Life Magazine has a fascinating gallery of colour photographs of Nazi myth-making, taken by one of Hitler’s personal photographers, Hugo Jaeger:
In this gallery, LIFE.com takes a long, hard look at the aesthetics of the Reich’s propaganda machinery, from the single swastika to the epic torchlit celebrations during Hitler’s 50th birthday. Here are the almost inconceivably vast Nuremberg rallies, where individuals are subsumed into one Fuhrer-worshiping organism. Here are the gargantuan Nazi banners, towering above a sea of faces that fade into insignificance. Here are thousands of tanned, near-naked youth, re-enacting a manufactured, cobbled-together and thoroughly mythical past when “Aryans” gamboled beneath a Teutonic sun.
The crew from Vice Magazine visit Nueva Germania, a town in the Paraguayan jungle which was intended to be a homeland for German white supremacists in the 1800′s. There is also a book on the subject, which looks fascinating:
Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche, by Ben Macintyre (1992).
The intrepid Macintyre took a boat trip into the Paraguayan jungle in 1991 in search of the surviving inhabitants of Nueva Germania—an abortive “Aryan” colony founded in the late nineteenth century by the ghastly Elisabeth Nietzsche, racist sister of the philosopher. He found a weird village of unreconstructed white supremacists—inbred, half mad, many of them still speaking a kind of zombie German—and heard some curious and frightening stories about Josef Mengele. A true-life Heart of Darkness.
The Last Aryans of Paraguay [Vice]
[just skip to 30 seconds in the video for the start of the actually interesting stuff]
A great set of Dictator Valentines from illustrator Ben Kling. While they’re not technically all dictators, the rest of them are after the jump.
Historians working in Germany and the US claim to have found drawings of a design for a nuclear weapon designed by Nazi scientists in WWII:
The newly uncovered document was discovered after the publication of Karlsch’s book, Hitlers Bombe (Hitler’s Bomb), in which he made the nuclear test claim.
“The Nazis were far away from a ‘classic’ atomic bomb. But they hoped to combine a ‘mini-nuke’ with a rocket,” Dr Karlsch told the BBC News website.
“The military believed they needed around six months more to bring the new weapon into action. But the scientists knew better how difficult it was to get the enriched uranium required.”
The head of Nazi Germany’s nuclear energy programme was the physicist Werner Heisenberg. Though he was highly accomplished in other areas of physics, Heisenberg failed to understand a key aspect of nuclear fission chain reactions.
Drawing Uncovered of ‘Nazi Nuke’ [BBCNews]
I usually try not to post what are the current memes, but this one is too good to pass up. It’s of Congressman Barney Frank’s response to a woman who seems to think public health care is a Nazi policy. Wow. Ignorance like that really frightens me.
You all know how much I love stop-motion, so here’s another great one.
Derek Gow, a farmer and conservation consultant, has started raising Heck Cattle, which were bred in Nazi Germany to recreate the Auroch, an ancient European Ox. From the article:
The animals, Heck cattle, were bred by the brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck, two zoologists who wanted to recreate the auroch. An extinct European wild ox, the auroch features as an important beast in Teutonic mythology.
Only a few Heck cattle survived after the second world war but now Derek Gow, a farmer and conservation consultant, has shipped 13 bulls and cows from Belgium to the farm in Devon, where they have joined a growing collection of beavers, polecats and water voles.
Rather than allowing his Heck cattle to be hunted, as some of the Nazi leaders wanted to do, Gow will let photographers take pictures of the animals. He also hopes to start his own breeding programme.
Apparently, they’re great for the ecosystem because they produce their own weight in dung each year, which helps everything from dung beetles up.
Nazi-Bred Super Cows Roam Farm in Devon [The Guardian]