german radio broadcast

Russia Rejects German Armistice Offer

June 9 1917, Petrograd–Since the Revolution, many of Russia’s soldiers had questioned why Russia should remain in the war.  The Provisional Government had (despite some objections) sworn off any goal of annexing territory or receiving reparations from the war, and urged other countries to do the same.  Despite this, they were unwilling to conduct a separate peace with Germany, a position they reiterated on June 9 by rejecting an armistice offer the Germans had broadcast by radio.  There were several reasons for this.  The new political leaders took Russia’s commitments to her Allies seriously, and did not want autocratic Germany to win the war in the west; if Russia pulled out now, there could very well be annexations elsewhere.  Furthermore, Russia, having suffered grave defeats in 1915, and now dealing with the aftermath of the Revolution, would be negotiating from a position of weakness, and would likely have to make many concessions to the Central Powers.  While much of the land occupied was in Poland (which the Provisional Government had promised independence anyway), a peace would likely still be humiliating for Russia and her government.

Lastly, the revolutionaries hoped (despite copious evidence to the contrary) that the war would unify Russia around the revolution, by defending it from a foreign threat.  Their favorite analogy was to France in the 1790’s, but this was flawed; Germany was not attempting to restore the Czar or undo the revolution.  

Often, the soldiers took matters into their own hands.  Around the same time, the soldiers’ committees of XXXIII Corps received a German officer, Lt. Bauermeister, who gave lectures well behind the Russian lines, saying that Germany wanted peace and that the Provisional Government was a tool of Allied bankers.  The speeches were well-received, and the men of XXXIII Corps declared that they wanted an armistice, raising white flags along their front, despite vehement protests from the officers.  The Germans were more than glad to go along with this, until the Russians launched a general offensive a few weeks later.  Elsewhere, soldiers increasingly found themselves drawn to the Bolsheviks, the only party advocating for an immediate peace.

Today in 1916: Franklin Roosevelt Promotes “Plattsburgh of the Sea”
Today in 1915: Italians Take Monfalcone, Repulsed Near Sagrado

Sources include: Orlando Figes, A People’s Tragedy.

Liudmyla Pavlychenko was a Soviet soldier during World War 2 and is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history, with a total record of 309 kills. 

Born in a small village in Ukraine in 1916, Pavlychenko and her family later moved to Kiev when she was 9 years old. When she was 14 she joined a shooting club and became adept at firing rifles. As a young woman she studied history at Kiev university, during which time she also practiced sprinting, pole vaulting, and took classes at a sniper’s school to improve her marksmanship.

When Nazi Germany began its invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Pavlychenko was among the first group of volunteers at the army recruiting office. Despite providing her marksmanship certificate, she was initially laughed at and told she could be a nurse instead. However she went on to prove her worth to the army by shooting two Romanian soldiers near Belyayevka, Odessa, using a Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle with 3.5X telescopic sight. Following this demonstration she was accepted into the Red Army’s 25th Rifle Division.

Pavlychenko was initially hesitant about taking human lives, but was shocked into action after witnessing the death of a young soldier next to her. “He was such a nice, happy boy,” she recalled. “And he was killed just next to me. After that, nothing could stop me.” For the next two and half months she spent in Odessa, Pavlychenko racked up a tally of 187 kills.

After Odessa fell to Romanian forces, Pavlychenko’s unit was relocated to fight in the 8-month long Siege of Sevastopol. During the siege she continued to excel, adding a further 257 kills to her record. As her kill count rose she was assigned to increasingly dangerous missions, including countersniping hunts which could last for entire days and nights at a time. By May 1942, Pavlychenko had dispatched 36 enemy snipers in this manner. She became so notorious that the Germans broadcast radio messages trying to bribe her to defect.

Despite being wounded on four separate occasions, Pavlychenko remained in active service until June 1942, when her position was bombed and shrapnel struck her face. Because of her fame she was withdrawn from duty and sent to the United States on a publicity visit, where she became the first Soviet citizen to be received by a US President. Pavlychenko was disappointed by the disparaging comments by the American press about her appearance in uniform, but emboldened by her friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt she lashed out at them at a press event in Chicago, saying "I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?”

On returning home, Pavlychenko was promoted to Major and became a sniper instructor. In 1943, she was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union for her heroic service. After the war she went on to complete her education and became a historian attached to the Soviet navy. She died aged 58 and is buried in the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow.
German Radio Broadcast /// 007

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Got Chair? 
Thank Bauhaus: radical artists that sprang up in Weimar in the winter of 1918. ~14 years later Nazi’s gave them the boot… too radical.

Playlist
  1. Brothers In Arms (Dire Strait’s cover) - Vienna Symphonic Orchestra [SCOTLAND / AUSTRIA]
  2. /// Das Modell (Kraftwerk cover) - Triology
  3. Macht kaputt was euch kaputt macht - Ton Steine Scherben
  4. Tanzt Kaputt Was Euch Kaputt Macht - Straftanz
  5. Weil Ich’s Kann! - Nachtmahr [AUSTRIA]
  6. I want out (Helloween cover) - Sonata Arctica [FINNLAND]
  7. Future World (Helloween cover) - YouTube user: fhead1250 
  8. Ride the Sky (Helloween cover) - Eugent Bushpepa [ALBANIA]
  9. /// I’m Alive (Helloween cover) Luca Turilli [ITALY]
  10. Eagle Fly Free (Helloween cover) - Alkemyst [FRANCE]
  11. Schwartze Madonna - Bata Illic [Schlager]
  12. Bayernmädels - Die Twinnies [Schlager]
  13. Trink, Trink, Brüderlein, Trink - YouTube [Schlager]
  14. Du bist den ganzen Weg gerannt - Tomte
  15. Ich bin müde - Rio Reiser
  16. Ich sing nicht mehr für dich - Fler & Doreen
  17. Warum - Kay One
  18. Augenblick - Bushido
  19. Vergiss Mich - Sha
  20. Heul Doch - Lafee
  21. /// So Allein - Anna Blue
  22. Taschendieb - Tagtraum
  23. Leben ist schön - Eisblume
  24. Unendlich - Silbermond
  25. Schläfst du schon - Tiemo Hauer
  26. Was ist dann Liebe? - Jan Sievers
  27. Wundervoll - Chima
  28. Fuer die Seele - Sebastian Hämer
  29. Gott liebt mich - Moses Pelham

/// Serving up the leckerest of Deutsches pop, rock and hits ///

This week’s 
German Birthdays

5/15/1862 - Arthur Schnitzler, Austria, playwright/novelist (La Ronde) 

5/16/1558 - Andreas of Austria, Bohemia cardinal/gov of Netherlands (1598-1600)

5/17/1836 - Wilhelm Steinitz, Austria, world chess champion (1866-94) 

5/18/1883 - Walter Gropius, Berlin Germany, architect (Bauhaus school of design) !!! :D

5/18/1965 - Ingo Schwichtenberg, German drummer (d. 1995) was one of the founding members of German power metal band Helloween and was famous for his high-energy drumming. All the Helloween members gave the nickname, “Mr. Smile”, because it was hard to find him without a smile on his face. In the Helloween photo studios, Ingo was always with a smile.

5/19/1959 - Nicole Brown Simpson, Frankford Germany, Mrs OJ Simpson (murdered) 

5/20/1851 - Emile Berliner, Germany, inventor (flat phonograph record)

5/21/1471 - Albrecht Dürer, Nornberg Germany, Renaissance painter/print maker

But it’s so embarrassing. Do you know the word embarrassing? When, if - if you go with a beard, and the people see that it’s you with a beard, it’s embarrassing. John and I went through London Airport with glasses and beard and hats and coats. And as we walked through, people said, ‘Hello, George, hello, John!’ We were so embarrassed. It’s awful. […] So it’s better to go like this and just run.
—  George Harrison on whether it is possible for The Beatles to walk around unrecognized with disguises to evade Beatlemania, in an interview with German reporters, broadcast on Radio Luxemburg late March/early April 1965