Silly Sieg Heils January 19, 2011Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback
The Nazi and ‘Roman’ Salute have been traditional signs of the extra-parliamentary right since the 1920s. Claims have been made that these salutations are more hygenic, more beautiful and also of shorter duration than the handshake. Well, Beachcombing is certainly no fan of palming… However, he finds – memories of the Great Dictator? – the various straight arm salutes about as majestic as a dying birch tree.
In this spirit he thought that he would set himself the task of find the most bizarre sieg heil in history: bizarre either because of the individuals sieg heiling (perhaps someone who you would not expect to see making this kind of gesture) or because of the expressions or situation involved. Only two rules. First, the salute has to date from before the end of the Second World War, rather than all the post-war skinhead offshoots of Nazidom. Second, the salute has to be totalitarian: the Bellamy Salute, for example, whereby generations of young Americans pledged allegiance to the flag with what looks like a Nazi salute does not count.
Though Beachcombing would be the first to admit that it makes for some striking photographs…
One that Beachcombing particularly likes is a picture of the young Benedict XVI making the salute, admittedly not with much conviction. Ratzinger was born within the Reich at the wrong time and so such a picture is hardly surprising. But it is one that the good pontiff would likely do everything in his power to dispose of, especially given what he was wearing. [this is a ‘fake’ see below]
Beachcombing’s personal favourite is this remarkable photo from May 1938 of the English soccer team saluting their German opponents before a friendly match: didn’t even one of them refuse?
Perhaps you have to be English and to have sweated out various penatly shootouts with Germany in more recent decades to feel the full horror. Apologies then to those who couldn’t give a hoot about the Lions or the beautiful game.
Beachcombing has failed to track a few down: a reason for some bitterness. He had particularly wanted to find a photograph – that he is almost sure exists – of a bête noire of his, Lloyd George giving the Nazi salute on his visit to Germany in 1936. It is the sort of damn fool thing that the Welsh Goat would have tried, probably just to make a pretty fräulein smile.
Then there are the legends. The old fascist chestnut that Mussolini’s life was saved by the Roman salute when Violet Gibson struck in 1926 is pure cobblers: Italian fascists claim that Mussolini made the salute, lifting his face back, when Violet shot. He was, instead, chatting to the crowd and turned his head as she pulled the trigger.
Then, finally, there are the stories where – unfortunately – no photo exists. Bletchley, in the anecdote that follows, was a British centre for decryption in WW2.
One of the most remarkable men at Bletchley was universally known as ‘Josh’. An outstanding cryptographer, he had built up a reputation for absentmindedness that even by the standard of his academic colleagues was unique… he took part in the first interrogation of a prisoner of war from the German Air Force. This was a Lieutenant who had been shot down during the attack on our warships in the Firth of Forth on 16th October 1939. The party that was assembled to conduct the interrogation numbered four… They had a preliminary meeting together, and decided that the first thing that they had to do was to establish a moral superiority over the prisoner.
When Beachcombing read this he thought: ‘Here we go…’. The British always make fools of themselves when they are playing on their ‘moral superiority’.
They were to sit on one side of a long table, and the prisoner was to be marched in and stood to attention between two guards as members of the interrogation panel fired questions at him.
When they had settled themselves down, the door was thrown open and the prisoner marched in. He was a typical product of Nazi success. His uniform was smart, his jackboots were gleaming, and his movements executed with German precision. As he came to the centre of the room he was halted and turned to face the panel. No sooner had he executed his turn than he clicked his heels together and gave a very smart Nazi salute. For this the panel were unprepared, and none more so than Josh, who stood up as smartly, gave the Nazi salute and repeated the prisoner’s ‘Heil Hitler!’ Then, realising that he had done the wrong thing, he looked in embarassment at his colleagues and sat down with such speed that he missed his chair and, to the prisoner’s astonishment, disappeared completely under the table.
Beachcombing is sure that the German pilot was putty in their hands after that…
Any more silly, bizarre or memorable h-s images gratefully received: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com
19, Jan, 2010: Invisible has been heroic sending some other funnies in. She has not respected the rules with the Paris Hilton photo – post WW2 – but surely Paris is worth breaking them for – at least in this pose.
Then there is still no Lloyd George but here is a clue that it really happened.
Then Disney got in on the Nazi act in their 1943 propaganda film Der Fuehrer’s Face.
Then finally, not that bizarre really, but certainly worth showing, the Mitford Girls making fools of themselves
Thanks a million Invisible!
21 Oct 2010: What an idiot, Beachcombing knew that something didn’t add up with the Pope pic above – Benedict XVI was too young to be ordained when the Nazis were in power. It fell to Rico F to point out that this is a cropped picture. Take a look:
5 Nov 2011: Stephen B has a fascinating email here: ‘You might enjoy some photos of the Bellamy salute which sprang from a totalitarian dogma, so much so that it was the origin of the Nazi salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party (You discounted the Bellamy salute by saying “Second, the salute has to be totalitarian: the Bellamy Salute, for example, whereby generations of young Americans pledged allegiance to the flag with what looks like a Nazi salute does not count.”) Isn’t this a silly sieg heil and/or totalitarian? It shows segregated African-Americans, as small children, forced to do the “American salute” (the origin of the German national socialist salute) in a government school (socialist school) that they were forced to attend, and forced to attend while the government imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policy (policies that outlasted German national socialism), and the children were forced to robotically chant in unison the Pledge that was written by Francis Bellamy to sell socialism in the USA and worldwide (Bellamy was America’s Leni Riefenstahl). There are real examples of children being persecuted, attacked, expelled, and of adults being lynched and jailed, for defying the forced ritual. That photograph screams “totalitarian”!! Most people have never seen the photo and never will because of many reasons including that no government official, school or media outlet will ever show it, discuss it or explain it, nor the pledge’s putrid past. It is a practice that continues to be dictated by law and dictated in schools (regardless of whatever the US Supreme Court has ever said) each day, only the gesture has changed in order to hide its sick history. Children continue to be persecuted if they refuse to comply. It is funny that schools claim to work against bullying, when they begin everyday with bullying and a witch hunt. It would be more appropriate if the USA’s pledge were performed with its early Nazi salute, as it would help everyone understand the purpose and history. If the schools taught the truth, the pledge would cease to exist. It would be more accurate to refer to the salute as the “American salute” and NOT the “nazi salute.” See the video. Edward Bellamy and Francis Bellamy (author of the Pledge) were American national socialists and touted “military socialism” (their term. they wanted all of society to emulate the military) and their dogma was the origin of the German national socialist salute when Francis Bellamy began the Pledge of Allegiance with the military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag. They influenced the National Socialist German Workers Party, its rituals (robotic chanting to flags & leaders), dogma, and symbols (including the use of the swastika to represent overlapping S-letters for “socialism” under German national socialism). The above are some of the discoveries in the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry. Think about all of the implications of the pledge’s background that remain hidden. Here is only one: Ernst Hanfstaengl “Putzi” (“Hitler’s piano player”) grew up in the USA where he was forced to perform the “German national socialist salute” everyday, long before the German national socialist party existed, and then he went on to advise Hitler on ways to rally crowds and create loyalty. American socialists, including the Bellamys, influenced Stalin, Mao and Hitler, the worst mass murderers of all time in the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with ~60 million dead; the Peoples Republic of China with ~50 million dead; and the National Socialist German Workers Party with ~20 million dead. There is a book about Edward Bellamy and the Bellamy dogma called “Authoritarian Socialism.” It was not an ancient Roman salute. That is a debunked myth. The ancient Roman salute myth came from the USA’s pledge of allegiance.’ Thanks for taking so much time on this Stephen!
20 July 2015: Open Sesame writes in ‘Your beloved queen now, Beach. Sorry!’ Here is her uncle teaching her to sieg heil.