The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from September 2015

Suffer the children . . .

September 30th, 2015 · No Comments

“Throughout the region, the population was mobilized. All available men and women between sixteen and sixty-five—nearly 200,000—were mobilized in ‘workers’ columns’, organized by their district Party committees. As in Moscow the year before, women in kerchiefs and older children were marched out and given long-handled shovels and baskets to dig anti-tank ditches over six feet […]

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Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

Borscht on the go

September 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“A regiment of night-fighters landing for the first time at a new base to support the Stalingrad Front discovered that their aerodrome was no more than a large field planted with watermelons and surrounded by tomato plants, which the local peasants continued to harvest even while fighters landed and took off.  The regiment’s presence was […]

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Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

Land of blood and honey

September 28th, 2015 · No Comments

“For soldiers of the Sixth Army, the summer of 1942 offered the last idylls of war. In Don Cossack Country, the villages of whitewashed cottages with thatched roofs, surrounded by small cherry orchards, willows and horses in meadows provided an attractive contrast to the usual dilapidation of villages taken over by collective farms. Most of […]

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Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

Springtime in Berlin

September 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“Through the springtime foliage of the Tiergarten the shells burst without interruption, destroying everything in their immediate vicinity, and small-arms fire erupted everywhere. Blinding sunshine lay over a gruesome scene. On the lawns of the Tiergarten under age-old but now mutilated trees, I could recognize artillery pieces, all put out of action by direct hits. […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

Franny & Toby, by Tetman Callis

September 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“Not since Watership Down has there been such a whimsical, original take on humanity in the form of beloved members of the animal kingdom. Franny & Toby is a gorgeously rendered tale of love.” – Suzy Vitello, author of The Empress Chronicles series http://silkyoakpress.com.au/?p=433

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Tags: Franny & Toby · Words

Apocalypse then

September 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“By the end of April [1945], we no longer had any chance of defending Berlin. The horrible, hopeless battles in the streets continued. . . . Russian tanks were now driving around the city, German tank-hunter groups were chasing them . . . and both sides were shooting wildly in all directions.” – Siegfried Knappe, […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

l’état, il était lui

September 25th, 2015 · No Comments

“I saluted, and Hitler walked toward me. As he neared, I was shocked by his appearance. He was stooped, and his left arm was bent and shaking. Half of his face drooped, as if he’d had a stroke, and his facial muscles on that side no longer worked. Both of his hands shook, and one […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

September 24th, 2015 · No Comments

“Russian artillery shells were exploding everywhere, causing the earth to tremble and sending dirt, pavement, bricks, and other debris high into the air, where they became weapons dangerous to anyone under them when they fell. The roar of flames from burning buildings and the crunching sound of collapsing walls were terrifying. We dashed from doorway […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

No sleeping in Hell

September 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“The city’s defenders were red-eyed and sleepless, living in a world of little more than fire, smoke, death, and horror. Much of Berlin was burning like a bonfire.” – Siegfried Knappe, “The End in the Bunker”

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

Asleep at the wheel’s falling off

September 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

“There was no such thing as a typical day. Sometimes the Russians would hit us at three in the morning, sometimes at six, and the day just unfolded from there. Our time was spent responding to crises that incessantly occurred. . . . We all caught a few moments’ rest whenever work permitted. Several times […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

Experienced only need apply

September 21st, 2015 · No Comments

“The sector commander I was visiting had his headquarters in the basement of a brewery. The entire sector staff consisted of amputees, but that at least meant they had combat experience.” – Siegfried Knappe, “The End in the Bunker”

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · The Second World War

Opera as a major-league sport

September 20th, 2015 · No Comments

“No one who did not live in Italy before 1848 can imagine what the opera house meant in those days. It was the only outlet for public life, and everyone took part. The success of a new opera was a capital event that stirred to its depths the town lucky enough to have witnessed it, […]

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Tags: Other Stuff · Verandah

Nothing at all like what the USA did

September 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“The Great Patriotic War, with its devastation and suffering, colored the strategic thinking of an entire generation of Soviet leaders. Postwar Soviet governments created an elaborate system of buffer and client states, designed to not only expand Soviet influence, but to insulate the Soviet Union from attack. Although the Warsaw Pact countries contributed to Soviet […]

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Tags: Economics · The Second World War

The second fire

September 18th, 2015 · No Comments

“Safe wiring is not something to be learned after the fire trucks have left.” – ray2047, Forum Topic Moderator, “Extension cords – why do they need to be unplugged after each use?”

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Tags: Economics · Verandah

Riots in the aisles, chaos in the cheap seats

September 17th, 2015 · No Comments

“Composers of [the early Nineteenth century] seldom saw their work published, royalties were rare, and copyright laws were nonexistent. Various middlemen prevented composers from knowing what their real box-office receipts were. What money they did earn had to be divided with hack librettists. Most impresarios viewed composers and librettists as quickly replaceable commodities—they were far […]

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Tags: Other Stuff · Verandah

Pushmi-Pullyu

September 16th, 2015 · No Comments

“As an editor confronting the day’s abundance, I want to find a reason to stop reading as soon as I can. As an editor in love with good writing, I want to find that I cannot stop.“ – Sven Birkerts, “Five Things the Submitting Writer Should Know”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Setting the example

September 15th, 2015 · No Comments

“Jewish communities in Eastern Europe were more civilized—that is, socialized more to civil methods of settling disputes, populated with fewer individuals who were personally violent—than the Germans who assaulted them. They were also more civilized than most of the Gentile societies in which they were embedded. Jews historically had not conducted pogroms against Poles, Latvians, […]

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Tags: Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

You can’t always take one with you

September 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“One of the most painful questions of the Holocaust, raised first of all by the SS perpetrators themselves, has been: Why did the Jews not resist? The question, with its ugly implication that the victims deserve blame—as if they murdered themselves—has many answers. Many victims did not know what was intended for them until after […]

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Tags: Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

The vital first step

September 13th, 2015 · No Comments

“Characterizing a victim group as a relentless threat to a perpetrator group is the fundamental mechanism of genocide. It allows perpetrators to interpret their violence as defensive and therefore both justified and unavoidable.” – Richard Rhodes, Masters of Death

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

They’re so civilized now

September 12th, 2015 · No Comments

“European society in medieval times and earlier had been dominated by malefically violent nobles who enforced their authority with serious physical violence, which they took pleasure in and celebrated. Homicide rates in medieval Europe even among commoners, who settled their disputes privately with little local interference from the law, were twenty to fifty times as […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

The servants of Thanatos

September 11th, 2015 · No Comments

“The Nazi hecatomb was not ‘modern’ and ‘scientific,’ as it is frequently characterized, nor was it unique in human history. It was accomplished with the same simple equipment as the slaughters of European imperialism and, later, Asian and African civil war. State-sponsored massacre is a complex and recurring social epidemic. Understanding how its perpetrators learn […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

The shooters’ shoulders got sore

September 10th, 2015 · No Comments

“The notorious gas chambers and crematoria of the death camps have come to typify the Holocaust, but in fact they were exceptional. The primary means of mass murder the Nazis deployed during the Second World War was firearms and lethal privation. Shooting was not less efficient than gassing, as many historians have assumed. It was […]

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Tags: Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

Wild strawberries

September 9th, 2015 · No Comments

“Maps in Jewish museums from Riga to Odessa confirm that almost every village and town in the entire sweep of the Eastern territories has a killing site nearby. Two thousand Jews, for example, lived in and around the small town of Tykocin, northwest of Warsaw on the road to Bialystok in eastern Poland, worshiping in […]

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Tags: Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

En garde, you swine

September 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“Serious dueling—dueling to the death to settle a conflict or an insult to one’s honor—arose among the nobility in early modern Europe at a time when states were centralizing. In medieval days the nobility had dominated its demesnes with serious violence, enforcing decrees, claiming and defending territory and levying tribute much as present-day mafiosi do. […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

Crazy apes beat all

September 7th, 2015 · No Comments

“Many theories have been proposed to explain violent behavior, including loss of control, involuntary impulse, unconscious motivation, lack of conscience, character disorders, genetic inheritance or neurological damage. Some of these theories are anecdotal, based on an observer’s interpretation of a violent actor’s intentions. Others derive from statistical correlational studies, which by definition do not reveal […]

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Tags: Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

A fresh shipment is in on the S.S. Blackshirt

September 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“To say that governments monopolize violence is to imply that violence is a commodity that can be collected and stored. Violence is a behavior. As such, it resides in individuals, people who have experienced it and out of that experience learned to produce it more or less on demand. Weapons enter the picture as tools […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

That’s the theory, anyway

September 5th, 2015 · No Comments

“The control of violence is a fundamental responsibility of government. Governments control violence by monopolizing it. They authorize military and police forces to use violence but deem criminal any other individual or institutional use. From this basic division, which evolved across five centuries in the West as governments enlarged and centralized, the common belief has […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

How that all worked out

September 4th, 2015 · No Comments

“The Third Reich was built on violence. It governed with violence, dominated Europe with violence and provoked a violent response that finally destroyed it.” – Richard Rhodes, Masters of Death

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Tags: Richard Rhodes · The Second World War

Who decided who lives and dies

September 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

“I was brought into the secret of the atomic bomb because [Admiral] Nimitz insisted that his intelligence officer be fully briefed as to what was going on. This occurred when Major General Leslie Groves, the Manhattan Project’s director, arrived with representatives of the secretary of war’s ad hoc committee shortly after the first atomic bomb […]

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Tags: Edwin T. Layton · The Second World War

No kings in the trenches

September 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

“In battle as in chess, it is the fool who lets himself be led into a reckless move through desperation.” – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (quoted by Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton in And I Was There)

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Tags: Edwin T. Layton · The Second World War