For Sale by Shingler Brothers. . ., record from a slave auction in South Carolina, 1 November 1859. Weimar election results, 1919-1933. American Progress, John Gast 1872. They salute with both hands now , David Low, July 1934. Source 1
For Sale by Shingler Brothers. . ., record from a slave auction in South Carolina, 1 November 1859
They salute with both hands now, David Low, July 1934
(Apostles into Terrorists by Vera Broido, 1977. She spent her childhood with Russian revolutionaries)
After several postponements, the peasant reform became law on 19 February 1861. It was solemnly proclaimed in all churches on the eve of the Great Lent, but it fell singularly flat – it satisfied nobody, not even the krespotniki…The peasants receive the reform with complete disbelief; they even suspected the authenticity of the Imperial Manifesto…Soon spokesmen for the peasants…trudged by the hundreds along the interminable Russian roads to see the Tsar and to tell him of the injustice and hardship suffered by his people.
(Zaionchkovsky, The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia, 1978)
The peasant reform safeguarded many traces of feudalism. There can be no doubt that the reform defrauded the peasants. Some of the peasants’ land was reduced…The most onerous conditions of all were the terms of the redemption…Thanks to them, the peasants lost the largest quantity of land…The allotments obtained by private peasants through the reform were for the most part entirely inadequate given the prevailing system of land tenure.
(From Sir Donald MacKenzie Wallace, Russia on the eve of War and Revolution. 1961 Here an English traveller commented on peasants’ loss of security)
If serfs had a great many ill-defined obligations to fulfil under serfdom, such as the carting of the master’s grain to market…they had, on the other hand, a good many ill defined privileges. They grazed their cattle during a part of the year on the manor land; they received firewood and occasionally logs for repairing huts; sometimes the proprietor lent them or gave them a cow or a horse when they had been visited by the cattle plague or the horse stealer; and in times of famine they could look to their master for support. All this has now come to an end. Their burdens and their privileges have been swept away together, and been replaced by clearly defined, unbending, unelastic legal relations.
The Jew has not grown poorer: he gradually gets bloated, and, if you don't believe me, I would ask you to go to one of our health-resorts; there you will find two sorts of visitors: the German who goes there, perhaps for the first time for a long while, to breathe a little fresh air and to recover his health, and the Jew who goes there to lose his fat. And if you go out to our mountains, whom do you find there in fine brand-new yellow boots with splendid rucksacks in which there is generally nothing that would really be of any use? And why are they there? They go up to the hotel, usually no further than the train can take them: where the train stops, they stop too. And then they sit about somewhere within a mile from the hotel, like blow-flies round a corpse.
February 1st 1933 – Berlin
MORE than fourteen years have passed since the unhappy day when the German people, blinded by promises from foes at home and abroad, lost touch with honour and freedom, thereby losing all. Since that day of treachery, the Almighty has withheld his blessing from our people. Dissension and hatred descended upon us. With profound distress millions of the best German men and women from all walks of life have seen the unity of the nation vanishing away, dissolving in a confusion of political and personal opinions, economic interests, and ideological differences. Since that day, as so often in the past, Germany has presented a picture of heart-breaking disunity. We never received the equality and fraternity we had been promised, and we lost our liberty to boot. For when our nation lost its political place in the world, it soon lost its unity of spirit and will....
We are firmly convinced that the German nation entered the fight in 1914 without the slightest feeling of guilt on its part and filled only with the desire to defend the Fatherland which had been attacked and to preserve the freedom, nay, the very existence, of the German people. This being so, we can only see in the disastrous fate which has overtaken us since those November days of 1918 the result of our collapse at home. But the rest of the world, too, has suffered no less since then from overwhelming crises. The balance of power which had evolved in the course of history, and which formerly played no small part in bringing about the understanding of the necessity for an internal solidarity of the nations, with all its advantages for trade and commerce, has been set on one side. The insane conception of victors and vanquished destroyed the confidence existing between nations, and, at the same time, the industry of the entire world.
The misery of our people is horrible to behold! Millions of the industrial proletariat are unemployed and starving; the whole of the middle class and the small artisans have been impoverished. When this collapse finally reaches the German peasants, we will be faced with an immeasurable disaster. For then not only shall a nation collapse, but a two-thousand-year-old inheritance, some of the loftiest products of human culture and civilization.
January 30th, 1937 - Berlin
The German people once built up a Colonial Empire, without robbing anyone and without any war. This was taken away from us. It was said that the natives did not want to belong to Germany, that the colonies were not administered properly by the Germans, and that these colonies had no true value. If this is true, this valuelessness would also apply to the other nations, and there is no reason why they should wish to keep them from us. Germany has never demanded colonies for military purposes, but exclusively for economic ones. It is obvious that in times of general prosperity the value of certain territories may shrink, but it is just as clear that in time of distress such value changes. Today Germany lives in a time of fierce struggle for foodstuffs and raw materials. Sufficient imports are only conceivable if there is a continued increase in our exports. Therefore the demand for colonies for our densely populated country will again and again be raised as a matter of course.
Extracts from speeches and writings by Hitler
I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen.It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing could save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference.Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated.It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.An extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO who was amongst the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945. Source: Imperial War Museum.