Saturday, August 21, 2010
The High Cost of Prosperity for a Dictator
By Sharon L. Powell, 2010
A perfect race. Human lives without the flaws of nature were beliefs Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party supported. Those disencumbering society of decay chocking the nation had somehow justified the murders of more than six million Jews during World War ll and became a shocking political movement supported by the German government. According to Matthew Seligmann, John Davison, and John McDonald, Daily Life in Hitler’s Germany, more than twenty million German citizens perished during Hitler’s reign.
Sadly enough, there are less than 200,000 holocaust survivors remaining today who helped to fill library shelves depicting horror stories of the holocaust and Nazi reign. Today more than any other time, students and those valuing human life remain mystified by Hitler’s Marxist ideology and hate for Jewish beliefs driving his mission of death. Hitler claimed his goal was to acquire more land, while relieving the overcrowding and shortage of German resources was imperative to the future of Germany’s survival.
Born to Alois and Klara Hitler on April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler, and his family resided in a small farm community nestled between the borders of Austria and Germany. Hitler’s father worked as a “Customs Inspector” for the German government and was considered a tyrant who could lash out in a drunken rage at his children and spouse. His mother was a dedicated homemaker, who, for the most part was an optimist and Adolph’s closest ally. The family moved several times during his father’s drunkenness, which may have been a significant factor in Hitler’s discontent for life and bitterness towards others. Hitler was said to be a lonely man, self-centered, and depressed, while possessing a fixation on his own dreams but unwilling to do what was required for achieving success.
As a bitter man, and deeply disappointed by the outcome of life’s events Adolph saw only obstacles and hostility in life, According to Earle Rice, Jr., Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Germany. Hitler’s family enrolled him in Volksschule Public school at the age of six and later attending the Benedictine Monastery School, the young man toyed with the idea of becoming a priest. Attending two secondary education institutions, Hitler’s academic life ended at the age of sixteen due to poor performance and failure to earn promotion into the higher grades. He enrolled in college several times, but was rejected due to his failure to graduate. Fascinated with art, he supported himself for many years as a painter where he spent time drawing postcards, pictures, and posters. He had once enrolled in Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, but later rejected for lack of artistic talent.
Besides possessing a love for art, Hitler had shown an interest in anything associated with war at an early age. Wondering aimlessly for many years after the death of his mother in 1907, the young man was forced to live in the streets and community parks during the summer months. As winter approached, he took a bed in a shelter-house wondering aimlessly up until the later part of 1909.
It was not long before “the future dictator” sought refuge in political debates with friends and colleagues. Leading a wantonness lifestyle, he later joined as volunteer in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment in Munich Germany during 1914 assigned as “Weapons Conductor.” Later, his infantry engaged in war on the front lines against the British, French, and Belgian forces, for control of the English Channel Ports. During this time, Hitler earned several medals of the highest honor for his military service.
The outbreak of war in Germany had taken its toll on the government. Poor leadership exercised by the Weimar Republic and economic inflation had staggered the economy. Hitler hoped to persuade Bavarian Government to march in arms against the state leaders of the Weimar Republic. It was during this time; Hitler had been instructed to investigate a right wing extremist organization who was actively engaged in businesses throughout the area. Quickly becoming interested in the group, Hitler was soon appointed Chairman of the NSDAP, or more commonly referred to as the “German Workers Nazi Party.” As an activist leader, he was responsible for shaping the party into an influential political force.
The Nazi party quickly grew to 6000 members by the summer of 1921 as Hitler spent the next two years focusing efforts on political agendas, claiming Germanys problems were due to the failures of the “Weimar Republic” and “Social Democrats” ruled by Marxists ideology and trade unions. By the summer of 1923, the Nazi party had grown to more than 55,000 members.
Hitler soon initiated “anarchical tactics” directed towards state leaders of the “Weimar Republic.” Forming a group of 600 “Storm Troopers” accustomed to committing acts of violence, Hitler surrounded a building of 3000 “Weimar Republic” officials gathering to discuss political agendas. Entering the beer hall unannounced, Hitler jumped atop a nearby chair, firing a pistol into the air, shouting, “The National Revolution has begun.” Seconds later, he instructed the “Weimar leaders to join forces with the “Nazi Party” or die in opposition. Hitler’s futile attempts were an effort to relieve the German people of future oppressions caused by state leaders. Under duress, the Weimar Republic Chairmen agreed to discuss his proposals in future meetings.
Satisfied with himself, Hitler announced a new form of provisional government for the future of Germany. Two days later, police arrested him by authority of the Bavarian Government and brought him to trial for “high treason” where he was sentenced to five years in prison. After serving only 9 months in a sanitarium, the Bavarian Supreme Court granted him amnesty.
Realizing his mistakes, Hitler returned to work under the authority of the “Weimar Republic” while leading the Nazi party into new and organized agenda’s. Membership declined for the Nazi party during Hitler’s jail term. The decline came as no surprise to the powerful leader as he rejoiced in the show of dedication to his authority. Hoping to reassemble party leaders, Hitler initiated propaganda efforts and public speaking forums as powerful tools for success. Those seeking a way from economic disaster and ghettos looked to Hitler for salvation. Hitler preached before enthused crowds, claiming Germans should unite in an effort to fight Marxism and Judaism, as these would be the demise of Germany’s economic success. Hitler believed “power ruled and morality was folly.” Although the leader’s immediate attempts proved unsuccessful, he was banned from public forums altogether, and was committed to building political support of his beliefs.
The next several years proved beneficial for Hitler. He managed to write his first book while serving his sentence for treason, Mein Kampf, which outlined policies for creating a new and improved Germany. The dictator also owned and operated a media publication, Volkischer Beobachter, which he used for propaganda efforts supporting the Nazi party. The dictator continued building Nazi memberships for the next eight years. It was not until the earlier part of 1929 that his efforts began to show significant progress.
Hitler was making more friends than enemies, benefiting his efforts for gaining a political foothold into state rule. One particular person who played a significant part in his gains was Alfred Hugenberg. Hugenberg owned several newspapers and a film company. The wealthy business owner was also appointed Chairman of the German Nationalist People’s Party who, with Hitler’s help had achieved financial support from industry leaders. The two drafted a law against the enslavement of the German people, but the act did very little to help members of German society, but Hitler found it beneficial for gaining approval with other party leaders, and the socially depressed, longing for salvation from economic deprivation and starvation.
By 1929, Germany had steadily become a country in the wake of economic collapse. According to Annette Dufner, the Rise of Hitler, The number of registered unemployed rose from 1.6 million people to 6.12 million by 1932. Unemployed workers found themselves virtually destitute as businesses began to fail, and popularity for the radical ideas of the Nazi party became the “voter’s political party of choice.” Hitler became Chancellor of German Reich in January of 1933; allowing him power to force Nazi ideology into the mainstream of society.
Ethnic groups and minorities provided slave labor while Jewish business owners began feeling the recourse of his right wing extremist attitude. Hitler viewed Jewish people as a threat to the good of society. The dictator secretly began using Jews for forced labor, calling it a “resettlement program” while later conscientiously transporting them to concentration camps awaiting their death. Jewish business, farmers and property owners were made to file with the state, at which time Hitler seized their assets for government control. Hating anyone in opposition of his rule, the dictator hired leaders to eliminate what he referred to as “social denigrates, or those defined as “life unworthy of life.” Key figures in Hitler’s plan for success assured his demands were carried out successfully. Joseph Goebbels, Rudolph Hess, Adolf Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler, and Hermann Goring, were the Nazi party’s “hired henchmen.”
Mass Genocide or “T-4 code operations” became a priority for medical personnel. “Euthanasia” of the mentally ill, concentration camps and slave labor created a tremendous strain on military leaders and medical personnel. “90,000 German citizens were exterminated like rodents” using carbon monoxide gas in hospitals across Germany.
Terror, intimidation, and acts of deliberate violence were priority for the Nazi party members and were initiated daily as a means of forcing Jews from the country. Underground escapes, secret rooms housing Jewish children and families were provided as a means for hiding them from Nazi guards. Doctors, lawyers, peasants, and anyone opposing Hitler’s beliefs gathered in an effort to save life while German citizens rejoiced with improved conditions of economic and industrial growth. Society remained strong while the leader horrified Jewish communities.
From 1942 to 1943 “Collegiate youth groups” formed in an effort to impact German society. Six members of the “White Rose,” resistance group were sentenced for treason and later “beheaded” for scattering leaflets across campus avenues, hoping to generate a sense of peace to a nation on the verge of destruction. “Guided by their religious and moral efficacies,” the activists spoke out in resistance of the Nazi Regime, making a significant impact into revealing the truths of the Hitler’s mayhem.
Declaring war against the United States in 1941, Hitler realized his life-long passions for “world dominance” were nearing an end. American and Russian forces began deployment efforts for laying the framework to end the war. From 1942 up until April 30, 1945, when Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in a German bunker, thoughts of surrender never entered the leaders mind. During Hitler’s “twelve year reign,” architectural masterpieces were reduced to rubble, millions were dead, and innocent citizens were forced to overcome the hardships, while future generations survived to recall the failures, and copiousness of Hitler’s reign.
1.) Dr. Matthew Seligmann, Dr. John Davison, John McDonald, Daily Life in Hitler’s Germany, Thomas Duane Books, The Brown Reference Group ple, New York, NY 2003.
2.) Inge Scholl, The White Rose, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT 1970, 1983.
3.) Earle Rice Jr., Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Inc. Greensboro, NC 2006.
4.) Annette Dufner, The Rise of Adolf Hitler, Greenhaven Press, Farmington Hills, MI, 2003.
5.) Michael Brenner, After the Holocaust, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1997.
6.) Philipp Freiherrvon Boeselager, Valkyrie, Random House Inc., 2009.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Fearsome Hunters of the Sea
By Sharon Powell, 2010
Eels have existed for millions of years, and in fact, scientific researchers claim they have been around for more than ninety three million years. Of all the fish in the sea, “Eels” are probably one of the most diverse species known to man. Besides being able to change colors, shape and body parts, eels are also found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. Their long slender bodies are capable of hiding between rocks and crevices, or you may spot them lurking in and out of sunken ships and debris in larger bodies of water.
A Feast of Species
There are many different species of eels; and in fact, researchers suggest there are between five hundred and seven hundred fifty different species, but only sixteen eel species are found in lakes, rivers and streams. Including the two-hundred different kinds of Moray Eels pictured above, most eels look similar to the slithering reptile commonly referred to as a snake. The eels skin is slimy for ease of escape in difficult situations. The slick features also act as a deterrent for diseases attaching themselves to the eels outer layer of skin.
The photograph on the right is an Electric Eel and most commonly found in murky waters of the Amazon and South American Rivers. The electric eel packs a powerful punch of 650 volts, and is several times more powerful than a household electric outlet. The “electric eel” is also a cousin to the catfish and carp found in most freshwater lakes and rivers. The eel’s body is mostly muscle attached to a long backbone, housing 750 vertebrae compared to the thirty-three humans possess. The extra vertebrae allow the eel to be very agile when traveling on land and water.
Most all eels; excepting some “moray” have excellent eyesight and choose to hunt for food at dawn, tracking their next meal by means of scent. Once the hungry carnivore captures his prey, their razor sharp teeth and strong jaws prove dangerous and are usually fatal to other fish and crabs caught within their path. Most ocean eels enjoy a favorite dish of crab or octopuses to satisfy their appetite and will often be seen spinning furiously around several times before consuming their victim. The feeding frenzy is most commonly referred to as the “death roll.” Freshwater eels will also consume small insects, snails, worms, frogs, tadpoles, and small fish or eggs.
Like most all things born into this world, baby eels are small by nature. The newly hatched larvae are transparent when born, and float atop the ocean waves with other plank tonic creatures. The larvae later takes the shape of a leaf with a small head attached at one end and will continue to grow several feet within a short period, usually within a few months. Some species of eel can grow to twelve feet or longer, while freshwater eels can be several feet long and weigh between ten to twenty-eight pounds.
The male species are most generally smaller than the female, but both sexes have a small cavity housing their stomach and other vital organs. Besides the eels powerful jaws and teeth, their keen sense of smell and hunting skills allow the fish to survive in dangerous waters. The deadly predator breaths through their gills and skin for oxygen intake, which is complimented by a dorsal and side fin used for maneuvering in tight places.
Another significant feature many eel species possess is their ability to migrate from freshwater to ocean life with great ease. Migration allows the eel to travel from one place to another in search of food or mate. The eel will travel thousands of miles to return to the ocean for breeding purposes before their death.
1.) Natures Children, John Woodward, Edited by, John Farndon and Angela Koo, GrolierPuglishing, Danbury CT, 2004.
2.) Eels, Underwater World, Deborah Coldiron, Abdo consulting Group, Edina, MN, 2008.
3.) Eels, Freaky Fish, Tori Miller, Rosen Publishing Group, New York, NY 2009.