The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from May 2016

Seeing to it

May 30th, 2016 · No Comments

“The flourishing of the virtues requires and in turn sustains a certain kind of community, necessarily a small-scale community, within which the goods of various practices are ordered, so that, as far as possible, regard for each finds its due place within the lives of each individual, or each household, and in the life of […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Sophie-Grace Chappell

Old school

May 29th, 2016 · No Comments

“I have never seen a workman as skilled as my father. His unboastful confidence in what he could do impressed me as much as his achievements. He was so at ease with his materials and always so respectful of their nature that they seemed in friendship with him, as though consenting to his touch rather […]

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Tags: Economics · Sophie-Grace Chappell

In case you’ve been wondering

May 28th, 2016 · No Comments

“Life’s a war zone. Death’s the sanctuary. You want to be safe?” – Gordon Lish (interviewed by Christian Lorentzen in Paris Review)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Gordon Lish Notes

Better that than the devil’s playground

May 27th, 2016 · No Comments

“Work really is the answer to so many problems, and it’s a form of play, too, that you take very seriously and keep trying to expand.” – Diane Keaton (interviewed by Meg Grant in “Diane Keaton Can’t Stop”)

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Tags: Economics · Verandah

Justice is served

May 26th, 2016 · No Comments

“Seventy-four defendants were tried in a Dachau courtroom for murdering GIs and Belgian civilians at or near the Malmédy crossroads during the [Battle of the] Bulge, and forty-three of them received death sentences, including their commander, Colonel Joachim Peiper. But confessions had been coerced, by threats to defendants’ relatives, physical force, and other wrongful inducements; […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Still working on it

May 25th, 2016 · No Comments

“The war was a potent catalyst for change across the republic. New technologies—jets, computers, ballistic missiles, penicillin—soon spurred vibrant new industries, which in turn encouraged the migration of black workers from south to north, and of all peoples to the emerging west. The GI Bill put millions of soldiers into college classrooms, spurring unprecedented social […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Last man standing

May 24th, 2016 · No Comments

“The United States emerged from World War II with extraordinary advantages that would ensure prosperity for decades: an intact, thriving industrial base; a population relatively unscarred by war; cheap energy; two-thirds of the world’s gold supply; and great optimism. As the major power in western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific, possessing both atomic weapons […]

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Tags: Economics · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

The tally

May 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

“By the time Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, the Second World War had lasted six years and a day, ensnaring almost sixty nations, plus sundry colonial and imperial territories. Sixty million had died in those six years, including nearly 10 million in Germany and Japan, and more than twice that number in the Soviet […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Breakfast is served

May 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

“Hitler ate a late lunch with his two secretaries and his dietician. Dressed in a uniform jacket and black trousers, he then shook hands with his staff, murmuring a few words of farewell before retreating to his study. Eva Braun, wearing a blue dress trimmed in white, joined him at 3:30 p.m. [April 30, 1945.] […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Arbeit macht frei

May 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“The vanguard of the 42nd Infantry Division arrived at the main gate to be welcomed by the infamous Arbeit Macht Frei signage and, a brigadier general recounted, ‘a yelling, seething mass of prisoners who broke through the steel wire fence at several places. . . . In this process several were electrocuted.’ Sixteen Germans were […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Shine a light

May 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“Prisoners cornered kapos and suspected informers, clubbing them with shovels. Howling inmates pursued remaining Waffen-SS troops, some of whom were masquerading in prison garb. ‘They tore the Germans apart by hand,’ a soldier reported. Rabbi Eichhorn, who arrived at Dachau that afternoon, wrote, ‘We stood aside and watched while these guards were beaten to death, […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Summary Justice

May 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“On a chilly, sunless Sunday morning, April 29 [1945], the 45th Infantry Division, bound for Munich and badly frayed after vicious gunfights in Ascheffenburg and Nuremberg, arrived in Dachau town. ‘There are flower beds and trees, small shops, bicycles on the ground, churches with steeples, a mirror-like river,’ an Army physician wrote. There was more, […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Piling on

May 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“A final monstrosity awaited discovery by American soldiers, further confirming not only the Reich’s turpitude but the inexorable moral corrosion of war, which put even the righteous at risk. Ten miles northwest of Munich, a former gunpowder factory of the Royal Bavarian Army had, in March 1933, received the first of 200,000 prisoners. In the […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Matters of identity

May 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“Shocking evidence of German torture and murder had been emerging for many months as Allied armies overran crime scenes at Breedonck prison in Belgium, or in camps like Natzweiler in France and Majdanek in Poland. Yet not until the revelations of April 1945 did the vast criminality of the Nazi regime spark enduring outrage in […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Those SS guards were such wits

May 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“An intricate, awful world soon was revealed [at Buchenwald]: the cement cellar ‘strangling room,’ where the condemned were garroted and hung on forty-five wall hooks, those still struggling to be bashed with a wooden mallet; Block 46, where gruesome medical experiments were conducted; the dissecting room, where inmate tattoos were excised, tanned, and fashioned into […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

My country, wrong or wrong

May 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“For the U.S. Army, the camp at Buchenwald offered a uniquely searing epiphany of liberation because of its size and the clear evidence of systemic evil. Built in 1937 outside Weimar, a city that had once been home to Goethe, Schiller, and Franz Liszt, Buchenwald and its satellites had grown to more than 100,000 inmates […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

April showers

May 19th, 2016 · No Comments

“On April 15 [1945] when the 11th Armored Division stumbled upon the Bergen-Belsen camp, fifty miles south of Hamburg . . . Over forty thousand men, women, and children jammed a compound designed for eight thousand; since January they had survived on watery soup, fourteen ounces of rye bread a day, and a kind of […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Clarification

May 19th, 2016 · No Comments

“Soldiers who in years of combat had seen things no man should ever see now gawked in disbelief at the iniquities confronting them. ‘There was no fat on them to decompose,’ Major Ralph Ingersoll wrote after viewing corpses at Landsberg. ‘You are repelled by the sight of your own leg, because in its shape it […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Shame to spare

May 18th, 2016 · No Comments

“Nordhausen was overrun by the 3rd Armored and 104th Infantry Divisions, which found what one witness described as ‘a charnel house’ of several thousand corpses. ‘Men lay as they had starved, discolored and lying in indescribable human filth,’ a medic reported. ‘One hunched-down French boy was huddled up against a dead comrade, as if to […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

No laughing matter

May 18th, 2016 · No Comments

“As Allied forces had approached [Ohrdruf] from the west, Patton informed his diary, SS guards ‘had some of the slaves exhume the bodies and place them on a mammoth griddle composed of 60-centimeter railway tracks laid on brick foundations. They poured pitch on the bodies and then built a fire of pinewood and coal under […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Hitting the jackboots’ jackpot

May 17th, 2016 · No Comments

“In [the Merkers mine] ‘Room No. 8,’ a chamber 150 feet long and 75 feet wide, more than 7,000 bags of gold and other loot recently transferred from Berlin—in some cases by double-decker bus—lay in neat rows under lights dangling beneath the twelve-foot ceiling. In addition to 8,307 gold bars and 55 crates of bullion, […]

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Tags: Economics · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

The Final Solution

May 16th, 2016 · No Comments

“ ‘I sincerely believe that I have served a criminal,’ [German Field Marshal] Model mused. ‘I led my soldiers in good conscience . . . but for a criminal government.’ Sealing his wedding ring and a letter to his wife inside an envelope, he walked to a gnarled oak tree. ‘You will bury me here,’ […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Bespoke

May 16th, 2016 · No Comments

“Fate is definite and there is no altering—the suit always fits.” – Major General Edward F. Witsell, United States Army Air Forces (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Guns at Last Light)

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War · Verandah

The facts on the ground

May 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“Resistance to integrating combat regiments ran deep. ‘A colored soldier cannot think fast enough to fight in armor,’ [General] Patton told his diary, and some argued that teaching black riflemen to shoot white Germans would lead to the shooting of white Americans at home. ‘We were going to make liars out of the whites,’ a […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Unintended consequences

May 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“Among those crossing the Rhine on March 12 [1945] was the 5th Platoon of Company K of the 394th Infantry Regiment. Singular only because they were black, these GI riflemen were among fifty-three platoons of ‘colored’ infantry mustered from volunteers to help remedy manpower shortages. Many had surrendered sergeant’s stripes earned as cooks, drivers, and […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Gang aft agley

May 14th, 2016 · No Comments

“All planning was not just likely to recoil ironically; it was almost certain to do so. Human beings were clearly not machines. They were mysterious congeries of twisted will and error, misapprehension and misrepresentation, and the expected could not be expected of them.” – Lieutenant Paul Fussell, 103rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army (quoted by Rick […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Dead heroes, buried far from home

May 14th, 2016 · No Comments

“ ‘Everybody shares the same universals—hope, love, humor, faith,’ Private First Class Richard E. Cowan of the 2nd Infantry Division had written his family in Kansas on December 5 [1944], his twenty-second birthday. Two weeks later he was dead, killed near Krinkelt after holding off German attackers with a machine gun long enough to cover […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

This way

May 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“Nobody gets out of a rifle company. It’s a door that only opens one way, in. You leave when they carry you out.” – Lieutenant Paul Fussell, 103rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Guns at Last Light)

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Daddy’s gone to war, and baby brother’s gone, too

May 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“Selective Service exemptions for fathers were belatedly abolished: one million would be drafted in 1944-45. The average age of draftees had climbed from twenty-two in 1940 to twenty-six in 1944, and many new privates were over thirty-five. A ban on shipping eighteen-year-olds overseas was rescinded in August [1944]. Induction standards for ‘physically imperfect men,’ already […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

The city in a different light

May 12th, 2016 · No Comments

“Eisenhower’s provost marshal estimated that in December eighteen thousand American deserters roamed the European theater, plus another ten thousand British absconders. The equivalent of a division of military fugitives was believed to be hiding in the Parisian demimonde, often joining forces with local black marketeers to peddle K rations for 75 cents from the tailgates […]

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Tags: Economics · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War