1945 1946


The Madness of Rudolf Hess

During the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-1946, one of the most complicated questions of the trial was if one of the defendants, Rudolf Hess, former Deputy Fuhrer of the Third Reich, was competent to stand trial.  From a legal standpoint, Hess probably was not, as with hindsight we now know that Hess was missing a few marbles. Before World War II many Nazi leaders admitted that Hess was a bit strange, but the story of Hess’ craziness begins in 1941.  Without Hitler’s orders, Hess commandeered a plane, flying to Britain with the goal of negotiating a peace with the British.  In one of the most bizarre incidents of the war, Hess parachuted from his plane into a Scottish farmer’s field near Glasgow.  The farmer took Hess to the headquarters of the local Home Guard unit, who eventually turned him over to the regular military.

It was during Hess’ imprisonment at the hands of the British that his mental health would deteriorate quickly.  He believed that his psychologists were poisoning his food with a type of “brain poison” and often would refuse to eat.  Sometimes he would take samples of his food and wrap them in wax paper, saving them for later so that they could be analyzed for poison.  He often had long bouts of amnesia, which psychologists at first believed he was faking, but later theorized that he might have convinced himself that he had amnesia.  While under British custody he attempted suicide twice, once by attempting to jump off a balcony, then with a dull butter knife. Towards the end of the war, Hess formulated his own theory for the causes of the war.  First and foremost was his belief that the Jews had poisoned the Allies, and pretty much anyone who opposed the Nazi Party with a special type of psychedelic drug which hypnotized them and made them act irrationally.  He even drew up a list of those he believed had been drugged, which included most of the Allied political leadership, his psychologists, and himself.

After Hess was transferred to Germany for the Nuremberg Trials in October of 1945, his mental status continued to deteriorate even further.  His persistent belief that he was being poisoned grew worse, as did his bouts of amnesia.  Regardless, psychologists declared him fit to stand trial.  The question of his fitness continued as his behavior grew more bizarre by the day.  When asked to plead to the court, he stood and shouted “no”, which the court interpreted as “not guilty”.  Seated next to Hess was Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering. Hess was often seen conversing with the former Luftwaffe chief, with Goering responding with a speechless “dafuq u just say?” reaction.  He giggled for no reason and often spent hours of the trial staring at nothing.  He believed that his guards had placed a noise machine under the prison floors specifically to unnerve the inmates before the trial.  During the night, Hess had written “quiet” all over his walls in chalk, none of the other inmates complained of the noise, which turned out to be an electrical generator. Ten days into the Nuremberg Trial the question of his fitness for trial was once again going to be reviewed by the court when Hess stood and announced that he was faking his amnesia.  The court and his psychologists were dumbfounded, for if he was faking and had just admitted it, he had eliminated the possibility of him not standing trial.
During the trial Hess never spoke with his defense attorney or offered any kind of defense. However he constantly stated that he would make a surprise revelation, one that would shock the world while clearing his name and that of the Nazi Party. 

At the end of the trial the trial each of the defendants were given the opportunity to make a closing statement.  It was then that Hess made his shocking revelation.  He made a lengthy and at times, incoherent speech, one that truly did shock the court. Goering at one point mumbled to Hess, “stop talking”, then put on a pair of sunglasses and covered his face in embarrassment as Hess’ rambling continued.  Hess claimed that the Holocaust was not the fault of the Nazi Party but of the Jews themselves.  According to Hess, the Jews had hypnotized the political leadership of the Nazi Party as well as the concentration camp commanders and guards, causing them to act so cruelly to the Jews.  Thus, he believed the Jews self exterminated in order to make the Nazi’s appear to be cold hearted murderers. 

Hess was sentenced to life in prison, most of which he would spend at Spandau prison.  For the rest of his life his bizarre behaviors continued.  At one point, he even believed that he was the Fuhrer of the “Fourth Reich”.  He died in prison in 1987.


William Heirens was convicted of the serial murders of 3 people between June 1945 and January 1946. He is especially well known for the message left at the crime scene of his second victim, shown in the first image, where he said:

For heavens sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself.

He was not captured after this crime, and instead reportedly went on to kidnap, murder and dismember a 6 year old girl named Suzanne Degnan. He stole her from her bedroom, having her call in and tell her mother she was fine when her mother awoke from the disturbance of his break in, and left a ransom note for $20,000. He had no intention of ever returning the girl to her mother, and instead her decapitated head was discovered in the catch basin pictured in the second image, with other body parts in different catch basins, drains and sewers nearby.

Despite his conviction, his treatment following his arrest and subsequent confession have been called into question numerous times, and leave the validity of his guilt uncertain.


“My beloved Papa!!! We are now in Castle Veldenstein. I have great, great longing for you and love you very much. Return soon to us…The pansies are so sweet and the roses are so beautiful. I pray to God every night to us. 1,000,000 kisses from Your Edda!!!…”.

To my beloved Papa!!!“ and Edda included a 2” x 3" photograph of herself, inscribed in red crayon: “Your Edda ”. Regrettably, these sentimental pieces never reached Göring’s hands: an unsigned note included indicates that the major war criminals at Nuremberg were denied the right to receive mail, and these drawing and letters were given by a prison guard to a fellow soldier.

Alfred Hitchcock birthday/movie appreciation post:

The 39 Steps (1935)

The Girl Was Young (1937)

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Rebecca (1940)

Suspicion (1941)

Saboteur (1942)

Lifeboat (1944)

Spellbound (1945)

Notorious (1946)

Rope (1948)

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Rear Window (1954)

To Catch a Thief (1955)

The Trouble With Harry (1955)

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

The Wrong Man (1956)

Vertigo (1958)

North By Northwest (1959)

Psycho (1960)

The Birds (1963)

Marnie (1964)

Torn Curtain (1966)


The American Paratrooper Who Served in the Red Army During World War II.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Joseph R. Beyrle enlisted in the US Army and volunteered for the elite paratrooper service.  After completing paratrooper training and training as a demonlitions expert, he was assigned to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) with the rank of sergeant. Little did he know where the winds of destiny would blow him. 

His first two missions were secret clandestine operations in which he covertly parachuted into German occupied France wearing bandoliers filled with gold, which he delivered to the French Resistance. On June 6th, 1944 Beyrle participated in the legendary D-Day drop during the Normandy Invasions. When his plane came under heavy fire he was forced to jump early and only 120 meters above the ground. Despite being separated from his unit, Sgt. Beyrle continued his mission, performing acts of sabotage behind enemy lines which resulted in the destruction of two bridges and a power station.  Unfortunatley a few days later he was captured by the Germans when he accidentally stumbled upon a German machine gun nest.  For the next 7 months he was held as a prisoner of war, where he became notorious as an escape artist, making several attempts, two of which were seccessful.  After each attempt, the Germans tortured, starved, and beat him, then transfered him to a different camp.  During his time in German captivity he was shuffled between seven different camps.  After his 7th escape attempt, which was successful except that he accidentally boarded a train for Berlin, the Germans sent him to a camp deep within Poland, with the idea that it’s distance from the Western Front would discourage him from further escape attempts.  Promptly after arriving at the camp in January of 1945, he successfully escaped and made his way to Soviet lines.

After his escape, he came upon the 1st Battalian of the 1st Tank Guards, where he met the famous lady tank commander Captain Aleksandra Samusenko, introducing her with the greeting, “Americansky tovarishch” (American comrade), while handing over a pack of Lucky Strikes. 

Wanting to get back into the war, Bayrle convinced Samusenko to allow him to join the Battalion. Samusenko agreed, and he was appointed a tank machine gunner.  For the next month he would serve with the Red Army, even taking part in the liberation of the POW camp from which he had escaped.  In February of 1945, he was seriously wounded after an attack by a Stuka dive bomber, and was evacuated to a Soviet hospital. During his recuperation, he met none other than the Soviet supreme military commander, Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov. 

 When Bayrle arrived at the US Embassy in Moscow, he learned that he was officially listed as dead, and that his family back home in Muskegon, Michigan had celebrated his funeral.  As it turns out, when he was captured during the Normandy Invasion, his uniforn and dogtags were taken and used by a German infiltration unit.  The German soldier wearing the uniform was unexpectidly killed in September, the corpse being recovered by the Allies and mistakenly identifed as Bayrle’s and buried in France.  Bayrle returned home in April of 1945, married in 1946 (coincidentally in the same church that held his funeral) and lived a happy life raising three children. In 1994 during the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, he was awarded with medals by both US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the White House. He was also personally awarded a specially made presentation AK-47 dedicated to him by Mikhail Kalashnikov.  Joseph “Jumpin’ Joe” Beyrle passed away in 2004 while visiting the paratrooper training grounds in Toccoa, Georgia. He was buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery.


Destino, a film by Salvador Dali & Walt Disney

Destino is an animated short film released in 2003 by The Walt Disney Company. Destino is unique in that its production originally began in 1945, 58 years before its eventual completion. The project was originally a collaboration between Walt Disney and Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, and features music written by Mexican songwriter Armando Dominguez and performed by Dora Luz. 

Destino (Spanish for destiny) was storyboarded by Disney studio artist John Hench and artist Salvador Dalí for eight months in late 1945 and 1946; however production ceased not long after. The Walt Disney Company, then Walt Disney Studios, was plagued by financial woes in the World War II era. Hench compiled a short animation test of about 17 seconds in the hopes of rekindling Disney’s interest in the project, but the production was no longer deemed financially viable and put on indefinite hiatus. In 1999, Walt Disney’s nephew Roy E. Disney, while working on Fantasia 2000, unearthed the dormant project and decided to bring it back to life. Walt Disney Studios Paris, the company’s small Parisian production department, was brought on board to complete the project. A team of approximately 25 animators deciphered Dalí and Hench’s cryptic storyboards (with a little help from the journals of Dalí’s wife Gala Dalí and guidance from Hench himself), and finished Destino’s production. The end result is mostly traditional animation, including Hench’s original footage, but it also contains some computer animation.

The Bechdel Test is a popular and very simple test to judge movies on their level of representation. For a movie to pass: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. 

If you ever want to check if a film passes the test, check here. For now, under the cut are the links to movies made before 1970 that do pass. (more masterposts)

Keep reading


Jumping back on the Batman cover timeline here as I just came across these in my research.

Collection Fantome was a French black & white magazine published in 1945 and 1946 that appeared to reprint DC stories of the period.

The Batman stories were mainly published in 1946 and titled “La Chauve Souris,” which translates simply as “The Bat.”

I would say that Collection Fantome now counts as the earliest Foreign language Batman reprint.

I was killed near Rzhev,
In a nameless bog,
In the fifth,
On left flank,
In a violent raid.

I haven’t heard the explosion
And haven’t seen that flash -
Into abyss from a cliff -
No bottom, no end.

And in all the bright world
Till the end of its days
Nor a patch
Nor a badge
From my shirt you will find.

I am - where blind roots
Lurk for food in the dark;
I am - where in a cloud of dust
Rye waves on the wind. <…>

Where - a blade upon blade -
River weaves down the grass,
Where my own mother
Won’t come down to mourn.

In a bitter year’s summer
I was killed. And for me - 
No news, no reports
After that day. <…>

The fighting burned without stopping
Like a stab of the flesh.
I was killed and don’t know -
Is Rzhev ours at last?<…>

The dead, and the voiceless
Have one single joy:
We fell for our Motherland,
But she -
Is preserved.

Our eyes have grown dark,
As had the flame of our hearts
And during the name call,
They aren’t looking for us.

We are a stump or a stone - 
Even darker, more dull.
Our eternal remembrance -
Does anyone want?

Our ashes are rightfully
Claimed by black black earth.
Our glory eternal -
Is a little delight.

Even if you can’t hear our voice,
You must know it.

—  Alexander Tvardovsky, 1945-1946. 
Film Noir / Neo-Noir From Female Writers

Every film on this list either had a female screenwriter, a “story by” credit, or was based on a novel written by a woman

  1. The House Across the Bay (1940)
  2. Fingers at the Window (1942)
  3. The Night of January 16th (1941)
  4. Whispering Footsteps (1943)
  5. The Fallen Sparrow (1943)
  6. The Lodger (1944)
  7. Guest in the House (1944)
  8. Laura (1944)
  9. Girl in 313 (1940)
  10. End of the Road (1944)
  11. Strange Illusion (1945)
  12. Danger Signal (1945)
  13. The Great Flamarion (1945)
  14. The Spiral Staircase (1945)
  15. The Lady Confesses (1945)
  16. Mildred Pierce (1945)
  17. The Unseen (1945)
  18. Green for Danger (1946)
  19. Undercurrent (1946)
  20. Nocturne (1946)
  21. Crime Doctor’s Man Hunt (1946)
  22. Strange Impersonation (1946)
  23. Bedelia (1946)
  24. The Big Sleep (1946)
  25. Shadow of a Woman (1946)
  26. Desperate (1947)
  27. The Brasher Doubloon (1947)
  28. Whispering City (1947)
  29. Dishonored Lady (1947)
  30. Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)
  31. The Upturned Glass (1947)
  32. The Pretender (1947)
  33. Deep Valley (1947)
  34. Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
  35. T-Men (1947)
  36. A Double Life (1947)
  37. The Arnelo Affair (1947)
  38. Bury Me Dead (1947)
  39. Desert Fury (1947)
  40. Love from a Stranger (1947)
  41. The Paradine Case (1947)
  42. Dear Murderer (1947)
  43. The Amazing Mr. X (1948)
  44. Road House  (1948)
  45. The Velvet Touch (1948)
  46. Daybreak (1948)
  47. I, Jane Doe (1948)
  48. The Sign of the Ram (1948)
  49. Night Unto Night (1949)
  50. A Woman’s Secret (1949)
  51. The Bribe (1949)
  52. Follow Me Quietly (1949)
  53. Strange Bargain (1949)
  54. The Accused (1949)
  55. White Heat (1949)
  56. Johnny Allegro (1949)
  57. Shockproof (1949)
  58. The Reckless Moment (1949)
  59. No Man of Her Own (1950)
  60. In a Lonely Place (1950)
  61. Shadow on the Wall (1950)
  62. Panic in the Streets (1950)
  63. Guilt Is My Shadow (1950)
  64. The Clouded Yellow (1950)
  65. M (1951)
  66. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  67. The Company She Keeps (1951)
  68. Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
  69. On Dangerous Ground (1951)
  70. Affair in Trinidad (1952)
  71. The Sniper (1952)
  72. Talk About a Stranger (1952)
  73. Walk East on Beacon! (1952)
  74. Ruby Gentry (1952)
  75. Jennifer (1953)
  76. Man in the Attic (1953)
  77. The Fake (1953)
  78. The System (1953)
  79. The Blue Gardenia (1953)
  80. Count the Hours (1953)
  81. The Hitch-hiker (1953) - also directed by a woman
  82. Blackout (1954)
  83. Make Haste to Live (1954)
  84. Private Hell 36
  85. Footsteps in the Fog (1955)
  86. Shack Out on 101 (1955)
  87. Not as a Stranger (1955)
  88. Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
  89. Blonde Sinner (1956)
  90. Over-Exposed (1956)
  91. The Long Goodbye (1973)
In case you need an idea of what that looks like, Kentucky basketball has:

NCAA Tournament champions: 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012

NCAA Tournament runner up: 1966, 1975, 1997, 2014

NCAA Tournament Final Four: 1942, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1966, 1975, 1978, 1984, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2011, 2012, 2014

NCAA Tournament Elite Eight: 1942, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen: 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

NCAA Tournament appearances: 1942, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

Conference tournament champions: 1921, 1933, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011 (Note: There was no SEC tourney from 1953–1978.)

Conference regular season champions1926, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012

Top Bugs Bunny Cartoons (in chronological order)

This week is the 75th anniversary of America’s greatest cartoon character, Bugs Bunny. Here is a list of some of my favorite cartoons with the famous wasacally wabbit. 

A Wild Hare (1940)

Elmer’s Pet Rabbit (1941)

Wabbit Twouble (1941)

The Wabbit Who Came To Supper (1942)

Wackiki Wabbit (1943)

A Corny Concerto (1943)

Super Rabbit (1943)

Little Red Riding Rabbit (1944)

Bugs Bunny And The Three Bears (1944)

The Old Grey Hare (1944)

Hare Force (1944)

Hare Tonic (1945)

Hare Conditioned (1946)

Baseball Bugs (1946)

The Big Snooze (1946)

Hair Raising Hare (1946)

A Hare Grows In Manhattan (1947)

Easter Yeggs (1947)

Slick Hare (1947)

Gorilla My Dreams (1948)

Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948)

Rabbit Punch (1948)

Long-Haired Hare (1949)

High Diving Hare (1949)

What’s Up Doc (1950)

Rabbit Of Seville (1950)

Bunker Hill Bunny (1950)

Rabbit Fire (1951)

Rabbit Seasoning (1952)

Bully For Bugs (1953)

What’s Opera Doc (1957)

Shishkabugs (1962)