pre ww2

Adolf Hitler as a witness in a murder trial. One of his stormtroopers was accused of killing a political enemy.
At Hitler’s left is Dr. Libbert, mayor of Berlin at the time (1931) At Hitler’s right is Dr. Hans Frank, later Governer of Nazi-occupied Poland. Rudolf Hess is in the background. This photo was made secretly…

England’s biggest demonstration of its readiness to go through a gas attack was staged, March 16, 1938, when 2,000 volunteers in Birmingham donned gas masks and went through an elaborate drill. These three firemen were fully equipped, from rubber boots to masks, for the mock gas “invasion”.


This clearly isn’t new information, and scholarship has existed for decades on the topic. But I’m currently doing research for a paper and quickly discovering the strong connections between racial terrorism in the South and African-Americans being driven off their land and losing an identity that came from being, as August Wilson said, “…a land based agrarian people from Africa.” 

According to a PBS article, “In 1910, nearly one million black farmers in the U.S. owned a total of 15 million acres; by 1969 they held only 6 million acres. In 1920, blacks owned 14% of the nation’s farms; today, there are only 18,000 black farmers, representing less than 1% of all farms.”

The theory of the post-Civil War, pre-WW2 Great Migration, which assumed that blacks left the south to find jobs in the industrialized north is bullshit. Instead, the Great Migration was a land-grab that was only made possible through murder and racial terrorism:

"The Great Migration from the South, in which millions of African-Americans moved North and West, was partly a forced migration in which black people fled the threat of murder at the hands of white mobs." (NYT)

In the end an urban, proletarianized, black underclass was created in the cities of the north. Deprived of their own means of subsistence and subject to a white supremacist class of employers, we can clearly see at least part of the origins of the racial oppression that exists in the US. 

I have a really strong image of pre-Contagion mordesh having the aesthetic for their military officers like that of pre-WW2 Polish military cavalrymen (with big ol mustaches) and their police officers like Victorian era English policemen.