges of this publication. I remember Myron Taylor--a major domo FDR fixit favorite, a wealthy industrial, who was sent on missions for Roosevelt through the mid-1930's and throughout the war. The "refugee problem" referred to in the title was not the internal U.S. dustbowler issue but the gigantic European refugee catastrophe that was very well established by the date of the publication of this paper for Taylor's address on November 25, 1938. I guess that "problem" was not incorrectly used in the title though by 1938 what was happening to stateless and endangered populations in Europe was far more than that, given what was happening in Germany in 1938, all of which was bad for the Jewish population there--and then in Austria, and then Czechoslovakia.
[Scroll down to the end for the rest of the report.]
I hadn't realized how close in time this was to the failed international conference at Evian, where Taylor was the U.S. representative. Evian was the 32-nation conference in which critical interest was expressed in the refugee disaster, but after a week spent on the topic, and in spite of a wide expression of sympathy for the situation of the Jews, there was hardly any actual movement to do anything about the crisis of saving those people--only two countries (Equador and Costa Rica, I think) agreed to expand their immigration quotas. This outcome of course was perfectly well designed for the Nazis, who made a large journalistic play of the affair, citing that national representatives got together and expressed some concern for the Jews but didn't care enough about them to actually do anything.
None of this came out in the Taylor address (reproduced in full, below). In discussing the refugees he says "The victims of these developments are of many faiths,--Catholic, Jewish and Protestant" and mentions the "urgency" to find homes for hundreds of thousands of people.
He goes on to say that chances for helping the afflicted in Germany within Germany were "dimming"--and what he was talking about was the bettering treatment of these groups of people by the Nazis so that a more orderly multi-year emigration plan could be worked out.
Given that in March of 1938 the Nazis annexed Austrian and made another 200,000 Jews stateless by enacting the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and that the Nazis seized the Sudetenland in August 1938 making another 120,000 Jews stateless, and that just weeks before this address the massive Kristallnacht Pogrom was initiated throughout Germany--that, yes, there was reason to believe that figuring out a four-year evacuation plan was "dimming". For whatever reason, Taylor mentions none of this in this speech.
On the immigration issue in general Taylor tells his audience not be afraid of a "flooding" of immigrants ("with aliens of any race or creed"), as he thinks that it is possible to work with the refugees within the existing highly restrictive quota State Department framework. Given the numbers of people in question and the relatively paltry numbers allowed by the quotas, I do not have any idea as to how Taylor at this point could hope to achieve any of his goals except by somehow cajoling Hitler into giving a suitable number of years allowance to the problem so that the rest of the world could work stuff out.
And even though Taylor was freshly returned from Evian and the issue of the Jewish plight in Germany and its conquered lands, there is only one mention of Jews in this address.
The response of the U.S. to the refugee problem and then to the Holocaust is Very Highly Problematic, or at least so until 1944, when the mass extermination of the Jews and other people was a know quantity for at least a full year, and the U.S. began to act with real urgency.
How Taylor spoke with such a vanilla nothingness at such a pivotal time is unknown to me.
My copy of this paper was in the White House library for a little while--it was sent from there to the Library of Congress after keeping it for four months or so--presumably the WH had another copy, or had absorbed it, or felt it not-useful, or something else. No one will ever know.
The marks in each of the squares below represents one aircraft--and as a matter of fact if you click on one of the 25-square squares you will be able to zoom in and see the detail, which is basically missing at this level. Germany lost (meaning destroyed or damaged beyond repair) "76,875 aircraft, of which 40,000 were total losses and the remainder significantly damaged. By type, losses totaled 21,452 fighters, 12,037 bombers, 15,428 trainers, 10,221 twin-engine fighters, 5,548 ground attack, 6,733 reconnaissance, and 6,141 transports" (According to the "Equipment Losses" for WWII on Wiki.) The aircraft graphic uses images of German aircraft--I would much rather have display U.S. and/or U.K. aircraft losses, but that could not be done using the German plane images. (The U.K. lost more than 42,000 planes, and the U.S. 95,000.) So for right now, we'll just have the German graphic, the source of which is the 7 September 1940 issue of the Illustrated London News, which displayed one thousand destroyed German aircraft brought down over Great Britain in 28 days (see here):
JF Ptak Science Books (Expanded version of Post 485 from 2008)
This photograph--a picture of hope soon dissipated--shows the 1918 portion of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 at just about the time of its, well, “completion”, beginning the period of the Russian Civil War, which would last until the creation of the USSR in 1922. (The photo is also part of a News Photo Service archive I purchased some years ago in, and was originally released by the Western Newspaper Union.) Alexander Kerensky, who according to the stamped caption of this photograph, was leading an army of “200,000 marching on Petrograd” in order to overthrow “Lenine [sic] and Trotsky” and the “Bolsheiki Revolution”. Kerensky (1881-1970) was elected second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government under Lenin following the February (1917) Revolution. A complex of war (WWI) and domestic/social/political directed chaos led Kerensky and Lenin to opposing paths, and, following the October 1917 revolution, the winner was clear. Kerensky, according to the data on the photo, was a “David” leading an army in opposition deposed to toppling the Bolsheviks “next week”. Things did not go as planned, or almost nothing did, and Kerensky’s army drifted, walked and ran, via indifference, fear and belief to the side of the Bolsheviks. About the only soldiers who stayed loyal to Kerensky was the 1st Petrograd Women’s Battalion, a unit of the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death. (This was the first all-female combat unit in Russia, and although starting out with about a force of 2,000, quickly wasted away under the rigorous and harsh command of its commander, Maria Bochkareva*, down to about a fighting group of 300.) Kerensky fled the country and began a long series of travels, though ultimately settling in the United States, dying in NYC in 1970 (making him one of the longest surviving principal participants of the Revolutions).
St. Petersburg/Petrograd has a long and important history in the formation of the Russian nation—established in 1703 as the capital of the Russian Empire and remaining so for more than 200 years, it was also the seat of the 1905 Revolution as well as the February and October revolutions of 1917. Another bit of full-circle was that Kerensky and Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) were both born in the not-large town of Simbirsk (now called Ulyanovsk). Kerensky’s father, as it turned out, taught Lenin at the Kazan State University, a great institution of higher learning featuring non-other than the principal founder of non-Euclidean geometry, Nikolai Lobachevsky, as its rector for almost twenty years (1827-1846).
[The text for the photo stamped on its back]
*This interesting, severe, passionate woman through intrigue and loss wound up fleeing the Soviet Union in 1918, winding up in NYC and ultimately meeting with Woodrow Wilson, appealing for American support and intervention to halt the Bolsheviks. She made the same appeal directly to George V, before winding up back in the Soviet Union, where, in 1918, she was captured. She was ultimately tried and convicted of being an enemy of the people, sentence to death, and then killed by the precursor to the KGB, the Chaka.
Henri de Kerillis, a French WWI hero and right-wing/nationalist politician, published this short screed on the failure of the four left-wing/radical/socialist governments that came and went in France over 18 months, beginning in June 1932. (That would be the failed governments of Herriot, Boncour, Daladier, and Sarrault.) de Kerillis states that there has been no government in France over the last 18 months and doesn't see that there will be any change to that, and given that (as he says) there is a possibility of financial collapse and the open preparations for war by Hitler, that the time was ripe for a different political direction. When the country votes left, he says, you can expect a disaster.
Kerillis was an ardent and vocal anti-Fascist, opposed to the Munich Agreement and always opposed to Hitler. He was forced to leave France in 1940, and was sentenced to death in abstentia by the Vichy government, which I take is a mark of high honor.
I haven't seen very many pro-Jewish soldiers printed during the war--especially one in which states that "Hitler's armies murdered five million civilians in Europe. They killed two million Jews", which is also unusual, especially in 1944. It seemed to me that since there are only six copies located in libraries worldwide (this via WorldCat/OCLC, with only two of those copies in the U.S.) I thought it might be useful to surface the pamphlet.
1,000,000 Jews in the Armies of Freedom. Printed in Melbourne, McLaren, Jewish Council to Combat Fascism and Anti-Semitism ca. 1944, my copy received by the Library of Congress in January 1945) 8x4”, 6pp, (tri-folded sheet of paper).
Here's a wonderful British-stiff-upper-lip poster, a play on the Alec Guinness The Mouse that Roared, replacing the "mouse " part, and winding up with The Lion That Roared.The poster comes from 1942 and for all intents and purposes is correct, except that the lion was roaring at least since 1940--the difference is that the lion got bigger and roar-ier. The British navy was always far and away more powerful than Germany's, and although out-numbered in aircraft for the first year and a half or so of the war, Germany was pretty much hopelessly behind by late 1941 and certainly 1942. In any event the poster tells a good and fairly accurate story to the passersby in London in 1942.
[Source: Z. Zeman, Selling the War, Art and Propaganda in World War II (1978).]
This is a detail of 10% or so of a document here, something that was printed regarding the socio-political temper of the liberated Netherlands in February 1945.
And so: "S.H.A.E.F. Mission (Netherlands) Political Intelligence Report No. 5. (For Fortnight ending 14 February 1945) Intelligence from the Liberated Netherlands" are the running headers. And of course there's the "S-E-C-R-E-T" part of it, no doubt necessary then but hardly now. The paper includes a report on food and fuel and living conditions, labour and employment, attitude of the population to the Netherlands government, attitude of the population to Allied troops, and so on. What I found very interesting besides the report are the trails of where the document has been.
First, here's the front page of the document in full:
To interpret, SHAEF was "Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces"--the hand annotations and stamps do say where the document has been. First off, we'll start with the stamp on the back, which may have been the first stamp overall:
The paper was received by the CID on 1945 Mar 3--now the CID could have been a number of things but when placed in context with the notes on the front, the CID becomes the "Central Information Division", which was the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services, and the precursor to the C.I.A.) and the R & D ("Research and Analysis Branch"). Underneath the hand-written "O.S.S" is a most-erased name, a Lt. Col. ________. This is where the Found-Art comes in, because here I tried my trickery and foolery to pull out the name, but I failed, only being able to grab a couple of letters. The result though was interesting in itself, if not for who Lt. Col. ______ was. And so, there you have it, a little exercise that went off into the rabbit hole, producing something interesting but not useful. That happens a lot.
This is bound to be a great smoothing-out of a complex issue, but, well, that’s okay: I think that in spite of the simplification the result is the same. The bottom line of the Second Warsaw Uprising (August/September 1944) is that the Soviet Union allowed the Polish Home Army to fail, watching from its position across the Vistula as the Nazis and Poles slugged it out, both exhausting themselves, the Nazis ultimately defeating the Poles, eliminating most of the Soviet concern for the Polish military and government, allowing the Soviet Union to take the country over more completely when the time came a few months earlier. It was the Soviet’s choice to see two enemies annihilate themselves to have more control over Poland and immediately turn it into a vassal state when it rolled into Warsaw in January, with 85% of the city destroyed and 600,000 of the city’s population dead.
With this in mind, where was the Polish Home Army or the Americans or the Brits-or anyone--when the first Warsaw Uprising occurred? Absent.1 This battle–generally known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising–took place about three years after the Nazis established it as a means of control for the city’s 400,000 or so Jews. In the intermediary years hundreds of thousands of Jews had been “deported” (that is, sent to the concentration camps to be exterminated or worked to death), so that by the time of the Uprising only 60,000 people remained in the Ghetto. And by this time there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who lived there (and perhaps too in Warsaw as a whole) what the euphemism of “deportation” actually meant. The battle started off well for the home defence (the ZOB2) but, ultimately, with little access to resource and with nowhere to actually retreat or regroup in the few acres that remained of the original Ghetto, whoever was left in the Ghetto were either killed or captured by 16 May. The German commander, SS Brigadefuhrer Jurgen Stroop reported on that day that “the former Jewish quarter in Warsaw is no longer in existence”:
“Progress of large-scale operation on 16 May 1943, start 1000 hours. “ 180 Jews, bandits, and subhumans were destroyed. The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large-scale action was terminated at 2015 hours by blowing up the Warsaw Synagogue. Total number of Jews dealt with 56,065, including both Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can be proved. “
Stroop was arrested and hanged in Poland, in Warsaw, in 1952.
So, this 6-page pamphlet, published by Liberty Publications in London at the end of 1944 (and received by the Library of Congress on 10 January 1945), detailed the misery of the non-recognition of the second Warsaw Uprising and the reason(s) for it. It details the travesty, the disinterest, and the political accomplishment of the Soviet Union gained by its criminal inaction. There is of course no mention whatsoever of the first Warsaw Uprising. Selfish inaction breeds itself, consumes others and then--like yeast--consumes itself.
1. "WHEN THE revolt in the ghetto broke out in April 1943, all of Warsaw was aware of the fighting. The news of the revolt was transmitted to the Allied capitals by the Polish underground, but no help came for the Jewish fighters - not from the US or England, nor from the Soviet Union; not even a sign of recognition or an acknowledgement by the Allies of the battle raging in the ghetto. The Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto were unknown soldiers, isolated from the world. Only two years later, after the end of the war, did their valiant battle receive universal recognition."--"Who Defended The Warsaw Ghetto?", by Moshe Arens, in the Jerusalem Post, 29 April, 2003.
2. The ZOB was the Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, led by Mordechai Anielewicz, and ZZW (Zidowski Zwiazek Woskowy) led by Pawel Frenkel.
Even when this leaflet was issued in March 1944, so very deep in the war and so very close to the end of the war, there was an enlisted hope for humane treatment for Allied POWs--at least that is what the job of the Red Cross was at the time, to sustain that belief and enforce it wherever they could. (I've reproduced the entire pamphlet, below.)
The leaflet provided this hopeful template for addressing an envelope to your POW:
La Vie en Allemagne, l'Habitation Allemande is a soft, no-edge piece of propaganda produced in Nazi Germany and meant for distribution in France. (The pamphlet has no place or date of publication, though WorldCat guesses 1941/2, which I'm inclined to agree with--in any event it is appropriate for it to not have identifiers like that as it is, after all, all made up.) I am pretty sure that pictures such as these printed during wartime for the population of an occupied country could not get any more vaseline-lens-coated or syrupy than these images. They are in the best tradition of a Lena Wertmueller movie, where the working class is perfect as are their homes and children. And if Ms. Wertmueller used for a background artist someone like Maxfield Parrish working in black & white, these images would no doubt seem familiar to him. That said, this is a propaganda vehicle showing the working and living condition of worker "colonists" in Germany and their supposed standard of living, which as good National Socialists would have been far away above that of blue collar worker in France. Anyway it was a dreadful piece of dangerous fluff to dangle in front of a captured population--no doubt this little publication found itself replacing paper conveniences in the toilet, and used as fire-starter, but no doubt some poor soul somewhere in France was confused by it, and wondered.
WorldCat/OCLC locates only five copies (three in France and two in Germany), and no copies in the U.S.
Čtyři léta války v mapách ("Four Years of War...in Maps"), published in London, ca. 1943, is a Czech-exile publication showing the development of the war in a number of very striking maps. The maps end at the publication of the pamphlet--except of course, for the 1948 map. The culminating interest though shows the Nazis surrounded, and put to the final test--it is the first map I list, below, even though it was about the last map in the pamphlet. It is a rare thing, this pamphlet, and it does not show up in the usual places. There are only seven copies located in the WorldCat/OCLC, all in top-notch libraries: NYPL, Yale, Harvard, Harvard Law, UC Berkeley, Oxford, and Nanterre.
An overall view of the progress of German war conquests:
Here we go--after Hitler had been in power for 11 years of many highly-veneers layers of lies great and small the U.S. Office of War Information produced a short and truncated scorecard of the most "conspicuous" of them. The paper, Hitler's Lies. A short, documented list of the more conspicuous lies of Adolf Hitler, from 1935 to 1942, in chronological order was an 11-page chronological abbreviation of some of Hitler's most notorious lies. Oddly enough there seems to be hardly anything printed as a book or pamphlet in the 1933-1945 period with "Hitler" and "Lies" in the title (though there is Lies as Allies, or, Hitler at War, by Frederic Maugham, 1941)--there are a few more if you use "Nazi" and Lies" in the search, and o revealing Nazi Lies (1940), 1001 Nazi Lies (1940), and Here Lies Goebbels (1940). In any event the OWI copy seems to not be around in libraries--there seem to be no copies of this edition located in the WorldCat/OCLC, though there is one other very similar version of this (in four pages, double columns) at the Denver Public Library. With this in mind I decided to share the entire document, which is now reprinted below. It is well worth readign to see how an official hearst/minds information arm of the U.S. government was dealing at a popular/informed level with Hitler.
(The following quotes come from a review by Martin Melosi of Allan M. Winkler, The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of War Information, 1942-1945 , published by Yale in 1978):
The Office of War Information (OWI, created in 1942) was "dominated by liberal interventionists, such as Archibald MacLeish and Robert Sherwood, the OWI sought to play an activist role in winning the war by affirming the value of democracy over any totalitarian threat". "The leadership of OWI were sure that if they could simply repeat it loudly enough and often enough, it would win the hearts and minds of all who heard (p. 150)." "But alas, the grandiose dreams and high expectations of the major OWI figures were dashed by several forces, including a hesitant, almost indifferent president; a suspicious Congress and State Department with little faith in the plans of OWI; a variety of internal squabbles over attempts to define what American policy was and how best to present it; and, most significantly, the more pragmatic requirements of war."
And so "the home front was short-lived; how Congress dismantled the domestic branch which had tried to the American people about the war effort" and the OWI shifted its interests and direction to the theaters of war, "intense efforts to support the military effort via psychological warfare against the enemy...The propaganda of war had finally come to represent the war being fought."