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Two bad men

    Today we will concentrate on two bad men whose names constantly crop up in history. One, the first, was a Nazi leader in Germany, the second was a German-born President of a Latin American country.

Julius Streicher /

Julius Streicher /

Julius Streicher was born in 1885. Though it is difficult to believe he was once a schoolteacher. But he frightened his pupils by teaching them anti-Jewish propaganda. He also wrote at least three books for children with strongly anti-Semitic text. He used the periodical Der Stúrmer (which at one time he owned) to publish his virulent views, and probably because of this came to be noticed by Adolf Hitler. (more…)

Disasters waiting to happen: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Olivier plays Crassus in the film Spartacus /

Olivier plays Crassus in the film Spartacus /

Crassus was not the first man to combine business with politics and, through lack of foresight, or because he was too proud to think, come a terrible cropper. He was born around 115 BC, both parents patrician. Naturally he went into the Roman army.

Still a young and inexperienced officer, he supported Lucius Cornelius Sulla during a civil war between Sulla and Gaius Marius. When the latter seized the city of Rome in 87 BC, Crassus vanished as fast as he could, but came back to help Sulla take power in 82. Historians agree that the origin of Crassus’ hatred of Pompey lie in the latter’s clear preference for Sulla. (more…)

Great War Commanders: General Allenby

Allenby’s chief claim to fame, though he would not have liked my reminding him of it, was that for a time he was Laurence of Arabia’s commanding officer. This was not easy for anyone, and Edward Allenby’s notoriously bad temper was always on a short fuse: as a Field Marshall he was known throughout the ranks as ‘The Bull’ on account of his great size and violent nature. (more…)

Rich in history: the Rothschilds

Nathan Rothschild, who 'organised' the purchase of those Suez Canal shares /

Nathan Rothschild, who ‘organised’ the purchase of those Suez Canal shares /

Whole books have been published about this world-famous banking family. Some of the authors have indulged in hagiography, others have been perhaps unconsciously anti-Semitic. The latter view is particularly irritating, as it is the very Jewishness of the Rothschilds that makes their family history so interesting. Here, we can engage in a brief potted biography of the family. For further reading, I consider the best and most intimate biography is by Frederic Morton. It is probably out of print by now, but ransack the libraries for The Rothschilds – a family portrait. (more…)

What is Isolationism?

Well, very soon we will know what it is. And I might add it is a great pity there is not more of it around. Loss of it caused the Korean and Vietnam wars; too much of the opposite caused Britain, France and Israel the opportunity to deal practically with the Middle Eastern Question. Far too much of the lack of it allowed the United States to enter, and encourage others to enter, an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. But these are merely examples. (more…)

The Vichy Government (Vichy France)

The irony of a Vichy gendarme saluting a Nazi official before the Arc de Triomphe / es-wikipedia-org

The irony of a Vichy gendarme saluting a Nazi official before the Arc de Triomphe / es-wikipedia-org

Three-fifths of France fell to Nazi Germany soon after World War II was declared, though the French army and navy were larger than those of the aggressive Germans. The government moved to a spa town in unoccupied France called Vichy, and on the 10 July, 1940 the National Assembly authorized (by a vote of 569 to 80) the assumption of full powers by the elected Prime Minister, a hero of the First War called Marshal Pétain, pending promulgation of a new constitution. (more…)

Holocaust – the comments

Hundreds of comments have been posted on General-History following publication last year of the article on The Holocaust. Some comments are learnéd, some are not. Many are openly anti-Semitic. A few show sympathy with the victims. Some question the figures quoted. Anyone can find out the figures for themselves simply by making enquiries in any office of records in any of the countries I am about to list, or simply asking for statistics in Tel Aviv. For those commentarists who claim the Holocaust did not actually happen one feels sorry for those who must endure life near them. (more…)

The Reichstag

What was left after the Reichstag Fire /

What was left after the Reichstag Fire /

This is, or rather was the Imperial Parliament of Germany. Here in Berlin the legislature of the German Second Empire and Weimar Republic was planned and expedited. It is extremely old; as a legislative (or law-making) chamber its origins stretch back to the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire (q.v.).

The Reichstag was encouraged and re-instated by Otto von Bismarck (q.v.), forming the representative assembly of those states constituent to the North German Confederation; from 1871 it was the centre of government for the Second Empire. It should be noted that its rôle in the Empire was the passing of legislation: it was not permitted to interfere in federal government, and had limited control over public expenditure. Under the Weimar Republic however, the Reichstag enjoyed greater powers, as the actual government was made responsible to it.   (more…)

The truth about Mayerling?

Contemporary photographs of the victims at Mayerling /

Contemporary photographs of the victims at Mayerling /

Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria/Hungary must have had tremendous self-discipline: his brother Maximilian was invited to become King of Mexico, accepted, and was later shot as a traitor (to Mexico one supposes) by order of the Liberals under Juárez at Querataro; his wife Elizabeth was murdered by another liberal, this time an Anarchist, at Geneva; his nephew Franz-Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated at Sarejevo in 1914, setting the world on course for world war; to cap it all his son (and heir) the Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide along with his mistress in Franz-Joseph’s hunting lodge at Mayerling. Or did he? (more…)

By | 2012-03-12T09:33:21+00:00 March 12th, 2012|German History, Jewish History, World History|0 Comments
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