history-of-germany

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February 22nd 1943: White Rose group executed

On this day in 1943, three members of the peaceful resistance movement in Nazi Germany, the White Rose, were executed. The White Rose, comprising students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor, began in June 1942. The group secretly distributed leaflets protesting against the regime of Adolf Hitler and the war being waged in Europe, highlighting the repressive nature of the Nazi police state and drawing attention to the mistreatment of Jews. The group took precautions to avoid capture by keeping the White Rose group very small. However, on 18th February 1943, the siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl were discovered distributing leaflets by a university janitor, who informed the Gestapo. Hans and Sophie were arrested and immediately admitted guilt, hoping to avoid being coerced into implicating their fellow members of the White Rose, but after further interrogation were forced to give up the names. Four days later, the Scholls and Christoph Probst - some of the founding members of the group - were put on trial and found guilty of treason; they were sentenced to death. That same day, February 22nd, the three were executed by beheading at Stadelheim Prison. After their executions, the remaining members were arrested and killed, thus ending the White Rose resistance movement. The White Rose, alongside other groups like the Edelweiss Pirates, are an important example of Germans speaking out against Hitler’s regime, and their deaths are yet another in the litany of Nazi crimes.

“We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!”

Demonstrations are NOT enough

Revisionist history says that everyone in Germany was totally cool with Nazism, but there were over 100k people willing to take to the street to protest the rise of Nazism in Berlin in 1932. 

Even in a time where Nazism was the only platform estimated to bring Germany out of post-war poverty, this many people were willing to stand up against it. 

The Nazis won because this energy was not sustained.

If yesterday was your 1st demonstration, don’t let it be your last! Don’t let it be your only method of resistance!

remember: 

Daguerreotype portrait of Helene Biewend and her friend Emilie Fromke sewing in a garden probably somewhere in Germany, 1846. By Hermann Carl Eduard Biewend.

Source: National Gallery of Canada.

i would love to find new blogs to follow! reblog this post if you have a blog consisting of:

harry potter
pride and prejudice
supernatural
doctor who
stranger things
criminal minds
a series of unfortunate events
the mortal instruments
poetry/quotes/music/art/aesthetic
american horror story
dane dehaan
shameless
dexter
to kill a mockingbird
sherlock
bates motel
war history/early american history
nazi germany/holocaust (to clarify this, i mean nazi germany/ the holocaust as in history, not supporting nazi ideas!)
serial killers
the lovely bones

if you are multifandom, please list your primary fandoms in the tags! xx

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February 25th 1947: Prussia ceases to exist

On this day in 1947, the state of Prussia, which had existed since 1525, ceased to exist. Prussia was a German kingdom, and in the nineteenth century became its most powerful state, rising in strength to challenge other established European powers. Otto von Bismarck aimed to unite all German states under the domination of Prussia, which was achieved through the German Unification Wars (Austro-Prussian War 1866 & Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871). As Prussia merged with Germany it lost its distinctive identity and in 1918 the royalty abdicated and nobility lost most of its political power. Under Nazi rule, Prussia lost its identity even more, with centralisation policies removing its autonomy. Prussia lost some territory in the post-war division of Germany into zones and the Western allies sought its full abolition. This was secured in Law 46 by the Allied Control Council, citing Prussia’s association with past militarism as the reason. Former Prussian territory was then re-organised. Prussia has since been vilified by Germans as a symbol of the militarism and obedience that led to the Nazi rise to power.

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The Astronomicum Caesareum is a beautifully crafted astrolabe manual, to be used in order to calculate planetary alignment and the location of the stars. Petrus Apianus, a German court astronomer for Emperor Charles V dedicated the work to his patron. In return the emperor promoted Apianus to court mathematician and made him an imperial knight.  Seed pearls sewn into the pages, moving pieces, and dozens of drawings and diagrams make the manuscript a masterpiece. Apianus provided new commentary on Halley’s Comet (seen in 1531 and shown in the last image) and called for instruments to be used in astronomy rather than outdated calculation tables. Only 40 known copies remain in the world.

Nazis weren’t socialists.  Just Stop.

Look, I get why you think that.  “National Socialism!  It’s right in the name!”  It’s easy to think that, but I’m here to tell you exactly why you’re wrong.

And it’s a matter of stipulative definitions.  If you don’t know what they are:

If you want a clear example of how they’re used, one such example is the social justice definition of racism, dissected in the link.

They’re definitions that only apply to one very specific context, and Hitler’s usage of the term Socialism was clearly shown to be a stipulative one in a speech on November 16th, 1928.

“We have to strip the terms ‘Nationalism’ and ‘Socialism’ of their previous meaning. Only that man is a nationalist who stands by his people, and only that man is a socialist who stands up for the rights of his people both internally and externally.”

Standing up for the rights of Aryan Germans was, in Nazi Germany, the definition of a socialist in the phrase “National Socialist”.  This was in connection to what he pushed as the “National Community” which was the Aryan version of American Exceptionalism (”we’re better than everyone, we have a right to expand and take what we need, etc.”).  It wasn’t “Nationalism + Socialist”, a mixing of two ideologies.  It was an entirely new ideology.

He would go on to explicitly say that National Socialism “did not lie in socialism as a universal panacea nor was it a nationalist variant of that idea.”

“But what about the economics of Germany?”

He explained the over-arching philosophy of Nazi Germany’s economy as well in a meeting in 1930 with Strauss in Munich.  He was asked in reference to major German corporations like Krupp, ver-batim  

“Would everything remain unchanged in terms of ownership, profits and management?” 

Hitler’s reply?

“But of course.  Do you think I’m mad enough to destroy the economy?”

He would only step in and seize control of corporations when they worked against what he determined to be “the national interest”.

Which is why, when you rub two brain cells together, Schindler had enough money to save all those Jewish people.  He had political clout and wealth not from being a Party Member (like in soviet russia) but from being a rich businessman who didn’t work against the “national interest”.

Another thing to keep in mind was that Hitler didn’t call socialists “Socialists”.  He labeled them and their movement as “simply marxist(m)”.

He even used socialists and communists as scapegoats and persecuted them.  The Reichstag fire was famously blamed on communists.  He had Goebbels actively prevent socialists from running articles and speeches promoting their ideas.  Socialists were regularly arrested and sent to labor camps. The Night of Long Knives explicitly targeted Socialists and Communists for execution.

Imperial Circles of the Holy Roman Empire in 1560

via reddit:

The Imperial Circles (German: Reichskreis, Dutch: Rijks Kreits, French: cercle impérial) were an attempt to reorganise the Holy Roman Empire into a more efficient union. They where established in the Reichsreform in 1500. All the members of a circle were part of that circle’s diet (German: Kreistag, Dutch: Kreitsdag), but not all members of the circle’s diets where part of the imperial diet. This was thus an attempt to coordinate all the smaller states of the HRE.

The circles would uphold the laws and the peace of their area, and this would halt the further disintegration of the Empire. It didn’t really work in the end however, because all the states would continue to fight each other and more and more areas would be separated from the empire in the following centuries till its end in 1806

The Holy Roman Empire was a very complex place, so this explanation is a bit of a simplification, but to get a sense of what a Kreise was: 

A Kreise was a form of collective defense organisation in the Holy Roman Empire. Not all parts of the HRE was represented in Kreise, such as the crown of Bohemia and some other regions. A Kreise defended its members by putting down rebellions, providing troops to the Emperor when needed and by enforcing the imperial law. Later these Kreise also acted as a form of legislative chamber for their members.

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February 22nd 1943: White Rose group executed

On this day in 1943, three members of the peaceful resistance movement in Nazi Germany, the White Rose, were executed. The White Rose, comprising students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor, began in June 1942. The group secretly distributed leaflets protesting against the regime of Adolf Hitler and the war being waged in Europe, highlighting the repressive nature of the Nazi police state and drawing attention to the mistreatment of Jews. The group took precautions to avoid capture by keeping the White Rose group very small. However, on 18th February 1943, the siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl were discovered distributing leaflets by a university janitor, who informed the Gestapo. Hans and Sophie were arrested and immediately admitted guilt, hoping to avoid being coerced into implicating their fellow members of the White Rose, but after further interrogation were forced to give up the names. Four days later, the Scholls and Christoph Probst - some of the founding members of the group - were put on trial and found guilty of treason; they were sentenced to death. That same day, February 22nd, the three were executed by beheading at Stadelheim Prison. After their executions, the remaining members were arrested and killed, thus ending the White Rose resistance movement. The White Rose, alongside other groups like the Edelweiss Pirates, are an important example of Germans speaking out against Hitler’s regime, and their deaths are yet another in the litany of Nazi crimes.

“We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!”

3

February 27th 1933: Reichstag fire

On this day in 1933, the Reichstag building in Berlin, which housed the German Parliament, was set on fire. The Nazi government of Adolf Hitler then ordered a thorough hunt to track down the arsonist. The police identified the perpetrator as Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist; he and four other Communist leaders were arrested for their supposed role in the blaze. The Nazis used the event as evidence of a Communist plot in Germany, and Hitler urged President Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the Communist threat. This Reichstag Fire Decree gave Hitler considerable powers, and is considered a pivotal moment in Hitler’s consolidation of power into a one-party dictatorship. Van der Lubbe was found guilty and executed by guillotine on January 10th 1934. However, his role has been questioned by historians with some even suggesting he was not responsible and that the fire was ordered by the Nazis themselves.