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the work of history

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    So we have three for “no, the term is fine”. There you have it anon… unless someone wants to disagree.


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    Eichmann in his cell, Getty.


    Eichmann in 1942.



    May 31, 1962: Adolf Eichmann is executed.

    After escaping U.S. custody at the end of World War II, this SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) fled to the “Nazi haven” of Argentina, where he lived in relative obscurity for ten years. His passport gave his name as “Riccardo Klement”. Although it had been suspected that Eichmann had been hiding out in South America prior to 1960, it was only that year that Mossad agents abducted and smuggled the notorious ex-Nazi to Israel for trial.

    David Ben-Gurion described Adolf Eichmann (who was in charge of the deportation and transportation of Jews in occupied Poland) as “one of the greatest of Nazi war criminals”. Eichmann’s case was hopeless; over a decade earlier at the Nuremberg Trials, his own former associates had more or less cemented his guilt as a principal organizer of the Holocaust. And his own quotes - for example:

    I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have five million human beings on my conscience is for me a source of extraordinary satisfaction.

    were equally damning. Over a hundred people testified against Eichmann, including former SS officers. He was convicted in 1962 on fifteen counts, including murder, sterilization, enslavement, starvation, deportation, persecution, and war crimes in general (plus the three additional charges of belonging to criminal organizations, those being the SA, SD, and Gestapo). For these, Adolf Eichmann was hanged shortly before midnight on May 31, 1962, fifty years ago today. 


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    :|

    Sorry. That just happens to be what I find most interesting (not to mention what I know best). 

    … So I guess that’s a no to the Eichmann trial gifs and the Andrey Vlasov post I was going to write?


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    I went to the bathroom and when I came back AHH all of a sudden MESSAGES. You guys are lovely, seriously - thank you for your all your support and compliments. I’m just sorry I can’t answer all of your messages individually.

    I have to admit, though, that every time I write posts related to Nazi Germany my thought process is essentially “I bet everyone who sees this post is going to sigh and say ‘again??’”, and I’m a little annoyed with myself. But I know that there’s a handful of people who follow me who also find that part of history fascinating, and some of them are Third Reich-centric blogs (although if it’s a matter of the uncomfortable/slightly morbid nature of the thing that bothers you, then please tell me).

    I do like other parts of history, I promise! I’ll try to branch out more, but I’ll sound extremely ignorant while doing so.

    Thank you guys too! Also, specifically at panzerkampfwagen-vi - everyday, I vow to do more than one post a day… tomorrow.


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    Oh, you just click that little thing that says ‘HTML’, and you make the font smaller, like so:


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    Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death - December 1961.

    The former SS-Obersturmbannführer, who was found guilty of all fifteen of his charges, was hanged in Ramla, Israel, on May 31, 1962.


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    Remember that ballet, The Rite of Spring, that caused a riot when it premiered in Paris in 1913? Even though the controversy is usually attributed to Stravinsky’s score, the original choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky is, in my opinion, way weirder. The dancing probably stirred up more controversy than the music, and both, together, make for an even stranger experience than either one by itself.

    The ballet has been choreographed (once famously by Pina Bausch) over 100 times, but this version here is a reconstruction of the original 1913 version. Imagine being a Parisian at the theatre in the early 1900s, enjoying Les Sylphides and its nice Chopin score and more traditional ballet feel… and then watching that right afterwards. 


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    More responses under the cut.

    It depends on what you mean by “know”… because if I’m going to be honest, I don’t really know a lot of details about anything. The proper question would have to be “do you enjoy studying the medieval period”, to which I would reply HELL YES. It’s badass, fascinating, and also misunderstood. 

    And probably, but I’m currently torn between the “do-what-you-love” path and the practical path. I’d like to know exactly what I’d be able to do with a history degree before I make a decision.

    I don’t know if this is public high school or some other school, but if it is a public high school, it’s interesting that your school dedicates a chunk of time to Nazi history. None of our high school history courses covered it extensively at all (probably because of the un-PC nature of the subject). 

    Thanks, guys! And if any of you want recommendations for other history blogs to follow, I’ve got a bunch…


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    (Making it reblog-able so that it’s easier for people to add on.)

    All of the blogs on the Tumblr Spotlight are highly recommended. Out of them, I follow Eff Yeah Asian HistoryMedium Aevum (the Middle Ages), Historicity (was already taken),Historical Nonfiction (for more general history and light reading), and a couple of others.

    Also, if you look under the History tag, there’s a list of Editors and Contributors who are also worth looking at. 

    European historyHistory of EuropeThe Stuart KingsHistoire (French history)Medieval,Victorian Era Fangirl Guide, Irish History, there’s a lot of them. I’ll add some more later.

    General (they tend to be Euro-centric though)It’s Johnsen (pictures!), collective-history,Lost SplendorF-YEAH History!I would argueHistory: the Ultimate Fandom.

    World Wars: The World at WarOnce Upon A Time in WarGreatest GenerationWE HAVE TO GO BACK. There are way too many World War blogs to list.

    Third Reich-centric: Fuck Yeah! Albert SpeerOnkel Speer (apparently a lot of people like Albert Speer), We will be victorious, they will not control uswafflekriegPanzerkampfwagen VIEin Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer, Angriff!, and more…

    Miscellaneous: Art of Swords (I love this blog so, so much), Women at WarCool Chicks from HistoryFUCK YEAH HISTORY CRUSHESFuck Yeah, History Foes! (funnier than its crush-counterpart), Latin American History, Fuck Yeah! and naturally, Fuck Yeah, History Major Heraldic Beast.

    Ancient History/Archaeology: All MesopotamiaOMG that Artifact!Babylon Chronicle,Archaeological NewsHistoriated (not ancient, but a lot of pretty things). 

    Art: Centuries PastUgly Renaissance Babies (hehe…), deadpaintwtfarthistory.

    America: Founding Fatherfest, Revwarheart (a lot of other history/culture, too), Encyclopedia Virginia (I need suggestions on this section). 

    You can also check out archives, libraries, and museums like U.S. National ArchivesLBJ Time MachineNew York Public Library, and Today’s Document.

    I feel like I’ve left out a lot of great blogs. If anyone has a blog to recommend, don’t hesitate!

    Recommended by others:

    SovieticoPPSh-41 - recommended by Fuck Yeah, History Foes!; both Russia-centric.

    The Devils GuardReparations - by Panzerkampfwagen VI; Third Reich-centric.


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    You’re welcome! I love your blog.

    Also, @ the anon who is asking about Church laws/rulings of the medieval period… I don’t think I’m going to be able to help you there. Looking at a list of papal bulls might help, though I’m not really sure what the context of your question is. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!


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    Felix Bracquemond, unpublished 1st ed.

    June 1, 1857: Les Fleurs du mal is published.

    Charles Baudelaire’s controversial book of poetry was divided into six sections, those being “Spleen and Ideal”, “Parisian Scenes”, “Wine”, the eponymous “Flowers of Evil”, “Revolt”, and “Death”. The first edition of Les Fleurs du mal sold out within a year of its publication, made possible largely by the scandal that arose because of Baudelaire’s “obscene” works, which according to judges incited in his readers “the excitement of the senses by a crude realism offensive to public decency”. The second edition, released in 1861, was published missing six poems (all of which remained banned until 1949).

    The six censored poems were LesbosWomen Doomed (In the pale glimmer…), Lethe, To One Who is Too Gay, The Jewels, and The Vampire’s Metamorphoses.

    Some choice lines…

    Lesbos, of sultry twilights and pure, infertile joy,
    Where deep-eyed maidens, thoughtlessly disrobing, see
    Their beauty, and are entranced before their mirrors, and toy
    Fondly with the soft fruits of their nubility;
    Lesbos, of sultry twilights and pure, infertile joy! (“Lesbos”)

    The strong beauty kneeling before the frail beauty, 
    Superb, she savored voluptuously 
    The wine of her triumph and stretched out toward the girl 
    As if to reap her reward of sweet thankfulness. (“Women Doomed”)

    To punish your bombastic flesh, 
    To bruise your breast immune to pain, 
    To farrow down your flank a lane 
    Of gaping crimson, deep and fresh. (“To One Who is Too Gay”)

    When she had sucked my marrow dry, I turned,
    Languid, to give her back the kiss she earned,
    Only to view, I fond and amorous,
    A viscid wineskin, nidorous with pus… (“The Vampire’s Metamorphoses”)


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    The people of Hong Kong celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation - June 1953.

    The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, in honor of her 60th year on the throne, is currently being celebrated in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth.


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    Four-year-old Prince Charles and the Queen Mother at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation - June 2, 1953. 

    Adorable. What do you think he’s saying?


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    June 2, 1953: Elizabeth II is crowned at Westminster Abbey.

    From the Queen’s coronation speech, which she delivered that evening.

    The ceremonies you have seen today are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past. But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now. I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust…

    I have behind me not only the splendid traditions and the annals of more than a thousand years but the living strength and majesty of the Commonwealth and Empire; of societies old and new; of lands and races different in history and origins but all, by God’s Will, united in spirit and in aim. 

    Therefore I am sure that this, my Coronation, is not the symbol of a power and a splendor that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by God’s Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.


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    Reading "Howl", 1966.




    with Bob Dylan.

    June 3, 1926: Allen Ginsberg is born.

    Allen Ginsberg, along with Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, defined the Beat Generation of postwar America. Ginsberg was born in New Jersey to a poet father and a Communist mother (for whom he wrote the poem Kaddish). He met Kerouac and Burroughs while studying at Columbia University, and the three soon-to-be literary pioneers soon found that they shared similar critical views on the growing conformity of post-war American society. Later in his life, Ginsberg also befriended other figures like Timothy Leary (the famous proponent of psychedelic drugs) and Bob Dylan (pictured above with Ginsberg in front of Jack Kerouac’s grave).

    In 1956, Ginsberg published his most famous work, Howl, which began with the famous lines:

    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
    Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
    to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night…

    The poem spoke frankly of illegal drug use and sexuality (and homosexuality); in 1957, Ginsberg came to international fame when “Howl” came under scrutiny in a well-publicized obscenity trial, which it subsequently won. Over time, it became the most popular poem to have been produced by the Beat writers.

    “Howl” was written to be performed, not merely looked at - listen to the poet himself read it on YouTube.


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    Edmund Dulac’s illustrations for “The Nightingale”.

     In the trees lived a nightingale, which sang so splendidly that even the poor Fisherman, who had many other things to do, stopped still and listened, when he had gone out at night to throw out his nets, and heard the Nightingale.

     “How beautiful that is!” he said; but he was obliged to attend to his property, and thus forgot the bird. But when in the next night the bird sang again, and the Fisherman heard it, he exclaimed again, “How beautiful that is!”. 

    From all the countries of the world travellers came to the city of the Emperor and admired it, and the palace, and the garden, but when they heard the Nightingale, they said, “That is the best of all!”


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    June 4, 1940: The evacuation of Dunkirk ends.

    After the end of the Battle of Dunkirk, over 300,000 French and British troops, trapped for days on the beaches and harbor at Dunkirk (Dunkerque) by German forces, were rescued and evacuated in what was soon called the “Miracle at Dunkirk”. On the first day of evacuation, only 7,000 troops were successfully rescued, but by May 29, tens of thousands of troops were being evacuated each day. Joining the French and British vessels (some of which were too large to move in close to the beach) in their effort came hundreds of private vessels - ferries, steamers, even yachts and fishing boats - dozens of which were actually Dutch ships that escaped German occupation. All of these collectively became known as the “Little ships of Dunkirk”. 

     For whatever reason, Hitler failed to seize this chance and crush the stranded Allied forces at Dunkirk - in 1945, as his Reich collapsed, he claimed that he had refrained from doing so in “sporting spirit” - according to him, the troops at Dunkirk had been spared by his own sense of fair play. In terms of avoiding a potential catastrophe, the operation was a success, though Churchill reminded the celebrating British people that “wars are not won by evacuations”. But at the same time, he praised the “Dunkirk spirit” and, foreseeing an imminent German attack on the British isles, made his famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech the same day the evacuation ended:

    We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.


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    Returning from Dunkirk - May/June 1940. 

    Suddenly the scene has cleared, the crash and thunder has for the moment- but only for the moment- died away. A miracle of deliverance, achieved by valor, by perseverance, by perfect discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill, by unconquerable fidelity, is manifest to us all. The enemy was hurled back by the retreating British and French troops. He was so roughly handled that he did not hurry their departure seriously. The Royal Air Force engaged the main strength of the German Air Force, and inflicted upon them losses of at least four to one; and the Navy, using nearly 1,000 ships of all kinds, carried over 335,000 men, French and British, out of the jaws of death and shame, to their native land and to the tasks which lie immediately ahead. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which should be noted.

    Winston Churchill - June 4, 1940.


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    June 6, 2012: Ray Bradbury dies at 91.

    The great American author (best known for his science-fiction works) of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and hundreds of other novels, short stories, plays, passed away today after “a lengthy illness”. The obituary that appeared in The New York Times calls him “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream”. Following Bradbury’s death, Steven Spielberg said of the author: “In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal”; President Obama remarked that “his gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world”. 

    More quotes from Bradbury and from his works:

    Books were only one type of receptacle where we started a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical about them at all. The magic is only with what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment.

    If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war.

    Stuff your eyes with wonder … live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

    If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.

    - Fahrenheit 451

    There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.

    - The Martian Chronicles

    A good night sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.

    The first thing you learn in life is you’re a fool. The last thing you learn in life is you’re the same fool.

    Dandelion Wine

    Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.

    “The Meadow”

    I wonder how many men, hiding their youngness, rise as I do, Saturday mornings, filled with the hope that Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck will be there waiting as our one true always and forever salvation?


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