Archive for 2013

“What about this document?” Holocaust deniers make me sick!

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:43 am by theyounghistorian77

So, in the space of less than a week, I have caught out twice two different Neo-Nazi holocaust deniers on Twitter trying to use (or rather abuse) this ITS B.A.D Arolsen file against me (at the bottom of the post) in their mad claims that the true total of Jewish deaths is lower than the approx 6 million figure that I and every other scholar who is not a Nazi or a racist accepts as the truth (on a range of various sources; see Lucy Dawidowicz, “The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945″; Raul Hilberg, “The Destruction of the European Jews”; Peter Longerich, “Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews”; and Arno J Mayer, “Why did the Heavens not Darken?” among many many other excellent titles).

For those who do not know, the ITS B.A.D Arolsen is, as it says on its website, “a centre for documentation, information and research on Nazi persecution, forced labour and the Holocaust.” It’s an excellent service and I would recommend in the same vain “The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names” by the Yad Vesham Center which has painstakingly compiled “the biographical details of two thirds of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices.” For those who do not know too much about the Holocaust, I would highly consider you visit both websites together and fully digest them, so that one may begin to get an understanding of the actual vast scale of the tragedy of the Holocaust, for both document it. Unsurprisingly, no Neo-Nazi I have ever had the unfortunate luck to to run into has ever admitted to liking full documentation. It proves too much truth. Take for example the following written by General Commissioner Wilhelm Kube on 31 July 1942, which is arguably one of the most explicit documents about the Nazi mass extermination. No denier has ever managed to explain this one away to me, and I don’t expect any to. Thus far I have quoted it in all debates I have ever had with Neo-nazis, even on this very forum.

“In every encounter with partisans in White Ruthenia, it has been established that in the former Soviet part of the district general as well as in the former Polish part the Jews together with the Polish Resistance Movement in the East and the Red Army men of Moscow are the mainstay of the partisan movement. As a result of this, and in view of the danger to the whole economy, the treatment of the Jews in White Ruthenia is a predominantly political matter which, therefore, should not be solved according to economic but political angles. During detailed consultations with the SS Brigadefuehrer Zenner and the extremely capable Chief of the SD, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. jur. Strauch, we found that we had liquidated approximately 55,000 Jews in White Ruthenia during the last 10 weeks. In the Minsk-Land area, the Jewry was completely exterminated, without endangering the allocation of labor in any way. In the prevailing Polish Lida area, 16,000 Jews, in Slonim 8,000 Jews, etc., were liquidated. The preparations for the liquidation of the Jews in the Glebokie area were completely disrupted by the arbitrary action by the rear army area, which has already been reported to your office. In the rear army area , I was not contacted , 10,000 Jews were liquidated who were scheduled for extermination by us anyway. In the city of Minsk about 10,000 Jews were liquidated on 28 and 29 July, 6,500 of whom were Russian Jews , mainly old people, women, and children , the remainder consisted of Jews unfit for work, most of whom had been sent to Minsk from Vienna, Brno, Bremen, and Berlin in November of the previous year at the Fuehrer’s orders.

The Slutsk area was also ridded of several thousand Jews. The same applies to Novogrudok and Vileika. Radical measures still remain to be taken for Baranovichi and Hanzevichi. In Baranovichi, about 10,000 Jews are still living in the town alone, 9,000 of whom will be liquidated next month. In the town of Minsk, 2,600 Jews from Germany have been left over. Besides, all the 6,000 Jews and Jewesses are still alive who have been working, during the action, with the units who had employed them previously. Even in the future the largest Jewish labor force will be in Minsk, since the centralization of armament industries and the burden on the railways makes this necessary for the time being. In all other areas the number of Jews utilized for labor by the SD and myself will be fixed at 800 at the outside but at 500 if possible so that after the completion of the action 8,600 Jews will remain in Minsk and approximately 7,000 in the 10 remaining territories, including the territory Minsk-Land, which is already free from Jews. The danger that the partisans will, in future, derive any important support from the Jews will then have ceased to exist. I myself and the SD would certainly much prefer that the Jewish population in the district general of White Ruthenia should be eliminated once and for all when the economic requirements of the Wehrmacht have fallen off. For the time being, the necessary requirements of the Wehrmacht who is the main employer of the Jewish population are still being considered. The clear anti-Jewish attitude of the SD and the difficult task of the units in White Ruthenia to deliver again and again new Jewish transports from the Reich to their destination, both put an undue strain on the physical and spiritual strength of men of the SD and diverts them from their real purpose, which lies in the White Ruthenian region itself.

I should therefore be grateful if the Reich Commissioner could see his way to stop further Jewish transports until the partisan threat has finally been overcome. I must make 100 percent use of the SD against partisans and against the Polish Resistance Movement, both of which demand the use of the full strength of the SD units, which are none too strong as it is.

After the conclusion of the anti-Jewish action in Minsk, Dr. Strauch, SS Lieutenant Colonel, reported to me tonight, with justifiable wrath, that without any order from the Reich Leader SS and without notification of the commissioner, a transport of 1,000 Jews has suddenly arrived from Warsaw for use in this air fleet area.

I should like to ask the Reich Commissioner (who has already been advised by teletype), in his capacity as the highest authority in the Ostland, to stop such transports. The Polish Jew is, exactly like the Russian Jew, an enemy of all that is German. He represents a politically dangerous factor, the political danger of which exceeds by far his value as a specialized worker. Under no conditions must Wehrmacht agencies of the army or the Luftwaffe, be allowed to import, without the approval of the Reich Commissioner, into an area under civil administration, Jews from the General Government who might endanger the entire political work and security of the district general. I am in full agreement with the commander of the SD in White Ruthenia, that we are to liquidate every Jewish transport which has not been ordered or announced by our superior officers, so as to avoid further unrest in White Ruthenia.” – Source

so they always turn to tidbits, lunatics and distortions to make their case, tactics that are of course very familar to the Creationists on this forum and they easily belong in the same category of stupid (even if somewhat more offensive perhaps). This is what brings me to the following document you see now:

What do we have here? Although I will not say I am 100% sure on this namely because actually up until this week i hadn’t seen it, but I’ll take my cue from this which is another excellent website on Holocaust education and specialises in refuting denier arguments. From that I am inclined to believe we have a 1979 document taken out of context by the deniers that, in actuality, represents figures for applications to death certificates made by family members and relatives of the victims. Of course, if an entire family had died in the holocaust, there would be no one around left to make an application. Remember, this document comes from 1979, so it’s one thing the figures seen would be incomplete even in that department anyway by modern standards, families since would have made claims. It’s entirely something else that the figures within cannot describe final numbers of Holocaust dead like in the way the deniers are spinning this document.

In short Holocaust deniers makes me sick!

Austria – A period of doom or boon?

Inferno
Inferno
Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:05 pm by Inferno

It’s been quite some time since Austria’s general elections. In fact, it’s been so long that we’re almost decided on a new government.

 

You see, when I last talked about Austrian politics, we weren’t sure who would win. Now we know: The moderate left party (SPÖ) won, the ÖVP came second.

 

Since then, I’ve had headaches every day.

First of all, the right wing party gained 3%, putting them in third place. It was really close, they already had 22.5% and only the mail votes (basically you vote by mail, preferred by Greens and ÖVP) put them down. In a surprising turn of events, the public realized that the NEOS are a viable alternative and that FRANK is full of shit.

Be that as it may, the two largest parties gained a majority vote, so they can form a coalition without any problems. Well, if they’d agree on anything, that is. Sadly, they’ve been bickering since the elections took place (late September) and haven’t really made up their mind on anything.

That is, until now. Just yesterday (12.12.2013) it was announced that all talks had succeeded and that a new government would be formed. I’ll come back to that in just a second, but I need to deal with something first.

This SPÖVP coalition (SPÖ + ÖVP, but we simply can’t think of them as separate. They’re like an old, married couple) tried to get one particular law through since 2001: A new public service law (I think that’s what they’re called?) for teachers. It’s all about how much money we’d make and how much we’d work, that sort of thing.

Now you might think that’s an easy thing to do. But then you read “trying since 2001″ and you realize: Something’s not right.
Congratulations, you’ve just taken your first step to understanding Austrian politics: If something can easily be done, Austrian politicians will choose the hard and completely crazy way.

In this case, the Teacher’s Union rebelled against the law, complaining that we’d get more work for less pay. You know, work 50 hours instead of 40, yet lose about 200k€ over a lifespan. I’m not joking, those are the official figures.

So yeah, no service law change in the last 12 years. Now this new government absolutely has to pass this law, a law I’ve been rebelling against for the past few months, if they’re to be taken seriously. (Well, nobody takes them seriously any more, if there were to be a new vote, they’d lose by a landslide.)

Now in the past few months, I’ve been politically active (the first time in my life) in trying to stop this new law dead in its tracks and instead get an expert commission on the case. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into this and the final vote passes on Tuesday (17.12.2013), so I’m extra busy in organizing a demonstration (protest) and generally getting the info out there.

At our last protest, we were able to gather about 450 of us, on Monday we’re expecting a bit over 1.000 with about 20.000 protesting in all of Austria. We weren’t able in mobilizing the masses of Teachers because our Union did not approve.

In any case, that’s what I’m currently involved with.

 

 

Now, I said that I’d talk about this formation of government thing. Basically, they’re supposed to cut spending, increase revenues, the usual. One way to cut spending inside the government was to get rid of ministries. The two parties decided on two ministries.

If, by now, you know anything about Austria, you’ll know that they didn’t uphold the deal. All ministries will remain. Well, that’s not exactly true: They will change, but they will still be there. For example, a new ministry for “Youth and Family” will be created, but to keep the balance, another one has to be integrated into an existing ministry.

It makes absolute sense to merge the ministry for education (BM:UKK) with the ministry for science (BM:WF) (in charge of Universities). The BM:WF creates teachers training and generally handles tertiary education, the BM:UKK deals with pre-tertiary education. The two fit perfectly.

If you vote “answer two, they did not do that” then you receive 100 internets. Of course, the simple, logical solution did not sit well with Austrian politicians, so they decided to merge the BM:WF with a different ministry and they kicked out the minister (currently the most liked minister we have) as they did so.

Now here’s the question: Which ministry would they merge the BM:WF with? Possibly the ministry for transport, innovation and technology (BM:VIT). Then again, that would be too obvious. It could be merged with the ministry for health (BM:G), responsible for hospitals and doctors training. No, still too obvious. It could be merged with the ministry for agriculture, forests, ecology and water management (BM:LFUW), but even that is too logical still.

Instead, it will be merged with the ministry for economy, formerly (formerly as of yesterday) the ministry for economy, family and youth (BM:WFJ). (Remember that the latter two are being split off to form their own ministry… Why? No idea. Because, change.)

This obviously makes no sense, if only because it will lead to further marginalization of universities and will probably lead to increased economic incentives to join a university.

 

So there you have it, folks: My current life laid out in front of you, with all the political ups and downs we’re currently experiencing in Austria. With any luck, we’ll successfully thwart the new law, but we’re most assuredly entering a period of troubles in Austria.

Or is this really just a ploy by the government? They want us to think we’re going down the drain so they can then jump out as our saviours. I wouldn’t put it past them, but I doubt they’re intelligent enough to pull off such a scheme.

Know Your Bones: December 2013

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:41 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Last month’s challenge was a tad bit hard. I chose a creature from the forgotten period of mammal evolution. Isotelus came the closes with:

 

Entelodont. I can’t identify the species, though.

 

Isotelus is correct that this critter belongs to the clade Entelodontidae (Entelodont) A.K.A. hell pig. However, this skull specifically belongs to the species Daeodon.

 

(Taken at the Denver Museum of Natural History and Science)

 

This handsome critter lived during the Miocene in North America. It belongs to the artiodactyls (even toed ungulates [hoofed]) and Daeodon was the largest species of entelodonts ever discovered in the fossil record. Entelodonts also possess my favorite mammalian skull; it is a wonder to behold.

 

There is some controversy over what is the closes living relative to the entelodonts. It was long believed that they were closely related to pigs, thus the nick name hell pig, but some studies have placed them closer to hippos and whales. However, much like pigs, they were omnivores and perhaps were active predators when it came to obtaining meat. The entelodonts and Daeodon specifically were amazing creatures that I wish were still alive today.

 

Moving on to this months challenge:

 

(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)

 

Since last month was a bit hard, I decided to stick with something simple. Good luck.

The League of Reason – Now Available On Tapatalk

Prolescum
Prolescum
Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:50 pm by Prolescum

Greetings, friends.

I have a small announcement to make…

Dun-dun-duuuuuh!

The League of Reason is now available to users of Tapatalk, the forum browser for mobile phones and tablets.

Our reasons for using this plugin for the site are simple: unfortunately, we don’t have the time to create a mobile theme currently, and Tapatalk offers another way for new users to find us.

Tapatalk is available on both the Android and i-thingies stores, so go forth and download!

Know Your Bones: November 2013

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:30 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Last month I decided to start my new blog series with something that I thought would be very easy for everyone. I am glad to see that within one day the answer was given by Inferno.

 

 I was surprised to see I too knew it at once.
Laughably, unknowledgeable creationists yank our collective chains with their nonsense on this…

 

Did you get that? I know I missed it the first time I saw it, so let me see if I can help highlight it.

 

Laughably
unknowledgeable
creationists
yank

 

Inferno is correct in that this set of bones is commonly known as Lucy. As the story goes when it was first discovered in 1974, Dr. Donald Johanson and his colleagues celebrated with drinks and music. However, the only song they had was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, thus the name stuck to the skeleton they found.

 

 

(Taken at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology)

 

Lucy is an Australopithecus afarensis from eastern Africa and is designated AL 288-1. The reason Lucy is so famous is not that it was the first Australopith found (that belongs to the Taung Child), nor was it the first A. afarensis discovered (that belongs to Al 129-1 a year earlier). No, Lucy is famous because it was the most complete A. afarensis specimen found for nearly half a century, providing nearly 40% of the skeleton, mostly the post-cranial remains. A. afarensis is also famous for being the oldest hominin species for nearly half a century; however, newer finds have taken that place. A. afarensis lived 3.9 – 2.9 million years ago, which places A. afarensis in the Pliocene.

 

A. afarensis appears to be a perfect transitional species between modern humans and our last common ancestor with chimpanzees. It was bipedal, yet still had long arms for climbing around in trees. Lucy’s skeleton, because it was so complete, enabled scientist to definitively determine that the Australopiths were bipedal because of traits found on Lucy’s legs and pelvis. Later specimens have shown bipedal traits in the skull and foot of A. afarensis.

 

Moving on to this months challenge:

 

 

(Taken at the Denver Museum of Natural History)

 

This month and every month after, I will stay out of the comment section. That way you can discuss amongst yourself what critter use to own this skull.

Another ridiculous poll from the Daily Express.

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:31 am by theyounghistorian77

According to probably the UK’s most hyperbolic newspaper on a front page published on November 1 2013, “98%” of respondents to its survey agreed with a motion that there should be a “crusade” against migrants, particularly Bulgarian and Romanian ones. A classic argumentum ad populum.   Of course what the daily express did in setting the question was to contextually load it by embedding it within a stream of highly negative information about the subject matter. The previous day, for example, the Express ran a story suggesting within it that 28 Million (emphasis on that number) Romanians and Bulgarians could be coming to our shores. Any astute observer of population statistics would immediately pick up that “28 Million” is a cumulative figure representing both the approximate populations of Romania (appx 22 Million rounded) and Bulgaria (appx 7 Million rounded) [So actually appx 29 Million, using 2012 statistics]. To suggest that all 28 or 29 Million would indeed be coming here is evidently absurd, for it would mean that there would be absolutely no Romanians and Bulgarians in, erm, Romania and Bulgaria. So why the such large number? 1) Again, tabloid sensationalism 2) Again, negative information. So that figure of 98% agreeing with the loaded question is to be sadly expected, plus the fact that only Express readers were polled anyway. If there should be a campaign against anything, it would be against conducting ridiculously biased polls like this. Of course, not that this is new to the Express anyway. Also, why the image on the front page of what appears to be an Islamic headscarf seeing that Bulgarians and Romanians are overwhelmingly Christian?

Know Your Bones: October 2013

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:10 pm by he_who_is_nobody

I have been inspired by Minda Berbeco’s Fossil Friday! posts over at the National Center for Science Education and have decided to start my own similar series.

 

At the beginning of every month, I will post a photo of a bone/fossil/skeleton. In the comment section, readers can guess the name of the critter that the bone/fossil/skeleton belonged too and at the beginning of the next month, I will post the answer, a short summary of said bone/fossil/skeleton and next month’s challenge. First person that guesses correctly will be quoted in the blog post and have bragging rights for the whole month.

 

I hope everyone will enjoy this, so on to the challenge. This month’s will be an easy one.

 

(Take at the Natural Academy of Science.)

The Lord Kitchener Poster myth?

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:09 pm by theyounghistorian77

One could perhaps expect something of an increase in news-stories about the first World war to pop-up in the run into it’s 100th anniversary. There will be the very human stories such as this from the Birmingham Mail about a Private Henry Tandey who could well have killed a wounded Hitler (and thus could have produced a very different 20th century) or this from the Daily Mail about a “Captain Robert Campbell” who was a POW in a German camp and how he was let out by the Kaiser to go see his dying mother. All very touching and interesting to read if i might add. And in addition to all that there will be the stories about individual historians that are trying their utmost (rightly or wrongly) to challenge a national consensus, for example the stories of Max Hastings’ new book which i touched upon in my last blog post which the things i said there will be subject to a critique by myself in the near future.

The following as reported by the Daily Telegraph certainly belongs in the latter camp, and there’s very little to say about it other than to point out the sheer sensationalism of the article and of the historian being reported upon here. Because according to it the Lord Kitchener poster, perhaps arguably the single most iconic army recruitment poster of either World war …. “never existed”!?

“..[N]ew research has found that no such poster was actually produced during the war and that the image was never used for official recruitment purposes. In fact, it only became popular and widely-used after the conflict ended. […] As part of his research, he [James Taylor] studied the official records of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, the body responsible for recruitment posters, in the National Archives at Kew. These documents provided details of the production of almost 200 official recruitment posters produced during the war and indicated which ones were deemed popular. The so-called ‘Your Country Needs You’ poster is absent. He also analysed thousands of photographs of street scenes and recruitment offices from the period in search of the image, again, without finding it.”

But is that true?

“Mr Taylor’s book shows how the Kitchener image did inspire similar posters, which were used, including one, which was produced by LO [London Opinion], with the word BRITONS, above the same picture of the Field Marshal pointing, with the words “wants YOU – Join Your Country’s Army!”, beneath, and the words ‘God Save The King’ printed along the bottom.”

To properly understand this one needs to have a look at both versions described in the paragraph side by side. The one on the left is the version being derided as being mythical, the one on the Right is the Kitchener poster being conceded as genuine.

Of course the way to prove that the poster on the left is a genuine poster is to find it within any old photo taken during the war but on the Internet that is not as easy to do as it sounds. Because of the modern popularity of the “poster” a “Google images” search will only turn out either with replicas such as a recent “Colman’s Mustard” advertising campaign or digitisations which is what you see on both cases above without substantial indications that what you’re looking it are taken from photos of originals. That being said i know of 2, and only 2, potential examples of the left poster. This and something akin to it appearing right at the beginning of this 1959 doc about the Great War here. I have to give credit to a good friend of mine for alerting me to these examples.

If you have any more examples of the left poster (as opposed to the Right one) in old photos, please feel free to share them. As for the rest of the Telegraph article it conveys truths that have already long been known about. The poster failed to halt a relative decline in recruitment in late 1914, and those who have seen my old poster collection thread will know the poster was later adapted by the Nazis, the Soviets, and indeed Churchill (among others) for their own propaganda purposes. So i don’t think i really have much more to say on the matter.

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