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the work of history

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    Wannsee Villa





    January 20, 1942: The Wannsee Conference takes place.

    Named after the Berlin locality in which it took place, this meeting was called to assemble representatives from the main departments of the Nazi government to a single location where they could discuss the management of the “Final Solution” (Die Endlösung) - the Nazi euphemism used to describe the systematic annihilation of the Jewish people. 

    Reinhard Heydrich, the notoriously cruel and efficient head of the Reich Main Security Office, presided over the conference; Hitler’s “Hangman” is also thought to have lent his name to Operation Reinhard, the first step of the Final Solution. Other leaders present included Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo; Josef Bühler,representing the General Government of Poland; and representatives from the Chancellery of the party and Reich, the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories. Adolf Eichmann, who later served as (essentially) the Final Solution’s chief organizer (in charge of the technical and administrative aspects of extermination) attended the conference as its recording secretary. There was no question posed at the Wannsee Conference, or if there was, the question was not “should the Final Solution be carried out?”. Hitler and the officials serving in the highest echelons of his government had already decided that the Final Solution was not only inevitable but the “necessary consequence” the Jews would face for “plunging the nations once more into a world war”. 

    In preparation for the conference, Adolf Eichmann also compiled a list of countries, including allies, enemies, and occupied territories, and their Jewish populations, which added up to a total of over 11,000,000. Millions of these people were eventually deported in trains, along with millions of Poles, Romani, and individuals of other groups, from all over Europe to the labor camps and gas chambers of one of six extermination centers in German-occupied Poland. These camps, including Auschwitz II-Birkenau, had been built to facilitate the implementation of the Final Solution and to ensure that this plot was speedily and efficiently carried out.

    In 1992, the Wannsee villa became a Holocaust memorial. 

    Other links: English version of the Wannsee Protocol.


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    Thank you guys!! And I don’t mean “thank you” as a formality, I mean “thank you for making my experience on this website so fun and enriching” and “thank you for putting up with my ignorance” and “thank you for your feedback” and “thank you for teaching me new things” along with “thank you for following/reblogging/liking/etc” and “thank you for sticking with me”, especially since I admire some of you people so much for your quality blogging, and some of you are just plain sweet, and some of your URLs I recognize from late 2011, and I have more to thank you all for but I can’t really find the words to express it all.

    It’s really weird for me to think about this blog, because I started it sort of as a semi-personal study tool I was going to use to prepare for this high school history quiz bowl competition I had wanted to participate in… and then people actually started following it, and it kind of became more important to me than the competition itself. It was (and still is) a strange sensation to know that whatever I type (and whatever typos and misspellings I make), someone somewhere will read it, and overall it’s just been such a weird learning experience for me, and not just the learning history itself part, but learning how tumblr works and learning how to gif and use Photoshop and learning to move away from Eurocentrism, and even learning how to write with more clarity and structure and this blog is still just a huge work-in-progress and this is a run-on sentence/paragraph so I’m just going to stop this grammatical sacrilege right here by saying THANKS and STAY AWESOME.


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    Haha I really don’t know how to answer this without sounding condescending and/or gloaty, so I wonder if you wouldn’t mind sending me this message off anonymous?


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    I don’t read Shakespeare outside of school, so I’ve read whatever works my teachers have assigned, which are … Twelfth Night, Romeo and JulietThe Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth, and of those, Macbeth is by far my favorite. I mean, I understand why we read and are taught Shakespeare, but I cannot honestly say that I would ever pleasure-read anything he’s written - except for MacbethMacbeth is awesome.

    I’m supposed to be reading Hamlet this year, and I think I’ll probably enjoy it.


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    Jacques de Molay, tu es vengé!

    January 21, 1793: Louis XVI is executed.

    Louis XVI’s trial, which began in December of 1792, came to an end when (despite the king’s best efforts) the National Convention unanimously affirmed his guilt and convicted him of treason. In some ways he was lucky to have been tried in the first place; most Jacobins in the Convention opposed granting the king a trial, including Maximilien Robespierre, who claimed that to put Louis on trial would mean undermining the entire Revolution itself:

    Louis cannot be judged, he has already been judged. He has been condemned, or else the republic is not blameless. To suggest putting Louis XVI on trial, in whatever way, is a step back towards royal and constitutional despotism; it is a counter-revolutionary idea; because it puts the Revolution itself in the dock. After all, if Louis can still be put on trial, Louis can be acquitted; he might be innocent. Or rather, he is presumed to be until found guilty. But if Louis is acquitted, if Louis can be presumed innocent, what becomes of the Revolution?

    But the trial took place anyway, even if it ended the same way. It seemed as though regicide, even during a revolution, was not an undertaking many were willing to plunge straight into - at least not without a trial first. Of the 721 voters who were to determine the king’s fate, 334 voted for imprisonment versus 387 for death, and this relatively narrow margin decided that the pitiable former king (stripped of his titles and now called “citizen Louis Capet”) would become the first and last King of France to be executed by his own people. His overthrow and death meant the end, at least temporarily, of the Capetian Dynasty, which had ruled France continuously since the 10th century. 

    On the morning of January 21, 1793, “Louis Capet” was taken to Revolution Square, which had once been named after his own grandfather, Louis XV. According to eyewitness accounts, the king declared his innocence up until his beheading by guillotine, whereupon one of his executioners lifted the king’s freshly severed head by the hair and displayed it to the crowd, who burst into cheers at the sight. The crowd’s cheers and the artillery salute that rang out in celebration were supposedly loud enough to reach the ears of the surviving members of Louis’ family, imprisoned in Paris’ Temple fortress. The same year, Louis’ widow, Marie Antoinette, was executed by guillotine as well.  


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  • 01/21/13--13:01: “The Call of Cthulhu” 




  • “The Call of Cthulhu” 


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    I laughed so hard what

    Please step back from the keyboard and have a glass of cool water for both our sakes.


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    I have, and I wish you good luck with your blog! I hope you expand your blog’s content to black history beyond the Civil Rights Movement, but it looks nice so far. 

    And thanks!


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    January 22, 1973: The Supreme Court delivers its decision in Roe v. Wade.

    On this day forty years ago, the Burger Court handed down one of the most famous and controversial Supreme Court decisions in the nation’s history. In 1970, Norma L. McCorvey filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas under the alias “Jane Roe” after trying and failing to obtain an abortion, both through legal and illegal means, and later that year her case reached the Supreme Court. At the time, abortion was illegal in thirty states, available under certain circumstances (like incest and rape) in twenty, and fully available at request in only Washington, New York, Alaska, and Hawaii. In Texas, a statute forbade women from acquiring abortions except in cases where the mother’s life was at risk.

    The Court ultimately voted 7-2 to strike the Texas law down, establishing in the Court’s eyes abortion as a fundamental constitutional right. The usually conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger voted with the majority, which argued (in an opinion written by Harry Blackmun) that most state laws restricting abortion violated a woman’s right to privacy. Justices White and Rehnquist dissented.; White wrote that he could “find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to supported the Court’s judgment”. Endlessly controversial, Roe v. Wade divided the public forty years ago and continues to do so today. Norma L. McCorvey/”Jane Roe”, the woman at the center of the entire case, notably converted to Christianity in 1994 and became a spokesperson for the anti-abortion movement. 


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    There are some sources on the Internet but I would take them with a grain of salt because I have no idea how reliable they are…

    x

    This article has 20+ sources listed at the bottom, some of which (at a glance) seem to be very relevant to what you’re looking for - Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783Spain and the Independence of the United StatesSpain, Forgotten Ally of the American Revolution

    This page also has a list of sources. Does anyone else know of anything that might be helpful?

    Maybe check the Georgia and South Carolina State Archives? I believe the Spanish in Florida had a little influence there. Just a guess.

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    January 24, 41: Caligula is assassinated.

    Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, nicknamed “Caligula”, succeeded his moody great-uncle Tiberius as Roman Emperor in the year 37 AD. He was, at first, a popular ruler (mostly thanks to the popularity of his father), but Caligula soon proved himself an extravagant spender, in stark contrast to his predecessor, and unstable; contemporary accounts list among the many scandals associated with his name his attempt to appoint his horse to the Senate, his casual torture and execution of those who displeased him, and his supposed incestuous encounters with his sisters. Caligula’s decadence, cruelty, heavy spending, laughable military campaigns, and heavy taxation transformed him from a popular young emperor into a hated tyrant.

    During a sporting event, a member of Caligula’s own Praetorian Guard, Cassius Chaerea, led a group of officers to corner the emperor and assassinate him in a premeditated conspiracy that probably directly involved members of the Senate. Cassius attacked first, and he and the assassins stabbed Caligula around thirty times. According to legend (and artistic depictions), the assassins found Caligula’s uncle, Claudius, hiding in a curtain and proclaimed this pliant, infirm, and most unlikely of men Roman emperor. Hours later, Caligula’s wife, Milonia Caesonia, was killed along with their fiery-tempered infant daughter, Julia Drusilla, whose head was dashed against a wall. 

    After becoming emperor, Claudius sentenced Cassius to death, and he was executed soon after Caligula.


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    voguezombie:

    unhistorical:

    January 24, 41: Caligula is assassinated.

    Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, nicknamed “Caligula”, succeeded his moody great-uncle Tiberius as Roman Emperor in the year 37 AD. He was, at first, a popular ruler (mostly thanks to the popularity of his father), but Caligula soon proved himself an extravagant spender, in stark contrast to his predecessor, and unstable; contemporary accounts list among the many scandals associated with his name his attempt to appoint his horse to the Senate, his casual torture and execution of those who displeased him, and his supposed incestuous encounters with his sisters. Caligula’s decadence, cruelty, heavy spending, laughable military campaigns, and heavy taxation transformed him from a popular young emperor into a hated tyrant.

    During a sporting event, a member of Caligula’s own Praetorian Guard, Cassius Chaerea, led a group of officers to corner the emperor and assassinate him in a premeditated conspiracy that probably directly involved members of the Senate. Cassius attacked first, and he and the assassins stabbed Caligula around thirty times. According to legend (and artistic depictions), the assassins found Caligula’s uncle, Claudius, hiding in a curtain and proclaimed this pliant, infirm, and most unlikely of men Roman emperor. Hours later, Caligula’s wife, Milonia Caesonia, was killed along with their fiery-tempered infant daughter, Julia Drusilla, whose head was dashed against a wall. 

    After becoming emperor, Claudius sentenced Cassius to death, and he was executed soon after Caligula.

    this is king joffrey

    With some Aerys mixed in.

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    January 25, 1882: Virginia Woolf is born.

    Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.


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    No, but a lot of my friends play/played Age of Empires.


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    Tomorrow, January 27, is the U.N.’s designated date for International Holocaust Remembrance Day


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    imageespagueti-frequente replied to your post: Tomorrow, January 27, is the U.N.’s designated…

    Do you know if they’re planning anything to commemorate the Romani people and other PoC killed?

    EDIT: okay, this year’s date is centered around the theme “the Courage to Care” and mentions specifically “Jews, Roma and Sinti”, so the answer to your question is a definite yes.


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    Settela Steinbach was captured in this famous photograph (the same shot can also seen at around the 7:16 mark of this footage) in 1944 as she was being moved in a train from a camp in the Netherlands to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Although her face was well-known, her name and connection to the Romani (specifically the Sinti people) was unknown until 1994; until then, she was assumed to be Jewish. 

    Steinbach died in Auschwitz, along with nine members of her family and 23,000 Roma and Sinti, not long after her arrival there. 


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    January 27, 1945: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz concentration camp.

    The Auschwitz concentration camp network, which included Auschwitz II-Birkenau, Auschwitz III-Monowitz, and dozens of smaller satellite camps, collectively made up the largest concentration camp run by the Third Reich over the course of the war. The first prisoners arrived at Auschwitz in May of 1940; by 1945 millions of people had passed through - and died - in Auschwitz, with Rudolf Höss estimating a total death toll at 3,000,000 Jews, plus hundreds of thousands of Poles, Roma, prisoners of war, and any other social and political “undesirables”. Because the Nazis destroyed records and many of the camp facilities in an attempt to mask the extent of their crimes as Red Army forces approached, exact numbers are difficult to ascertain, but the generally accepted death toll is around 1.3 million people, who died from gassing, sickness, and starvation.

    The original camp, Auschwitz, served a variety of purposes: a prison to hold enemies of the Third Reich/General Government; a steady source of enslaved laborers; a relatively small-scale extermination camp. Medical (in the loosest sense of the word) experimentation was also performed on prisoners at Auschwitz I, including those conducted by the notorious “Angel of Death”, Josef Mengele. Construction began on Auschwitz-Birkenau in late 1941 in preparation for the implementation of the “Final Solution”. Although it was referred to as a prisoner-of-war camp, there was no hiding what purpose this second camp would serve, thanks to the gas chambers and crematoria that made up the tools of Auschwitz-Birkenau’s murder machine. There was even a separate “Gypsy camp” where thousands of Roma and Sinti prisoners were sent to be exterminated. 

    When liberation by oncoming Soviet forces became imminent (which it seemed by late 1944), orders were sent out to blow up the camp’s facilities, along with orders to exterminate the remainder of its prisoners. The latter orders were never carried out, but evacuations (i.e. death marches) to other camps did take place. Sadly, the only prisoners the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army managed to free by the time they arrived on January 27, 1945, were those too sick to walk with the rest. They numbered around 7,500, compared to the 50,000 plus who had been forced on the march. One Russian officer describes the scene of the liberation:

    They [the prisoners] began rushing towards us, in a big crowd. They were weeping, embracing us and kissing us. I felt a grievance on behalf of mankind that these fascists had made such a mockery of us. It roused me and all the soldiers to go and quickly destroy them and send them to hell.

    A child survivor, only ten years old at the time, describes his own experience:

    We ran up to them and they gave us hugs, cookies, and chocolate. Being so alone a hug meant more than anybody could imagine because that replaced the human worth that we were starving for. We were not only starved for food but we were starved for human kindness. And the Soviet Army did provide some of that.

    In 1947, Rudolf Höss was hanged near Crematorium I of the original Auschwitz camp.


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    “African American man giving piano lesson to young African American woman, 1899 or 1900; from a collection assembled by W.E.B. Du Bois for the Exposition Nègres d’Amerique of the1900 Exposition Universelle. 

    Library of Congress


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    A really, really, really broad topic… You could do anything from decisive battles (Salamis, Marathon, Gaugamela, Poitiers, Hastings, Waterloo, Stalingrad, etc etc) to conferences/councils/meetings (Congress of Vienna, Paris Peace Conference, the important ecumenical councils, like the Council of Trent) to wars themselves, and important inventions (the printing press?) and pieces of legislation and treaties and entire eras and…. it’s just such a broad prompt.


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