historical perspectives, latest, Propaganda
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World War I: An Illustrated Guide to Propaganda

Terje Maloy

These stories are not unique cases from a remote war. The same methods are constantly rinsed and repeated, the mentality in our ruling elites is the same, and the risk of a major conflict is as great today as in 1914.

These examples concentrate mostly on British/American perception management and propaganda. First of all, because they are masters of the art, and secondly, as victors they still dominate the narrative.

ARTHUR PONSONBY AND FALSEHOOD IN WARTIME

Lord Arthur Ponsonby

After the Great War came a huge backlash of disillusion and revulsion. Calmly analysed, most of what had been told in the war turned out to be lies and half-truths. “Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War” was the title of a book published in 1928. Written by Arthur, Ponsonby, it discussed 20 instances of lies in wartime.

The contents of the book can be summed up in the Ten Commandments of War Propaganda:

  1. We do not want war.
  2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
  3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
  4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
  5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
  6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
  7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
  8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
  9. Our cause is sacred.
  10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

THE ENEMY IS THE FACE OF THE DEVIL

The perception of German atrocities in World War 1 has had is up and downs during the decades.  They ‘Huns’ were indeed quite ruthless, and freely executed several thousand suspected franc-tireurs and hostages when they invaded Belgium and Northern France in 1914.

However, the theme of barbaric, nun-raping, baby-bayonetting Huns was so carried to excess by the Entente propaganda machine that there came a backlash in public opinion after the war. By the 1920s, the disillusionment with the war and its aftermath was so great that all of these stories were dismissed as atrocity propaganda, which again would backfire in 1939, when there was reluctance to believe stories of – this time real – massive German atrocities.

The same theme was used more recently, with the infamous tale of «Iraqis ripping babies from incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals», in the warm-up to the Gulf War in 1990. Before the US Congress, a young woman in tears testified how she as a nurse in Kuwait witnessed Iraqi soldiers ripping prematurely born babies out of their incubators, leaving them to die on the floor. The story was later repeated by an equally moved President George HW Bush.

The public later found out that the woman was in fact not a nurse, but the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington, and the story was concocted as part of the propaganda effort by the PR-Agency Hill & Knowlton.

MUSSOLINI CHANGES HIS MIND – ITALY SHOULD JOIN THE WAR

Italy at first stayed neutral, then chose to join the Entente. This turned out to be a really bad decision, killing a generation of young men, and with not many gains to show for it in the peace treaties.

The decision was partially helped by subsidies from English and French intelligence to the Italian press. The Italian journalist Benito Mussolini (picture: in white coat, arrested during a scuffle with police in 1914) had a change of heart, and went from a leading socialist and war opponent to a fierce advocate of Italy joining the war.

According to a note written in November 1922 by the French secret services in Rome, Mussolini (who was described in another note from the same service as “an agent of the French Embassy in Rome”) had in 1914 collected ten million francs “to support Italy’s war alongside the allied powers”. In 1915, he was one of the founders the Fascist movement, which later took power in 1922.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DECLARED WAR AIMS AND REAL ONES

In August 1914, when an almost unanimous German parliament voted yes to war, it was presented to the German public as a defensive Schutzkrieg against conniving enemies. With the exception of one member, Karl Liebknecht, the entire 110-member delegation from the Social Democratic Party bowed to the war euphoria and voted yes to war loans.

The perception presented to the public during the first few years of fighting, was of a Germany fighting a defensive war for survival, not a scheme for imperial aggrandizement. But in reality, already in September 1914, in the first few weeks of the war, a secret plan for an extensive redrawing of Europe’s borders was prepared for Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, the Septemberprogramm (see map).

After the Brest-Litovsk separate peace with the Bolsheviks in 1917, the eastern part of these war aims were achieved, where Germany occupied or created puppet governments in Poland, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Baltic areas, and created a dependent state in Finland.

Although a victory, this led to great disillusionment in the German liberal-left, which so far had supported a war to preserve the country. Now he myth of a defensive war was exposed as a lie, and the treaty showed it to be a war for imperial expansion.

THE SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA

In May 1915 the British Government was in trouble. The European war was not going well. Instead of reacting to aggressive British blockades by begging for mercy, Germany was sinking more and more British ships with her U-boats.

The Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine on Friday May 7 1915, 12 miles off the coast of Ireland, killing 1198 people. The ship was running at two-thirds speed and in a straight line, rather than the recommended zigzag used to avoid torpedoes. The passengers were mostly US citizens (including millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt).

Her cargo consisted mostly of undeclared weapons and explosives, a fact finally confirmed in 1960, and which explained why she sank so fast. She was bound for the UK, sailing all alone, inexplicably without escort from the Royal Navy and right into a known U-boat hunting ground.

No members of the press even considered asking why Lusitania had been steaming so slowly and in a straight line, or why the British Admiralty had chosen to withhold the usual naval escort.

The numerous travel warnings posted by the German government in US newspapers, warning people they traveled on British shipping into British waters at their peril, was left out of the narrative. The German explanation, that the Lusitania was a legitimate target because she carried armaments, was dismissed out of hand.

And totally forgotten was the aggressive policy of starving Germany to its knees that had prompted the U-boat campaign in the first place. After the war began in 1914, Britain immediately began a naval blockade of Germany. Since even food was classified as “contraband,” the Germans had to ration food. By all estimates, several hundred thousand people ultimately died of starvation due to the blockade.

The sinking of the Lusitania was one of the main causes that brought the United States into the war, saving the war for the British.

AN INCONVENIENT PEACE OFFER: “WHAT DOES HE WANT TO BUTT IN FOR?”

In July 1915, Pope Benedict XV published the apostolic exhortation «To the Peoples Now at War and to Their Rulers.» Two years later, in 1917, this became The seven-point plan, a peace note presented to the warring parties. It was based on a peace linked to justice rather than military conquest, cessation of hostilities, a reduction of armaments, a guaranteed freedom of the seas, international arbitration, and Belgium restored to independence and guaranteed «against any power whatsoever.» (But it tacitly implied that Germany would gain some territory in the east).

The initiative failed: Although the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary) were positive to the mediation after three years of exhausting war, no one on the Entente side showed any interest. (The collapse of the Russian imperial government a few months later reduced the German willingness to negotiate.) Britain did not even show the Holy See the common courtesy of a proper reply. The French and Italian replies were hostile, and the rejection on behalf of the alliance was made by president Woodrow Wilson of the United States, who had initially remarked of the pope’s proposal: “What does he want to butt in for?”

The decision to reject any proposal from the Vatican was already decided in 1915. The threat was that a peace mediation from someone like the Pope might create so much pressure from a war-weary populace that it might just gather enough momentum to force the powers to accept.

The secret Treaty of London (1915), committing Italy to the Entente (Britain, France and Russia) contained a clause, article 15, where Italy is given carte blanche to do whatever is deemed necessary to silence the Church: “France, Great Britain and Russia shall support such opposition as Italy may make to any proposal in the direction of introducing a representative of the Holy See in any peace negotiations or negotiations for the settlement of questions raised by the present war”.

FROM WOMEN’S LIBERATION TO A TOOL FOR THE STATE

Emmeline Pankhurst addressing a pro-war rally in 1914

There is nothing new about liberal social reformers falling into lockstep when the country goes to war.

British Emmeline Pankhurst was the most prominent member in the Women’s Suffrage movement. She founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1902. After a remarkable and highly radical campaign for women’s rights, including hunger strikes, arson and window smashings, the group changed from a reformist program to a hard right reactionary nationalism as soon as the war broke out.

In 1914-15, bands of women roamed the cities of England handing out white feathers of cowardice to men wearing civilian clothes. The ‘White Feather Brigade’ was established by admiral Charles Fitzgerald, a war hawk who wished to see Britain institute mandatory military service. The campaign spread through the country with astonishing rapidity.

The highly successful White Feather campaign, shaming British men to enlist.

Not unconnected, the WSPU successfully carried out secret negotiations with the government, and on the 10th August 1914, the government announced it was releasing all suffragettes from prison. After receiving a £2,000 grant from the government, the WSPU organised a pro-war demonstration in London. Members carried banners with slogans such as “We Demand the Right to Serve” and “Let None Be Kaiser’s Cat’s Paws”.

Pankhurst founded the Women’s Party in 1917. Excerpts from the program:

  • (1) A fight to the finish with Germany.
  • (2) More vigorous war measures to include drastic food rationing, more communal kitchens to reduce waste, and the closing down of nonessential industries to release labour for work on the land and in the factories.
  • (3) A clean sweep of all officials of enemy blood or connections from Government departments. Peace terms to include the dismemberment of the Hapsburg Empire.
  • (8) Irish Home Rule to be denied.

In the Suffrage Movement’s defense, many members chose a different and more honorable stance, like her daughter Sylvia Pankhurst. In 1915, Sylvia gave her enthusiastic support to the International Women’s Peace Congress, and she later became a leading international voice in the resistance to Mussolini’s attack on Ethiopia.

EDITH CAVELL – NURSE (AND A HUNDRED YEARS LATER, A SPY AFTER ALL)

Few incidents created bigger outrage in the First World War than when the British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. In the trial, she admitted to leading a people smuggling network.

But the German charges also claimed that Cavell was a spy, sending sensitive intelligence through the same network, a claim which was strongly denied by both Cavell and the British government.

The government’s insistence on her innocence was taken as implicitly true in Britain, and she became a symbol for victims of Hunnic habitual cruelty. This perception also had great impact on public opinion in the still neutral United States. The implicit presumption of innocence lingered for a many years, and was a useful propaganda tool for many decades.

In a BBC-program in 2015, a hundred years after Cavell’s death, Stella Rimington, former head of the MI5, revealed that she had discovered documents in Belgian archives indicating that Cavell was in fact a spy.

This is of course a limited hangout. MI5 would have known this all along, being Cavell’s boss, but naturally chose to keep quiet about it, since the idea of her innocence was so convenient.

Rimington said her evidence showed «that the Cavell organisation was a two-pronged affair» and that espionage was the other part of its clandestine mission.

The documents included an account by Herman Capiau, a young Belgian mining engineer who had brought the first British soldiers to Cavell in 1914 and was an important member of her network. He wrote:

Whenever it was possible to send interesting intelligence on military operations, this information was forwarded to the English intelligence service punctually and rapidly.”

Capiau referred to information about a German trench system, the location of munitions dumps and the whereabouts of aircraft.

Since she was in fact guilty, it would make her case similar to the famous spy Mata Hari, who was unceremoniously executed by the French in 1917, without any international outcry. Of course, Cavell’s case is worse, since she used a humanitarian cover for her activities, putting all medical personnel under suspicion.

MOST OF OUR OPINIONS ARE FORMED BY MEN WE HAVE NEVER HEARD OF

After the United States joined the war in 1917, president Wilson founded a government agency, The Committee on Public Information, to drum up support in public opinion for the US Crusade for Freedom©.

A young man, Edward Bernays,  started working for it, and quickly learned his trade there. He later became known as «the father of public relations», and a pioneer in the modern PR-industry, where he, among other things, arranged the media part of the CIA-regime change operation in Guatemala in 1954. The full quote from him is as follows:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

THE INVASION OF 1910 – A BOOK COMMISSIONED TO TELL THE PUBLIC WHO THE NEXT ENEMY IS

Ad in The London Times for the book (1906)

Describing an imagined German invasion of England, the book The Invasion of 1910 was written by William le Queux on commission from the press magnate Lord Northcliffe and serialized in his newspaper the Daily Mail in 1906. After the detente with France and friendlier relations with Russia, British elites circles agreed on who the next likely enemy would be. But the British public still wasn’t ‘with the program’, and a large campaign was started to prepare them mentally. In the years 1906-1914, a torrent of books and articles on the terrible Hun menace poured out from a number of authors, including Arthur Conan Doyle.

BITS BY BITS A WAR MEMORIAL DAY GETS A NEW MEANING

Cadets march in the 2014 ANZAC day parade (Picture: Flickr/Chris Phutully)

World War 1 was a bloody affair for the Commonwealth countries. Most Australian country towns or even small villages have a cenotaph or monument with a shockingly long list of local men lost in WW1. ANZAC-day  (on 25th of April, the anniversary of the Anglo-French campaign to conquer Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, where Australia played a part) was decided as a holiday in 1921 to commemorate these war dead, in a rather sombre spirit. The holiday and ceremony was a quiet affair for most of last century, apart from the usual right-wing forces trying to capitalize on it. It reached it’s nadir in the late 1970s, after the Vietnam war.

A marked change started in the 1990s, with a concerted and very well funded campaign from the government to militarize Australian history. Now the ceremonies are huge, military-political events, full of pathos, cant and sentimentality.  By spending huge sums to connect the public idea of Australianness to a glorification of its military glory, it seems Australian participation, like in 1914 by choice, in the next bloody world war is inevitable – nothing learned Down Under.

NEUTRAL COUNTRIES ARE THE WINNERS

This Swiss cartoon by Karl Czerpien, is captioned «The wooing of the Neutrals», where orators from the warring countries are trying to entice neutrals to join them. The different alliances spent large efforts to tangle neutral countries into their imperialistic intrigues (see the case of Italy above). For smaller neutral countries, war between the great powers is always a dangerous time, but by trying to stay neutral, they are rather better off than by joining an alliance. A lesson for our time, when small countries in Europe seem very eager to get the honor of being the battlefield in the next war.

1924 – THE PACIFIST ERNST FRIEDRICH SHOWS THE REAL FACES OF WAR

In 1924, in the book War against War, the German anti-war activist Ernst Friedrich breaks a taboo in war reporting, by showing real war injuries. Such horrific pictures were – and still are – generally very rarely shown in war reporting, both in the corporate media and in anti-war literature.

This unwillingness contributes, intentionally or just because the pictures are too shocking to handle, to an almost idealized image of war, where our dead are always beautifully serene and the wounded well wrapped in bandages.

Terje Maloy is a Norwegian/Australian blogger and translator.

Terje Maloy is a Norwegian citizen, with roots north of the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in Australia, working in the family business. He has particular interests in liberty, global justice, imperialism, history, media analysis and what Western governments really are up to. He runs a blog, mostly in Norwegian, but occasionally in English. He likes to write about general geopolitical matters, and Northern Europe in particular, presenting perspectives that otherwise barely are mentioned in the dominant media (i.e. most things that actually matter).

43 Comments

  1. HdC says

    For at least 120 years Anglophone governments have lied to their citizens in order to get them to align with their governments war/enemy/profit aims.

    Why should WWII and Germany be an exception to this experience???

    The Tales of the Holocaust may make marvellous stories to scare the children and the gullible but breaks down completely at the nitty-gritty logistics and operations level of examination.

    To conclude: Please provide forensic or other scientific evidence to support your claims of holocaustianity. HdC

  2. Theo says

    The Lusitania was a legitimate target for the German navy.I think we can agree on this.The same thing applies to the Wilhelm Gustloff ,a civilian cruise ship that carried thousands of civilians who tried to escape the advancing Soviet Army in the East. It was torpedoed and sunk by a Russian submarine with thousands of civilian casualties.But she was carrying soldiers too who were retreating from the Eastern front and therefore a legitimate target for the any enemy submarine.It was not a Soviet war crime as claimed by the Germans and later in the cold war by Western allies.Even a former U Boat commander said the Soviet submarine commander did the right thing.C’est la guerre.

    • BigB says

      Theo

      Define ‘legitimate’? If you define ‘legitimate’ as jus bellum: then you can legitimate the targeting of civilians. If you define war as ‘illegitimate’ …the very notion of war as a conflict resolution is a crime against humanity. Then no such legitimation of war crimes is entailed.

      I prefer the latter definition.

      • milosevic says

        conflict resolution

        Obviously, the governments of Syria and Russia should reject military force as a means of resolving their conflict with the CIA’s fascist death squads. They should offer them tea and cookies, instead. Can’t we all just get along?

    • Not only was it a legitimate target, the Wilhelm Gustloff was

      1. Escorted by the frigate Löwe and

      2. Not marked as either a hospital or refugee ship.

      It was a hundred percent a legitimate target, just like the Lusitania.

  3. The mention of the Lusitania in this article actually drastically underplays the criminal responsibility of the British government, and particularly Winston Churchill (then First Lord Of The Admiralty, or, in other words, Minister of the Navy) in not just allowing but provoking that disaster.

    For almost two years by the time of the sinking, the British government had been using the (neutral) American flag on its ships, deliberately planning for a genuine American ship to be sunk in error by German submarines and an American entry into the war. The Germans had captured documents to this effect and had presented them to the US government as proof,but the Wilson regime summarily rejected them. Also, at the time, submarines were to operate by “cruiser rules”; when faced with unarmed ships, even unarmed enemy ships, they were supposed to surface, stop said ships, search them, and if nothing contraband was found, to let them go. If something was found then the ship was a “prize of war” and was to be taken to port. Obviously, this was hardly a practical approach for a submarine, but the British (who ignored these rules where their own subs were concerned) worked very hard to make it not just difficult but impossible for the Germans.

    One approach was to order all ships, when faced with a surfaced submarine, to try and ram then instead of stopping to be searched. Another, and far more criminal, order was the Q ship programme. These were alleged civilian ships, crewed by naval personnel in civilian clothes, and with camouflaged gun emplacements on deck. Once a German submarine ordered a Q ship to stop, it would pretend to comply, and when the submarine came close, the gun emplacements would open fire on the sub.

    Faced with these acts, German submarine commanders naturally preferred to attack right away with torpedoes, in the belief that the risk to their vessels was too great to obey the outmoded cruiser rules. This was what the Churchill plan also wanted, but they needed a big disaster to try and inflame neutral (ie American) opinion against the German submarine offensive.

    The Lusitania was a perfect answer. Originally funded by the British government for Cunard (the company did not have to pay for the vessel), it was supposed to be converted to an auxiliary cruiser in wartime, and was fitted with gun mounts, something well known to the Germans (albeit no actual guns were fitted). During the war, though, it was used as a (secret) transport for munitions, a fact that its passengers were unaware of – just as they were not advised that it was foolish to travel the Atlantic in wartime. After the British government had declared the North Sea a war zone, indeed, the Germans had retaliated by doing the same to the North Atlantic, so it was literally a voyage through a battlefield.

    On its last voyage, almost all Lusitania’s cargo was munitions – and some of its boilers were shut down to “save on expenses”, drastically reducing its top speed. Also, while the German embassy did place adverts in the papers advising against travel through a declared war zone, the British successfully pressured most papers not to run the advert. If I recall correctly, in the end only one, from Des Moines, did.

    Besides, the British government was well aware that German submarines were active to the west of Ireland, exactly where the Lusitania’s path would take her. Not just that, the most recent German submarine in the area, the U 20 (commander, Kapitanleutnant Walter Schwieger) had been specifically ordered to locate and sink large transport ships. Schwieger’s presence was no secret; operating within cruiser rules, he had openly stopped, boarded and sunk several ships already after allowing their crews to take to their lifeboats.

    So what did Churchill do? The Admiralty radioed the Lusitania that submarines were active off Ireland, and that the Royal Navy would provide the cruiser Juno as escort. Juno actually left port but before it could rendezvous, *it was recalled to port by an express order from the Admiralty* – and Captain Turner of the Lusitania was not informed that he was no longer to be given an escort.

    Schwieger himself (his submarine logs survived the war) thought he was attacking an armed auxiliary cruiser, and he was amazed at how speedily it sank, guessing, correctly, that his one torpedo had caused an explosion of munitions in the cargo.

    The ship was, in other words, set up to be sunk with US citizens on board. It was just another war crime in Churchill’s daily routine. Nothing surprising at all, not at all.

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  4. Badger Down says

    The writer has left us to search for the connection between the Balfour Declaration and the sinking of the Lusitania.

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    • AxisOfOil, thanks for that well-written link; from which a relevant clip:

      “The unilateral, lawless imperialism that engendered World War I and 20 years later World War II is still alive and dangerously vigorous. We only have to look around the present world to realize that. But when the culprits indulge in a triumph of bullshit then we also know that the world is once again in very grave danger.

      Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. “

  5. prop or not says

    What about an illustrated guide to propaganda from World War II? Or is that taboo?

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  6. I recommend reading: Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War
    Book by Gerry Docherty and James MacGregor. Hidden History uniquely exposes those responsible for the First World War. It reveals how accounts of the war’s origins have been deliberately falsified to conceal the guilt of the secret cabal of very rich and powerful men in London responsible for the most heinous crime perpetrated on humanity. …

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  7. harry stotle says

    Its literally a full-house when the ’10 commandments’ are applied to the ‘war on terror’

    We do not want war. – check.
    The opposite party alone is guilty of war – check.
    The enemy is the face of the devil – check.
    We defend a noble cause, not our own interest – double check.
    The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary – check.
    The enemy uses forbidden weapons – are you listening, Monbiot – check.
    We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous – check.
    Artists and intellectuals back our cause – well the Guardian does – partial check.
    Our cause is sacred – proven by god-fearin’ christians, Tony & Dubya – check.
    All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors – check.

    There are probably a few more that could be added not least the commandment to carry out false flags – don’t forget Dubya used 9/11 as a launch-pad for the war on terror, and the west has been killing people in the Middle East ever since.

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    • Jen says

      Eleventh Commandment (related to Fourth and Ninth Commandments) of War Propaganda:

      We always act in self-defence.

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    • Haltonbrat says

      Paddy Ashdown wrote a book supporting the concept of humanitarian wars such as the bombing of Serbia. It is rumoured that he worked for MI6 after his time in the SBS. He managed to get a very senior position after the humanitarian war in the Balkans.

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  8. Hugh O'Neill says

    An even earlier effort was Erskine Childers’ “Riddle of the Sands” (1903) which caused a war scare sufficient for the RN to set up Naval bases in Rosyth and Scapa Flow. Childers was Establishment through and through and his gun-running exploits to Ireland must have had full HMG blessing (provoke civil war in Ireland to kill off the Home Rule demands?). No sooner had Childers delivered his guns to Howth, when he received a telegram from Churchill requesting his return to Naval Intelligence to help with the war effort. Childers was later shot by the Irish Free State, but his son went on to become President. The Establishment has dynastic threads.

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  9. mark says

    We have been lied to so many times.
    From “Remember The Maine” to WW1 with its raped nuns/ bayonetted Belgian babies/ human bodies turned into soap, to Tonkin Gulf, the USS Liberty, Operation Gladio, 9/11, Vietrnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Iran, Skripal.
    How much of the “historical record”, things that we take at face value, is actually true???
    If they have lied to us about these things, what else have they lied about???
    You can’t take ANYTHING at face value any more.
    What about the Holocaust? Did this actually happen? Has it been exaggerated and exploited for political purposes? I don’t know. But you have to take ANYTHING we are told by governments and the presstitute MSM with a MASSIVE DOSE OF SALT.
    It is becoming clear that we were lied to for years over Northern Ireland. A lot of “terrorist atrocities” like the Armagh Bombing, were MI5 provocations. The British Government was running South American style death squads in Northern Ireland.
    MI5/6 murdered Dr. David Kelly and tried to murder Gaddafi. Did they kill Princess Diana as well? Who knows? I certainly don’t.

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    • You know, questioning whether the Holocaust “actually happened” functions as a virtual announcement: “Real Anti-Semitism Here.” Including (hiding) it near the end of a list of legitimate questions/issues, and presented in earnest tones, claiming no real opinion, is a transparent attempt to conceal your true agenda. Sure you have an opinion. Sure you know what you think. You know exacty what you think.Your Holocaust “question” is an old, entrenched, extremely familiar piece of fascist propaganda that sticks out like a sore thumb within the context of this topic..

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      • Badger Down says

        Implying that “the holocaust” really happened, without supplying anything to back it up, is semitism, and wrong.

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        • The idea that the most extensively documented event in recorded history has to be “backed up” every time it is referenced is so monumentally out-of-sync with global reality that it does not warrent a response.
          I just hope that readers will not aliow the focus of this excellent article to be further hijacked.

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          • Sean says

            Nonsense! Read some real history, instead of the Holohoax narrative. It, and the “gas Chambers” have been throughly debunked.

            There were something like 40 million civilian deaths in WW2 – – why is the death of 6 million Jews, even if true, more important than them? We never hear about them.

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            • Admin says

              No OT discussions of the “Holohoax” please. That millions of Jewish people died at the hands of the Nazis can’t be disputed by anyone sane. Even David Irving has never questioned that. The documentation is there to be seen. There are legitimate questions about the details, the politicisation of the tragedy etc – but claiming it never happened is simply a distraction from those, and/or an attempt to discredit this site by association.

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            • Mulga Mumblebrain says

              The victims of the Nazi Judeocide not only draw more concern and remembrance than all the other victims of Nazi, Japanese and Allied genocides during WW2, put together, but more concern, attention and remembrance than all the victims of all the genocides in human history put together. The ‘Holocaust’ pseudo-religion is a cult, centred in the captive states of the West, without precedent in history.

          • mark says

            You mean like it has been “extensively documented” that Trump is a Kremlin agent and Putin’s puppet? Or like it has been “extensively documented” by Bellingcat Higgins that Russia shot down MH17? Or maybe like it has been “extensively documented” that “Assad gassed his own people”? Or maybe like it has been “extensively documented” that Putin had Skripal poisoned. Strange how just asking a question can land you in gaol for years in so many of our wonderful democracies (and probably here soon.) Maybe we should just leave all the thinking to the horses. They have bigger heads than us after all.

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      • Haltonbrat says

        Surely if it is a crime to question it, just as currently it is anti-semitic to mention the crimes of Israel, then it does seem problematic?

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        • BigB says

          The unfoundable accusation implying “the holocaust” [sic] didn’t happen, with nothing to back it up is OK? What Badger’s hole have you been hiding in? Question away, but the onus probandi (burden of proof) is with you. Please don’t expose your historical naivety and closet-racism by coming back with Irving.

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          • Haltonbrat says

            By racism you mean anti-semitism, an accusation whic is used to shut down debate, as against Corbyn and the Labour party because Corbyn dares to support justice for the Palestinians. Gaza has recently been attacked by the IDF but the Guardian articles make it sound as though Hamas are the terrorists.

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            • BigB says

              No, I mean racism. To be clear: that is not an accusation – but the line between the two is razor thin. The conflation of the Holocaust and anti-semitism is a ‘reverse-IHRA’ …adopting the tactics of the oppressor: only some of us know the difference. (You can check out my comments on the adoption of the IHRA definition and the end of free speech – from months before the actual adoption – if you want proof.)

              The manufactured anti-semitism and politicisation of the Holocaust are legitimate issues. Holocaust denial is mendacious and racist, to say the least. If your concern is with the Palestinians, then you have my fullest support. However, Holocaust denial is the dumbest of dumb ways of exercising that solidarity. It hands the political and moral highground straight to the Israeli oppressors. On that highground is where they position their snipers. With such ignorant logic, you might as well go shoot medics, female nurses and children yourself, don’t you think? Or do you think?

              If you are commenting from the POV of solidarity with the Labour party …would that the the party of whom Tom Watson left Conference, awash with the Palestinian flag, to join Joan Ryan (Berger and Thornberry joined later) on stage with Mark Regev? To be decked in the Star of David (according to at least one, albeit Israeli, report)? Would that be the Labour Party of Israel (Westminster Branch)?

              In which case, you might want to look beyond the Guardian, and do some real research into which side the Labour Party are on. Because they joined the Zionist oppressors some time back (the full adoption of the IHRA definition was the final capitulation), as far as I can see.

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          • prop or not says

            Why would the burden of proof be with the ones questioning it?
            But anyway:

            One Third of the Holocaust

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            • BigB says

              Are you for real? Posting right wing hate crime bullshit to discredit everyone who has posted serious comments here for years? Or are you trying to get the site closed down? Or maybe just plain stupid, or just plain stupid and mendacious, or just plain stupid, mendacious and a neo-Nazi racist? Its one of the three.

              If its just plain stupid, perhaps you didn’t click on the uploaders page to see Adolf Hitler laughing at you?

              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC65Fqf_GOZ5zq9XCRSCg1SA

              Idiot.

              [Admin, please feel free to delete my comment AND this neo-Nazi propaganda].

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              • prop or not says

                Calm down. And maybe watch the video, it’s not some lunatic neo-nazi ranting as you seem to imply.
                I did not check the channel, just searched for the video title.

                You asked for evidence: “The unfoundable accusation implying “the holocaust” [sic] didn’t happen, with nothing to back it up is OK? What Badger’s hole have you been hiding in? Question away, but the onus probandi (burden of proof) is with you. Please don’t expose your historical naivety and closet-racism by coming back with Irving.”

                • BigB says

                  OK: so you are not a neo-Nazi, you did not recognise the ‘white christ on a black life rune’ as a white supremacist/white genocide symbol; and you did not check the neo-Nazi credentials of the poster (‘denierbud’). But, having seen Hitler (if you followed my link); and having this all pointed out, you STILL want me to watch the film?

                  I’ve got a film for you: ‘American History X’. If you are being subliminally drawn to neo-Nazism, and you do not recognise the signs, and you are subconsciously drawn to believe in aberrant ideologies …you may well be impressionable and biddable like Ed Norton’s younger brother. Don’t be a ‘Danny’.

                  It’s good to question: it’s better to question more …including the logical development of a thought pattern. Careful where your subliminal cognition leads you.

                  [And if you think I am being rude, hinting that cognition is subliminal: ALL cognition is unconscious (>95%) for everyone …so I am not singling you out].

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                  • prop or not says

                    The video in question can be found on a multitude of channels. I searched for the title and linked the video. You’re just attacking the messenger. As a matter of fact all videos on that channel happen to be fairly normal, except maybe the black and white video called “Der Ewige Jude”, which seems to be an old nazi propaganda movie, I haven’t watched it. The video “Majdanek Gas Chamber Myth” is also very good, from what I remember. You ask for evidence, but then if evidence is provided you start a stream of insults and ask for removal, claim it is all lies and the usual anti-semitic accusations. Typical reaction. But you can’t have it both ways.

                • BigB says

                  BTW: if you are genuinely worried about the cultural hegemony, victim status, and overt politicisation of the Holocaust (and you should be worried) …there is no need to posit Holocaust denial, as it only empowers the oppressor.

                  Learn to differentiate. Viktor Frankl = Holocaust industry; Hadjo Meyer = genuine humanity.

                  Never again.

  10. Roberto says

    The now-famous Letter Winston Churchill sent to Walter Runciman, the president of Britain’s Board of Trade 1915; a couple of months later the Lusitania, transporting War materials using passengers as shields, became a victim:

    My Dear Walter,
    It is most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores in the hope especially of embroiling the United States with Germany. The German formal announcement of indiscriminate submarining has been made to the United States to produce a deterrent effect upon traffic. For our part, we want the traffic – the more the better and if some of it gets into trouble, better still. Therefore please furbish up at once your insurance offer to neutrals trading with us after February 18th. (The more that come the greater our safety and the German embarrassment). Please act promptly so that the announcement may synchronise with our impending policy.
    Churchill, 12 Feb 1915

    The precursor to this ‘indiscriminate submarining’ was the implementing of the Q Boat policy by Churchill. Previously, the gentlemanly Cruiser Rule applied to shipping vessels; the submarine would announce its presence, the target boat would be allowed to discharge its crew safely and the vessel would be sunk. In many cases, assistance would be provided by the submarine crew to the targeted crew. The Q Boat policy, introduced by Churchill, allowed apparently defenseless vessels to be secretly armed and the submarine, after announcing its presence under the Cruiser Rule, would be attacked by gunfire suddenly revealed, or ramming.
    Germany thus suspended the Cruiser Rule.

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