Tagged Germany

Vladimir Putin’s Dangerous Thoughts

The president of Russia happens to think that the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 was not so bad, and possibly, fine and dandy. Of course, it ought to go without saying that he could not be more wrong in this assessment: 2014 will be remembered as a year in which Eastern Europe suffered one of its greatest crises since the collapse of the Soviet Union: the still-unfolding, still-destabilizing situation in eastern Ukraine. Some observers have noted how similarly Russia’s moves in the region track the USSR’s previous patterns of engagement with its “satellite states,” suggesting that we could be in the midst of…

Stop Me If this Sounds Familiar

Link: This week vandals sprayed the words “Jews” and the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil” on the office windows of the Lausitzer Rundschau, a newspaper known for its coverage of far-right groups. The week before four swastikas were daubed on other offices of the paper as well as “Jews, kill them” and “We’ll get you all”. There were similar incidents against the daily in 2012. “These threats and acts of vandalism must be stopped and I am confident that the authorities will take the necessary precautions to ensure journalists’ safety,” the OSCE’s media representative Dunja Mijatovic said. “I welcome the condemnation of these attacks from the highest…

More Stories that Cannot Possibly Be True

From France: Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police in central Paris on Saturday when hundreds of marchers defied a ban by French authorities to rally against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned organizers in a television address that they would be held responsible for any clashes and could be prosecuted for ignoring a ban that was confirmed by the country’s top administrative court. TV footage showed a minority of demonstrators wearing balaclavas and traditional Arab keffiyeh headdresses throwing projectiles at riot officers. Paris police said they had made 40 arrests. French authorities have refused to…

Your Non-Shocking News of the Day

Stop the presses. Martin Heidegger was an anti-Semite: For decades, controversy has marred the legacy of Martin Heidegger, whose theories and complicity with the Nazi regime led many to brand him an anti-Semite. Yet there was never a smoking gun in the late German philosopher’s expansive work, an explicit pejorative reference to Jews or Judaism as such. Heidegger admirers and critics battled over certain passages, concepts, and personal anecdotes. But neither side could issue unequivocal evidence to put to rest the long-running feud. This, however, may change with the publication in March of Heidegger’s “black notebooks,” a kind of intellectual…

Quote of the Day

I’ve seen proof, black on white, that Herr Dr. Förster has not yet severed his connection with the anti-Semitic movement. … Since then I’ve had difficulty coming up with any of the tenderness and protectiveness I’ve so long felt toward you. The separation between us is thereby decided in really the most absurd way. Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world? … Now it has gone so far that I have to defend myself hand and foot against people who confuse me with these anti-Semitic canaille; after my own sister, my former sister, and after Widemann more recently have…

Yes Virginia, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Intellectual Legacy Was Hijacked By the Nazis

Details. Here is a key passage: Fitting Nietzsche’s ideas into a single worldview was no simple matter, but this was precisely the mission of theVölkischer Beobachter’s editors and writers: to make even complex ideas such as Nietzsche’s appear to coordinate with the main tenets of Nazism. Looking into the shifting terms with which the daily newspaper presented Nietzsche helps us toward understanding how the Nazi party attempted to place his biography and writings—along with the tradition of Kultur as a whole—at the service of the Nazi outlook. In addressing the “Germanness” of Nietzsche, however, the cultural politicians of the party faced some…

No Virginia, American Jews in Hollywood Did NOT Collaborate with the Nazis

Story here. Given the many holes in the original story, it comes as more than a little bit of a surprise that people bought into the idea that a certain subset of American Jews “betrayed their country and sold out their co-religionists.” This excerpt sums up the whole sorry state of affairs: . . . This is not simply a silly book; it’s a deeply problematic, even potentially dangerous, one. Who knows whether this is due to incompetence or malevolence. The mystery is that no editor or faculty adviser seems to have been looking out for the author. Harvard University…

James Clapper Throws the Obama Administration Under the Bus

Following up on this post, we have yet another indication that the intelligence community is pushing back against White House claims that it knew nothing about spying on friendly foreign governments: The nation’s top spymaster said on Tuesday that the White House had long been aware in general terms of the National Security Agency’s overseas eavesdropping, stoutly defending the agency’s intelligence-gathering methods and suggesting possible divisions within the Obama administration. The official, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the N.S.A. had kept senior officials in the National Security Council informed of surveillance…

New Bulletin: The National Security Agency Doesn’t Like Being Thrown under Buses

So, we know that the Obama administration is claiming that the president did not know that the National Security Agency was bugging the communications of foreign leaders like Angela Merkel. I don’t believe these denials, and I certainly hope that they are not true, because I think that the question of whether we should spy on friendly foreign countries and whether we should bug the phones of friendly foreign leaders is important enough to land on the desk of the president of the United States. But regardless of whether the protestations of ignorance are true or not, they have the effect…

Is Anyone Home at the White House?

Apparently, the president of the United States was unaware that American intelligence agencies tap the phones of foreign leaders. Like Stephen Bainbridge, I don’t expect an American president to “know everything that goes on within Leviathan,” but this particular issue seemed important enough to stay on top of, no? More here, where we learn that the president’s ignorance regarding this particular intelligence project lasted for “nearly five years.” I am smacked by gob.