Alvaro is widely known for his skills at copy-pasting code, activity at which he has excelled since 1997. After ten years freelancing as a WordPress consultant and teacher Alvaro currently works as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. It is said that in another life he was a professional photographer. Bilbaíno and father of Julia & Clara.
The documentary Im Lande der Basken (1944), directed by Herbert Brieger, was completely unknown until now.
Distributed by UFA, it is an attempt to show a mythical view of the Basque people in images filtered through Nazi propagan- da.
Shot entirely in the French Basque region, it shows scenery, traditions, sport, dances, etc. without separating itself from the Nazi’s frustrated attempts during World War II to strengthen ties with Basque nationalism to build a new territo- rial order in Western Europe based on ethnic principles.
Me he encontrado este libro de casualidad en la Libraría de la piscina de Fontanars y, además de sentirme muy identificado con la autora (su hijo nació también en Lavapiés y solo 2 años antes que Julia), me parece que hace un análisis tremendamente realista, lúcido y sereno de lo que implica ser padre en estos tiempos que nos ha tocado vivir.
Photographs & narration by Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker.
…they represent at least a try of what mankind could do but failed bitterly and brutally. In some aspects it was a dream which was shattered, people believed in socialism for a while and so many were disappointed.
Great 3D recreation of the wall (please ignore the annoying audio):
I did not know about this “classic” quote by the, then, head of the DDR. The quote is from 15 June 1961 at a press conference in East Berlin. The construction of the wall started less that a month after that:
“Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten.” “Nobody has the intention of bulding a Wall”
Stasi officers were instructed to destroy files, starting with the most incriminating–those naming westerners who spied for them, and those that concerned deaths. They shredded the files until the shredders collapsed. Among other shortages in the East, there was a shredder shortage, so they had to send agents out under cover to West Berlin to buy more. In Building 8 alone, the citizens’ movement found over a hundred burnt out shredders.
According to William F. Buckley, Jr., “In the weeks after November 9, Stasi offices were stormed in various cities around East Germany. Stasi commissars in three of those cities committed suicide. But not one was lynched or executed.”
Erich Mielke’s famous live TV appearance in front of the Volkskammer on 13 November 1989: As his speech was broadcast live, Mielke began by using overly bombastic, flag-waving language, saying “We have, comrades, dear assembly members, an extraordinarily high amount of contact with all working people” (German: “Wir haben, Genossen, liebe Abgeordnete, einen außerordentlich hohen Kontakt zu allen werktätigen Menschen.”). To his shock, the Volkskammer responded with boos, whistles, and catcalls.
His face grief-stricken and pale, Mielke then tried to defuse the situation, “Yes, we have such contact, let me tell you-let me tell you why. I am not afraid to stand here and to give you an honest answer” (German: “Ja, wir haben den Kontakt, ihr werdet gleich hören – ihr werdet gleich hören, warum. Ich fürchte mich nicht, ohne Rededisposition hier Antwort zu stehen.”). Mielke continued, speaking of the “triumph” of the socialist economy, continuing all the while to address the members of the Volkskammer as “Comrades” (German: “Genossen”). In response, Volkskammer member Dietmar Czok of the CDU, rose from his seat and raised his hand. Volkskammer president Günther Maleuda interrupted Mielke, and allowed Czok to speak.
With his voice dripping with contempt, Czok told Mielke, “As a point of order, let me remind you that there are more people sitting in this House than just your Comrades!“. In response, many in the chamber burst into applause, cheers, and shouts of “We are not your Comrades!” (German: “Wir sind nicht deine Genossen!”)
Trying to appear magnanimous, Mielke responded, “This is a natural, Humanist question! This is just a question of formality.” (German: Das ist doch nur ‘ne natürliche, menschliche Frage! Das ist doch nur eine formale Frage!”), leading to further shouts of displeasure from the chamber. In a last ditch effort, Mielke “raised his arms like an evangelist,” and cried, “I love all – all Humanity! I really do! I set myself before you!” (German: “Ich liebe – Ich liebe doch alle – alle Menschen! Na liebe doch! Ich setze mich doch dafür ein!”).
Everyone in the room, including staunch SED members, burst out laughing. John Koehler later wrote, “Mielke was finished.”
Mielke’s address to the Volkskammer remains the most famous broadcast in the history of German television. Anna Funder has written, “When they think of Mielke, East Germans like to think of this.“
Connectionsis a 10-episodedocumentarytelevision series and 1978 book (Connections, based on the series) created, written, and presented by science historianJames Burke. The series was produced and directed byMick Jacksonof theBBCScience and Features Department and first aired in 1978 (UK) and 1979 (USA). It took aninterdisciplinaryapproach to thehistory of scienceandinvention, and demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology. The series was noted for Burke’s crisp and enthusiastic presentation (anddry humour),historical re-enactments, and intricate workingmodels.
A lith print is a photographic printing process that uses standard black-and-white photographic paper with lithographic developer (often heavily diluted standard developer) to produce a print with dark shadows and soft, bright highlights.
The effect has been described as “creamy highlights and hard shadows, an appearance not unlike a charcoal drawing”
In February 1943, a Red Army officer taunted a group of German prisoners in the ruins of Stalingrad. “That’s how Berlin is going to look!” Antony Beevor – Stalingrad (1998)
I just finished listening to Antony Beevors’ Book “Berlin: The Downfall 1945“. I had finished listening “Stalingrand” (also by Beevor) around a month ago and had started with this book right after.
Beevor provides minute day-to-day details an anecdotes from everyday live which can convey a lot more meaning that any data, troop movements, or grandiose speeches.
The book devotes spends a bit of time describing “indecent events” the Red Army. This is even more appalling in those cases where rape victims were jews, German communists or even liberated Russian forced labourers.
I headed to wikipedia after finishing the book and found out, somehow unsurprised, that the book had been contested by many, especially in Russia.
Oleg Rzheshevsky, a professor and the president of the Russian Association of World War II Historians, has stated that Beevor is merely resurrecting the discredited and racist views of Neo-Nazi historians, who depicted Soviet troops as subhuman “Asiatic hordes”. He argues that Beevor’s use of phrases such as “Berliners remember” and “the experiences of the raped German women” were better suited “for pulp fiction, than scientific research”. Rzheshevsky also stated that the Germans could have expected an “avalanche of revenge” after what they did in the Soviet Union, but “that did not happen”.
Beevor responded by stating that he used excerpts from the report of General Tsigankov, the chief of the political department of the 1st Ukrainian Front, as a source. He wrote: “the bulk of the evidence on the subject came from Soviet sources, especially the NKVD reports in GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), and a wide range of reliable personal accounts”. Beevor also stated that he hopes Russian historians will “take a more objective approach to material in their own archives which are at odds to the heroic myth of the Red Army as ‘liberators’ in 1945”.
UK historian Richard Overy, from the University of Exeter, has criticized Russian reaction to the book and defended Beevor. Overy accused the Russians of refusing to acknowledge Soviet war crimes, “Partly this is because they felt that much of it was justified vengeance against an enemy who committed much worse, and partly it was because they were writing the victors’ history”.