Category Archives: History

George Orwell on Socialists in 1937

The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage … Continue reading

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Hitler, Chamberlain and Clausewitz

Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement failed in 1939 and was replaced with something worse. He decided Britain was a lion. Chamberlain threatened Hitler with war if Germany attacked Poland. The German High Command knew Britain couldn’t defend Poland and Hitler believed … Continue reading

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The Transition from Workhouses: the 1930s

By the 1920s the workhouse system was anachronistic. Democratic reforms in 1918 meant wealth was no longer a qualification for the franchise. The 1929 reforms of relief of the poor led to the formation of Public Assistance Committees. This didn’t … Continue reading

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Diplomatic niceties gone mad: Ireland 1945

Under the heading ‘People and Places’, the Fianna Fáil-backed Irish Press reported laconically that the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] and Minister for External Affairs, Éamon de Valera, accompanied by the Secretary of External Affairs, Joseph Walshe, ‘called on Dr Hempel, the … Continue reading

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Heinrich Himmler’s analysis of a perfect SS man and sub-humans

For the SS Man, one principle must apply absolutely: we must be honest, decent, loyal, and comradely to members of our own blood, and to no one else. What happens to the Russians, the Czechs, is totally indifferent to me. … Continue reading

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Churchill by Daisy Suckley: Roosevelt’s confidant

She described him [Churchill] as “a strange looking little man. Fat & round, his clothes bunched up on him. Practically no hair on his head, he wore a 10-gallon hat. He talks as though he had terrible adenoids—sometimes says very … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ruth Harris ~ The Man on Devil’s Island: Alfred Dreyfus and the affair that divided France (2010)

This biography is more than a Life. Ruth Harris’s meticulous study of French politics, the Roman Catholic church, the Army, Anti-Semitism and human drama is stunning. She reveals intellectuals who took up the cause of a Jewish army officer: the … Continue reading

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Book Review: Philip Kerr ~ Hitler’s Peace (2005)(2020)*

Sometimes an author strikes lucky and invents a character which is utterly compelling and becomes the motif of their entire career. Lee Child’s Reacher, Ian Rankin’s Rebus are excellent examples. The reader looks forward to the next Reacher novel almost … Continue reading

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In Times Past

The peoples of the land knew, their world Each plant, the uses they might be put to The elixir’s and the cautions inherent In the most benign and kindly plants.  For longer years than may be remembered Avoided nightshade’s, or … Continue reading

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Three Countries: One Story

Apartheid – South Africa Naziism – Germany Segregation – USA

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