Monday, October 07, 2013

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Many historians agree that the main reason for Hitler's rise to power was not so much his politics but his oratorical talents, the impact of his speeches.

In 1936, when the above private photo was taken, Hitler had already been chancellor (and de facto dictator...) of Germany for three years  but apparently there was still some need to present the Nazi state as some sort of parliamentary democracy and thus The German election and referendum, 1936  was held, compelling Germans to vote yes or no to a parliament consisting only of members of the Nazi party...

Naturally, the turnout was phenomenal (99 %) and  the Nazi party won 98,9% of the votes...

Well, running a dictatorship like a democracy has it benefits...but let's get back to the photo.

What I find interesting is not the children standing to attention as if the savior of Germany himself is about to inspect the cleanliness of their fingernails, or the well designed and ready-made banner proclaiming: "The Führer held his word", but the object placed on top of the stone wall, above the smaller banner saying "Every vote for the Führer",  it is - a radio...

Obviously we are looking at an election meeting arranged by the Nazi party, but what is intriguing is that it is highly likely that the main attraction at this meeting was not a local representative from the Nazi party appearing in person and giving a speak, but the much more powerful radio broadcast of Hitler speaking.

Ach, the power of the media.

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Panzer: Sdkfz 250/9
Three members of a recon unit pose for a photo, probably late 1943 or early 1944.
Note the subtle individualism expressed by the crewmen, wearing three different types of head wear and still managing to stay within Wehrmacht regulations. The "F" marking on the bow armour is not related to the 10'th SS Panzerdivision Frundsberg, since all three men are wearing Army uniforms. Also note the couple of Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons resting on the front end of the 250/9, very handy if this lightly armed recon vehicle ran into some enemy heavy-weights. The Panzerfaust did not fire a rocket as is sometimes claimed, it was in fact a small scale recoil less gun, using a standard propellant for its projectile, but in the case of the Panzerfaust it had a hollow charge mounted at the end,  enabling it to better penetrate armor plates.
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