John Singleton Mosby was a Confederate army cavalry battalion commander in the American Civil War. He was also known as “The Gray Ghost.” Mosby’s command, the 43rd Battalion of the Virginia Cavalry was known as Mosby’s Rangers or Mosby’s Raiders. The Unit was a partisan ranger unit noted for its lightning-quick raids and its ability to elude Union Army pursuers and disappear, blending in with local farmers and townsmen. They were so quick and so skilled, that they practically vanished into thin air. Mosby was a legend, and the area of northern central Virginia soon became known as Mosby’s Confederacy. When the war was over, Mosby went on to become a Republican and worked as an attorney, supporting his former enemy’s commander, US President Ulysses S Grant. His political career took him to the US Department of Justice, where he served as the American consul to Hong Kong.
Mosby was born to Virginia McLaurine Mosby and Alfred Daniel Mosby in Powhatan County, Virginia, on December 6, 1833. He was a graduate of Hampden–Sydney College. Mosby’s father was a member of an old Virginia family of English origin whose ancestor, Richard Mosby, was born in England in 1600. The family settled in Charles City, Virginia in the early 17th century. Young Mosby was named after his maternal grandfather, John Singleton, who was ethnically Irish.
While Mosby was a hero in some ways and a politician, there was another side of him too. Mosby was a Confederate battalion commander, yes, but he was known for his guerrilla military tactics. One of his biggest victories of the war found him and 29 of his men infiltrating the area surrounding the Fairfax County Courthouse in the middle of the night. They caught the Union officers completely off-guard, because they were 10 miles safe behind Union lines. The situation gave Mosby the opportunity he needed. He had captured a general, 30 other Union soldiers, and nearly 60 horses, which was already an incredibly valuable take during the war. In addition, Mosby decided to treat himself, and maybe or maybe not his men, to many of the Union men’s valuables, gathering quite a treasure for himself.
While they were taking their prisoners into Confederate territory, they were informed about Union troops in the area. Mosby decided that he needed to protect his goods. So, he left the group and buried his treasure between two trees. He marked the spot with an X. As sometimes happened, Mosby switched sides politically, and personally, after the war. He chose to support Lincoln and even went on to serve on President Grant’s administration. So, what of the treasure? Well, apparently Mosby never retrieved the treasure he pillaged. Some people reported that he sent Confederate soldiers to dig it up, but they were caught and killed by Union soldiers. And if that was the case, either they hadn’t started digging yet, or hadn’t made it to the location yet, because to this day, the treasure has never been found. I guess he took the location to his grave. John S Mosby died of complications after throat surgery in a Washington, DC hospital on May 30, 1916, noting at the end that it was Memorial Day. He is buried at the Warrenton Cemetery in Warrenton, Virginia.
Once upon a time, journalists and the media as a whole had an obligation to tell the truth, or at least tell the public that the story was their opinion only. The had to have reliable sources, even if they didn’t have to disclose them. While they weren’t “forced” to be truthful, they were completely shunned if they didn’t.
When a journalist is mesmerized by someone, they can definitely fall hard for them. Such was the case with “the job-creating Führer with eyes that were like ‘blue larkspur.'” Why did so many journalists spend years dismissing the evidence of Hitler’s atrocities? Some, like the Christian Science Monitor called Hiter’s effect on Germany as providing “a dark land a clear light of hope.” They talked about how smoothly things were running, how well regulated everything was, and how great the police uniforms were. Strangely, when it came to the killing of the Jewish people, they said things like, “I have so far found quietness, order, and civility;” there was “not the slightest sign of anything unusual afoot.” As for all those “harrowing stories” of Jews being mistreated…they seemed to apply “only to a small proportion;” most were “not in any way molested.” They made it seem like as long as the number were “low,” the problem couldn’t possibly be a big one. Well, the reality as we all know now is that the “problem” was enormous, heinous, and horrific beyond imagination.
Trusting the journalists implicitly, without doing your own research is a very dangerous plan. Journalists have been known to assist in “hiding the evidence” in a matter…as we have seen in recent years. I don’t believe that all journalists are “bad” people, but those that are “bad” people ruin the reputation of journalism for every good journalist. I’m not even sure I would call some of the media, journalists. They are truly just “bad fiction writers,” in my opinion. Anyone who covers up the truth in the name of free speech or forces others to hide the truth in the name of tolerance is a bad journalist.
Many in the American mainstream newspaper industry portrayed the Hitler regime positively, especially in its early months. Looking back now, we wonder how they could have said the good things they said about such a horrible dictator. The media published warm human-interest stories about Hitler, while simply excusing or rationalizing Nazi anti-Semitism. These actions should haunt the conscience of United States Journalism to this day. There was no excuse for what Hitler did, and to write it off as “not so bad” was absolutely inexcusable.
Of course, not all of the “bad journalism” of the day was sinister. Hitler was an unfamiliar subject when he first appeared on the international scene. His ideals and his movement were unknown, and so could have been mistaken for something quite innocent…at first. The Nazis had risen from barely 18 percent of the national vote in mid-1930 to become Germany’s largest party only two years later and gained power just months after that. I suppose that the political rise of Hitler could have just seemed like someone with great ideas stepping up to the microphone. It is thought that many American editors and reporters erroneously assumed, based on previous experience, that a radical candidate would show some restraint once in office, but that was not Hitler’s plan. He planned to take over the world…to become a One World Government. Really, any time anyone tries to take away the sovereignty of a country, they are not acting in the best interest of that country. That is something we must never forget.
An editorial in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on January 30, 1933, asserted that “there have been indications of moderation” on Hitler’s part. The editors of The Cleveland Press, on January 31, 1933, claimed the “appointment of Hitler as German chancellor may not be such a threat to world peace as it appears at first blush.” Frederick Birchall, Berlin bureau chief for The New York Times, found “a new moderation” in the political atmosphere following Hitler’s rise to power. Unfortunately, all of them were dead wrong!! Hitler was not a moderate. He was, in fact, more of a threat than they could ever have imagined. Hitler was the epitome of evil, and like it or not, any journalist who softened the story, was guilty of hiding the evidence.
We have all heard of stunt doubles. They are the people who make the shows we watch seem fearless as they perform their daring feats and even some that aren’t really so daring, but they just don’t want their actors scratched. Somehow these people, at least at a distance look just like the actor they are supposed to be. Sometimes they are very close, as in the case of brothers, David Paul Olsen, who is the stunt double for his brother, Eric Christian Olsen on NCIS Los Angeles. They aren’t twins, but the brothers loo enough alike to pull it off during filming.
While this is common, there is another type of “double” that is just as often used and is much less known. Government officials such as presidents, kings, and even congress or parliament members have been known to use doubles so that they can travel safely without worrying about being assassinated. Strangely, these doubles are very often denied. We are told that we are imagining things, but when we take a moment to look closely, the differences are obvious. This has gone on throughout history, although probably not as easily as the more recent history.
Sometimes the double goes to extremes, such as plastic surgery, but my guess is that with the more recent ability to make life-like masks, the need for such extreme measures has lessened. Still, anyone who is awake knows that doubles are and likely will always be used to protect or hide that elites who feel the need to move in relative anonymity. The possibilities are endless really. Having a double could mask a death of a high ranking official, such as, it has been believed, Kim Jong-Un, who has been seen looking heavy and then a short time later, thinner, when it would be impossible for him to have lost the weight so quickly. They can deny it all they want to, but when you look at things that are harder to change, like ear lobes, chins, and even teeth that seem to go back and forth from chipped to not chipped. No body double or stunt double is going to be a perfect match, even with plastic surgery. Facial shape and bone structure are going to have slight differences…even in identical twins…which could be the easiest body double to use, if the twin is not the “important” person his or her sibling is. How awesome would that be to face up to? “Yes, I’m my brother’s body double, because I am expendable.” Right!! How wonderful would that feel for the non-important twin?
We can argue that some of our prominent politicians these days have body doubles, or we can “stick our heads in the sand” and believe that they don’t, but the reality is that if you look closely, you will see that they very likely do have a double. With the internet, and the multitude of pictures taken of a politician every day, it becomes more and more difficult to deny what is right there in front of our eyes. It up to us to decide to believe what we are told or search out the truth.
There are a number of different kinds of governments, and people disagree on which is the best. Personally, I think that any government that takes away the freedoms of its people is destined to fail. Communism is a “political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned, and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.” Communism is also, known as Marxism, which is defined as “the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the basis for the theory and practice of communism.” I don’t think most people know the real meaning of Marxism or Communism, or, for that matter, Socialism, which is “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” If people knew what these types of governments are really like, they would fight to keep them out of their countries. The problem is that people think the government will take care of them, and that they will benefit from the work of others. It never works that way. everyone in these situations gets poorer, except for the government.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established in post-revolutionary Russia, on December 30, 1922. It combined Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Federation (which was divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan and Armenian republics). The new nation was also known as the Soviet Union. It was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism. The rest of the world was rather stunned that this kind of regie actually existed, because it took away so many freedoms and personal property, and the people had no choice.
Because Russia was reeling from the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent three-year Russian Civil War, the Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin dominated the soviet forces. A coalition of workers’ and soldiers’ committees called for the establishment of a socialist state in the former Russian Empire. It was from there that the USSR was formed, and after that, all levels of government were controlled by the Communist Party, and the party’s Politburo, with its increasingly powerful general secretary, who effectively ruled the country. Everything, from Soviet industry was owned and managed by the state, and agricultural land was immediately confiscated and divided into state-run collective farms.
Over the coming decades, the Russian-dominated Soviet Union grew into one of the world’s most powerful and influential states. It eventually encompassed 15 republics…Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The USSR, as many knew it must, eventually failed because you can’t place people into a slave state without eventual rebellion. In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved following the collapse of its communist government. Communism, Marxism, and Socialism simply won’t work in the long run. If a nation wants growth and prosperity, they must have capitalism, so that the people have the incentive to be entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, and so many other occupations in which discovery is made. Without incentive, people will simply quit.
In August of 1961, virtually overnight, the Berlin appeared, separating East and West Berliners from each other. Streets, subway lines, bus lines, tramlines, canals, and rivers were divided. Family members, friends, lovers, schoolmates, work colleagues, and others were abruptly separated. For many, life was put on hold. That meant that families were instantly separated from each other, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. If a child was spending the night with a grandparent, they now had to stay there. If couples were separated, possibly due to jobs or something, they couldn’t get back together. Families who lived on opposite sides of town, couldn’t see each other. No recourse. All the families could do was stand beside the wall and talk to each other.
From the time of its construction, it was more than two years after before anyone was able to cross from one side of the wall to the other. In the meantime, children grew, children were born, people died. Some children and grandchildren never got to see their parents or grandparents again. The whole purpose of the Berlin Wall was to force the people in East Berlin to accept communism. The only way they “might be able” to stay alive was to comply. So, the citizens of East Berlin became virtual prisoners overnight. Their sentence was long, and they had no trial. They were simply locked up in their own city.
The “sentence” continued for more than two years, before anything changed. Then, finally, on December 20, 1963, nearly 4,000 West Berliners were allowed to cross into East Berlin to visit relatives. It was called a “one-day pass” and didn’t mean the end of the siege. Nevertheless, it was a moment of hope. The day was a result of an agreement reached between East and West Berlin. Eventually, over 170,000 passes were issued to West Berlin citizens, each pass allowing a one-day visit to communist East Berlin. Of course, there would be no passes for East German citizens to visit the west. The government knew they would not come back.
The day was marketed as a “wonderful government” doing some kind of a great thing. There were also moments of poignancy and propaganda. The reunions who were filled with tears, laughter, and other outpourings of emotions as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters finally met again. They were grateful, if only for a short time. The tensions of the Cold War were ever close by.
As people crossed through the checkpoints, loudspeakers in East Berlin greeted them. They were told that they were now in “the capital of the German Democratic Republic,” a political division that most West Germans refused to accept. The propaganda continued as each visitor was given a brochure that explained that the wall was built to “protect our borders against the hostile attacks of the imperialists.” They were told that decadent western culture, including “Western movies” and “gangster stories,” were flooding into East Germany before the wall sealed off such dangerous trends. The picture they were painting was of the East German government being the “saviors of the morality” of the people.
The West Berliners weren’t terribly happy either and many newspapers charged that the visitors charging that they were just pawns of East German government propaganda. It was said that the whole thing was a ploy to gain West German acceptance of a permanent division of Germany. Whatever the case may be, the visitors felt that they had no choice to comply with the rules, because their hearts were being torn out by these separations. The separation continued until President Reagan called for the wall to be torn down in a speech in West Berlin on June 12, 1987…almost 26 years after it was built.
When a country is fighting for recognition, one of the most important events is when other countries recognize your country as being an independent nation. It’s rather hard to conduct business with other nations, if you are viewed as a rouge or non-existent nation. That was the position the United States found themselves in right after the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Just because a country adopts its declaration of independence, doesn’t mean that it’s a done deal. That document can and has been the cause of major wars. The United States was no exception on the war end of that either. They fought long and hard to win that declared independence from Great Britain.
Finally, the coveted recognition came when on December 17, 1777, the French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, count of Vergennes, officially acknowledged the United States as an independent nation. It came after news of the Continental Army’s overwhelming victory against the British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga. The victory gave Benjamin Franklin new leverage in his efforts to rally French support for the American rebels. Although the victory occurred in October, news did not reach France until December 4th. Remember that this mail system was worse than “snail mail” ever was. Messages had to be sent by ship across the ocean.
Benjamin Franklin had quickly mustered French support upon his arrival in December 1776. France’s humiliating loss of North America to the British in the Seven Years’ War made the French eager to see an American victory. Still, the French king worried about the consequences of backing “the rebels” openly. You can’t really blame him because an act like that could bring war to his own country. Still, he did back them in every other way. In May 1776, Louis XVI sent unofficial aid to the Continental forces and the playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais helped Franklin organize private assistance for the American cause.
Benjamin Franklin, who often wore a fur cap, captured the imagination of Parisians as an American man of nature and his well-known social charms stirred French passions for all things American. His personality made him the toast of Parisian society. He was very knowledgeable, and he had a way of enchanting groups of people with his wide-ranging knowledge, social graces, and witty conversation. Nevertheless, he was not allowed to appear at court, so any legal assistance he might have offered in the defense of the United States, was never heard.
Finally, with the impressive and long-awaited rebel victory at Saratoga, Louis XVI was convinced that the American rebels had some hope of defeating the British empire. His enthusiasm for the victory paired with French Foreign Minister Gravier’s concern that the loss of Philadelphia to the British would lead Congress to surrender, gave Franklin two influential allies with two powerful, albeit opposing reasons for officially backing the American cause, and so it was that a formal treaty of alliance with the United States followed on February 6, 1778.
On November 21, 1974, after two Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombs exploded in two separate Birmingham pubs, killing 21 people and injuring hundreds, an investigation was opened to find the culprits. Almost immediately, the investigation centered on six men, later known as the Birmingham Six. For years the IRA and the British government had been at odds over the status of Northern Ireland, in fact you had to be hiding under a rock if you didn’t know about it. Still, on that November day, it all came to a head. The bombs exploded, destroying everything and killing or hurting everyone in sight.
The most immediate reaction of the British government was to outlaw the IRA. Virtually overnight, they were declared a terrorist group in all the United Kingdom. Thus began the worst miscarriage of justice in British history. Immediately, authorities rushed to arrest and convict the IRA members who were responsible for these horrific acts. Six Irish suspects were picked up. They were Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Joseph Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power, and John Walker. During interrogation, four of the men signed confessions, which made no sense, because even the IRA, which had claimed responsibility for the Birmingham bombings, said that the six were not members of its organization.
That begs the question, that if the IRA claimed responsibility and specifically said these men were part of their organization, how could these men be tried, found guilty, and sentenced. Nevertheless, they were, and they served 16 years before something was done about it. These men declared their innocence almost from the beginning…if you take the signed confessions at face value, and assume they were not coerced. The men stated and never wavered, that the police had beaten the confessions out of them. Many people would agree. Of course, the prosecutors denied this and also came up with forensic evidence that apparently proved that the Birmingham Six had handled explosives shortly before their arrest. It appeared that they just wanted to get a conviction so things could settle down. I’m sure they were under a lot of pressure to solve the crime.
Following their convictions, the men were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. In all they spent 16 years in prison, before something changed. I’m sure they thought they would never be free again, but their convictions were declared “unsafe and unsatisfactory” and quashed by the Court of Appeal on 14 March 1991. Apparently, this all came about as a result of the widespread questioning of their guilt by the British people. They started seeing that things just didn’t add up, and yet, here were these men, locked up and seemingly innocent of any crime. In the face of all this, the British authorities released the so-called “Birmingham Six.” The six Irish men who had been sent to prison 16 years earlier for the 1974 terrorist bombings of two pubs in Birmingham, England. To further prove the error, in 1985, the forensic evidence was exposed by scientists as unreliable at best!! The nightmare for the Birmingham Six was coming to an end, and the nightmare for the British government was just beginning. In 1987 an appeals judge conceded that the same results could be obtained from testing people who recently touched playing cards or cigarette paper, and yet these men were convicted of a bombing based on that same lack of credible evidence. Even with all that information, it took until March 1991, before the people across Britain and Ireland began calling for their release. Finally, they were freed after years in prison. They were free, but their story didn’t end there. Seven years later, a British court of appeals formally overturned their sentences, citing serious doubts about the legitimacy of the police evidence and the treatment of the suspects during their interrogation. The six men were later awarded compensation ranging from £840,000 to £1.2 million.
Generally speaking, a man’s word is his bond…as the saying goes, but when a man’s word can’t be trusted, well promises mean nothing, agreements mean nothing, partnership means nothing. The people who took Adolf Hitler at his word, found out the hard way, that Hitler was definitely not a man of his word. On June 22, 1941, after making an agreement, known as the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, Nazi Germany at Hitler’s command, launched a massive invasion against the USSR. The agreement was basically that Germany and the USSR would not attack each other. Less than two years into the agreement, Hitler broke the agreement. He was most likely planning that invasion all along, but he needed to have the people of the USSR unaware of his plans. He needed to have them trust him, so his invasion would be a complete surprise attack.
When he was ready, and aided by his far superior air force, Hitler sent his German army racing across the Russian plains. The German Army was given carte blanche in the invasion, and so they went about inflicting terrible casualties on the Red Army and the Soviet civilians. Of course, the German Army wasn’t alone in their attack. Their first targets of attack were Leningrad and Moscow. With the assistance of troops from their Axis allies, the Germans conquered the vast territory, and by mid-October the great Russian cities of Leningrad and Moscow were under siege. The Soviets held on, and the coming winter forced the German offensive to pause.
Hitler set his sights on the summer of 1942, and ordered the Sixth Army, under General Friedrich Paulus, to take Stalingrad in the south. Stalingrad was an industrial center and therefore, an obstacle to Nazi control of the precious Caucasus oil wells. The oil wells were a crucial part of the control process. The Army made advances across the Volga River in August, while the German Fourth Air Fleet reduced Stalingrad to burning rubble, killing more than 40,000 civilians. With the first attack behind them, Paulus ordered the first offensives into Stalingrad in September, estimating that it would take his army about 10 days to capture the city.
The ensuing battle was one of the most horrific battles of World War II. It was also quite likely the most important because it was the turning point in the war between Germany and the USSR. The USSR’s Red Army was furious and had an ax to grind over the ruined city and their lost loved ones and friends. Now, the German Sixth Army faced General Vasily Chuikov leading a bitter Red Army seeking revenge. They quickly transformed destroyed buildings and rubble into natural counter offensive fortifications. Then, using a method of fighting known as the Rattenkrieg or “Rat’s War,” the opposing forces broke into squads eight or 10 strong and fought each other for every house and yard of territory. The battle saw rapid advances in street-fighting technology. Things like a German machine gun that shot around corners and a light Russian plane that glided silently over German positions at night, dropping bombs without warning were birthed during this battle. The biggest problem the armies faced, however, was a lack of necessary food, water, or medical supplies, causing tens of thousands of soldiers to die every week.
The biggest miscalculation Hitler made was the resolve of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who was determined to liberate the city named after him. In November he ordered massive reinforcements to the area. On November 19, General Zhukov launched a great Soviet counteroffensive. German command underestimated the scale of the counterattack, and the Sixth Army was quickly overwhelmed by the offensive, which involved 500,000 Soviet troops, 900 tanks, and 1,400 aircraft. Within three days, the entire German force of more than 200,000 men was encircled. Before long, the Italian and Romanian troops at Stalingrad surrendered. That didn’t follow for the Germans, who hung on. Of course, Hitler would not let them surrender, so they waited…receiving limited supplies by air and waiting for reinforcements. Hitler ordered Paulus to remain in place and promoted him to field marshal, because no Nazi field marshal had ever surrendered.
The Germans lost as many lives to starvation and the bitter Russian winter, as they did to the merciless Soviet troops. Their supply line was completely cut off on January 21, 1943, when the last of the airports held by the Germans fell to the Soviets…completely cutting off their supplies. Despite Hitler’s threats, Paulus surrendered German forces in the southern sector on January 31, and on February 2 the remaining German troops surrendered. By the time Paulus surrendered, there were only 90,000 German soldiers still alive. They may have thought they were among the lucky ones, but of the 90,000, only 5,000 survived the Soviet prisoner-of-war camps and make it back to Germany.
The Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point in the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. Chuikov had played such an important role in the victory. Later, it was he who led the Soviet drive on Berlin. As a reward, on May 1, 1945, he was given the right to personally accept the German surrender of Berlin. Paulus, who felt betrayed by Hitler, was among the German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. He provided testimony at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946. After his release by the Soviets in 1953, he settled in East Germany.
When the Nazis were trying to take over the world, one tool they felt was vital to their effort was the radio, or rather the control over the radio. If the Nazis could control the news people heard, they believed they could stop any resistance from the people, especially good people who didn’t want to be involved in the evil that Hitler was trying to carry out. The only way to control the situation was with the Nazi propaganda over controlled airwaves. The propaganda effort was a relatively new technology that the Nazis very likely pioneered.
When the Germans first started their propaganda broadcasts, they were in both German and English. It was thought, by German propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, that since the United States had not entered the war, maybe they were still able to be turned toward German thinking. Within a few months of the breakout of World War II, German propagandists were transmitting no less than eleven hours of programming a day. In the first year of Nazi propaganda programming, broadcasters attempted to destroy pro-British feeling rather than arouse pro-German sentiment. I would assume that they were attempting to look like the innocent victim, and not the evil aggressor. These propagandists targeted certain groups, including capitalists, Jews, and selected newspapers/politicians. Doesn’t this sound like the media of today? By the summer of 1940, the Nazis, realizing that the United States would never be on their side, had abandoned all attempts to win American sympathy. The tone of German radio broadcasts quickly became critical towards the United States.
Goebbels, claimed the radio was the “eighth great power” and he, along with the Nazi party, recognized the power of the radio in the propaganda machine of Nazi Germany. Goebbels, recognizing the importance of radio in disseminating the Nazi message, quickly approved a mandate whereby millions of cheap radio sets were subsidized by the government and distributed to the German citizens. It reminds me of the “free cellphone” program of Barack Obama. It was Goebbels’ job to propagate the anti-Bolshevik statements of Hitler and aim them directly at neighboring countries with German-speaking minorities. In Goebbels’ “Radio as the Eighth Great Power” speech, he proclaimed, “It would not have been possible for us to take power or to use it in the ways we have without the radio…It is no exaggeration to say that the German revolution, at least in the form it took, would have been impossible without the airplane and the radio…[Radio] reached the entire nation, regardless of class, standing, or religion. That was primarily the result of the tight centralization, the strong reporting, and the up-to-date nature of the German radio.”
The Nazi regime began to use the radio to deliver its message to both occupied territories and enemy states, as well as domestic broadcasts. One of the main targets was the United Kingdom to which William Joyce broadcast regularly, gaining him the nickname “Lord Haw-Haw” in the process. Broadcasts were also made to the United States, notably through Robert Henry Best and Mildred ‘Axis Sally’ Gillars. As a normal practice of the Propaganda Minister’s office, the radio, just like the newspapers fell under strict German supervision during the occupation. In January 1941, Dutch stations were replaced by a single state-run broadcaster overseen by the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party). This station primarily transmitted pro-German programs.
The Dutch were not easily fooled, however. So, for news from the Allied camp the Dutch secretly listened to the BBC and Radio Oranje, the Dutch government’s radio station in exile, transmitting from London. One might wonder how that was possible, given the controls in place at the time, but people hardly paid attention to the listening ban imposed by the Germans. The occupying German forces tried to jam the reception of Radio Free Orange and the BBC, but with a handy device, easily made at home, the Dutch people were able to listen to broadcasts from London very little interference. It was therefore referred to as a moffenzeef (‘Kraut filter’) or ‘German filter’ because it sifted out jamming signals. The device was of monumental significance, because it kept the people from being effectively brainwashed by rogue media forms that were controlled by an evil government. The Kraut Filter might just have been the single greatest “non-weapon” of the war.
When people allow fear to enter into their thinking, unfortunate and sometimes horrific things can happen. That really was the case, I believe, with the American settlers and the Native Americans. I’m not saying that the treatment of the Indians was without blame, because that is just not the case, but the wars that took place left the American settlers afraid of the Indians, and some people even decided that we needed to basically, “teach it out of them” or change the way the children thought so we could change a generation. It sounds a lot like what is being attempted in our schools today, if you ask me.
For over a century, the US government actually went in and took Native American children from their families and forced them to attend Indian boarding schools. The idea was to separate the Indian traditions, language, and culture from these children, so they would become a “man worth saving,” because they thought the Indians had no value. They even recruited the missionaries in their endeavor, with the passing of the Civilization Fund Act of 1819, which encouraged missionaries to educate Native American children in the ways of the white man. In reality, this plan set the stage for eventual forced removal of children from their parents, so the parents could no longer have a say in their education, or an influence in their lives. In 1879, Captain Richard Henry Pratt opened the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. The whole purpose of the school, according to Pratt, was to “kill the Indian, and save the man.”
The schools mistreated the children, because they didn’t want to comply, didn’t understand what was asked of them, or they were just plain scared. Scholar Margaret Archuleta explained, “Not only were children removed from their parents, often forcibly, but they had their mouths washed out with lye soap when they spoke their Native languages.” A 1902 government order even argued long hair and other traditional customs slowed “the advancement they are making in civilization.” These poor children were stripped of their heritage, their families, their traditions, and their right to live a free life of their own choosing.
You might think that this barbaric act was something that was practiced just in the early days of this country and into the Indian Wars era, but these boarding schools actually continued until 1978!! At that time, Congress finally passed the Indian Child Welfare Act, which also addressed the practice of forcible adoption of Native American children. From that time on, Native American families were once again able to practice their own traditions and culture and speak their own language. I wonder just how much of their heritage was lost forever in the 159 years that the children spent in the custody of the American government.