A Daily History of Holes, Dots, Lines, Science, History, Math, the Unintentional Absurd & Nothing |1.6 million words, 7000 images, 3.6 million hits| Press & appearances in The Times, The Paris Review, Le Figaro, MENSA, The Economist, The Guardian, Discovery News, Slate, Le Monde, Sci American Blogs, Le Point, and many other places... 3,000+ total posts
This is a piece of Nazi propaganda showing relative population densities for France, England, and Germany in the 1930's, showing that Germany was far more 'crowded" than the other two countries, and that the necessity for conquering other countries for "living space" was justified. A poor argument believed by millions. (I should point out that the German's Germany is the only one featuring children (eight including an infant in a pram), and that the Brits are shown in a creaky/slouchy fashion.) It certainly got the point across--you didn't even have to read to understand the message.
Perhaps it would be surprising to some to hear that the leaderless leader of the United States that this pamphlet refers to is Franklin Roosevelt--I mean, I was surprised, but then again I guess the leader could've been any president, so long as the opposition was viperous enough.
The title sounds pretty familiar, and to my experience is probably applicable to just about every presidential campaign since perhaps Woodrow Wilson. This is a policy-based and argumentum ad hominem but thoroughly polite screed by Wadsworth Maximillian against Franklin Roosevelt, and was published in seems at the beginning of the 1936 campaign. There's much that Maximillian takes aim at, but a lot has to do with Roosevelt's "Brauin Trust" and in the author's mind turning over the running of the country to an not-elected group rather than the elected president. But then again there's not much that Roosevelt was doing on his own that didn't provoke some ire in this pamphlet--Roosevelt and the entire Democratic Party, which here is the party of the destruction of the U.S. constitution. (The attack actually begins with Woodrow Wilson, who was handed his victory as a result of T. Roosevelt splitting the Republican interest...)
At the end the author quotes Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, saying that there is a new Civil War, and that Roosevelt as a one-man government is on the other side of where Lincoln was in the fight to preserve the country. And so on. I know it can feel as though the political attacks that are head on the radio and read in the press sound a lot like this pamphlet--unfortunately this genre is nothing new.
Yankee Imperialismus und Dollar Diplomatie by O. Preusse-Sperber is a rant against the United States--not so surprising as it was published in 1918, the last year of WWI. I've selected this to share because of the cover art more so than the content. This is an interesting copy of a scarce little work (only four copies are located in the OCLC including Smith College, the British Library, Bibliotheque Nationale, and BM Lyon, while Harvard and the NYPL have copies but not originals) and has a nice provenance of its own, coming to me from the Library of Congress Pamphlet Collection via the Hoover War Library at Stanford.
The original is available for purchase at our blog bookstore, here.
There are so very many names and addresses and number and connections and plans and schemes and possibilities and roundabouts and subversions and plots and twists and turns in this document, so many possibilities and impossibilities that the sheer weight of them is enough to make this eight-page work weigh about 20 pounds. It is an incredible piece of outsider-y thinking with so many moving and mis-directed/re-directed parts that it gives one a headache to think about unraveling its massive mess. But the opening salvo, the questions about the dueling-but-partnered-Hoovers being special Communist agents is quite enough to get the point across about what the document is or isn't about--in the end the secret and not-so-secret connections makes the thing about everything and so nothing.
And the full first page (which is also the cover):
This 42-page oversized pamphlet renders its vicious criticism mostly by cartoon, a cartoon on every page, and mostly a lie (or a group of them) to go along with it. The work is ostensibly that of a republican (the pamphlet "priced low enough to enable every Republican to buy a copy for his Democratic friends" but it is really far beyond that. It is tremendously anti-Communist, and anti-Socialist, and so much so that it swings far to the right of right-winger Conservatives who are beyond the reach of right-wing Republicans, all the way over to fascism.
The original pamphlet is available for purchase via the blog's bookstore, here.
The work was publish by the Loyal American group, an organization under the direction of W.Henry MacFarland jr, whose organization "promptly identified as a fascist organization by the U.S. Attorney General", and hung around long enough to be added to a list of fascist/hate groups in the Preliminary Report on Neo-fascist and Hate Groups by the Committee on Un-American Activities (December 17, 1954). I'd reproduce more of the artwork, but the pamphlet is brittle and won't go onto the scanner without breaking. The remarkable front and back pages should serve the purpose of the publication....
I was reminded of this 1951 pamphlet yesterday, a softly-shocking piece of Red Scare propaganda that played on everyone's fear and offered not much more than newspaper and a hole for protection from a nuclear attack. But the thing I hadn't noticed before was how quiet the very noisy cover is.
The point of view here is from a suburb, or exurb, and there seems to be nothing going on--not only is there no activity, but there are also wide swaths of no buildings where there should be. For example the second car on the right is parked at an empty city block-blob, and the whole of the foreground seems to be intensely deserted. It strikes me as odd, given that there is an enormous explosion going on less than a mile away. There is definitely a scene of destruction at the base of the explosion, though we also see the slight outskirts of the city dotted with factory silhouettes, which makes me think that this part of the illustration was also selling a hope-to-survive-vibe.
Covers of pamphlets/comics are legion with more vicious examples of apoca-art--even those publications aimed at kids, like this one--so it wasn't like the times were too gentle to portray real destruction and chaotic noise and viciousness, so I'm not sure what this artwork is really trying to achieve--except that it does manage, in away, to convince a viewer that there may be some calm in the soup of horror.
The Luftpost was an Allied propaganda newspaper delivered as we see by the RAF and USAAF--and this one, "delivered" in the closing days of the war on April 11, 1945, is loaded with information that was meant to undermine any German resistance with news of the collapse of the Wehrmacht. "Bremen and Hannover are Threatened" and "Across the Leine, Goettingen and Wuerzburg have fallen"; its was reported that the Luftwaffe "reappeared" and 101 of them duly destroyed; fighting in Yugoslavia going well, in Italy there was "a new massive onslaught", and "endless columns" of newly-surrendered German troops have added themselves to the million+ existing German POWs. And on and on in a litany of destruction and demise and death of Germany. On the reverse are several photos showing American rations going to German families, milk going to children, and the people of Munchen-Gladbach receiving their first instructions from the occupying military government. In short--the delivery of food and health and structure from the Allies, offering a safe and real alternative to fighting.
These two, related, pamphlets were the products of the Nazi Propaganda engine and sought to affect the moral and intellectual stamina of the people in the occupied countries of the Netherlands and France in 1943. Each stressed the enormous differences in the German state that took place in the 25 years between the end of World War I and the third year of the Nazi European part of World War II. I’ve no idea whatsoever about the grander symbology (if any) of these numbers associated with these two pamphlets (the Roman numeral for “5” and the 25 years of the difference and the “13” points (of the French propaganda) aside from the obvious mathematical implications.
(The only interesting bit that I can find in the “18=43” from the French pamphlet is Luke 18:43 “Immediately the man could see again and began to follow Jesus, glorifying God. All the people saw this and gave praise to God.”. ) I find it curious that identical symbolism (?) was used for the two countries, and that the French version was simple comparative text (summarizing the differences in the two periods of time) while the Dutch version was mainly a picture book.
I would reprint the French version if it wasn't so bloodily hateful. (Suffice to say that this is so by looking at one example: in the last of the second issue of 13 points Goebbels et alia wrapped themselves in the insulating fabric of the German “people” in the “resistance” against “Jewish saboteurs”—not the German political machine, and not the German military, but the German people, insinuating that the Nazi annihilation of the Jewish people was de facto sanctioned by the will of the German nation. This is of course part and parcel of the fictitious and loathsome Protocols of the Elders of Zion (of which Henry Ford was a happy reader), a French work that was completely stolen and plagiarized by Imperial Russia in the early 1880's and which, later, Hitler used to both build his hate against the Jewish people and use (and acknowledge ) as the template for his early actions in the Nazi Party.)
The maps used in the Dutch publication are fairly general and issue a stark warning about the growth of Germany--and how Germany continues to grow through war. The first that we reprint, above, tries to get the point across to the occupied people that England has more problems to deal with than would concern their attention with the Netherlands. The second part of the first map crazily shows the attack upon England and the effectively exhausting attention it has to pay to many points of invasion. Ditto for the second map, showing the spread of American concerns--the U.S. in 1943 would have far more to deal with in many points in a two-ocean war than to concern itself with or have the ability to think about the liberation of Europe and the Netherlands. The last map shows the supposedly extraordinary growth in Germany's industrial and agricultural capacity.
In short, the maps tell its readers to just keep quiet, the German nation is mighty, and just wait for the end of the victorious German war. The maps also addressed non-readers--of course the Dutch literacy rate was extremely high, but you didn't have to be able to read the description of the map to understand its blunt message. (This makes me wonder if the maps really weren't intended for scare tactics against children.) As Boss Tweed once infamously reported--that he had no fear of editorials because his constituency couldn't read--he hadn't counted on the political cartoons of Thomas Nast--which could be understood by a non-reader--and which wound up being one of the direct causes of his exposure and downfall.
This is a map of The End: "One Week over Germany"..."a week of retaliatory fire" ('vergeltungsfeuer"). It is a piece of propaganda dropped on Germany along with high explosives, a small convincing element to entice soldiers to surrender and save Allied lives in the final push to Berlin.It is a map that shows much more than just the beginning of the end--it is the ending of the end, two-moves-to-mate. No more failed stalemate, no more breakouts, no more attacks, no more nothing.
I'd find it hard to believe that any Germany soldier would disbelieve what this map represented.
One thing is for sure--this pamphlet, which has no place of publication or date--was definitely a German war propaganda effort, printed in English, published in Germany, and I guess distributed wherever the English-language-winds and luck would take it. My copy come from a collection that I purchased from the Library of Congress, and it is luckily stamped August 6, 1940, for the date it was received by the library. So the summer (or earlier) of 1940 is the date: the Battle of Britain had begun in July, Dunkirk had been evacuated June 4, France surrendered a few weeks later, and the war was not going well for the U.K. Germany was still a year away from their disastrous attempt to conquer the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa, and at this time in 1940, the U.S.S.R. was its vital trading partner. Great Britain was waging a successful economic war/blockade against Germany, which was without any real finance and with no reserves to purchase foreign goods, so in spite of the successes of the invasions and Blitzkreig, the Brits were enjoying a certain level of success. And so this pamphlet appears, one of others, a small part of a hearts-and-minds campaign to try and apply pressure to Britain's allies to convince her to sue for peace.
The main thrust of the maps of the pamphlet was to show Germany surrounded by not-threatening allies, pillowed by neutrals and countries it had overtaken (with no attempt made to label Poland). The interior map (above) is a very faint attempt to show the comparative strength of Germany being surrounded by neutrals in 1939 as compared with being surrounded by enemy countries in 1914. The message of course was that Germany was strong in 1914-1918 in spite of the "threatening" neighbors, so with relatively benevolent neighbors in 1939 they would be even more effective as a war-making national machine. Perhaps this had some influence somewhere, maybe among the Vichy French. And some elements in the U.S.
This is an extraordinary title page, what with so much information and narrative and data and salesmanship and so on, right there on the cover,conveying twists and turns and temperature and a challenge from the Dogs Days of New Orleans, all challenging the reader to open the pamphlet for a look inside. There are legions of examples of Title Pages of Enormous Complexity and Content that drive from the Renaissance on into the 19th century, but in my experience for the vast majority of them you actually have to open the book to get there. Here the hear of the pamphlet is worn right on the sleeve--and once the pamphlet is opened it gets right down to business, dispensing with the title page entirely.
The work is dedicated to propagandizing the highest qualities of the state of Louisiana--and New Orleans itself--in order to attract new people to come to the state, and doing so in a convention/conference. As stated on the cover, it is "The first one ever held in the history of the country; and which had for its object strictly and solely, to obtain data and statistics; and a statement from these new "Sons of Louisiana" giving their own personal experience ranging from 6 months to forty years of residence, regarding the health and climate of Louisiana, held at the very hottest season of the year during the "Dog Days" in New Orleans, La., August 7th and 8th, 1888, at Grunewald Hall and their invitation to their former neighbors."
It seems a not-so-calculating throw-of-the-dice to hold the meeting in New Orleans in August. True it doesn't get Phoenix-hot, but then again there's the 75-point difference in humidity that does make all the difference in the world. After having suffered through two massive blizzards that year (in January and March, 1888), perhaps the prospect of 92/72 temp/humidity didn't seem nearly as painful as frigid and 50 inches of snow.
This pamphlet certainty has entry to the evocative Fantastic and Improbable Pamphlet Covers Collection, though I was a little stumped by not being able to make it reveal itself to me with a short effort. It was written by J. Kmicic and from what I can see was probably published during WWII, though there is no publishing information and nothing in the text to hang a firm date on. (There is a periodicals reception stamp in it from November 1946 fro the periodicals division of the Library of Congress, but that doesn't mean it was accessed right after publication, though it does put a limit to how old it isn't.) As it turns out the keys to WWIV is Poland. That a very strong and heavily armed Poland would be the cornerstone of a defense of the West in the East, that the further the extent of a strong Polish eastern border reached the greater the play "of our Western culture will extend". Kmicic makes the case that it if Poland were stronger then it could have resisted Napoleon (evidently WWI), and the Kaiser (making WWI into WWII) and Hitler (WWII=WWIII). The WWIV part is murkier because there isn't a clue so far as I can tell that the author knew what happened to Poland when the Nazis fell and the Soviets moved in. Had that been the case, the call for having a strong and unified Poland would probably not have been played so heavily. A "Mighty Poland", Kmicic writes, means "freedom for all smaller nations of Europe" and therefore "the impossibility of world war". There are a few things that I've missed no doubt in my speed-read, but I was just after the cover, anyway.
Hitler and Company tied to sell the idea of an aggressive Polish nation, that the attack launched on 3 September 1939 was a preventative measure to stop the advance and attack of Poland against Germany. Not too many people believed it--at least outside of Germany--but Hitler tried it out, anyway. And why not? When most of everything he said was grounded in The Big Lie, why not pile it on? The great the untruth, the more impossible it is, and the ore you say that you believe it to be the case, the more of a possibility exists for others to believe it, too--because who in their right mind would say something so insane about something else that is equally unbelievable? Therefore, the insane statement much be so. That's part of The Big Lie.
I found this arresting map in a tiny publication called ...Sans Condition, which was published in the first half of 1943. The publication is only 12 pages long but has a number of evocative images of Germany being bombed and lines of German POWs, in general a propaganda piece for French-speaking folk (which was printed god-knows-where) produced deep in the war and at a time when the tide has about turned on the Nazi regime.
The title of this post is the title of the map, "Ils ont decide ou, quand et comment les Allies lanceront leurs attacques"--and you don't need to know French to know what it says.
And the cover, which is basically "Surrender Without Condition":
Just a reminder that even blattant and bad propaganda has its sub rosa content...
This is a nasty (pronounced nazty) piece of work by the loftily-named League for Constitutional Government, comparing Roosevelt's New Deal legislation and program to an overall regime for world domination under Socialist and Communist dictums/control. Everything is Communist, and whatever wasn't Communist was Socialist, and there really wasn't to much of a distinction in anything, except that under everything else were the Jews. It is rough and bumpy work, not well written, not well thought-out, though there was a lot of action that was taking place between the badly-formed lines, and if you looked a little hard at it everything starts turning up Fascist.
It turns out that the League for Constitutional Government is a tough bit to research from home, with not that much written on the organization itself, though there is a fair amount of what can be learned about it by the company it keeps int eh histories of Right-Wing-Lugnut political movements from that period, and all of that association thus far is Fascist. It appears in lists along with the National American ("America's National-Socialist Party"); "The American Guard, "The White Man's Party"; the German American Bund; America First; local bad boy Charles Pelley of Silver Shirts infamy; and in publications including The Revealer, a Christian News Journal, Social Justice, ( a Reverend T,. Coughlin organ), just to name a few. It is in comfortable splendor with far Christian right organizations like the Christian Patriots (see Mark J, Mozzell, God at the Crossroads, p.209), and evidently worked to gain control of the east coast section of the America First party (found via Ruth Sarlesp's The Story of America First, page 28). There's also quite a spread on Fascist organizations in America that appeared in Life magazine (March 6, 1939, "Fascism in America: Like Communism It Masquerades as Americanism").
And then there is this from the "Anti-Jewish Propaganda Front" issued by the American Jewish Committee in 1937 (here):
I had never heard of this League for Constitutional Government before last night, and had a difficult time making my way through its somehow dense and loosely packed four-page contents--until it dawned on me that what I was really reading was Fascist propaganda--and that was surprising, mainly because it was so early on it the history of Fascist stuff going on in America.
My copy of this document was once owned by H.L. Mencken, who gave the thing to the Library of Congress, which in turn decided it wasn't worth having around (at least in duplicate). I don't need to own it either, though as a piece of quiet-ish political junk it should be somewhere to remind people that even in flaming propagandistic rhetoric there's more reading to be done between the lines.
This propagandistic political broadside and map had an influence in the thinking of voters in the 1884 presidential election--and in fact it was mostly wrong. That "wrongness" was perpetrated for the Democratic Party at the expense of the Republicans, and held influence for dozens of years in helping to form the idea that the Republicans gave away huge chunks of American land to railroad companies in corrupt deals.
The map: How the public domain has been squandered, map showing the 139,403,026 acres of the people's land - equal to 871,268 farms of 160 acres each, worth at $2 an acre, $278,806,052, given by Republican Congresses to railroad corporations , published by the Rand, McNally & Company, Chicago, 1884, is the culprit.
Well, some healthy percentage of those land deals were rigged/crooked--but not nearly all; and in fact there were huge sums of money raised by the government in granting enormous land offerings to the railroad companies, who were also monetarily encouraged to continue making their ways west. There were definitely multiple aspect in all of this.