Wednesday, April 22, 2015

don't read it

Clear, cool, lovely Wednesday. Walk, breakfast on the back porch at Big Mama’s on the Bayou. Up earlier than intended, I got distracted online with Die Deutsche Wochenschau from early to middle 1940s, and those enormously long Mercedes-Benz cars, touring car bodies heavily armored, parading officials of the Third Reich.

Besides Adolf Hitler this morning I watched Joseph Goebbels the propaganda minister sit down at a microphone in a broadcast house. Also Goering, Herr Reichsmarschall haughty and arrogant, resplendent and self-important in his white uniform, with his marshal’s baton. Cars always with top down. Goering with huge smiles, on tour, working the crowds. I always hope there are none of my cousins in the saluting arms and beaming, adoring faces around him. I see no innocence whatsoever.

One of those huge MB cars made the US tour in the 1940s on a flatbed trailer, billed as Hitler’s car. It was parked for several days or a week on Harrison Avenue in front of Walgreen’s at the corner of 5th Street. Must have been 1946, maybe even late 1945, right after the war.  

Another display there was a baleen whale, I think it was a blue whale, a huge creature, also on a long flatbed trailer about the same place. It too was making the rounds, and by the time it arrived on Harrison Avenue it seemed to have been out of the water for some weeks, because it was going off putrid.

Back to Youtube and DDW, the German newsreels. The propaganda was horrendous, vicious, inciting hatred and violence. Of course, our propaganda also was quite effective, seventy years ago this month including newsreels of our soldiers liberating the Nazi death camps, the effect on me still grips my feelings about Germans and Germany. I’ll never understand how people could treat each other so. Throughout that horrific chapter, we knew Americans could never do such, and I honestly believed that truth until our My Lai massacre of the village in Vietnam, with Life magazine photos of the murdered including infants. And years later, Shock and Awe with it’s fallout, including ISIS. I’m reading a book that makes the case, points out, that war and warring is our nature and has ever been so, from before history. Beyond sad. What to do? 

Just enjoy the view, I suppose? Seems rather weak. Seawall at E. Beach Drive this morning.

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