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
This small ad for Sanitas (a non-poisonous"the disinfecting fluid", composed of hydrogen peroxide and camphor as main ingredients) appeared in the quarter panel of the Illustrated London News on November 13, 1915, and told a definite story. Here we see a British soldier, sitting squarely on Germany, asking the reader "Did any one say that there was a GERM anywhere?" in a not-subtle connection between the German enemy and disease. I hadn't noticed this before, and so thought I would share...
the following two images are found in a small pamphlet on the general election and single-question referendum held in Germany on March 29, 1936 (Des Deutschen Volkes Schicksalswende am 29. Marx). as it turns out the small pamphlet accordion-folded oput to about 2.5 feet, which was printed on both sides. Anyway the single question was whether the voter wanted a single-party representation by the NSDAP in the Reichstag--not surprisingly whatsoever the German population voted/"voted" 99% in favor of the proposal. The pamphlet was a gross propaganda instrument, as was the "election/referendum", and it contained a number of striking images, though perhaps none so as near-unforgettable as that showing Hitler arising from a living-person map of Germany:
Hitler came to power via a number of elections--he didn't just take it, or at least not until 1933; 44 million people voted in March 1933 (an 88% turnout), and 17 million voted for the NSDAP and Hitler giving him the popular vote and the most seats in the Reichstag. In the November 1933 ("Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer, Ein Ja") elections, 39 million/92% voted for Hitler, which was another story. And here he is, rising from a sea of Germans, three years later, a leader restrictive of enemies and opposition, the whole thing looking horrible.
Here's another bit from the same 12-panel accordion-fold pamphlet, a propaganda map showing the possibly-invasive weaknesses of the Versailles-dictated German army. AS in the case of several other maps posted to this blog on this 1934-1939 geographic creation of risk and threat, this one depicts a heavily-armed and populated French army looking at Germany, while the relatively-meagre 100,000-man German army quietly protects itself on the borders 50km away from the Rhine. I guess it might have been effective if people were actually voting in this election, for scared people to vote their scared conscience for the man who scared them. The writing however was on the proverbial wall, and the only thing left to do with the Versailles treaty at that point would be to scrap it. About four years later the Nazis would come sweeping down on France and by June 22 the French would be signing a humiliating surrender instrument.
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).]
Michel Jacquot seems to have been a relatively busy graphic designer/artist and collaborator with the Nazis during WWII (and before). One very striking and damning poster that he created was this scene of Brits forcing French soldiers away from evacuation vessels at Dunkirk forcing them to satay behind and guard the rear and (2) get eaten alive by the approaching Nazis. All told, there were 338,226 soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk; the grim part of the miracle there was that 68,000 BEF were captured or killed and 40,000 French troops were captured--none of that happened because French troops were marauded by the Brits. Jacquot tried a hearts-and-minds with this one, though it is unknown what effect it had in creating a hatred-thread among the French.
[Source: illustration in Z. Zeman, Selling the war, Orbis Press, 1978.] "1940 Dunkerque. Les anglais s'opposent à l'embarquement des derniers français qui venaient de protéger leur retraite", by Michel Jacquot.
Jacquot also cooked this one up, a grim anti-Communist poster in support of the extreme Nationalist/National Socialist Parti Populaire Francais (the PPF) in 1943. The leader of the PPF was a former outted Communist named Jacues Doriot (1898-1945) who was a National Socialist, a Nazi supporter, a collaborator, a traitor to his country who broadcast for the Nazis on Radio Paris, and a person who co-founded the Legion des Volontaires Francaise (LVF), which was a unit of French soldiers who fought with the Wehrmacht. There are some other posters, too, including some vile anti-Semitic ones, but you get a good-enough taste for where Jacquot was headed during the 1935-1945 period.
Not long after Hitler's election in 1933 this curious pamphlet appeared: Ein Kampf um Deutschland (1933), short and thin, is a work filled with anti-Communist photos and images portraying them in as harsh a bad light as you could muster in 32 pages.One of the images is this map showing in no uncertain terms threats to Germany from the west, but most importantly a gigantic threat coming from the Communist east, the arrow striking right through the heart of Germany, with the hammer and sickle (the symbol only about 16 years old at the time) coming to rest just about on top of Berlin.
For all of this Hitler would sign a Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union six years later (22 August 1939) with the plan of dividing some Eastern conquests with the Russians. Less than two years later came Operation Barbarossa, with Hitler launching a massive surprise invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Dozens of millions of lives later, it would all be over in four years.
And the opened cover for the pamphlet, or what is left of it:
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.
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."
1935 was not a particularly good year for Austria. The country was fighting off the threat of Anschluss--the occupation of Austria by Nazi Germany--for several years, the cause hurt by the infamous assassination of the federal chancellor Englebert Dollfus in July 1934. When this pamphlet was printed in 1935, the threat to Austria from Germany was real and advanced. This publication, Luftschutz durch Selbstschutz ("Self Protection by Anti-Aircraft Defense" or so) addressed part of this issue. It sounds more militarily-based than it is; the story though is that the pamphlet was intended as a sort of civilian defense piece, for example, asking people to join an air defense club ("hinein in dem Luftschutverein") for the protection of all ("Schutz fuer jedermann") and to be general aware and prepared for the possibility of air raids.
What attracted me from the outset was the cover design which at first doesn't actually appear to be a map, though it is--and an effective one at that. In the middle of the circle is a red Austria with a white bar; on top of that, in yellow, is a bomb in a triangle; and surrounding Austria in a blue circle are the possible approaching/attacking/threatening air forces of its neighbors. Inside the pamphlet is another, more detailed map (below) showing the disposition of opposing air forces. It is interesting to note here that Germany is shown as having zero aircraft as dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, though it was in February of this year (1935) that the Luftwaffe was organized thus disbanding part of the treaty--at this point in 1935 the threat from Germany was not presently from the air.
The pamphlet runs 64 pages and contains information for Austrians in preparing for aerial assault, in general: what to do when the bombs fall, how to prepare, what sort of supplies are needed to survive a sustained attack, and the like--plus ads for gas masks, survival goods, and such.
In the end, Germany did not bomb Austria--it disappeared as part of the Reich in March 1938 as a result of intimidation, embargo, political subterfuge, and finally the threat of war.
Earlier in this blog I posted about an article that appeared in Life magazine on the various invasion/attack routes on the United States in 1941. (I believe this was the most visited of all 4000+ posts over eight years, with something on the order of 200k visits.) It came to mind while I was working my way through the P.J. Mode Persuasive Map Collection (digitized) at Cornell University and found this glorious appraisal of the possibilities of a Japanese attack on Los Angeles and the western U.S. It screamingly appeared in the Los Angeles Examiner on November 7, 1937 (p. V-8), and no doubt was meant to incite some sort of thinking in the paper's reading population. (I don't think it a coincidence that California is shown in yellow in the details when under attack and blue before being attacked.) Remember that the Japanese had already been mucking around in China for several years and the (Second) Sino-Japanese War was already full-on for a year by this point, so giving the possibility of Japanese imperial designs on the U.S. in 1938 is not necessarily so far out of reach. (On the other hand many of the high command in Japan thought it a miserable and in some cases an insane idea to finally attack the U.S. in 1941, so there's that--plus there's the larger and more substantial issue of the incredible amount of ships and planes and support and energy that goes into manufacturing an invasion of this scope that would just be out-of-hand for Japan.) All that said, it is an interesting to see this play out in the pages of the Examiner.
Mapping the Invasion of America, 1942 http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2009/12/mapping-the-invasion-of-america-1942.html
Invasion Routes to the U.S. 1940 http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2011/06/invasion-of-the-us-1940.html
The Invasion of America, 19?? (1935) http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2010/01/the-invasion-of-america-19-1935-scenario-for-invasions-via-canada-mexico-and-the-caribbean.html
[Source: PJ Mode Persuasive Maps Collection, at Cornell: https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:3293952]
And the vision for San Francisco:
[Source: PJ Mode Persuasive Maps Collection, at Cornell: https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:3293952]
And the full page, showing the importance of the Aleutians to the general plan:
[Source: PJ Mode Persuasive Maps Collection, at Cornell: https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:3293952]
I've found another example of map/propaganda display of the-threat-against-Germany in the between-the-wars period, this one published in a very popular historical atlas by F.W. Putzger (Putzgers historischer Schul-atlas). The find comes in the fabulous "Persuasive Maps" collection of P.J. Mode (and housed and presented now at Cornell University, the source for the detail above and the originating image below) and supplements some earlier posts I've made to this blog on perceived and imaginary air and ground threats to Hitler's Germany. These images no doubt gave pause to their viewers, driving home at least the need for building up "defensive" military responses to the threats posed to Germany. In the top image the possible invaders of Germany are shown only in terms of airpower, depicting the range of the bombers and their country of origin, as well as the major cities that could be affected by such sorties. No doubt the intent was to riddle Germany with as many red lines as possible, creating a morass of invasion and destruction possibilities, so much so that you have to look with a little discernment to see the city names under the limit lines. It is a strong message, especially considering that in this case at least the audience was upper-level school children, and given that it appeared in an historical atlas the image was given that much more credibility and further entrenched a duck-and-cover mentality in its young viewers.
[Image source: P.J. Mode Colelction at Cornell University, https://digital.library.cornell.edu/?page=18&q=persuasive&search_field=all_fields&utf8=%E2%9C%93&view=gallery]
As I said this map is a good supplement to other similar efforts that have appeared in this blog. For example, in continuing the heavy-lines-obliterating-Germany design is this earlier (1933) map showing the range of the air force of Czechoslovakia:
I've found a number of interesting maps in the pamphlet collection here--these are highly unusual to my experience in that they were the work of a firm called "Geopress", which was an active business and cover for a significant intelligence agent for the Soviet Union, operating in Switzerland, collecting data relating to German activities during WWII. There's nothing I can add beyond the information that I quote extensively below from the CIA website on Rado--except that I cannot find images/examples of his Geopress work. So it seems the most efficient thing to do here is to simply quote the known sources and reproduce the images of the 18 maps and their accompanying texts.
As I said Rado operated Geopress as a news/cartographic service, and Rado was an accomplished cartographer, so the mans in and off themselves as maps are perhaps not a singular issue. Their evident scarcity, however, does seem to be an issue. Also I do not understand why these maps are so small, some of which are just 1"x 3"; also the uneven;y cut/torn text sheets that are made to accompany the maps are also puzzling in their own way. I do not understand the format--someone out there in Weblandia no doubt will.
All of the maps shown below are from 1942. They were received by the Library of Congress in June 1943 and stamped so on the backs of the maps. (They lived for some time in the "Pamphlet Collection" at the LC before being purchased by me in 1998.)
The following quotes come from the CIA website, the Center for the Study of Intelligence, here: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol12i3/html/v12i3a05p_0001.htm]
"Alexander (Sandor) Rado, Alexander Foote's chief in the Swiss-based "Rote Drei" net that in 1941-43 supplied Moscow with detailed information on German order of battle... His activity in intelligence, mapping, and related fields has lasted nearly 50 years and may earn him a place in the pantheon of major intelligence figures of the times."
"In 1936 or 1937, with Soviet funds and having a Swiss citizen as silent partner, Rado organized Geopress, a news agency specializing as Inpress had in maps and geographic background data. Geopress was more successful than Inpress because of better organization and the increased demand for news maps in the advancing shadows of World War II. As cover for an intelligence operation it proved ideal. Its normal activity—news collection and dissemination—provided justification for contacts with businessmen, officials, diplomats, journalists, and military leaders, some of whom became intelligence sources. It also justified a large volume of telephone and telegraph traffic, extensive postal business, and the maintenance of a courier system."
"While building up his Geopress cover Rado also developed his sources, organized communications, and summarized for transmission the reports collected by his growing network. And he even found time to maintain through publications his image as an internationally known geographer."
"24 Feb. 1945. During the German occupation of Hungary, (Rado) lived in Geneva where (he) published geographical maps for the Allied Governments until 1943; discovered by the GESTAPO and consequently his relatives in Hungary were murdered/ went with family to Paris in September 1944 and continued his work/summoned to Russia to report on his activities with the Free French Organization and left on 8 Jan. 1945 by special plane for Moscow/suspecting a trap, he got off the plane in Cairo where he remained/received no news from his wife in Paris and suspects that she might have been deported/he was formerly a Fellow of the Geographical Society in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Rome and Washington, D.C. OFFICE OF CENSORSHIP, Egypt, 11 April 1945."
[Again, the source for this and the above quotes: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol12i3/html/v12i3a05p_0001.htm]
The U.S. bombing raid on Schweinfurt--the location of a German ball bearings complex--on October 14, 1943, was the most devastating loss of life and aircraft suffered by the USAAF to that time. In the week prior to the Schweinfurt raid there were already enormous losses, more than 90 B-27s lost in three missions. Of the 351 B-17s that started the mission on the 14th only 228 actually made it to the target--some dropping out of formation and some being shot down--at the end of it all some 60 planes came down over Europe, 5 over England, and another 17 were damaged beyond repair. Bombs were delivered to the target, though without great success, the factory being up and running again after a few weeks. It was a disaster.
The Nazis working no doubt through the Vichy regime in France produced a quick little pamphlet on the raid, Les Cercueils Volants de l'Amerique, a play on words, working the "Flying Fortress" into the "Flying Coffins". In 1943 the Lutftwaffe was still formidable, though that would not last for much longer, the Allies gaining more-or-less uncontested control of the skies by Overlord, though with Schweinfurt (which translates to "Pig Crossing" or Pig Ford" or something along those lines) more than 300 were sent aloft. In any event the Nazis sought to make good use of the disaster for their French readers.
There are a number of pictures at the centerfold depicting dead and maimed U.S. fliers, and a lot of words about how much it will take to replace the aircraft, and the crews, and the bombs that were "wasted", and so on. And that the German resistance to Allied bombing raids were making inroads and will eventually save the day. They were wrong of course, what with the astonishing industrial base in the U.S., and the state of the dying Nazi war machine. (After everything was said and done, Schweinfurt was bombed 22 times during the war, receiving something like 590,000 bombs; there seems to have been no real effect on the important production of ball bearings, and for whatever reason the German military seems not to have been in desperate need of them at any point. The town of course was decimated, and a thousand or so civilians were killed, but ball bearing production seems to have not been affected, overly.) It is a nasty little pamphlet. [Evidently this is a rare work--only one copy is located in WorldCat, at the Bibliotheque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine Nanterre. I should probably reproduce the whole thing right here, but some of the images are pretty disturbing...maybe I'll do it later.]
Also: the page at upper right claims different numbers of planes shot down (121) as well as aviators killed (1300) but that is the job of propaganda. That, or they just got it wrong. The reports from the gunners on the B-17s recorded many times the number of Luftwaffe planes shot down than actually were--this could be due to several/many gunners shooting the same plane, and so on.
Years ago on this blog I wrote a short piece on the bombing of Great Britain as reported in the Illustrirte Zeitung--it is worth a look. http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2008/03/bombing-england.html
The Nazi propaganda office published this effort (printed in August 1940) with every intent of making it seem as though it was produced in the U.K. as a sober reconsideration of fighting against the Germans, casting much of the argument in terms of economics. It was a relatively soft-sell effort in a hearts-and-minds campaign, hitting its target audience with reminders of how alone everyone on the British Isles were in the hard summer of 1940.
These two maps compare the economic and trade situation of 1914 and 1939, from the Nazi perspective. In 1914, the British, "as a preliminary condition for the success of the hunger-Blockade, only achieved, however after four years if struggle during which Britain was to sustain heavy losses". They announce with exclamation (!) that for 1939 there was:
"a totally different situation! The encirclement of Germany miscarries, leaving way for the expansion of Germany, and the way for her trade with neutral countries, especially with the Balkans and Russia...thus is the blockade against Germany a hopeless enterprise".
The Nazis' state that "Britain...energetically refuses to admit the hopelessness of her winning this trade war and tenaciously grasps upon all kinds of unfounded rumours...", all the while refusing to discus the bombing of Britain or any other aspect of military war
After a dozen pages of making the case against the British position in being able to take care of itself, there is this folding quantitative display, making a diametrical-pictorial presentation of the British failings. The Nazis show that they overpower the British in the ability to supply itself with grain, flour, meat, cooking fat, cheese, eggs, sugar and vegetables--in every area, in fact, except for fish.
This is the summation of the pamphlet, the last paragraph, asking the Brits to just give it up and quit their fight.
Nothing quite says crazy like crazy eyes, and the best sort of crazy eyes are Commie. At least that is what we are led to believe in ("Attorney") Jeremiah Stokes' identity-romp through Democratic politics in his enormously-titled America's Castle of Freedom under Bolshevik Fire on Our Home Front Fateful Facts All Americans Must Know...
In what may be the first time I have seen someone identify themselves as an attorney in nearly 40 years of hard reading by putting the word in front of their name on the title page, Mr. Stokes fills up the title on the front of his pamphlet with 13 additional points. There are points in this slippery-mortared wall of protection that are salient; on the other hand there's a lot of Commies-in-the-pink-sheets stuff too--particularly his indictment of President Roosevelt as a Communist agent.
There are other pamphlets here that also make this claim--of Roosevelt's constitution-crushing pagan Communism--but none I think are accompanied by the ad hominem assault giving him those crazy Commie eyes.
Here's the surprise: I thought that this publication would have been published in 1936/7 or thereabouts, but it actually came out in 1944, deep into Mr. Roosevelt's superior presidency and nearly at the end of a war in which he played a broad part in winning. Mr. Stokes had some old scores to settle with the Democrats, and he used a very broad brush on a very small canvas. People were very concerned about the Soviet Union in 1944, even as it had just emerged a year before from the meat-grinder assault by Germany. Mr. Stokes was getting his readers ready for what was ahead, and for the Communist infiltrators that were already at home. While Stokes (from Salt Lake City, 1877-1954) could be considered far-right politically, he late in life married Elizabeth Dilling, a propagandist of means who was far-right to his far-rightism.