Today In History: January 27th, 1945. The Liberation of Auschwitz

To commemorate this day, I thought I’d put up some footage shot some months after the liberation, when Auschwitz I was being used as a hospital for the treatment of many of the more than 7,000 prisoners the Nazis left behind because they were too sick to travel on the death march to Bergen-Belsen. (These… Continue reading Today In History: January 27th, 1945. The Liberation of Auschwitz

What Dr. Kritzinger Is All About

After each performance of Dr. Kritzinger’s 12 O’Clock, I come out on stage (still in costume) and take audience questions. A question that came up during Sunday matinee, which I’ll paraphrase, was this: Is this play about the Nazis during World War II, or is it a comment on atrocities going on today? Short version of my reply:… Continue reading What Dr. Kritzinger Is All About

Denialism and My Comments Policy

On the first day of my college freshman physics class, my professor brought out a boxful of letters from cranks. He read one of them out. It was from a man who claimed that he’d proven the laws of thermodynamics wrong and that he’d invented a perpetual motion machine. Of course, he hadn’t. The machine he… Continue reading Denialism and My Comments Policy

Steve Shives’s Five Stupid Things About the Nazis

Steve Shives presents another fine entry in his addictive “Five Stupid Things…” series. While I do have one quibble with its description of Nazi administrative efficiency–Hitler’s government was many things, but, with its multiple competing bureaucracies with overlapping (and sometimes identical) powers, it was hardly efficient–it’s worth watching. Check it out.    

Verschärfte Vernehmung Or, As We Know It, Enhanced Interrogation

With the release of the Senate torture report, I took a look back to see if I’d ever done a post on torture, either in our present context or as a Summer of Long Knives behind-the-scenes-research post. Turns out I’ve done neither. So tonight I’m correcting that oversight. In the early 1930s, Nazi interrogation techniques were largely… Continue reading Verschärfte Vernehmung Or, As We Know It, Enhanced Interrogation

I Seriously Doubt The Daily Mail’s Jack the Ripper Story

The Daily Mail–I can hear some of you groaning already–claims that an amateur sleuth and a scientist have finally unmasked Jack the Ripper. They claim that their DNA analysis of a scarf ostensibly found on Catherine Eddows (3rd victim) is that of Whitechapel hairdresser Aaron Kosminski. For The Mail this is a big wow, but for anyone… Continue reading I Seriously Doubt The Daily Mail’s Jack the Ripper Story