Posts Tagged ‘fascism’

The War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin, is a BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and the “no holds barred” war on both sides. It not only examines the war but also the terror inside the Soviet Union at the time due to the paranoia of Joseph Stalin – the revenge atrocities, the purge of the armed forces, the near-lunacy orders, & the paranoia of being upstaged by others, especially Marshal Zhukov. The historical adviser is Prof. Ian Kershaw.

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ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Eutychus PUBLISHED ON AF-E

Dear Straight Dope:

I’ve heard rumors on & off for years about Walt Disney. I’ve heard suggestions that he was a fascist, a communist, a racist & an antisemite. The first two are of course contradictory. Web searches didn’t help to straighten out anything in my mind. Was he a political nut? Did he hate blacks & Jews? Or are these typical malicious lies we like to tell about great men so we don’t have to feel so unaccomplished?

Joseph Kenner, North Hollywood, CA

Hold it there, hoss. That’s a lot of accusations for one letter. Let’s try to break it down a bit & see if we can sort some things out here.

One of the more curious charges against Disney was that he was a secret Nazi. A few white supremacist groups still cherish this notion. Their best evidence is a misreading of the short film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” (1943), in which Donald is seen in a Nazi uniform, swastikas & all. In the end we find out it’s all a nightmare, but that doesn’t dissuade the racists. A lesser-known short sometimes cited is 1932′s “The Wayward Canary,” in which Mickey is seen using a cigarette lighter with a swastika painted on the side.

This is all circumstantial at best, but other suggestive details have come to light. In 1933, the German American Bund was founded by Fritz Kuhn. Kuhn was evidently quite a character–he had met Hitler in the early thirties and reportedly was profoundly loathed by the Nazi leader. [Read more]

The Ghost of Goebbels: Historical Revisionism & World War II

This article written by Wayne Madsen, political scientist (USA), Strategic Culture Foundation expert, & was published in International Affairs magazine.

An expected outgrowth of the world’s steady descent into total & extreme capitalist control is the increasing tendency by some historians and their accomplices in the media to re-invent certain aspects of history.

Although the history of the Middle East & colonialism have been favorite playgrounds for the historical revisionists, it is World War II & the role played by the Soviet Union in the war that has attracted the attention of most of the alterers of history, both professional & amateur. As we recall the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the 70th anniversary of which we now remember, it is important to note that the “revisionism” of the events of that day began with chief Nazi German propagandist Joseph Goebbels and the disappearance of historical facts “down the memory hole,” as George Orwell put it in 1984, is carried on to this day by Goebbels’s ideological heirs who are mainly funded by the barons of Wall Street through various tax-free right-wing “think tanks” & research institutes in the West.

Although the revisionists claim that the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact & its secret protocol to divide eastern Europe into respective German & Soviet spheres of influence somehow made Soviet leader Joseph Stalin a “partner” of Hitler, little attention is paid to secret German-British talks in 1939 that would have divided the world into German & British spheres of influence while making common cause against the Soviet Union.

Goebbels’s ideological heirs would have everyone believe that Stalin & German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler were on the same ideological plane & were conniving to jointly conquer the world. This revisionist account is meant to mask the goals of the Western industrialists at the time. Many of the world’s wealthiest capitalists, including the German-descent British royal family, wanted Hitler to stamp out Soviet Communism & had no problem with the Nazis’ “long march East.”

The pandering of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to Hitler at the 1939 Munich Conference, which saw the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, was seen in the eyes of many British & American industrial barons as the remnants of Czechoslovakia being safe from Soviet Russia. That same mind-set would exist as Nazi troops invaded Poland, the Baltic states, Yugoslavia, & then, the USSR, itself. Not until December 7, 1941, & the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, would the western industrial barons decide it was time to support the war effort against the Axis Powers, albeit reluctantly.

Certainly, Britain was not alone in its secret campaign to align with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, who enraged many capitalists & Republicans by establishing diplomatic relations with the USSR after he took office in 1933, found himself almost ousted in a coup d’etat in 1933 arranged by Wall Street robber barons intent on declaring a state of national emergency & placing Roosevelt under virtual house arrest. The plot was discovered by retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler & communicated to the U.S. Congress where details of the plot remained secret until 1970. Among the chief coup plotters was Prescott Bush, the father & grandfather, respectively, of two later U.S. presidents. Prescott Bush was a chief Wall Street banker for German Nazi-owned businesses in the years leading up to & following the outbreak of World War II.

In 1936, U.S. ambassador to Berlin, William Dodd, wrote to Roosevelt to warn him that the threat posed to him in 1934 by the Wall Street-Nazi alliance remained as such two years later. Dodd wrote:

A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime . . . A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare.

The words of Dodd: “propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare” ring true today. Wall Street of the 1930s & 1940s owned the major media outlets, including the large publishing houses, that gave notoriety to the revisionist commentators & historians of their day. The situation remains much the same today.

There is the distinct danger that soon, the historical revisionists will not be content in putting Stalin & Hitler on the same level. With global media in the hands of a select few capitalists, it is forseeable that Stalin will be re-assessed as the reason Hitler had to conquer most of Europe & Hitler will be painted favorably. There are already signs that this historical revisionism is taking place among the right-wing political parties of Europe that are adopting many of the planks of the neo-Nazi movement, including the meme that Hitler had no choice to invade eastern Europe & the Soviet Union to protect the world against Bolshevism. That argument of the capitalists is nothing new but it is one, 70 years after the invasion of the USSR by the Nazis, that should have long ago been discarded into the ash bin of fascist propaganda.

Final Statement

We, the assembled representatives of historical research communities & civil societies of Belarus, Latvia, Moldova, Russia & Ukraine participating in the Sevastopol International History Conference commemorating 70th Anniversary of the outbreak of 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, regard the War and our Victory as one of the most tragic and at the same time heroic pages in the common history of our nations.

We are increasingly alarmed with the current rise of revisionism of the history of World War II in the West & in several post-Soviet republics where incendiary political considerations outweigh commitment to historical accuracy.

We consider it absolutely unacceptable to draw the Great Patriotic War against fascism as a ‘fight of two totalitarian regimes’, to deny the justified & liberating nature of that war for our nations, to depict the Red Army’s liberation mission in 11 European countries as ‘Soviet occupation’.

We state that the concept ascribing ‘mutual responsibility’ for unleashing the war to ‘the Nazi & Soviet regimes’ lacks any historical & moral foundations. As historians, we are aware that the responsibility for that devastating war rests fully with the Western powers. Until now the diplomatic archives in London keep guarding the secrets of the British-German talks held in June 1939 on the division of the world into Great Britain’s & Germany’s spheres of influence, aimed to deter Soviet Union from taking part in shaping the future of Europe.

While Hitler’s military machine was destined to exterminate Soviet Union as a ‘hotbed of Bolshevism’, today the Nazism is sometimes being portrayed as a ‘natural response to the red threat’. This is an utmost lie contradicting recognized historical facts.

We claim that all civilized nations should officially outlaw any endeavors to justify fascism, Nazi criminals or collaborationists. Any revisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal outright statements condemning fascism are totally inadmissible.

The present round of revisionism is supposed to provide an ideological backing for “anti-totalitarian” appeals like the notorious OSCE Parliamentary Assembly resolution adopted on July 3, 2009 calling for a trial over the Soviet Union’s allegedly ‘criminal past’. Such campaigns, provoking territorial claims against Russia & compensation demands for ‘damages caused during Soviet occupation’ trigger imminent & far-reaching dangerous consequences for the European security, still not adequately assessed by the short-sighted instigators of these campaigns & their blind contractors.

A distorted view on the meaning and the results of World War II & Russia’s Great Patriotic War would pave the way for a new division of Europe & the world with catastrophic consequences. This is why we are calling upon the academic community for a fair & unbiased research of the period of 1941-1945 in the name of historical truth & our common future. The sacrifices of millions of Russians in the defeat of Fascism & the devastation wrought in the war must not be perverted for current political narratives. Such actions only serve to cause division within Europe, & prevent the advancement of peace & unity amongst peoples.

(Views expressed in this article reflect the author’s opinion & do not necessarily reflect those of RIA Novosti news agency. RIA Novosti does not vouch for facts & quotes mentioned in the story.)

In the course of the 1930s Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy became increasingly belligerent in their foreign policies – Germany within Europe and Italy in Africa. As it had over Japan and Manchuria, the League of Nations showed itself incapable of preventing their acts of aggression.

The aim of the Geneva disarmament conference of 1932-34 was to persuade all European nations to reduce their armed forces to the size of Germany. France; however, viewed the move as weakening its security. Germany, on the other hand, sought to increase its military strength to that of its neighbors. When was this was refused, in October 1933, Hitler withdrew not only from the talks but also from the League of Nations.

The following year Hitler turned his attention to Austria, where Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, under threat from both Left and Right, had ruled without a parliament for two years. Hitler encouraged a Nazi coup and in July 1934 Dollfuss was murdered; but government troops regained control and Mussolini made clear his opposition to a Nazi takeover by massing troops on the border with Austria. Hitler was forced to back off.

Hitler was to enjoy better fortune in 1935. A referendum in the state of Saarland resulted in an overwhelming vote for a return to Germany, and this duly occurred in March. In the same month, Hitler announced to the world the creation of a German air force, the Luftwaffe, and that he was dramatically increasing the size of his army. This was in flagrant breach of the Versailles treaty, but there were only muted protests from Britain and France.

Conquest of Abyssinia

Mussolini, meanwhile, was also flexing his muscles. He had initially hoped to use peaceful means to expand Italy’s African empire by securing Abyssinia. He had signed a treaty of friendship with Emperor Haile Selassie in 1928, but the latter wanted to open his country to all nations and not just to Italy. Mussolini became increasingly irritated over this. In December 1934 Italian and Abyssinian forces clashed inside Abyssinia. Abyssinia appealed to the League of Nations, but it was more concerned about German rearmament. Indeed, in April 1935 Britain and France, whose main objective was to ensure that Mussolini did not ally himself to Hitler, met the Italians to discuss this problem, but did not raise the subject of Abyssinia.

Sensing the weakness of the Western European democracies, Mussolini’s forces invaded Abyssinia in October 1935. By may 1936 the country had been overrun and Mussolini declared it to be Italian territory, the emperor having gone into exile in Britain. The League’s response had been to impose limited economic sanctions, but these did not include coal and oil. Not being League members, neither Germany nor the United States were bound by these sanctions.

Proclaiming the Axis

This 1938 German postage stamp celebrates the ever closer relationship between Hitler & Mussolini that developed after 1936. The slogan reads: “Two peoples and one struggle.”

A Rome-Axis around which all European states that desire peace can revolve.

The Rhineland

In March 1936 Hitler took advantage of the fact that much of the world was wringing its hands over Abyssinia to send his troops into the Rhineland. It was a calculated gamble, since Hitler’s army was by no means ready for war and a firm response by Britain and France would probably have forced a climb-down. But they were in no position to fight another European war.

A New Partnership

Another consequence of the Abyssinian crisis was the Mussolini turned his back on Britain and France because of their part in imposing sanctions on his country. In October 1936 Germany and Italy signed a treaty of friendship, agreeing to recognize each others interests: Germany’s north of the Alps and Italy’s to the south. It was at the singing of the treaty that Mussolini first spoke of a Rome-Berlin axis.

From World War II: The Definitive Visual History, by Richard Holmes