read then answer the 3 questions:————–
A- Hitler’s Expansionist Worldview: image vs. reality
Consider the image Hitler and the Nazis constructed of “the Fuhrer,” the justifications Hitler offered for his foreign policy successes prior to the outbreak of war in 1939, and the beliefs Hitler and the Nazis held about the war on the Eastern Front.
Q1: Make two lists, in which you contrast the image projected of Hitler, his foreign policy, and the war on the one hand, and on the other the reality behind them.
B- The Commissar Order: the Western Front vs. the Eastern Front
These military orders given to the German armed forces were carried out during the invasion of the Soviet Union. Commissars were not part of the Soviet military hierarchy, but were Communist Party officials assigned to military units in order to report to party leaders. They maintained political obedience and spread political propaganda among soldiers. In addition to the political commissars, German soldiers also killed massive numbers of Soviet prisoners of war. Both of these acts violated international law. Hitler believed that communism and the Soviet Union were part of a Jewish world conspiracy. The Soviets were therefore a racial and an ideological enemy in his eyes and he intended to annihilate them.
High Command of the Armed Forces
WFSt. (Armed Forces Operational
Staff) Department L (IV Q)
No 44822/41 Top Secret for general
Fuhrer Headquarters, 6 June 1941
In addition to the Fuehrer’s decree of 14 May regarding Military jurisdiction in the “Barbarossa” zone (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces/Armed Forces Operational Staff/Department L (IV Q) (Intelligence) No 44718/41, (Top Secret, for General Officers only), the enclosed “directives for the treatment of political commissars” are being transmitted herewith:
You are requested to limit the distribution to Commanders in Chief of Armies or of Air Commands, respectively, and to inform the Junior commanders by word of mouth.
The Chief of the Supreme Command
Of the Armed Forces
Enclosure to Supreme Command of the Armed Forces/Department L IV Q (Intelligence)
No. 44822/41 Top Secret
For General Officers only.
Directives for the treatment of political commissars.
When fighting Bolshevism one can not count on the enemy acting in accordance with the principles of humanity or International Law. In particular it must be expected that the treatment of our prisoners by the political commissars of all types who are the true pillars of resistance, will be cruel, inhuman and dictated by hate.
The troops must realize:
1.) That in this fight it is wrong to trust such elements with clemency and consideration in accordance with International Law. They are a menace to our own safety and to the rapid pacification of the conquered territories.
2.) That the originators of the asiatic-barbaric methods of fighting are the political commissars. They must be dealt with promptly and with the utmost severity.
Therefore, if taken while fighting or offering resistance they must, on principle, be shot immediately.
Q2: What does the “commissar order” revel abut German military mindsets on the eastern front during the fight between the German and soviet armies? How was this different from the war in western Europe?
C- W.H. Auden poems: artists respond to their time nstructions
Artists and the Spanish Civil War
Many artists and intellectuals felt compelled to engage in the fight to save the Spanish Republic, either through their art or by traveling to Spain to volunteer to fight or to support the fighters. Artists and writers from France, Britain, the US, and elsewhere viewed the conflict as a microcosm of a broader European fight between fascism and antifascism.
Choose one of these poems by W.H. Auden. Auden was a British writer who observed the Spanish Civil War first-hand. In the 1930s he wrote many poems describing his reactions to political events.
Refugee Blues by W. H. Auden
Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.
The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.
Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?
Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.
Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying: ‘They must die’;
We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.
Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.
Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.
Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.
Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.
Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.
O What Is That Sound by W. H. Auden
O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
The soldiers coming.
O what is that light I see flashing so clear
Over the distance brightly, brightly?
Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
As they step lightly.
O what are they doing with all that gear,
What are they doing this morning, morning?
Only their usual manoeuvres, dear,
Or perhaps a warning.
O why have they left the road down there,
Why are they suddenly wheeling, wheeling?
Perhaps a change in their orders, dear,
Why are you kneeling?
O haven’t they stopped for the doctor’s care,
Haven’t they reined their horses, horses?
Why, they are none of them wounded, dear,
None of these forces.
O is it the parson they want, with white hair,
Is it the parson, is it, is it?
No, they are passing his gateway, dear,
Without a visit.
O it must be the farmer that lives so near.
It must be the farmer so cunning, so cunning?
They have passed the farmyard already, dear,
And now they are running.
O where are you going? Stay with me here!
Were the vows you swore deceiving, deceiving?
No, I promised to love you, dear,
But I must be leaving.
O it’s broken the lock and splintered the door,
O it’s the gate where they’re turning, turning;
Their boots are heavy on the floor
And their eyes are burning.
Epitaph on a Tyrant by W. H. Auden
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
Q 3: What is he trying to say in the poem about the time he is living through? What does it tell us about his mindset?
read then answer the 3 questions:————–