German News From the Second World War - Die Deutsche Wochenschau Nr. 752


by JahanKhalili

To understand anything from history, it is necessary to examine all sides of a conflict - including the side that is no longer represented today, and therefore cannot speak in its own defense.

Iranians seem to be very keen on listening to alternative news sources from Iran's official radio and television. I remember that they eagerly lapped up the BBC, VOA and Radio Israel, back when I was in Iran.

I could never figure out if genuine curiosity was behind it, or whether they were simply like dogs who are escaping from one master, and are barking for a new master.

Their tendency to make up complete BS about history - such as the idea that the British were behind Hitler - seems to show that Iranians aren't really interested in exploring and seeking information, but merely want to interpret things based on information that is already "available". 

In psychology, this is called "schema". People routinely compare every new bit of information that they receive with information that they already have, and judge it in that light. This is only of limited use, and some new information cannot possibly be understood by judging it based on existing "knowledge". 

Whatever the case, this blog will perhaps serve as a test for them.

Are they REALLY driven by curiosity, when they seek alternative sources of information? Or are they just looking for something to attach their hopes and worshipful attitudes to, without regard to what's true and what isn't?

Will Iranians make their own effort to gather information, and really read about a subject, or will they just consult with experts and let others think for them? 

This is a test. 

Let's see if Iranians are genuinely interested in exploring, or whether they are purely driven by political expediency. 


Explanation of scenes:

February, 1945.

Amidst a looming catastrophic defeat, and trapped between two fronts that are shrinking inwards towards Germany, Germans look for signs of hope from the news. 

Germans on the home front recycle cloth to make uniforms.

In the Schnee Eifel sector, a weary-looking German patrol crosses the Rhine and penetrates American positions.

They come under attack from Allied aircraft, but reach the American lines, ambushing American armored vehicles.

Scenes of dead Americans and destroyed Sherman tanks.

Fighting amidst the ruins of a town in the Hagenau forest region.

A german civilian is shown who is carying on with life in the midst of war and ruin, and hasn't evacuated his dwelling.

Two destroyed American "tank destroyers" sit in the street of a German town. 


A snowstorm on the Eastern Front.

The German navy supports Germany's beleaguered ground forces in East Prussia. 



The fortress city of Breslau prepares to resist the Soviet Red Army.

Gauleiter Hanke, General Schorner and other officials oversee the construction of barricades. The entire civilian population has been mobilized. Streetcars and anything that is at hand is used.

A bridge over the Oder River is blown up.

Civilians flee over a bridge in the Frankfurt am Oder/Kustrin sector. (This sector later bore the brunt of the most intense artillery barrage in history. In the subsequent attack, the Germans were vastly outnumbered)

Volksturm battalions - made of old men and reserves - arrive armed with anti tank weapons.

New automatic weapons are distributed (the MP44, which was the precursor of the AK-47 Kalashnikov).

Tracked remote-controllled "Goliath" robot bombs are made available.

All preparations are made to meet the impendig massive assault by thousands of Soviet tanks.

German tanks arrive. 

German fighter-bombers take off despite a flooded runway. One almost crashes, as it carreens out of control through the deep water.

A crowd of young Germans watches the planes take off with apparent pride and hope. 

German self-propelled guns make their way jerkily over cobbled streets.

German 88mm antiaircraft guns are being used to fire on Soviet tanks from a distance.

SS paratroopers dutifully pose for the camera, pointing their weapons dramatically.

Dead Russians lie in the road.

Knocked out Soviet tanks.

German vehicles taxi back and forth, as German defenders come under a Soviet tank attack.

At 8:50, "walking-wounded" are shown who are still being kept in the defense line.

At 9:00, a German who is commanding a Flak battery, angrily motions to the cameraman to get back.

Rocket fire is unleashed on the Soviets.

German Panther tanks counter attack, pouring fire on the Soviet tank wedge.

Smoking Soviet tank wrecks are seen in the distance.

The announcer says that Germany must force the battle in its favor to save Europe from the Soviet onslaught.

In the closing scene, German soldiers amble by, carrying German anti-tank weapons. 



more from JahanKhalili

That doesn't mean that Hitler's rise to power was engineered...

by JahanKhalili on

All it says is that there were genuine historic causes for the Second World War, and that it was not the result of one man's program or ideas.

Iranians of course will jump and try to fit this in with their favorite repititious ideas about the British being behind everything.

They're rumor freaks., mythbusters and other such debunkers of bullshit would forget about dealing with urban legends in the West if they could just hear Iranians.



by JahanKhalili on

Very good observations.

It was in fact the Versailles treaty which paved the way for the Second World War.

People now pretend that Hitler was the final cause of the war, and that he alone engineered it and wanted to conquer the world, etc.

In reality, he was doing what many Germans wanted - trying to restore Germany's lost territories, and trying to restore its independence from foreign interferrence. 

With or without Hitler, Germany was put in a position that no nation with any genuine self-respect would accept or cooperate with.


It depends a little what you mean with this...

by hirre on

"Their tendency to make up complete BS about history - such as the idea that the British were behind Hitler"...

It depends a little what you mean with this...

But generally the "Treaty of Versailles" which was signed by the Entente (Britain etc) in 1919 created such a heavy burden on German's economy which helped Hitler's agenda/rethorics and claim for powers (see Wikipedia also for further references). When it comes to actual money that needed to be payed by Germany it was $442 billion (2011 inflation adjusted). Many economists back then thought if was too much and would stop Germany from developing, they also said the dept payment would completed in 1988, actually it was last year it became completed, 92 years after the treaty...

In retrospect, it's not so much as helping Hitler, but instead making it hard or almost impossible for Germany to recover in short time which led to the WW2...



Baldrick jan

by amirkabear4u on

so you do care about image then!!!


One example of the effectiveness of today's propaganda

by JahanKhalili on

... are the legions of silly little Nazi-haters, who are out and about, on the march everywhere, looking for evidence of Nazism - i.e. something that hasn't really existed in any viable political form since the end of the Second World War.

Its even more ridiculous for Iranians to get involved in it, given their apparent complete lack of concern for the unresolved issues of support that Saddam Hussein received from Western companies and governments.

If they were really any good, they'd have been on the ball and would have paid attention to THOSE things, which are far more relevant to them.

They haven't obviously, else one of you would have noticed that Saddam's chief arms dealer, Sarkis Soghanalian, died on Oct. 5. I don't think anyone besides myself posted about it on, and I saw no response when I posted about it.

Expressions of Iranian patriotism don't seem to extend to finding out who has Iranian blood on their hands and holding them accountable for it. 

It probably wasn't on the Persian BBC, the Persian VOA or the Persian Radio Israel. So, Iranians don't know about it. What's not fed to them by these propagada sources, doesn't register for them - even when it involves the mass murder of Iranians.

The ridiculousness of the call to get Iranians to be more concerned about the wellbeing of others than themselves, does strike some people.

I remember an Iranian boy mocking the holocaust remembrance at my university, and was dismissive of it. His words were:

می خواهند مردم را دور خودشان جمع کنند، و ما بگوییم، بله، ما پشت شماها ایستاده ایم. 

In other words, he was pointing out that it was very self-serving stuff - which was quite unusual, since no one else had such a thing to say. 

So I always keep open the possibility that Iranians do in fact have independent thinkers among them who aren't affected by some propaganda around them, and don't let themselves be intimidated by coercion such as villification or labeling of them if they don't go along with it.

In Iran, I remember in particular Iranians in private voicing their opposition to the loud propaganda around them.

Its always easy to find people who are affected by propaganda, so I'm not looking for those types, nor do I care about changing their minds. 


Au contraire

by JahanKhalili on

The propaganda of those days can be compared to that of today, if we are comparing effectiveness.

The stuff they had in Germany wasn't as effective as claimed, because if it alone could do the trick, there would be no need for the Gestapo.

The existence of the Gestapo shows that coercion was necessary - hence the propaganda by itself wasn't able to do the deed.

As Goebbels put it, "A little propaganda is better than none", hinting at his own lack of faith in it as an all-powerful tool to control what people believe.

Today, you have Hollywood and an entire entertainment industry that work based on a much more developed and responsive approach.

The fact that Radio Farda or Hollywood needs minimal coercion (if any) to get people to believe or accept things, shows that it is much more effective than anything Goebbels could have dreamt of.

You see people nowadays who have genuine feelings of attachment for celebrities, singers and even fictional characters - i.e. people who don't even exist, but are shown in some movie or on some TV show.

And that has been accomplished without something like the Gestapo.

So the propaganda we have today appears to be much, much more effective. 



by Rea on

You touched upon different subjects there. I will, however, limit myself to the propaganda issue only.

Yes, I agree, propaganda now and then can not be compared. But neither can the target audience.

While propagandists of whatever ideology, politics, etc have different means at their disposal nowadays we, as their audience, also have them. So, one can always check and double check different sources until they have sufficient information to make their own judgment.

Briefly, brainwashed nowadays are only those who wish to be so.


Congratulations, Rea

by JahanKhalili on

I think you're the first commenter to actually comment on the video.

I don't know if the weekly newsreel was produced under Goebbels' ministry. I am no expert on this stuff.

However, it appears that not everything was under Goebbels' control.

For example, the German news magazine Signal was supposedly produced by the Wehrmacht, not by the Goebbels' ministry. 

The real history of these things is of course not known by people who look for reasons to simply dismiss whatever doesn't fit with their assumptions.

One thing that is interesting though, is that no propaganda from that time - Goebbels' or any other - can rival today's propaganda that is produced by the mass media and Hollywood for public consumption.

Compared to something like Hollywood, Goebbels' propaganda appears to be very bombastic and loud.

It is perhaps not-so-impressive in its ability to influence people without being accompanied by coercion.

Hence, reading about the Gestapo's reports, you'll find that people in Germany were apparently telling jokes about Hitler during those times. 

One of them was: What is the difference between Hitler and the sun? Ans: The sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Hitler rises in the West and sets in the East (in reference to Hitler's defeat in the war largely because of the Eastern front). 

In contrast, the devotion that Hollywood or the VOA or Radio Farda recieves from its audience seems to be very uncritical. 


Question about the video

by Rea on

Is it supposed to prove that Goebbels was good at propaganda, or what ?


Not one of you commenters showed an interest in the video

by JahanKhalili on

So what can we conclude?

Why are Iranians attracted to the Voice of America, Radio Israel, or the BBC like flies around dung?

Like I said, there may be a silent majority of Iranians who did in fact find the video to be interesting, and had never considered the German viewpoint of the war, and who didn't comment. 

This would suggest that interest in the VOA, Radio Israel, Radio Farda, Radio Schmarda, etc. is more than just people sucking up to propaganda out of sheer political interest. 

But whether any significant number of Iranians found the video to be interesting for its own sake - aside from questions of politics or self image - is an unknown. 


If any intelligent Westerners have been following this...

by JahanKhalili on

... they must be learning a lot about Iranians.

So far, the responses have been mostly attempts to insult my family by referring to my father, or by pretending that there is something wrong with me, etc.

In other words, their entire concern is with prestige (they are trying to attack mine, and are assuming that I care about it), and they have zero interest in any subject or field for its own sake. 

Iranians never fail to behave like Iranians. 



by amirkabear4u on

I know not all half Iranian-half foreigners are strange but there are a concerning number of them who have OBSESSION with Iranians.

In general they, similar to JK, have;

-          OBSESSION with our culture

-          OBSESSION with our food, for example, they have this peculiar obsession about kaleh pacheh

-          OBSESSION with marriage issues such as virginity, in particular when it comes to a member of their own family which I won’t mention here are they become suicidal !!!!!!!!

-          OBSESSION with our education

-          OBSESSION with our fashion

-          OBSESSION with going to bathroom

-          OBSESSION with our funeral

-          OBSESSION about our politics

-          OBSESSION about how we think


Can you explain??


maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

thank you for pointing it out .

NOW can you please take that medication?

I'll got go to work see ya



An alternative point to consider

by JahanKhalili on

I think it would be impossible to get an honest answer out of them, or to get them to focus on the test.

So there could be no scientific test of Iranians, regardless of where I try to conduct it. 

They would ruin it by lying or arguing. 

Each question would have to be presented in flattering and flower terms, and the test wouldn't end up being scientific because the Iranian crybabies would be offended by probing questions that would really get at the truth about them. 


JK, interesting, but just a point to consider...

by Disenchanted on


   While I agree with your suggestion that one has to consider every story from opposing point of views I do not agree with your assertion below:

   "This is a test.  Let's see if Iranians are genuinely interested in exploring, or whether they are purely driven by political expediency."

     It seems you keep making statements about "Iranians" in absolute and inclusive terms. That is imprudent and at times offensive! Specially if you consider folks who visit and comment on IC as a fair sample of Iranians. The IC visitors and more so the bloggers comprise what in statistics is called a "biased" sample. So if you want to conduct a test on 'Iranian" attitudes, IC is certainly the wrong place.


Of course you didn't watch the newsreel, Arj

by JahanKhalili on

I never expected anything else.


Re the reel

by Arj on

Dear JK, I did not watch the newsreel, and quite honestly, did not even read your blog beyond the point where called Iranians "dogs." The reason being; if one has a logical argument to make, vulgarity and disdain would naturally be unnecssary! Perhaps unlike you, some of us have people dear to us (e.g. parents or other family members) for whom we have respect -- imperfect and far from your ideals they may be! Indeed, this has less to do with Iranian/non-Iranian issue than with being human! Moreover, you have in the past envoked the same "social conventions" to "defend the honour" of your American mother and her country, so that you even asked some commenters here to leave your country (U.S that is) for their far less critical views of America (remember?)!

But in here, you apparently have the similar contemptuous attitude towards Americans as you do so far towards Iranians! Evidently, you have no respect for Iranians, and by extention, Americans! So, whom does that leave (Europeans and Africans I assume are out of the question!)? I don't want to speculate, but that either opens the door to fascist inclinations that seek social changes through violent re-establishment of defunct and racially charged social orders, or on a simpler note; sheer anti-social tendencies!



Instead of being preoccupied with me

by JahanKhalili on

Why don't you look at the newsreel?

An adult tends to feel "mature" and confident until their world view (which they have grown attached to) is shattered by something new - whereupon they fight against whatever it is to preserve the cherished world view.

Children don't have that problem. 


No, I disagree again

by JahanKhalili on

I'm not leading you to that conclusion. You are the one who needs to draw it.


Doof bliebt doof, da helfen kiene Pillen.

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

More and more you lead me to belive you're a case of 'special milk.'

translate the German words above, and you'll see what I mean. Beifall, gute Nacht.


At any rate...

by JahanKhalili on

People define "mature" behavior in ways that are very self-serving, because they want to influence others to be a certain way, and they want to define whatever they do or think as "mature".

People who are helpless before a judgmental audience, may be easily intimidated into accepting definitions that are made for criteria that are being used to judge them by people who don't even know them.

I'm not helpless, however.

I've seen a lot of childish petulance and babyish hurt-pride BS going on with Iranian adults - and of very high rank and importance, too - and so am not affected by such pretenses.

Seeing self-important Iranians who were being worshipped by legions of other Iranians, with their pants down and at a complete loss over what to do about a situation that they were certain they understood, shatters a lot of illusions. 


No, I disagree

by JahanKhalili on

Children learn languages easier than adults.

The only advantage adults have is their "maturity", which is nothing more than an all-consuming familiarity with how to function and survive in the environment that they are in. 

But if the environment is itself bad, then you have adults who are "mature" in a bad way - like old prisoners in a prison, who are "wise" to the ways of the prison - in comparison to new and young prisoners who are uncorrupted by it.

I'd rather not even be in the prison.

Some people like prison, though. Being familiar with it, they have gotten used to it, and in fact have learned to like it.

Getting used to the way things are and learning to deal with them is what a lot of so-called maturity involves. 

Of course, take that "mature" person out of that environment, and they could be again reduced to an infantile state, and are suddenly unable to function as they once did.

For instance, when old prisoners are released; they did fine in prison... they had learned the ropes, how to get respect, etc. But when free, they find that much of it is completely useless outside of prison. 

So maturity is really nothing to brag about. 


According to Heidegger childrens questions are the most profound

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

since they have no previous 'knowledge' and all queries are undistorted.

But childhood like any other stage in life has its limitations. As a young person  you could also  develope an interest,  will, and the discipline to learn the German language, and famliarize yourself with likes of Goethe. Brecht, Gunter Grass,.. Needless to say such an act would require a transition from infantile to mature.

Doof bliebt doof, da helfen kiene Pillen.


How many of you even watched the newsreel?

by JahanKhalili on

I'm just curious.

It would help me draw really scientifically accurate conclusions about this experiment.

If the commenters here represent the majority of people who have viewed this blog, then this confirms that Iranians aren't worth much, when it comes to genuine curiosity, and are instead preocuppied with politics, self-image, and how to be proper (up until their proper little balancing act for the crowd around them ends, and they fall into their proper little grave and everyone sheds fake proper tears for them before entirely forgetting them).

But if there is a silent majority out there - playing up to the claim that the public knows something - who have not said anything, and who enjoyed learning something new, then I would be able to conclude that Iranians are in fact curious.


Children are more honest

by JahanKhalili on

I prefer to act like a younger person.

Young people haven't yet learned all the lies that the adults have accepted as normal. 

If I acted my age as an Iranian, I would never have the curiosity to look at something like this German newsreel. 


Right, I see their point

by JahanKhalili on

There were plenty of mature people - most of them, in fact - who believed that the earth was flat.

So public belief determines what's true.

Makes sense. 


Which is why none of you are curious enough to discover...

by JahanKhalili on

... things like this newsreel on your own.

That would take an ability to disregard politics and social conventions, and most of you are incapable of it. 

You're just good little servants...

... eager to serve your master.

No wonder going from the political correctness in Iran to the political correctness in America is one smooth transition for Iranians.


So in other words, at some point in your life, you ought to have

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

enough maturity, courage and self-confidence to observe other people's points on your  state of mind. If they all point out to basically the same thing, there might be a case to ponder.

Ta nabashad chizaky, melat nabandand Shishaky!

In your avatar, you appear as a young man. Perhaps its time to start acting your age, and snap out of the infantile mode.


In other words, people who aren't brave...

by JahanKhalili on

... try to hide behind some artificial convention that is there to control people's behavior and to limit freedom of discussion and inquiry.

And Iranians talk about lack of "democracy" and "freedom of speech" in Iran. 

Its themselves who lack it in their own souls. 


Women do this stuff

by JahanKhalili on

They try to control other people's behavior by acting up or using some social convention.

In Victorian times in the West, they would use pretend fainting to get out of something that wasn't going their way.

Nowadays, they scream "racism", or "sexism", or some other gimmicky way of getting people to stop from telling things that are too embarrassing and too inconvenient to handle. 

Like the idea that generalizations are wrong. Who made up that crap? Every law known to science is a generalization. 

None of this stuff works on me.

Its you all who need therapy, because you keep persisting in your behavior, imagining that you can change me by pretending that there is something wrong with me, and by ignoring the truth in what I'm telling you.