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History Impossible

History Impossible

Author: Alexander von Sternberg

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History: Impossible is exactly what it sounds like: impossible history. People, events, ideologies, STORIES--all that sound impossible. But all true.
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The Muslim Nazis IV: Farhud

The Muslim Nazis IV: Farhud

2021-05-3103:36:30

What do you get when all of your best laid plans seem to be falling apart around you with nothing but the suffering of your people to show for it?    Bitterness.   As the 1920s turned into the 1930s, Hajj Amin al-Husseini's power started to look increasingly fragile and precarious, largely thanks to the effects of the violence that rocked Palestine in the summer of 1929 that only served to raise the temperature across the nation. The nationalist movement would continue to splinter and many different factions would take much more strident, even recognizably jihadist measures against the British Mandate which only served to incentivize the colonizers to redouble their suppression efforts, culminating in the second great Arab Revolt of the 20th century, from 1936-1939.   In this episode of the Muslim Nazis we see the power Hajj Amin al-Husseini accumulated during the 1920s start to slip through his fingers until he is yet again on the run from the British. This part of our story takes us from Palestine to Syria to Iraq. It is Iraq where al-Husseini manages to get himself deeply involved in the coup that brought the British down to bear on Iraq's new government, a government supported by another imperial power beginning to make its moves in Europe. And what ultimately follows such a dramatic confrontation is so devastating that the only word that can sufficiently describe it is in Arabized Kurdish.   That word is farhud, translated as “violent dispossession”, though it could also reasonably be simplified into one word: disaster.   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Benjamin Bernier Elias Borota Miklos Buksa Matthew Dakus Kyle Dillon Gavin Edwards Kevin Gony Nathan Grote Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Ryan Mortenson Ben Mullen Molly Pan Jake Petersen Edmund Plamowski PJ Rader Gleb Radutsky Jon André Sæther Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Cameron Smith Jared Cole Temple Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey F. You History Impossible has also launched a storefront where you get History Impossible goodies, including shirts, mugs, and stickers. More designs will be uploaded in the coming months, but get your History Impossible gear over at TeePublic now; just click the link and you'll be taken there. https://www.teepublic.com/stores/the-history-impossible-storefront?utm_campaign=23070&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=The%2BHistory%2BImpossible%2BStorefront Final note: If you want to skip the opening housekeeping, jump ahead to 11:30.
The Muslim Nazis III: 1929

The Muslim Nazis III: 1929

2021-04-2701:57:05

1929 was, in a lot of ways, the year the world began its final descent into hell. The stock market crash in the United States would lead to untold misery in much of the Western world and allow for the rise and spread of particularly noxious ideologies across the whole of Europe.   However, on the other side of the world, another "beginning of the end" was taking place, this time between the Jews and Arabs of Palestine, with the events that rocked this tiny nation setting the groundwork for suspicions, resentments, and hatreds for the decades to come.   In the third episode of the tale of the Muslim Nazis, we follow Hajj Amin al-Husseini into his diplomatic battle with the British Mandate of Palestine and his role (or lack thereof?) in this explosion of violence and destruction in his homeland. We see events slipping out of his control that he believed he possessed, all while he fights every battle everywhere in his mind. We see him struggle to maintain his status and play both sides of the conflict as best as he can in order to secure his place at the power broker table.   And above all, we see him make his full transformation into the phase of his life that was defined by his thirst for more power.   Music credit first goes to Alex Mason for his song "Beginning". Music credit also goes to Ernesto Schnack for his rendition of "The Light of the Seven"; check out his YouTube channel and subscribe (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz1PeIEiNkKRwWDKFA6RkzQ).   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Benjamin Bernier Elias Borota Miklos Buksa Matthew Dakus Kyle Dillon Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Dylan Nesvig Molly Pan Jake Petersen Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Gleb Radutsky Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Cameron Smith Jared Cole Temple Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey F. You
"Palestine is my country and the country of my ancestors—I will sacrifice myself for the sake of its sons." —Hajj Amin al-Husseini   CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains some instances of graphic mob violence and is not suitable for children.   In the second episode of History Impossible's first series, we'll be diving head first into the early life of our story's central character, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the future Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in Palestine. We'll see how he developed his identity as a Palestinian nationalist from a very early age and the activities this passion led him to pursue. We'll look at what he did at the outbreak of the First World War and how his allegiances began to form. We'll look at his rapid ascent to power in the British Mandate following the war, and how he began to clash with these colonial masters. We'll even see the groundwork being laid by a man who would come to be known—fairly or otherwise—as a man behind whom riots and destruction tended to follow. This is the early life story of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Petyr Baelish of Palestine. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Benjamin Bernier Elias Borota Miklos Buksa Ron Cohen Matthew Dakus Kyle Dillon Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Russell Johnson Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Viktor Littmarck Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Gleb Radutsky Sailus Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Cameron Smith George Smith Jared Cole Temple Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey F. You (If you don't want the housekeeping/updates at the beginning, skip ahead to 8 minutes and enjoy!)
"The peoples of Islam will always be closer to us than, for example, France. ... Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poiters, then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world." -Adolf Hitler   The first episode of History Impossible's first series introduces one of the most controversial aspects of Nazi Germany's strategy in the Second World War: its implementation of Muslims. Where one could simply write it off as mere opportunism--a claim that isn't without some truth--there was a much deeper connection between the two cultures fabricated by figures operating within them.   In this series premiere, the Islamic soldiers who would fight for Hitler's army and even begin to develop a reputation are introduced and then the early days of Imperial German-Islamic allyship is explored. There are visits to the tomb of Saladin by the Kaiser, frantic diplomatic trips full of mishaps undertaken by German Orientalists during the First World War, and the introduction of probably one of the most underappreciated figures in both the Second World War and in the history of Israel and Palestine.    This is the history of the so-called "Muslim Nazis."   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Benjamin Bernier Elias Borota Miklos Buksa Matthew Dakus Kyle Dillon Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee  Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Molly Pan Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Gleb Radutsky Sailus Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Cameron Smith Jared Cole Temple Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey F. You
This is a quick announcement I'd like to make regarding History Impossible's immediate future, which is mostly tied up in this inaugural long-term series--a season really--which needs a bit of explaining and reassuring (specifically to folks who prefer one-off stories). In addition, I couldn't resist making a quick comment about history being essentially made on January 6th, 2021 in Washington D.C., regardless of how you interpreted the events.  2021's future, however uncertain for a lot of people and even for the United States, is looking bright for History Impossible, so I'll be with you all the way, hopefully entertaining and enlightening you as we move into the future with this crazy and no-doubt controversial story involving Islam, the Nazis, Israel and Palestine, and Yugoslavia. Best wishes, Alexander von Sternberg Please note: the first episode of this series is live on Patreon as we speak. If you want early access to the newest episodes of this series moving forward, consider supporting the show on Patreon at the $10 level or above!
The Impossible Interviews series is back with a different, but still special conversation I had with the amazingly talented and insightful Aaron Sibarium. Aaron is an associate editor over at the Washington Free Beacon, as well as a writer for various publications including National Review, Quillette, and American Purpose, the last of which published one of Aaron's essays on October 26th, 2020, the exact same day as Pandemic: Rendering a Hue and Cry was released on History Impossible's feed. The name of Aaron's essay: "The Weimarization of the American Republic." And it was completely and totally brilliant. Aaron and I had never spoken before I reached out on Twitter to arrange this interview. He had no idea who I was and until I started reading his work, I had no idea who he was. And yet we had largely come to the same conclusion regarding America's current moment in the historical context, completely independent of one another. It was too much to pass up talking to this guy so, as I just said, I reached out and the conversation we had is what follows here. This is much more of a "current events" style episode, though it's all very firmly rooted in history, both recent and in the Weimar era. After getting into some of Aaron's background and the growing power of the successor ideology to left-liberalism (of which Aaron was at ground zero while attending Yale), we discuss how similar the current moment is to that of the Weimar period and more importantly, how it differs. And as an added bonus, we spent some time discussing another topic Aaron has covered, which is post-liberalism from a conservative perspective and how it's recently manifested itself, and frankly, just where the hell we go from here. It's an incredibly fascinating conversation and I'm really thankful to Aaron for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with me, so please enjoy! I also encourage everyone to check out Aaron's work and follow him on Twitter @AaronSibarium. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Kyle Dillon Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Tyler Livingston  Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Cameron Smith Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey
History Impossible is back sooner than some may have anticipated for another installment of the Infinitesimal Impossibilities series, this time recorded in the spirit (and in the last hours) of Halloween 2020.   This time, we cover a story that takes place in early 19th century New Orleans. It begins with a fire, or rather perhaps concludes with one. A large mansion whose hosts had been entertaining guests, catches fire from its upstairs kitchen. As people pour into the streets to watch the blaze, they see one of the slaves screaming from an upstairs window before she is engulfed in flames.   When the fire brigade arrives, they demand to enter the premises to put out the remaining flames and check for survivors. The owner of the home, a Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and her husband, Dr. LaLaurie, wave away such suggestions. The fire brigade nevertheless gets their wish and enters the home, searching for survivors. After breaking open a secret door, the horrors they encounter on the other side beggar belief.   Just as they discover the secret room, Dr. and Madame LaLaurie are spirited away in a carriage, never to be seen again.   Who was Madame LaLaurie? Who was her husband, the good doctor? What was found behind the secret door? To where did this couple from the cream of the New Orleans high society crop disappear? Why did people come to believe the rebuilt mansion and its grounds were haunted? How much of the stories spun about the Mad Madame, as she came to be known, are even true? How does Nicolas Cage fit into all this? This will all be answered and more in this next installment of Infinitesimal Impossibilities.   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Kyle Dillon Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Tyler Livingston  Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey
This episode is dedicated to Franco Bolelli. Since it's the year of our lord 2020, it was only inevitable that we'd talk about pandemics on History Impossible. What follows is an exploration of not just a pandemic and not just the most physically destructive pandemic in all of human history. What follows is an exploration of what a pandemic actually does. And by "does," we're talking about what it does to the human body, the human mind, and the wider social psychology of societies themselves, and of course, the historical consequences that result. The 1918 H1N1 Influenza A pandemic--better known as the "Spanish flu"--is known as a lot of things. A bizarre historical footnote that no one wanted to discuss. A force of nature more destructive than the Great War itself, rivaled only by the Second World War. And according to a small handful of medical historians, sociologists, and economists, quite possibly the reason for how things in that so-called "War to End All Wars" turned out and thus, everything that happened afterward. These are all things that will be covered and more, as the impossible case is laid that the Spanish flu was not just the secret fuel that powered the monumental tragedies of the 20th century, but gives us insight into the very thing that could eventually act as the fuel for the tragedies for the 21st. Special thanks to Vinny Andreotti, Sergey Cheremisinov, and Molly Pan & Eric Guillen for their incredible musical skills. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Tyler Livingston  Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey
As many of you are aware, I was recently featured among many other, far more talented history podcasters on Daniele Bolelli's History on Fire podcast in which we all discussed various figures and events in history that created massive ripples that no one could have predicted. My segment was focused on Confucius and how he basically shaped Chinese civilization forever, from the level of the family to the running of the government even under the Communists. In a generous move, the fine people at Luminary Media decided to let all of us present our segments on our own podcast feeds, so if you would like to hear my segment on its own as a little bonus, here you go! It's short (well, miniscule) by History Impossible standards, but it's got all the hallmarks: a weirdo main character, far reaching effects and influence, and consequences no one could possibly have predicted.  Many thanks to Daniele Bolelli for organizing this, to my amazingly talented fellow podcasters, and to the folks at Luminary for making this all possible. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Tyler Livingston  Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Mark Reed Alison Salo Sam Emily Schmidt Steve Uhler Ricky Worthey
As History Impossible reaches its two year mark and the episodes get longer and longer, I figured that now was the time to do something different, namely to add a new show to the History Impossible family, as I've been calling it: Infinitesimal Impossibilities. These are stories that are simply too small--bite-sized, if you will--in comparison to the epic stories that have come to characterize History Impossible and to help me out with this, I've brought on my amazing Pop Quiz co-host (and victim) Molly Pan to help keep us on course.   And speaking of staying on course, this first Infinitesimal Impossibility is indeed about a device that had a lot of a trouble staying on course without an amazing pilot behind it (and an ingenious design for its time). That would be the American Turtle, the first combat submarine ever deployed in the world. What makes this story so seemingly impossible has everything to do with when this device operated, namely in the lack of appropriate technology and the insane ingenuity and clever know-how by its creator, David Bushnell.   So sit back and enjoy this first of hopefully many installments of Infinitesimal Impossibilities. As always, many thanks to Molly Pan for the artwork AND co-hosting duties.   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Benjamin Lee Tyler Livingston  Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Mark Reed Sam Emily Schmidt Ricky Worthey Steve Uhler
Japan in the 16th and 17th century was going through profound changes, not least of which being the ongoing civil war that had been ripping it apart for over a century, with warlord fighting warlord on a whim, the famed samurai chopping each other to bits on scales rarely seen elsewhere in the world. The other profound change involved men in black robes preaching the word of a god that the Japanese people had never heard of, but who many nonetheless gravitated toward. The Jesuits of Portugal followed by the Franciscan friars were in the process of converting an entire nation to their religious apparatus, as part of a long game of colonization, all while the three great unifiers of Japan--warlords who took control in sequence, sometimes by force--we struggling to bring Japan together under their own banner.   It was in April of 1600 that everything would change for everyone, when a Dutch ship piloted by one of the best English pilots Europe had ever seen, laid anchor off the coast of the southern island of Kyushu, its crew starving and half-mad after nearly two years trying to brave the two largest oceans on earth, losing not just most of their crew but the other four ships of the fleet she'd been a part of.    The pilot of this ship would not only become the spokesperson for both the Dutch and the British, but essentially all foreign powers trying to do business in Japan from here on out. And somehow, against all odds, he would manage to not just impress the shogun vying to rule over all of Japan--the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu--but he would become so valuable to the man and to his kingdom that he would become one of the few non-Japanese men to be granted the title of samurai, and one of even fewer Europeans.    This pilot's name was William Adams, and he was and remains the only British samurai to this day. This is the story of how something this impossible managed to happen, all through the simple act of assimilating to this new and alien culture.   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Devin Hreha Mike Kalnins Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan Jake Petersen John Pisano Edmund Plamowski Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Mark Reed Sam Emily Schmidt Ricky Worthey Steve Uhler
In the mid-19th century, as one country in the West was on its way toward the most famous civil war, another country in the East was in the grips of one far larger and more significant than any that had come before or would come afterward, if only in terms of numbers. By the end of this conflict, known as China's Taiping Rebellion, over 20 million people would lay dead, and China's relationship with the West would never be the same. While the man who started this conflict--a self-proclaimed prophet and younger brother to Jesus Christ named Hong Xiuquan--was forming the seeds of this rebellion within his tortured mind, the man who would change the course of the Rebellion itself was coming of age and beginning his habit of traveling the world looking for adventure and action. That man's name was Frederick Townsend Ward, and his influence would be felt and then eventually forgotten across the world, thanks to his largely omitted place within the ranks of great men who fought in this great conflict. This is the story of Frederick Townsend Ward, as well as the story of the fall of China as everyone--including the Chinese--would know it for nearly 100 years. This is the story of how an American adventurer became an American mercenary and then became a citizen of the Chinese Empire, and more importantly, a hero to its people, namely those living in the growing port city of Shanghai, largely thanks to his formation of the greatest soldiers China had yet to see: the Ever Victorious Army, whose elite training at Ward's hand would shape the future of China's military forever. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan John Pisano Edmund Plamowski PJ Rader Martin Reddin Mark Reed Stephen Roblem Sam Emily Schmidt Ricky Worthey Steve Uhler
In this newest entry into the Impossible Interview series, I had a chance to sit down (via Zoom) with the incredibly talented and generous-with-his time J.D. Huitt, the brains behind and face of History Underground and the excellent History Traveler series on YouTube (remember: LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE!). He ranks among the top three history content creators that I diligently follow on YouTube for his excellent-quality videos exploring famous (and not-so-famous-but-should-be-famous) historical locations, ranging from Arlington Cemetery to the beaches of Normandy to Ford's Theater to a German U-boat housed in a museum I somehow missed while living in Chicago. It's a little overwhelming at first due to the sheer volume of content, but it's all top-notch and I was glad to get to know a fellow history fan a little better (and keep in mind: J.D. is fighting the good fight working as a high school history teacher and from the sounds of it, doing it very well). This was more of a two-way interview since it both appears here in glorious audio form and on YouTube in video form, but it turned into a very interesting conversation both about History Impossible's process and History Underground's process, as well as the psychological approach to history, the consequences and realities of COVID-19, the weaponization of history, and even our stories of encountering political extremists. It was a fun time for both of us and I think it'll be a fun time for all of you as you wait for the next installment of the West Meets East trilogy. And quick note before anyone corrects me: I called J.D. the first history teacher I've managed to interview for the podcast, by which I meant the first HIGH SCHOOL history teacher I've gotten to interview. My previous two conversations with Daniele Bolelli and CJ Kilmer were indeed conversations with history teachers, but they are operating at the college level, so I'd be more inclined to call them professors. Semantics aside, enjoy the show! History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Tony Androsky Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Jose Martinez Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan John Pisano PJ Rader Martin Reddin Mark Reed Stephen Roblem Sam Emily Schmidt Ricky Worthey Steve Uhler
Surprise! In light of the current quarantine in which becoming starved for content is actually a very real possibility, as well as a way to say thank you to all of you for your patience as I toiled away at this most recent episode, I decided the time would be right to toss a freebie everyone's way, with a special thank you directed at all of you kind enough to be financially supporting History Impossible through Patreon and PayPal donations. Normally the Pop Quiz is a fun goof to be enjoyed by the Patrons of History Impossible, but since everyone needs a laugh now and then--whether it's because life is being a jerk to a lot of us right now or because listening to the mainline History Impossible episodes can just be so soul-crushing (believe me, I'm right there with you)--both Molly and I thought it would be appropriate for the Pop Quiz to be available to everybody who tunes in. We know it's not for everybody, but it can indeed be a fun distraction. Regardless, from the bottom of my and Molly's hearts, thank you for listening, enjoying, and laughing, and please: stay safe out there.
Let's set the stage: The most explosive event of the 20th century has just occurred and it has nothing to do with Nazis or atomic bombs or American blue jeans. In 1917, the world's largest terrestrial imperial power began to rip itself apart and would continue to do so during the next half decade, leading to the only other power with the ability to challenge the United States. The First World War and the Russian Revolution are both well-tread territory, as is the subsequent Russian Civil War, but what many might not realize is that these events were much more complex than Great Powers destroying one another or  Communists overthrowing the Romanov monarchy. The world had been turned upside down. And not only were there far more interests at play in this new Great Game of the 20th Century--including everyone from Russians to the Chinese to the British to the Japanese--but a vacuum had been created, threatening to suck away and destroy any and all traces of meaning that had been built up over the previous millennium. That vacuum--more of a singularity--was unlike anything that had ever been experienced and it acted as a calling card for all sorts of bizarre and unlikely figures of differing political and religious ideologies, searching for the purpose that they lost. And since their world was no longer one they recognized, they would all become seduced by the legends and real-or-imagined mystique of the lands of Genghis Khan.  Hardly any of these figures and their followers ever directly crossed paths and hardly any of them could ever be considered allies or fellow travelers of one another, with some being communists, others being religious nationalists, and some even being monarchist reactionaries. However, they all had one thing in common: they had been seduced by "the East" and were all determined to find their place in it, regardless of how ablaze with chaos and violence it had become. This is a story of legend and prophecy, of grand adventure and harsh survival, woo-woo telepathy experiments and communist sexual liberation, brutal theocratic violence and revolution, and a warlord that would fit right in with the world of Apocalypse Now or Blood Meridian: this is Central Asia in the early 20th century and the Europeans who tried to make it their last hope. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Tony Androsky Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Jose Martinez Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan John Pisano PJ Rader Martin Reddin Mark Reed Stephen Roblem Emily Schmidt Jake Smith Matthew Wilson Ricky Worthey
In this inaugural 2020 episode of History Impossible (and on the one year anniversary no less!), I sit down with CJ Killmer, host of the long-running and incredibly well-done Dangerous History Podcast. CJ has been one of my long-time inspirations for his capacity for detailed, deep dives into parts of history I literally had no interest in for most of my life (i.e. The American Civil War) and manage to completely draw me in with his nuanced, but strong takes.   In this conversation, we discuss a wide range of topics, from anarchism to the Civil War's moral gray areas to the long-held notion of the American civic religion before moving on to get into the weeds as to why Woodrow Wilson just might be one of the most nefarious presidents in American history. It was a fun, in-depth, and incredibly illuminating conversation and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did having it. Music provided by Pudge and Punk Rock Opera. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Trevor Lindborg Jose Martinez Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan John Pisano PJ Rader Martin Reddin Stephen Roblem Emily Schmidt Jake Smith Matthew Wilson Ricky Worthey
Content Warning: This episode contains graphic depictions of physical and psychological torture. A world away from the war raging across the European continent, a completely different theater of warfare was being conducted by the Empire of Japan and the Allied forces in Asia. Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, attacks were made against the British Empire's and French territories in Southeast Asia, including the supposedly impregnable fortress of Singapore. After Singapore fell and the 80,000 troops taken prisoner would soon come to learn their own version of horror shared by victims of Hitler's hatred across the globe.  Under the rule of the Japanese, starvation, relentless corporal punishment, and torture were the rule. Good treatment including proper food and medical care was the exception. And this was all exacerbated by the brutal slave labor being instituted to accomplish the greatest and arguably most sadistic railway project ever endeavored by a modern nation: to create the connecting railway between Burma and Thailand, then called Siam. Thousands would die and many more would suffer. And at the center of this was a man named Eric Lomax. Lomax suffered as many others suffered during his time enslaved by the Japanese--beaten, interrogated, and tortured for the simple act of drawing a map of the railway and assisting in making a radio. He would remain a prisoner of their cruelty even long after the Japanese surrendered in August of 1945. Nightmares, emotional self-destruction, and callousness towards those he loved most. And then he would learn the identity of one of his torturers. This episode of History Impossible--the finale of 2019--covers all this and more. Special thanks to the musical talents by Eric Harper with "Os Ventos Detras Os Montes" and Magnus Moone with "Pin Lights". History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: Elias Borota Matthew Dakus Gavin Edwards Peter Hauck Trevor Lindborg Jose Martinez Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan John Pisano PJ Rader Stephen Roblem Emily Schmidt Jake Smith Matthew Wilson Ricky Worthey Please consider joining the ranks of ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, or perhaps even investors, producers, and executive producers over at www.patreon.com/historyimpossible
Content Warning: This episode contains extremely graphic depictions of genocide, torture, and human experimentation. On April 29th, 1945, one day before Adolf Hitler killed himself, the true evil of the National Socialists--and the necessity of crushing them--finally became known to the American men fighting through Germany. It all began with seeing a set of boxcars, filled from stem to stern with the starved, decaying bodies of thousands of Jews who had been traveling by rail for weeks, as their captors fled the approaching Allied forces without a care in the world for the miserable existence of their human cargo. From the train tracks and moving into the camp known as Dachau, the American troops were then greeted by both the words "Arbeit macht frei" adorning the camp's gates contrasted with the starving, skeletal, and dying faces of the prisoners housed within.  Some of the men wept. Some frantically prayed to an unresponsive god. Some clenched their fingers so tightly into their palms that blood trickled to the ground beneath their feet. Some swore revenge, even if nothing had been done to them personally. And some achieved this revenge, if only vicariously and on behalf of the victims of Dachau. This is the story of that vicarious revenge, an examination of the events leading up to it, and a meditation on the ethics of summary execution committed by American troops against Nazis with their hands raised in surrender. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon: Elias Borota Peter Hauck Trevor Lindborg Jose Martinez Judy McCoid Kostas Moros Molly Pan John Pisano PJ Rader Emily Schmidt Matthew Wilson Please consider joining the ranks of ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, or perhaps even investors, producers, and executive producers over at www.patreon.com/historyimpossible
It's the end of one era and the beginning of another. With the launch of History Impossible's Patreon, things with the Pop Quiz are different. This will be the final free episode the Pop Quiz series, which will now be accessible to the supporters of History Impossible at the 5 dollar level or higher (along with other great goodies). So to celebrate, Molly and Alex took a trip down memory lane about werewolves, Nazism, Nazi terrorists, and Nazi trauma. It was, believe it or not, a lot of fun! Many things were discussed, including the notion that Nazis don't actually exist anymore as well as the non-resemblance of the tragic Franz Oppenhoff to Mr. Moneybags (or was it Colonel Sanders?). In any event, it's about as silly as they come and while it's understandable that this lighter, relaxed fit version of History Impossible isn't for everyone (we do read those iTunes reviews here! Thanks for the constructive criticism, by the way), it's a fun way to exorcise the demons that can arise from reading about all the awful things human beings do to each other.  So for her final pop quiz as we've all come to expect, the question inevitably comes up: how did Molly do? What grade did she get? Sit back, fix yourself a Halloween-themed drink, tune in, and find out!
On April 30th, 1945, Adolf Hitler's brain was ripped apart by the bullet he'd fired through his skull. That is how we believe the Second World War ended. But in reality, the struggle to crush the most evil of regimes and its ideas was just beginning and arguably never ended. This is the story of how that struggle began with the Germans who refused to believe that the end--their end--had come, and as a result, transformed (if only metaphorically) into packs of werewolves, men who had unleashed the beast lurking somewhere within them, causing one of the least discussed insurgencies in modern history. In this epic tale covering both the Nazi ideology's supernaturally-minded roots themselves as well as the results of crushing Nazism and the origins of our sheer terror at the regime and ideology's meaning, we'll dive into some of the strangest ideas and most desperate figures we've covered in History Impossible so far. From the occult and esoteric origins of the Nazi religion to the unrepentant true believers in the Fuhrer (some of whom thought him to be alive). From the bombings of Allied occupiers' administrations to the assassinations of collaborators and "traitors". From the decapitation wires strung across the roads of rural Germany to the sugar packets filled with explosive powder. From the streets of Berlin to the streets of Charlottesville. Welcome to the Fourth Reich.  Many thanks to the musicians who contributed their work to this episode, including Kai Engel with their song "Dark Alley".
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Comments (7)

Disturbing History

I would believe it, since I have read about it before. An interesting topic no doubt.

Mar 23rd
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Mobina Raoof

thank you so much for this, one of the best podcasts I ever listened to!

Mar 10th
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Mobina Raoof

listening to this right when Louis Tomlinson blames the music managements and labels getting ready to help make the music industry better, also Zayn Malik blaming the Grammys... make me feel like the Hollywood might get a little safer soon

Mar 10th
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Mobina Raoof

I can't help but love this episode! thank you so much for all the info excited for the next part!

Mar 6th
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Greg Kucharski

great podcast... and here is link to part of that moment of forgiveness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do3FwIymiqI

May 12th
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Greg

i heard many podcasts on WW2 and Great 1WW.. i saw many documents on concentration camps.. i visited Oswięcim main camp and Brzezinka camp wich is Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camp complex.. i learned about it all at school not just briefly but for years repeatedly.. I'm Polish living in Canada... i thought i knew it all.. i was wrong. I wiped tears listening to this great podcast.. thank you for teaching me on one more aspect of that horrific tragedy of Holocaust

Nov 11th
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steve boheimer

Great podcast. The piano song in the first break brought a tear to my eye.

Nov 10th
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