Archive for the ‘Chapter 23: The Troubled Interwar Years’ Category

The Spanish Civil War

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Here are some of the flags that were used by various groups during the Spanish civil war (1931-1939).

Flag of the Spanish Monarchy
File:Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg
courtesy of

Flag of the Second Spanish Republic File:Flag of the Second Spanish Republic.png
Courtesy of

Flag of Francoist Spain
Franco Spanish Flag
courtesy of

Flags of Spanish Republican Forces

Courtesy of

Leftist flags:

Flag of the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajo
File:Bandera CNT-AIT.svg
courtesy of Bandera CNT-AIT.png

Flag of the International Brigades
File:Flag of the International Brigades.svg
Courtesy of

Flag of the Hungarian International Brigades
File:International brigades hungary flag.svg
Courtesy of

Of course, Franco and the Fascist right-wing won, but it’s interesting to note that Spain’s flag under Franco was very similar to the flag Spain had under the monarchy.

Map of Europe before and after WWI

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

picture from:

Assasination of Trotsky

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Leon Trotsky was one of the three men who had a viable chance to gain control of the Soviet Russia after the death of Lenin.  After loosing to Stalin he was exiled and went to live in Mexico.  But exile was not enough for Stalin and he decided to have Trotsky assassinated in order to remove rivals.  The first attempt on his life in Mexico was on May 24, 1940.  During this attempt the room in which he was in was sprayed with bullets, but he and his wife survived by hiding under the bed.  One of Trotsky’s assistants and bodyguard Robert Harte went away with the would be assassins and was found dead a few days later.  The second, and successful, attempt on Trotsky’s life was on August 20, 1940.  This attack upon him was done by Ramon Mercader with an icepick, though some reports say it was an iceaxe, which he was able to conceal under his jacket and walk into Trosky’s home.  Under the pretext of getting Trotsky to read an article he was allowed to enter the house.  As Trotsky was reading the article  Mercader took the icepick and hit Trotsky in the head with it, though it did not instantly kill him, this caused a commotion and Trotsky’s bodyguards entered and almost killed Mercader but did not under Trotsky’s orders.  His famous words to the effect that he should be made to talk.  Trotsky died do to the injuries sustained from the icepick.

picture from:

Interwar propaganda

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

As most history and psychology students know, propaganda can have a very great effect on the thoughts and actions of the people that see them.  here is one interesting  example of the posters that were used between the World Wars.

This is a Russian poster about how the Jewish people are destroying Russia

this is from:,r:31,s:0

There will be further installments of this in the future.

The Great Depression and Hitler’s Rise to Power

Monday, September 13th, 2010

It is generally regarded that the Treaty of Versailles after WWI was too heavy handed in blaming Germany for the war. In the post-WWI era, most of the world saw a significant increase in their country’s economies during the ’20s. However, Germany’s situation was among the worst in Europe.

Germany’s economy was dependent on foreign trade (and by foreign, I mean American). Thus, when the U.S. economy went belly up in 1929, the effects on the hyper-inflated German economy were disastrous.

The German mark had an exchange rate of 1 trillion to one U.S. Dollar in 1923.

Courtesy of
Here, a woman is burning Marks for fuel because they were worthless as a currency.

I couldn’t find it online, but I remember once seeing a picture of a German woman carrying a wheelbarrow full of Marks just to buy a loaf of bread.

In these economically and nationally humiliating conditions, Hitler rose to power through manipulation and political intrigue.

Hitler played off of the people’s humiliation and resentment at being scapegoated (ironic) for WWI. However, he was initially elected democratically. The people supported him not just because of his grandiose schemes to restore German prestige, but because of his successful policy initiatives.

Hitler, as terrible and atrocious as his regime was, had a several notable successes. Under his leadership, Germany developed the autobahn (the first modern super-highway system); Hitler pioneered the VW Beetle (when you ride alone…or in a VW beetle… you ride with Hitler); and successfully restoring what Germans considered to be their rightful territory.

Many Germans knew about the atrocities Hitler was committing, but let it slide because they were convinced it was what was necessary to restore the international standing of Germany.

Germany’s technological advancements, while often unethical, advanced the scientific community. Bayer, the heart-attack-preventing-aspirin-company, had no problem using Nazi’s holocaust victims as test subjects to further chemistry.

America turned it’s head the other way, and allowed in several Nazi scientists so they could help us instead of Russia after they had been captured by the allies. Including this guy:

Courtesy of

Wernher Von Braun, who, went from developing more efficient V2 Rockets used to terror bomb London, to developing America’s entire space program. Conveniently for us, he had a miraculous change of heart after he was offered immunity from the Nuremberg Trials to come to the US and …advance science.

Anyway, enough on that 3 am tangent.

Hitler was able to rise to power using democratic (kinda) means. He seduced Germans and even produced on several of his promises. So in a way, contrary to popular belief, Hitler hadn’t pulled the wool over the German’s eyes. They just tolerated his atrocities because he was delivering on his promises to restore prestige and security to the German people.,r:2,s:0