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
I recently unearthed this rare eyewitness account of Nazi concentration camps, printed in 1945. Since there are only two copies of it located by WorldCat/OCLC, and I'm finding no mentions for it online, I've decided to reproduce it online.
The work: Marguerite Montré-Dardant, 2 camps, 31 prisons, texte de l'allocution prononcée à Limoges le 5 mai 1945.. préface de Fonvieille-Alquier. 32pp. (with sections on Auschwitz, Ravensbruck, Mauthausen).
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.
Katherine Pollack (b 1905) wrote this informative pamphlet in 1932--it is red though Ms. Pollack wasn't. She did have a solid and liberal background--Ethical Culture School in NYC, economics at Vassar, grad work at Columbia, "tutoring, teaching and writing for the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers (1927-49), Brookwood Labor College (1929-32)...field work in Southern textile mill towns and West Virginia coal camps..."1, and then on to national offices for the CIO and then the AFL-CIO.
I hate to say it, but I was drawn to the pamphlet for the design. It turns out that Ms. Pollack had the Right Stuff, and knew her business, and lived that life. I'm glad to have made her acquaintance.
The pamphlet was published by the Brookwood Labor College (1921-1937) evidently the first U.S. college devoted to the study of labor, and published in 1932.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 712 (from 2011, extended, with a full text scan of Children Who Work in the Nation's Crops by Gertrude Folks Zimand, National Child Labor Committee, 1939.)
“The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken…” Lloyd Demause
"Give me other mothers and I will give you a better world." St. Augustine, (who does not mention fathers in this context).
The history of kindness to children is a wicked road to tread—I’m not sure why I’m even thinking about it had I the subject not been awakened by bumping into the map seen below. Without any real directed reading on the topic I’ve intuitively felt that “childhood” as an idea, as a part of human development in the Western world, was a young, newish innovation. The simplest way to perhaps measure this is looking for representations of children as children in Medieval and Renaissance art—that is to say children drawn not as little/miniature adults, but drawn as children actually appear. This does not happen very much at all in the early Renaissance, and virtually never happens in the Medieval. Even when looking for images of Christ as a baby in early art it is far more likely to find him depicted as a little man than it is to see him as a child. Children certainly seem to make more appearances as themselves in book illustration (excepting the obvious works on anatomy and childbirth) beginning in the early 16th century, and I’ve a number of reproductions here of children with learning-to-walk walkers and toys from this period. So at the very least the recognition of the concept of difference in very very young adults as “children” in art took a much longer (and unexpected at least to me) time to develop as a concept. And this is only the barest concept, at least recognizing childhood as a stage of development, which doesn’t necessarily say anything about the aspect of kindnesses expressed to them simply because of this stature. That’s an entirely different story.
One way to measure this aspect of childhood--the history of kindness towards children--is in terms of how much work society allowed them to perform in the adult world—and again, it would be shown that it was discovered only recently. As an issue of moral and responsibility, child labor was regulated first in England in a long series of Factory Acts (13 separate acts from 1819 to 1961, including 1819, 1831, 1833, 1844, 1847, 1850, 1874, 1878, 1891, 1901, 1937, 1959, 1961) . That first breathe of morality and responsibility towards happiness (where happiness means not being exploited) codified that children younger than nine were not allowed to work, and that kids between the ages of 9 and 18 could only work up to 72 hours in a six-day week1. Children were used freely and copiously for work in fields, in chimneys, in mines, and in tough bugger places that couldn’t be reached by full-grown adults, as well as in places that could use little hands, or suspended in places where a lightweight helper could be slung, and so on.
Historically speaking, controlling children seems to have been the major part of dealing with a child: from controlling its body function (with enemas and such), to movement (swaddling to completely restrict motion), to crying (dunking a crying infant in a pail of ice cold water to stop it from crying),and to mood (feeding fussy children liquor and opiates to make it docile. ) The severe beating of children was the great "other" option in dealing with all manner of childhood issues, the thorny crown of behavior modification. On this point Lloyd Demause in his “The Evolution of Childhood” examines 2000 statements of advice on child rearing prior to the 18th century and found that most advocated severe beatings. He noted that the severity of the beatings was common and “a regular part of the child’s life.” The instruments of behavior advocacy here included “whips of all kinds, the cat o’nine tails, shovels, iron and wooden rods, bundles of sticks, the discipline—a whip made of small chains--, and special school instruments like the flapper, made to induce raising blisters.” (Demause, page 41.) Rousseau—hardly alone among the great philosophers—advocated whippings and beatings from infancy; plenty of the great social thinkers from this period and earlier had little use or accommodation for children, even their own.
There’s also the controlling of the mind via images and fear and promise of retribution of hell, as well as the introduction of spooks, ghosts, goblins and other sorts of child-stealers and –eaters. You’d think that the rough and tough and pretty scary stories of Brothers Grimm would be enough, but it doesn’t come close to the really scary guys: Mormo, Canida, Poine, Sybaris, Acco, Empuss, Gorgon, Ephiatles and others were brought in to do the job of control that spanking and beating and hell couldn’t modify.
Then there’s the sexual misconduct and abuse, which was evidently deep and well practiced for thousands of years, with older Roman men and Athenian rent-a-boy being famous examples of something wider and established. Just from reading a bit through some of the standard histories of childhood it is very easy to see the vast amount of sanctioned abuse that seems to constitute one of society's many sorely soft and cancerous underbellies.
Returning to child labor, for most people in the United States the grotesque nature of this activity was finally revealed to the great masses through the work of the legendary photographer Lewis Hine, whose documentary images of the conditions of children and the laboring classes was an extraordinary dose of reality. It took the unimpeachable foundation of the photograph to hammer home to people that children were being subjected to rigorous labor abuse. (The photo above shows children working in a glass factory at midnight.)
But Factory Acts and Lewis Hine et alia made only incremental change in the exploitation of the very young--evidently economies large and small were addicted to the idea. Which brings us to the map that started this thought: it appeared on the back cover of Children Who Work in the Nation's Crops, written by Gertrude Folks Zimand, and published by the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) in 1940. The map on the back cover shows the migration routes of the young workers:
There's no surprise to what the map showed, though it was a surprise to see the map itself. The NCLC is still around, and so are the children working in the fields. The map has stayed pretty much the same.
The rest of the pamphlet does not pamper the brittle semi-hidden world of the child laborer. I've included the entire work, below.
UNICEF states that there are still hundreds of millions of children being worked illegally throughout the world, and I can't help but wonder who it is that assembles those free Happy Meals toys (watch that copyright!) which are purchased in the millions for a penny or so apiece. When things like that are as cheap as they are, as impossibly cheap as they are, there must be someone, somewhere, paying the price.
1. The high points (taken from Wiki) of the Factory Act of 1833 stated:
Children (ages 14–18) must not work more than 12 hours a day with an hour lunch break. Note that this enabled employers to run two 'shifts' of child labour each working day in order to employ their adult male workers for longer.
Children (ages 9–13) must not work more than 8 hours with an hour lunch break.
Children (ages 9–13) must have two hours of education per day.
Outlawed the employment of children under 9 in the textile industry.
Children under 18 must not work at night.
provided for routine inspections of factories.
Also, good reads on the history of childhood:
G. Rattray Taylor, The Angel Makers David Hunt, Parents and Children in History George Payne, The Child in Human Progress Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood
Lloyd Demause,editor, The History of Childhood.
Children Who Work in the Nation's Crops
by Gertrude Folks Zimand, National Child Labor Committee, New York City January 1942
I have a pamphlet here issued by a furrier union around 1930 which vehemently denounced immigrants coming from a particular country, and described them in racist and bigoted detail for a half-page before another general rant against immigration in general; it was only after turning the page that I found out who the furriers were attacking--the Greeks. It could have been just about anyone--especially if the printing date was unknown. There are a number of pamphlets like that here in a small "misguided social movements" collection--it would be interesting to post a collection of the statements to see how much havoc the entry of Poles and Irish and Catholics and Jews and Greeks and Quakers and Chinese and Japanese and Koreans and Vietnamese and Italians and so on has been caused to the greatness of the United States. It might be sobering for some Wall-Builder types and stop-all-Muslim-immigration folks to read the history of anti-immigration movement and legislation and see how much of that impacted the lives of their forebearers, It may be impossible for people to believe that in certain sections of NYC in the 1920s that there were movements afoot to restrict further settlement of Norwegians, but it is true.
And so the reason for this recollection: the appearance of the pamphlet, An Appeal to American Citizens, published by the National Liberal Immigration League in New York City in 1910). This group was in favor of equality and acceptance of immigrants at a time when there were many very active nativist, restrictive, racist, and anti-immigration groups (and legislation), and laid out their conviction and approach very simply in this six-page pamphlet. It discusses the "victim of...prejudice" at the hands of "persons who, disregarding the teachings of religion that men should love their neighbor and welcome the stranger". They made good arguments, and given the brevity of the publication I reprint it in full:
James A. Fulton (b. 1874) asks Is Russia Expansionist? Address at session [sic] of "the Round Table", McKeesport, Pa and his answer is very much to his own liking: NO! No doubt self-published and then printed in 1947 Mr. Fulton asks his long-sentenced question in the first few pages and then answers it in the remaining text--his evidence is that Russia and its territories have "ups and downs" over the centuries, citing gains/losses in Turkey, Finland (somehow!), Poland (ditto!), Ukraine, and such. It is a difficult argument to read--not doubt Mr. Fulton had his sympathizers, though in 1947 I doubt that he had many. (The pamphlet is not "around", and given everything going on in 1947 I don't doubt its unpopularity--WorldCat/OCLC locates 3 copies.)
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.
I'm a day late for this post, but the pamphlet just surfaced this morning, and so I will go ahead with the May Day post on May Day Boxing Day. The pamphlet was written by Louis Budenz, who at the time was a Communist and editor of the Daily Worker, as well as a useful agent for the U.S.S.R. The pamphlet is liberal for the time (especially in regard to "Negro Freedom", but goes quite a few steps further to denounce the FDR re-election in order to ensure an isolationist/neutral path for the U.S. This was also the case for John L. Lewis, who advocated a similar stance--he was at the time in 1940 the leader (and founder) of the CIO and had been a champion of Roosevelt's from the mid 1930's (the CIO being the largest single contributor to the FDR re-election in 1936). Things got very messy with the war and the labor unions peeled away from Roosevelt--this was particularly true for the CIO which received a lot of economic support from the far-left and Soviet sympathizers. Part of the issue in 1940 so far as the war goes is that the Soviet Union was allied with the Nazis, so supporting a war effort against Hitler would be working against the Soviet Union. Lewis was vehemently apposed to not only U.S. involvement, buy also loans and war industry help to Britain. He advised his CIO members to vote against FDR in 1940, except few listened--membership voted 85% for Roosevelt, at which point Lewis took his ball and went home, leaving the CIO but taking the United Mine Workers with him, cleaving them away from the CIO. Things changed once Hitler attack the U.S.S.R. in June 1941, though Lewis was still a pain in the ass, advocating strikes during wartime, which was a verbotten thing. So far as Budenz goes, he too changed his tune once the Soviet Union was attacked, and after the war became a very vocal anti-Communist--a paid anti-Communist, collecting money from the F.B.I. for the stuff he knew about the CPA. He wound up testifying against a lot of people in the 1950's, and was much admired by Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
So. May Day was a labor-rights thing years ago, much more so than it is today, where it seems to be an anarchy/anarchist something or other. May Day 1940 was not such a pretty thing.
Witness from the Netherlands is a frank and concise eyewitness account from a Dutch Jew escaped to Canada, his account being published by the Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal in 1944. He tells of a calm period at the beginning of the occupation by the Nazis and their efforts to ingratiate themselves with the Dutch--one of those methods was to ostensibly form an emigration policy for the Jews and having them register with the "Central Committee for Jewish Emigration". The facade did not last long, and the rest of the pamphlet is devoted to the violence after January 1941. The rest of the story is left to the reader--the pamphlet is only about 4000 words, and it is a recommended read.
The account necessarily leaves out his escape routes and the people who helped him to escape; the same is said for the "non-Jewish Hollanders" who protected him and others "from Nazi persecution".
I've scanned the document and made it available below. There looks to be no copyright restriction on the 1944 original, and I won't add one. I could not find records of the pamphlet for sale, and an internet search reveals only seven hits (somehow) for the title phrase, with only two of those being for the actual pamphlet, and both of them being library records. (I don't have the time or resources to check textual references for the work in the standard histories of the Holocaust, unfortunately.)
WorldCat/OCLC find 10 copies located in high pedigree, with only copy copy in the U.S. and only three in North America: British Library, Royal Library (Copenhagen), Konniklijke Bibliotheek, NIOD Institute for War, Genocide Studies (Amsterdam), Harvard, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Tel Aviv University, National Library of Israel, and the Danish National Library.
The original is for sale in the blog bookstore: http://longstreet.typepad.com/books/2016/05/rare.html
This is certainly an early telling of this story, now so often repeated--it occurs in the address "Danmark", given by Joe Congress on the radio station WBYN (1430), Brooklyn, on September 30, 1941, at 10:15 p.m. The address came about a year and a half after the occupation of Denmark by Germany (April 9, 1940)--there was an mortifying existence between the Nazis and the Danes from that point out to the end of the war. It is in this broadcast where Congress tells the story of the King of Denmark and the Nazi flag.
The king, Christian X (1870-1947), observed a Nazi flag flying from a public building in Copenhagen, which was "a rank violation of the terms which Adolf Hitler imposed on Denmark". The King, riding on a horse, reigned it in, and addressed a German officer standing by the building with the flag:
"Take it down !" the King ordered a German officer in front of the building.
"Orders from Berlin," replied the officer.
"The flag must be removed before 12 o'clock; otherwise I will send a soldier to do it," the monarch declared.
"The soldier will be shot," warned the Nazi officer.
"I am the soldier!" said the King.
The Swastika came down.
It is a terrific story, and Congress heaps the praise on the king and on the Danes in general--but, on the other hand, he laments that there's little of this behavior going on presently in Denmark, and talks about the neutering of the police and branches of government. He does however talk about the growth of patriotic songs and poetry, which has become a new resistance weapon for the Danes.
Congress asks, "do not the Danes sing today, as they did years ago:
Fill up holes of ignorance, and bury
narrow selfishness beneath the sod.
Of the meek and soft evoke a people
That will bend its will alone to God."
Evidently they did, because Congress reports that in the growing community sings of Copenhagen that hundreds of thousands of people were turning out to sing in the squares and parks--10,000 stood in Faelldepark. It is a patriotic weapon "that the Nazis cannot match".
I looked up Mr. Congress and found this review of his broadcast, in Radio-News, for Auguast 9, 1941. It is remarkable in the small-world category because in this shrt review there is mentioned an interview with Alexander Uhl, foreign editor for PM newspaper, and someone who works and papers are here in my store.
Source: Radio Station WBYN, Brooklyn, NY (1430 Kilocycles). "Danmark", by Joe Congress, September 30, 1941. Transcript printed by Free Denmark, Inc., 80 Broad Street, NYC. My copy was received by the Library of Congress less than a month later.
The title of this little pamphlet is provocative--the content is even more so, and the description of the pogrom is more so yet. The author, Col. John P. Irish (1843-1923), was a Iowan transplanted to California, and a fire-breather, an orator and agitator for immigration, rights for the Japanese, votes for women, and other causes. The "Senator Phelan here is James D. Phelan (1864-1930), who was mayor of San Francisco 1897-1902 and the Senator 1915-1921, a racist used "Keep California White" as a campaign slogan for his lost reelection bid in 1920.
Full text here: https://archive.org/details/antijapanesepogr00iris
This was evidently republished (at least in part) on August 30, 1920, in the L.A. Times under the unlikely title of "Col Irish on the Japs".
[Source: University of California, Irvine: http://www.lib.uci.edu/sites/all/exhibits/immigrant/index.php?page=section_1]
Irish writes some very strong stuff, saying that the present anti-Japanese movement "has the same psychology as the Russian anti-Jewish pogrom" and that its leader was Senator Phelan. Irish states that Phelan "has no record of any benefit to the state in the Senate" and that he must "divert attention from his uselessness as a senator by backing the Japanese and trying to stampede the state by lying about them". Irish then spends the rest of his short pamphlet refuting the anti-Japanese program of Phelan.
Oh to be young and free and red! This pamphlet told of the joys and works of the Young Communist League of Britain, a youth version of the Communist Party of Britain. It was launched in 1922 and somehow survived until 1988. This pamphlet was published in 1937, which is probably the low point for the Stalinst Soviet Union for the decade of the 'thirties, which was very low, and enforced-famine-stricken, and murderous, as just about any in the history of worst decades. There's a lot in the pamphlet about fighting the Fascists in Spain, and not much more.
Become a member today! Be aware to fill in the form before mailing it out! (It looks like today that address is a two-storey apartment building.)
[Source: Women of Imperial Italy, by Alice Seelye Rossi; printed in Rome, 1937.]
Not anymore. Probably not so much in 1937, though I am sure that the picture of the "fascist" in the "fascist Woman" was prettier and rosier than what people would come to know by 1942. In 1937, when this pamphlet was published, the "women" were broadcasting far and wide--one aspect of radio propaganda from the Fascists in Italy, a hearts-and-minds attempt at a part of the coercion of Italia imperiale that occupied the years 1935 until the end of the war. By 1937 Mussolini's National Fascist Party (in power since 1922) had extended itself by occupying Libya and by invading Ethiopia; Albania, Greece, and Yugoslavia would come between 1939-1941, as would France, when Italy entered the war in 1940 and entered into the country at the tail-end of the German invasion. So the broadcast heard here in 1937 was the beginning of Italy looking for the "Fourth Shore", and deep into Mussolini's Fascist state. (Ezra Pound would also do his level best to look the part of traitor that he was, lobbying the Italians for years before being allowed to get on the air to broadcast to the Allies on his misunderstood and inscrutable economics, vicious and virulent anti-Semitism (offhandedly addressing the U.S. president as "Franklin Delano Jewfeld/Jewsevelt"), and general attempts to tell the U.S. population to not support the war effort against the Fascists and that instead they should be down on their knees praising Mussolini, who he saw as another Thomas Jefferson. And so on.)
I've shared the few pages in this brief pamphlet on the Fascist Woman as it appears in the pamphlet. For the great majority of people living in the U.S., Europe, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and many other places, the idea of the "fascist" would change dramatically in about a year, and then spin its grinding way downward until the start of the war in 1939.
JF Ptak Science Books (Expanding an earlier effort, Post 1870)
See also an earlier post to this blog relatign to this topic: Post-Renaissance People-in-Bed-in-Title-Pages, http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2012/08/post-renaissance-people-in-bed-in-title-pages.html
I don't have much to comment on in these images, just that they are striking and came to me in short order, and that they are all pretty narrow things. They could fall easily into aSkinny category, or perhaps better still, they might slide nicely into the prototype for a series of posts on The History of Lying Down. Or perhaps a combination of the two, or one being a sub-category of the other. Certainly a history of humans lying down would be fairly massive, but scaling it down to late 19th century images of skinny and lying down might narrow the field a bit.
The first, (above), is from Illustrirte Zeitung (Leipzig), and published in 1878; it depicts an American effort at simplified swimming, though sometimes when you simplify an already-simple thing, the results are fairly complex. I haven't much of an idea about how this would make sense, seeing that the body's strongest muscles are not being used at all; further, judging by the flag, this guy is moving feet-first, and the whole procedure, despite body suit, look as though it would be terrifically cumbersome and bloaty. And with the geartrain, plus the weight of the driveshaft and propeller, I don't know how anyone would keep afloat. Or how someone would keep their neck in that position for any period of time. In the world of Good Ideas, this would be an Anti-Good Idea.
Foot's Adjustable Chair Couch, which I found in The Illustrated London News for September 1902, was remarkable for its cushion-y formlessness, accepting the reader to itself like a body with a goiter. There's just something terribly wrong with it, reminding me somehow of undeserved and needlessly- rewarded comfort--too much comfort foully a perfectly reasonable invention like The Chair.
Next is this skinny, low, light semi-automated shaded hammock; little, narrow, and maybe comfortable to fit a 120-pound person. This appeared in the Illustrierte Zeitung, again, for 1892.
And for the 20th century contribution, there is this overflowing fabulosity from Hugo Gernsback--this is the only-tongue-in-check effort amongst these entries. The "electronic bed" appeared in a small 1945 pamphlet called Bizarre, and it is just that, and is certainly not hiding behind any lesser or ambiguous title. It seems to be a parody of small magazines and their advertising sponsors, and copyrighted by the very far-reaching Gernsback, who in 1926 started the first magazine dedicated to the genre of science fiction (Amazing Stories) and for whom the World Science Fiction Society’s annual award for Science Fiction Achievement is named (the “Hugo”). Gernsback evidently had a taste for cheeky parody, producing similar magazines to this called Quip, Forecast, Jolliers, Tame and Newspeep.
There is good lying down, and there is "bad"--that is, the lying down that we don't want to do, the lying down that we try all of our lives to postpone; that is, the lying down for the Big Sleep. Since it was difficult to absolutely diagnose death in some cases before the 1950's, there were some people who went to extreme measures to ensure that if they were buried prematurely that they would have some recourse int eh situation--for example,with the patent granted below, a buried person could activate a signal from the grave with very minor movements of the mouth, thus hopefully alerting some passerby to the fact that the dead isn't:
There are endless varieties of lying down--these are just five examples. The world is full of possibilities that are good, bad, and indifferent. Some are very bad (like the restraint beds for the institutionalized insane in the 19th century) and near-bad (the sleeping accommodations of 18th century sailors), and of course the fantastic Renaissance beds of the rich and famous, and so on.
This document, America First!...Confidential Statement, is a statement on this ostensibly-patriotic but actually loathsome and bilious hate organization--just goes to show that simply using "America" and exclamation marks does not make a patriotic organization. If you chose to read the document you'll see the a bit of the history of the organization, which was founded in 1934. It was pretty much over by 1938 though there were some continued publications past the beginning of WWII. True was arrested in July 1942 on sedition charges, which was more or less the end of the organization and then, after a few years, the end of True himself. He was a vicious opponent of President Franklin Roosevelt, and an absolutely disgusting anti-Semite.
In this piece, seen at left and below and reproduced in full, True attacks Roosevelt as a Communist/Socialist controlled by exterior forces bent on destroying the U.S. economic system. There was no appearance of his hatred of the Jews in this document, though that came in other venues, not the least of which was looking into Roosevelt's "Jewish ancestry". (This ideas was used by other people as well, as with the traitorous Ezra Pound when he made his racist/anti-Semitic radio broadcasts from Italy during the war, denouncing "Franklin Delano Jewsevelt" in addition to much more.)
In the first two paragraphs alone there was a deluge of logical blasphemy such as is difficult to imagine. For example, the principal of the "deluge of administrative propaganda" was no less than the "demoralization and control of American industry", led by Roosevelt as a "controlled socialist" whose "ultimate intention is the destruction of the most successful economic and financial structure the world has ever known". Roosevelt was intent on spreading the "poison" of Fabian socialism, seeding administrative operatives in newspapers, schools, and industry, to "pave the way for Socialist Dictatorship, under which the international combine would own or control everything in the United States". This was to be done by FDR's creation of agencies to control access to information: the NRA, control of wood pulp industry, control advertising via the Pure Food and Drug Act, controlling radio via the FCC, and of course implanting secret agent reporters in news agencies.
And so on and on this document drags its reader--even though it is only four pages long, it makes my eyes and brain feel as though it is forty.
True would be dead by 1946 (buried in an unmarked grave in the beautiful Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown D.C., home to some magnificent Tulip Poplars), two years after his trial ended in a mistrial due to the death of the judge. (It is possible that this document was an exhibit in the trial.) It turns out that America First! was replaced by a friend of the organization, two-star general George van Horn Moseley, who offered up his own fanatical and vicious "Americans for Constitutional Action", a vomitous organization hell bent on genetic and ethnic cleansing to rid the U.S. of immigrants and the Jews (who Moseley described as a "syphilis").
I bring this up now because of various noises I hear in the presidential campaigns which are leveraging fear and distrust and hate more so than in any campaign I have seen in my lifetime. The language may be different, but the sentiments are very closely related.