November meeting report

Updated Nov. 2nd

At our November meeting, we discussed part 3  2 of “The Book Thief”. It was a very lively discussion and the time went by very fast.

Our next session will be the first Wednesday in December, when we will finish discussing part 3  2 (from Hitler’s Birthday) and go on to talk about  part 3.

Some matters we discussed in the November session were

  • the Reichstag fire of 1933 (see also Goring’s commentary and  as archetype
  • false flag attacks
  • synasthesia (in Japanese 共感覚): there are examples of this throughout the book. Two examples we read today was “music has the colour of darkness”, and “speak colours”.
  • the burning of synagogues and writing slurs on Jewish shops in Nazi Germany:
    • By 1934, all Jewish shops were marked with the yellow Star of David or had the word “Juden” written on the window. SA men stood outside the shops to deter anyone from entering.
    • Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass. In November 1938, a Nazi ‘diplomat’ was shot dead by a Jew in Paris. Hitler ordered a seven day campaign of terror against the Jews in Germany to be organised by Himmler and the SS. On the 10th November, the campaign started. 10,000 shops owned by Jews were destroyed and their contents stolen. Homes and synagogues were set on fire and left to burn. The fire brigades showed their loyalty to Hitler by assuming that the buildings would burn down anyway, so why try to prevent it? A huge amount of damage was done to Jewish property but the Jewish community was ordered to pay a one billion mark fine to pay for the eventual clear-up. Jews were forced to scrub the streets clean. (From Jews in Nazi Germany)
  • German reactions to the Treaty of Versailles which ended WWI
    • How did Germany react to the Treaty?
      • Reactions to the Treaty in Germany were very negative. There were protests in the German Reichstag (Parliament) and out on the streets. It is not hard to see why Germans were outraged. Germany lost 10% of its land, all its overseas colonies, 12.5% of its population, 16% of its coal and 48% of its iron industry. There were also the humiliating terms, which made Germany accept blame for the war, limit their armed forces and pay reparations.
    • The German feelings of betrayal after WWI
    • The Hitler Jugend
    • Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics:
      • Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the sprint and long jump events and became the most successful athlete to compete in Berlin. (From Wikipedia
      • .. Nazi Germany used the 1936 Olympic Games for propaganda purposes. The Nazis promoted an image of a new, strong, and united Germany while masking the regime’s targeting of Jews and Roma (Gypsies) as well as Germany’s growing militarism.  (From The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936)

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