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History..., ...and how it is re-written on occasion:

Devilsadvocate
post Apr 15 2008, 08:33 PM
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Take good note of this story.
It's relevant when considering the way in which certain people in this world can fill their pockets at someone else's expense, even to the point were others pay for the profits thus made with their very lives-
and even more relevant when considering how other people can alter the history-books to the point were aforementioned profiteers smell of nothing like roses:
Simply because those profiteers are oh-so-important for the greater good (namely for the economical side of things).

Some time before 1984 (The year I left Germany), I remember listening to a report on the radio concerning Soviet prisoners of war.
Amongst other things, it contained some information regarding an official from the relevant German department, who had carried out an inspection of the Krupp-works in Essen.

The reason was that Alfred Krupp had been provided with large numbers of forced labourers- especially Soviet POW's.
He had also received grants for the purpose of feeding those forced labourers.

The official in question was appalled to find heaps of dead bodies in the factory-grounds, hundreds of starving POW's, and several slave labourers who had been hanged from a gantry-crane.
Instead of using the money he had received for the purpose, Krupp had re-directed those funds into his own pockets; the slave-labourers were fed bread made of a very low amount of flour, and a very large amount of saw-dust instead.

Krupp was fined by a German court back then:
Not because his slave-labourers were dying like flies (...and according to that radio-report back then, about a million Soviet POW's died in Krupps factories).

Oh, no.
He was fined for misappropriation of funds...


Why do I mention this ?

This is the English language entry for Krupp at the wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krupp#World_War_II

It mentions plenty of Krupp's great achievements- like the 800mm-railway-guns his company developed.
There isn't a word about a million POW's who died for his company.

And this is the German version of that article:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfried_Krupp...len_und_Halbach

It's not one bit better- on the contrary.


When Alfred Krupp was arrested, the US-troops who arrested him were accompanied by a female journalist working for Time-Life magazine.
She took his picture, standing in front of a painting of (I believe) his father or grandfather.
Alfred was not pleased with the US-soldiers walking around his living-room like that.
At one point, he snarled at one of those soldiers:
"Keep your hands of that- that was expensive..."

The journalist later said that she had the feeling that he knew exactly that he would be free again, and that he would be restored to his former position in all his glory.
He was convicted for employing slave-labourers; his property was confiscated, and he got twelve years in prison.
He was free again in 1951...
And his property was returned to him. Goes without saying.

But it seems that the prisoners who died for his filthy blood-money simply evaporated...
As if they never existed.

Very, very important man, Alfred Krupp.
Couldn't have managed the economic miracle after the war without him.
Even if he was a murderous piece of sh*t...
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mrodway
post Apr 15 2008, 10:53 PM
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Thanks for the insight…

I tend to think that examples like this are more the norm than the exception.

It's one of the reasons why I like to visit second hand books stores and collect old out-of-date reference books.

It doesn't help that Wikipedia has a policy of regarding mainstream newspapers as a reliable sources. It has become a Kindergarten for propagandists. I find the delete logs make a more interesting read than the main pages!
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grizz
post Apr 16 2008, 01:20 AM
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I got turned off to wikipedia when I looked up the USS Liberty page and it was completely different than it had been when I had read it at an earlier date. The new entry was the standard disinfo spin on the subject: that it was an accident. The previous entry painted an entirely different picture of the event.
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Devilsadvocate
post Apr 16 2008, 09:41 AM
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Some time ago, I came across a wikipedia-entry on Vlad Tepesh:
Vlad the impaler, or 'Draculya'- the very fellow Bram Stoker based his figure of Dracula on.
To my amazement, I found that there was a vehement argument on the discussion-page of that article as to wether or not the kind of 'heroic deeds' associated with that gentleman were mere propaganda by his enemies.
And then there was someone who actually suggested that his harsh methods were needed at the time, in order to keep law and order...
(I have read accounts of his 'harsh measures'; they are truly stomach-churning. That man was a monstrosity, full stop)

But wikipedia is not the main problem, I think.
They not only use (faulty) mainstream newspaper-reports as a source; unfortunately there seems to be a tendency among historians to fiddle around with facts- sometimes inadvertantly, and sometimes on purpose.
Once something has entered the textbooks as 'fact', it becomes nearly impossible to change it.
Even if it's blatantly obvious that it's a load of rubbish:
If it's written in a textbook, it must be the absolute truth.
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