A POLITICAL CLOWN 1920-1930

From Mein Kampf: “At first the claims of propaganda are so impudent that people think it insane; later, it gets on people’s nerves; and in the end, it was believed.” -1925

 

The Atlantic March 13, 2012

By Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Interview with Andrew Nagorski,

Q: What did Americans think of Hitler when they first met him in the 1920s and 1930s? You write that some of them burst out laughing at his shrill voice and jerky hand movements and refused to take him seriously.

A: That’s true. You had Americans meeting Hitler and saying, “This guy is a clown. He’s like a caricature of himself” … and “German politicians would somehow be able to control him.” A lot of German politicians believed it themselves.

However, some who met him did take him seriously.

  • Truman Smith (a junior military attaché in 1920) said, “This is a marvelous demagogue who can really inspire loyalty.”
  • Karl von Wiegand, a Hearst correspondent who interviewed Hitler in 1922, was struck by Hitler’s ability to whip people into a frenzy.
  • Edgar Mowrer, the Chicago Daily News correspondent, kept frantically trying to warn readers and the world, “What he’s saying about the Jews is serious. Don’t underestimate him.”

Right after Hitler took power there were attacks on Americans (living in Germany) who failed to give the Hitler salute.

If you look back to the very beginning of Hitler’s rhetoric about Jews, it was all there — the talk about extermination and vermin. He didn’t spell out exactly what would happen in the Holocaust, but he gave a pretty good indication of its overall thrust. When someone lobs those kinds of rhetorical bombs, it’s sort of a natural human tendency to say, “Oh, that’s just a figure of speech. They don’t really mean it. It’s just a way to whip up supporters.”

Even the German Jews didn’t seem to realize the danger they were facing.

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Andrew Nagorski, author of the new (in March 2012) book Hitlerland, discusses the way Americans saw — and wrote about — the early days of the Third Reich. 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY (January 30, 1934) – John Dillinger

Faribault Daily News

Heavily guarded, manacled and shackled, outlaw John Dillinger is shown on Jan. 30, 1934, as he is taken from one plane to another in St. Louis, Tenn., while under way to his final destination, Indiana jail at Crown Point. (AP Photo).

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He didn’t stay long.

Dillinger was caught in Tucson, Arizona on January 25, 1934. He was later escorted back to Indiana by Matthew Leach, the chief of the Indiana State Police, and imprisoned within the Crown Point jail.

The local police boasted to area newspapers that the jail was escape-proof and posted extra guards to make sure. What happened on the day of Dillinger’s escape on March 3rd is still open to debate.

Deputy Ernest Blunk claimed that Dillinger escaped using a real pistol, but FBI files make clear that Dillinger carved a fake pistol from a potato. -Source Wikipedia

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IMMIGRATION – YESTERDAY & TODAY

Immigrants 1920’s


 

Their First Sight of the New World

What we learned in school:
Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
The full inscription:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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JANUARY 22, 2018 

By DAVID BIER and STUART ANDERSON

TODAY:

Key House Republicans with the support of the White House have introduced the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760) as their solution to the immigration impasse in Congress. But the bill would have far-reaching negative effects on economic and labor force growth in the United States, instituting the most severe restriction on legal immigrants since the 1920s.

1920:

In the entire history of the United States, the only policy-driven cuts in legal immigration that rival the effects of these bills were the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Quota Act of 1924, which cut the number of legal immigrants by 496,000 in 1922 and 413,000 in 1925, respectively. Congress enacted these laws to keep out Italians and Eastern Europeans, specifically Jews, and were used throughout the 1930s to prevent the entry of German Jews.

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Inspiration tarnished by the politics of fear.

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1920 Flappers Took the Country by Storm – But Did They Ever Truly Go Away

Women of the Roaring Twenties had a lot in common with today’s millennials

By Linda Simon Smithsonian Magazine September 2017

Flappers Atop Chicago Hotel

She was the sexy ingénue, spending evenings in jazz clubs hazy with her cigarette smoke. She cavorted, wild and willful, in the stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who summed her up as “pretty, impudent, superbly assured, as worldly-wise, briefly-clad and ‘hard-berled’ as possible.”

The glamorous, shimmering flapper in her slinky dress and stylish bob seemed to emerge into American life out of nowhere after the First World War, but the term was already familiar by then. In 1890s Britain, in fact, “flapper” described a very young prostitute, and after the turn of the century, it was used on both sides of the Atlantic for cheeky, prepubescent girls whose long braids, the New York Times reported, “flapped in the wind.” Soon, a flapper was any girl or woman who defied convention—girls who balked at being chaperoned, suffragists, women aspiring to a career, and those, as the Boston Globe put it, “expert in the arts of allurement.”

Unlike their mothers and grandmothers, flappers tended to go to high school and even college, and they devoured new books featuring confident, fun-loving adolescent heroines who hiked and camped and solved mysteries. Flappers biked, played golf and tennis, and strove to emulate the flat-chested and hipless physiques of the adolescent boys whose freedom and lack of domestic responsibilities they envied.

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Molly Lambert’s Grandmother

My Grandmother, the Nazis, and the Shadow of the Olympics

by Molly Lambert Oct 1, 2017 The NewYorker

My (Molly Lambert) grandmother Margaret Bergmann was a born athlete. Self-taught and hyper-talented, she excelled at every sport she tried. She played sports with the boys, and they accepted her because she was by far the best athlete among them.  She did not think much about her Jewish identity until she was in her late teens, when the Nazis began their rise to power.

The Nazis

Suddenly signs reading “NO JEWS OR DOGS” were openly posted in windows. She was banned from athletic-training facilities she’d formerly had access to, and the kids at school began to beat up her younger brother for being Jewish. The family moved to London.

The 1936 Games were awarded to Weimar Germany, in 1931. Five years later, the National Socialist Party had seized full control of the German government, and Adolf Hitler inherited the ceremony. He was not initially sold on the Olympics—he thought that it was “an invention of Jews and Freemasons,” and that it was vulgar to let inferior races compete with the superior white one. But the German sports administrator Carl Diem convinced Hitler that the Olympics were a grand opportunity to showcase Nazi propaganda and demonstrate Germany’s growing power.

Recalled to Germany, Margaret Bergmann wanted to demonstrate that Jews were not inferior, and she wanted to win because she was the best high jumper alive. But, shortly before the Games, the Nazis dropped my grandmother from the roster, convinced that they no longer needed token Jewish athletes. Bergmann received a letter from the Nazis, telling her that she was being cut because she was not up to par—a lie, as scores from the time demonstrate. The letter was signed “Heil Hitler.”

Bergmann was furious that she would not be able to prove that she was the superior Jewish body that the Nazis did not believe existed. She was also glad to get out of Germany immediately.

She worked as a maid while trying to get her parents safely to New York, and she was thrilled when Jesse Owens won gold in Berlin: a black athlete, from her newly adopted country of America, proving that the Nazi ideology and all white supremacy are built on bullshit. She competed in America for a few years, winning American titles in the high jump and shot put. She wanted to train for the 1940 Olympics, but she chose to stop competing after the outbreak of the Second World War.

Margaret Bergman Lambert lived to a hundred and three years old, which is a great way to say “Fuck you” to Nazis.

The Shadow of the Olympics

During the 1984 Games, the Los Angeles Police Department, led by Chief Daryl Gates, swept neighborhoods and arrested hundreds of black and brown youth, “ostensibly to minimize gang crime during the Games.” This was a landmark moment in the militarization of American police.

Now ICE is conducting raids in Los Angeles. These raids began before Trump became President, but they have become bolder, more aggressively public.

There is a climate of fear now in Los Angeles: people are encouraged to snitch on their neighbors; families are separated by police in front of a school in broad daylight. I (Molly Lambert) think of the stories my grandmother told of being exiled from her own home town, a place she’d truly loved.

Read the entire article

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Warner Brothers – 1932

How The Warner Brothers Fought To End the Chain Gang System

The Daily Beast 

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 Short Clip
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The movie is based on the life of Robert Elliott Burns. Read more.
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Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company

1930 Studebaker President

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     Studebaker was an American wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852, the company originally produced wagons for farmers, miners, and the military.

     In 1902, the company entered the automotive business with electric vehicles sold under the name “Studebaker Automobile Company.” In 1904 they introduced gasoline vehicles. 

      The first gasoline automobiles to be fully manufactured by Studebaker were marketed in August 1912. Over the next 50 years, the company established a reputation for quality and reliability. Source Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker

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Book Review: Vallejo

Vallejo native (Brendan Riley) pens book on Vallejo’s old ‘barbary coast,’ holds book signing Saturday

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald

POSTED: 08/14/17, 3:11 PM PDT | UPDATED: 1 WEEK AGO

“There’s a chapter on Baby Face Nelson that was really fascinating for me,” Riley said. He came as a “guest” of  Tobe Williams, an old safe cracker, who ran Vallejo General Hospital. According to FBI reports, though (Nelson) “committed no crime here that we know of, there was a murder during that time that was never solved.”

Nelson and his wife felt safe enough in Vallejo to “walk around town like anybody else, going to the movies, and so on,” despite being, at one point, the most wanted man in the United States, he said.

“The technology we have now didn’t exist which is why he came out to the West Coast; because the FBI was doing most of its searching in the Midwest,” Riley said.

Nelson wasn’t just hanging out in the Bay Area, but ran a bootleg liquor operation from Marin and San Francisco, while on the lam, he said.

Nelson returned to the Chicago area from Vallejo, and was soon killed in a shootout with two FBI agents, Riley said.

“At that time, he was Public Enemy No. One, after John Dillinger died in July 1934,” he said. “Nelson left Vallejo in October 1934 and died that November.”

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President Herbert Hoover 1930

Hoover seeks in vain to combat tough times, Aug. 15, 1930

 
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On this day (August 15th) 1930, President Herbert Hoover held a news conference in which he set out his plans to help people affected by a series of devastating droughts. The droughts, combined with a stock market crash in October 1929, led to a downward economic spiral that lasted throughout much of the 1930s and came to be known as the Great Depression.

In response to widespread drought conditions, the president called for a mass mobilization of aid workers. He called on governors to draft ideas on how best to provide relief to the rising ranks of the unemployed. He ordered the War Department to provide artillery-range land to Montana farmers where they could graze their parched cattle and sheep. Read more.

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On this day (August 15) 2017, President Donald Trump held a news conference in which he …

… At a stunning press conference Tuesday (August 15, 2017), President Donald Trump essentially took back his delayed, tepid denunciation of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists who incited Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. He even described some as “very fine people.” …  Read More

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