Intl. Notebook May 19 2010
THE MANY FACES OF HITLER
The National Police Gazette, more than any other tabloid, knew Adolf Hitler could move magazines.

That’s a lot of Hitler up there, but don’t blame us—blame the National Police Gazette. It’s simply impossible not to notice their unparalleled reliance upon der Führer to sell magazines. We have even more of these, but didn’t post them with these covers because we want to show you what’s inside them. You’ll notice that Gazette editors didn’t feel the need to think of clever headers—three times they went simply with “Hitler Is Alive”, which makes sense, because for readers of the time what could have been more frightening and mesmerizing than those three words? But posting these covers also made us think about how often Hitler’s name is invoked today, especially on cable news shows and wacko talk radio, while his image is rarely seen. Perhaps that indicates some sort of transition from actual monstrosity into ethereal boogeyman, but we think turning his name into an invocation is an insult to those who actually fought him and, needless to say, it trivializes his crimes and the indelible scar he burned across the face of humanity. Secondarily, it makes people vulnerable to all sorts of ad hominem arguments involving Nazis, arguments we can’t help noticing are often put forth by people who seem to have no actual emotion regarding the Holocaust, and no concept of its historical significance. Basically, we’re believers in Godwin’s Law. Adhering to those rules, Hitler retains his full, horrible meaning. And crazy as it sounds, that’s a good thing. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
April 20
1939—Holiday Records Strange Fruit
American blues and jazz singer Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit", which is considered to be the first civil rights song. It began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, which he later set to music and performed live with his wife Laura Duncan. The song became a Holiday standard immediately after she recorded it, and it remains one of the most highly regarded pieces of music in American history.
April 19
1927—Mae West Sentenced to Jail
American actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for the content of her play Sex. The trial occurred even though the play had run for a year and had been seen by 325,000 people. However West's considerable popularity, already based on her risque image, only increased due to the controversy.
1971—Manson Sentenced to Death
In the U.S, cult leader Charles Manson is sentenced to death for inciting the murders of Sharon Tate and several other people. Three accomplices, who had actually done the killing, were also sentenced to death, but the state of California abolished capital punishment in 1972 and neither they nor Manson were ever actually executed.
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