May 2020

Why would he deceive us?

What does he have to lose?

I don't believe a word of it!

... our generals are the scum of the German people!

With the United States the epi-center of an on-going pandemic, there's an undercurrent of white nationalism, including aggrievements as to the source of our misery. Next up: "Blame China" is going to be a political campaign platform in 2020. I'm getting sick of white supremicist rhetoric, maybe its time to reflect on how an earlier example ended up. Actually, it ends really well, if you consider more recent history, but first you have to defeat the bad guys.

That movie clip above is from The Downfall, starring Bruno Ganz.(Der Untergang in its native laguage). Do the comments I quoted sound familiar today? The entire situation of people following a "leader" who is in over his head with little regard for his anyone but himself is pretty frightening. A similar effort filmed in the English language is "The Bunker", where Anthony Hopkins plays the madman.You can watch the entire 1981 movie on Youtube, here.

In 1945, Germany was led by a pathological narcissist who had NOT been elected by the people, but who, upon taking power, cancelled national elections for the remainder of his lifetime and forcibly removed anyone who opposed him from office.  I don't even want to use his name, as he is such a disgrace to humanity.  He called most of the media of the day "Lügenpresse" (literally ‘lying press’), and encouraged everyone to listen to his one approved news channel. He installed his dim-witted cronies in the highest positions in the land, confident they'd do whatever he said, and began to "restore German greatness". And most famously, he laid blame for all economic and social hardships to a certain group of individuals.

Now, let's review the time period leading up to May 1945, from 75 years ago...

January 16... Adolf moves into the Berlin Bunker, his final home. Sometime later his girlfriend Eva joins him.

April 5: Adolf's dog Blondi, also known as the best-fed animal in Germany gives birth to six puppies, the favorite is named Wulf.

By his birthday on April 20, Russians are  bombarding the city with artillery (as opposed to Allied bombs), which makes it obvious to everyone that troubles are not very far away. Perhaps no city has ever taken the artillery pounding that Berlin did that month.,_Berlin,_Brandenburger_Tor_und_Pariser_Platz.jpg

April 27/28th: Adolf's peer Benito Mussolini and his girlfriend Clara Petacci are captured near the Swiss border. They are executed by firing squad in a small village in northern Italy. It is likely that Il Duce was killed by Resistance fighter Walter Audisio. His body was strung up in Milan at a gas station that was half finished, thanks to Standard Oil. Read more here:

April 29: Adolf and Eva get married in the Berlin bunker. They spend a total of 40 hours together as husband and wife.

April 30: Adolf gives Blondi a cyanide capsule as a potency test (at this point he didn't even trust his people to provide poison), then he and Eva commit suicide. Adolf also shot himself in the head and the bodies are dragged outside where they are partially burned. 

Russians (the Soviet army) arrive at the Bunker on May 2. A. Russians picked up Adolf’s teeth from where his body was burned, of which four were original.  Presumably they still exist somewhere in Moscow.  On May 3, among other dead bodies they find corpses of Ministry of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels' six children, who were fed cyanide in their bedrooms before their parents took their own lives. History records the passing of its "number one tool."

Germany does not capitulate until May 8, mostly to move soldiers away from Russians and towards Americans for more favorable conditions of surrender. Makes sense when you consider that Germany killed more than 2 million Soviet POWs by starvation, forced labor, exposure, and other mistreatments.

The Potsdam Conference in July 1945 outlined a plan for moving forward after the war, but it was years later before Germany finally recovered from all the "greatness".

Berlin is carved up to an Allied side and a Soviet side in the terms of surrender. The Allied area is an island inside Soviet occupied Berlin.  In1948, Stalin cuts off all road access to the allied section of Berlin, marking the start of the Cold War. The Berlin airlift, June 1948 to May 1949  is quite possibly the greatest achievement of post-war allies. At the peak rate of April 1949, 234,000 tons of supplies were delivered to more than 2 million people, with planes carrying just 3.5 tons each. How big is 234,000 tons? When the Edmund Fizgerald sank in 1975, it was at its full load capacity of 29,000 tons, and it was this biggest box of rocks on the lake.  The airlift is truly a story of April resurrection. 

The Berlin bunker was partially blown up in 1947, and as parts of it are revealed in excavations they are unceremoniously destroyed.

Sometime around 1955 I imagine, the average Berlin citizen would have enjoyed his or her first hot shower since the war. If you are reading this, chances are you have never suffered as much.

A new hill of 80 meters height was formed near Berlin, where all the rubble was moved over the course of twenty years following surrender.

In 1977, David Bowie and Brian Eno composed "Heroes" while staying in Berlin.  Following his death in 2016, Germany officially thanked Bowie for his part in bringing down the Berlin Wall. You probably have heard Eno's works 100,000 times without knowing, he wrote the boot-up notes for Microsoft Windows 95. In the offcial video below, be sure to notice Bowie flub his lip sych around 1:50...

If you are a diehard Bowie fan (who isn't) you can learn how that track was mixed, here.

So, when has enough time passed before you can make a dramatic comedy movie out of a huge tragedy and not get villified?  Probably never.  But you should still take time to watch JoJo Rabbit, fimled in 2019.  It the story of a boy in the Deutsches Jungvolk during the fall of Berlin, who finds a Jewish girl hiding in his house.

Want to learn more? Read "The Bunker". Here are first-hand witnesses contributing toa  journalistic piece written by James P. O'Donnell and Uwe Bahnsen. O'Donnell was able to examine the Bunker not long after the surrender. First published as Die Katakombe

Additional eyewitness accounts:

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