This theory is not only nonsense, but it’s also very dangerous nonsense because this really is Nazism in a nutshell at its very essence. People don’t realize that Nazis hated Communists as much as Jews. When the Einsatzgruppen were ravaging the Baltics and the USSR, two types of people tended to be killed on sight by these assassination squads in many cases:
And neither was favored over the other. Furthermore the lines were blurred, as the Nazis’ main enemy was Communism, and Nazi theory held that Communism was a Jewish plot, and essentially all Jews were Communists who had to be killed to snuff out the Bolshevik threat.
Of course they had other reasons for hating Jews, but most folks don’t Trealize how important the Commie Jews theory was in the annihilation of the European Jews.
This line went along with growing anti-Semitism on the Right in the US and elsewhere along the lines that the Bolshevik Revolution has been a Jewish revolution and that Communist Jews posed a threat to the so called Free World, which was always anything but.
This line held basically that all Jews were Communists. It wasn’t true, though most European Jews in the 1930’s were definitely on the Left, especially in places like Poland. Many were just liberals and social democrats though. An old line says that maybe one out of ten Jews is a radical, but five out of ten radicals are Jews. So you do the math.
While there were many Jews in the leadership positions of the early Soviet government, most Jews were not Bolsheviks. In the 1917 election before the Bolsheviks seized power, 70% of Russian Jews voted for the Zionist party.
They may have supported the Bolsheviks after they seized power, but the majority of people in the country did anyway, including a lot of the military, especially the military intelligence of the Czar’s army, most of whom went over to the Reds.
I did some research on the makeup of the early Bolsheviks and there were people from all ethnic groups of the USSR. Yes there were a lot of Jews, but there were just as many Latvians, of all people, and possibly more. So I guess the Bolshevik Revolution was a Latvian Revolution, right?
There followed short lived Communist revolutions in the several years after the October Revolution, one in Hungary under Bela Kun, a Hungarian Jew, and another in Bavaria under Rosa Luxembourg and some others, all German Jews.
Kun’s regime lasted only a few months, but he did kill some people, though the death count, which may be as low as 300, is much exaggerated by anti-Semites and Nazi sympathizers. But he killed just enough to scare the European middle classes.
The Bavarian government was overthrown after a few months, but the fact that it existed at all spread horror throughout the German petit bourgeois.
It was this early revolution on German soil that cemented the Nazis’ belief in Jewish Bolshevism, which held that all Jews were Communists intended on overthrowing all non-Communist regimes and seizing power for the Jews over the Gentiles the world over. The theory said that the main reason the Jews wanted to do this was to get rich by exploiting the Gentile masses when they had established World Communism.
As anyone knows, nobody goes into Communism thinking of getting rich. And Communists don’t exploit workers to make a profit anyway. That goes right against Marxist theory. It’s nearly on the level of a transgression.
So this part of the theory was so nonsensical it is almost laughable.
But many to most hardcore anti-Semites continue to push this line to this very day, that Communist Jews are a threat to the world, want to take over all countries and convert them to Communism, thereby finally ruling over their hated Gentile enemies, while at the same time ruthlessly exploiting the Gentiles so that these Communist Jews get filthy rich under this world Communist system.
The theory is so absurd that you would think it would have no more than a limited shelf life, but its recrudescence seems eternal and vigorous. Perhaps the theory’s staying power speaks more about the essential irrationality of obsessive, paranoid, conspiratorial anti-Semitism than anything else.
The Holocaust was largely driven by this belief in subversive Jewish Bolshevik Communists out to overthrow the established governments of Europe. It was a paranoid argument with no basis at the time, and it still is.
European Jews in the 1930’s had little power. They held quite a few high positions in some countries, especially in Hungary and Germany, and in Germany they had acquired quite a bit of money, but they had little power in either country. What Jewish power existed was quickly overthrown by the Nazis when they came into power.
Many of the East European Jews, especially the Polish and Russian Jews, had become terribly poor in recent decades. They lived in ignorant, backwards, poverty-stricken villages called stetls. They were pathetic but they were hardly world-controlling wealthy Jewish profiteers and oligarchs. It’s hard to see how they were a threat to anyone, but Polish anti-Semitism was very high anyway.
These Jews were poorly assimilated and this is offered as a reason for Polish antisemitism, but many Jews in Western Europe were much more assimilated (indeed assimilation was the laudable goal of most West European Jews).
The German Jews were the most assimilated in all of Europe. Lot of good it did them. In the previous century the assimilation was so thorough that many Jews had left Judaism and converted to Christianity, especially Protestantism.
This caused no end of problems for Nazis trying to figure out who was a Jew and who wasn’t. To this day you can find many German Protestants who will tell you that their ancestors were Jewish converts to Christianity. Even in Marx’s time this was quite common.
We have had a few conservatives posting here in the past few days. These are US-style conservatives, which are the worst kind of all. US-style conservatives are absolutely banned from posting here in any way, shape or form.
Conservatism means different things in different countries, so conservatives from much of the rest of the world (except Latin America and the UK) can continue to post. Even Canadian conservatives can continue to post, as I do not mind them. It’s not conservatism itself that is so awful. Almost every country on Earth has people who call themselves conservatives, and there are conservative parties in almost every country on Earth. But being a conservative just about anywhere outside of the Americas is more or less an acceptable position for me. I probably won’t like their politics much, but I could at least look at them and say that this is an opposition I could live with.
US conservatives and their brethren in the UK, Latin America, the Philippines, Nepal and and Indonesia are quite a different beast.
I have to think hard about conservatives in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These fools had such a bad experience with Communism that they went 180 degrees in the other direction. I would have to see the positions of these conservative parties in those countries to see whether they would be OK or not.
Just to give you an example, Vladimir Putin is considered to be a right-winger, and his party United Russia advocates a politics called Russian Conservatism. Looking at the party’s platform, this is not only a conservatism that I could live with but one I might even vote for!
Conservatives in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and most other places in Asia are acceptable. The conservatives in the Stans, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia can be rather awful, particularly in the nationalist sense, but I will not ban them.
I dislike Indian conservatives, but I will not ban them.
Conservatives from the Muslim World are all acceptable. In the Muslim World, conservatism just means religious and sometimes nationalist. I can live with that. Even the ones in Iran are orders of magnitude better than the US type.
Conservatives in the Arab World are acceptable. They are mostly just religious people.
Turkish conservatives are awful, but I will not ban them. They are just religious and a particularly awful type of nationalist.
African conservatives are OK.
Conservatives in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania are sometimes good, sometimes pretty bad, but they are all acceptable here. Conservatism in Europe mostly means nationalism. I am actually rather fond of the conservative running Hungary, Orban. LePen conservatives leave something to be desired, but they are acceptable. They’re mostly just nationalists. Hell, I might even vote for Marine LePen! If it was down to LePen versus Macron, I would absolutely support LePen!
Conservatives from Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines are not OK. These are an “everything for the rich elite, nothing for anybody else” type of conservative. Some of them even hide under the labels of Socialist or even Communist. The word conservative has no real inherent meaning. It means whatever people say it means.
Anyway, the conservatives in the US are pure garbage and recently they have become out and out fascists after moving in that direction for a long time. And a particularly horrible type of fascist at that, a Latin American/Filipino/Indonesian style fascist. I will not allow any US conservatives to post on this board. You all are lucky I even let you lurk here. That’s an idle threat as I can’t ban lurkers, but if they all stopped lurking, I would not mind frankly.
You all really ought to go back to the gutters you crawled out of.
PS This especially applies to Libertarians, the very worst of all the US conservative vermin. We shoot Libertarians on sight here, so you better watch out. *This applies only to economic conservatives. If you are not an economic conservative, and your conservatism is only of the social variety or you are only conservative on race, religion, guns, law and order, respect for tradition, American nationalism, the military, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity issues, you can stay. I’m not crazy about some social conservatives, but I can live with them. I will probably even let patriotards post as long as they are not economic conservatives. I am an American nationalist myself. I just don’t like patriotards. Of course, I very much dislike and even hate the country as it is right now, but I sure don’t want to make it worse! I have to live here too you now, and it might as well be as pleasant as possible as long I stay here. I want what’s best for my country. I don’t want to harm this country or screw it over. That will be bad for me! And believe it or not, most US patriotards do not want what is best for the country! I have dreams of a greater and better America. It’s not impossible, but we will have to undergo some serious cultural changes. One of the reasons I am so against illegal immigration is because it is ruining my country and making this place even worse. Also illegal immigration is terrible for US workers and I am for the workers. I am against H-1B visas for the same reason – they are wrecking my country. IT workers are workers too, so they are my comrades. I want what is best for America and American workers. I cannot live with economic conservatives. I like cancer way more than I like US conservatives. Cancer is much more decent and respectable.
This is an old article from the Saker that really needs to be read. In it, the Saker suggests the various responses the US/NATO might make to intervene in the war. I agree with him that the Pentagon is generally full of sane people who do not want to risk all-out war with Russia. However, the US civilian leadership has gone insane, and I believe that they have been insane and drunk on power and stupid for some time now, maybe even a couple of decades. This are the people who really worry me, not the generals. And sadly, I believe that Saker’s most apocalyptic scenarios are probably very much possible. The Ukraine mess has the potential to be utterly terrifying; in fact, I would argue that it already is. Why do most Americans, and most in the West even, not care about this Ukraine mess? Because Americans no longer care about anything we do overseas and they are lulled into a false sense of security by the corporate takeover of the media which turned the US media into a state propaganda organ. Americans are fat, lazy, stupid, apathetic and ignorant. They don’t care what we do overseas. In fact, they love it whenever we attack and kill people. The more the merrier. We can kill as many people as we want to overseas as long as parades of soldiers are not coming back in body bags. This was the only reason for the opposition to the Vietnam War – too many Americans were being killed. Really the only thing Americans seem to understand and the only way to get through to them is to kill lots of US soldiers in a war with an easy out. In any case like that, the US public will simply bail and for good reason. There is nothing too evil or sinister that the US can do overseas because the vast majority of Americans continue to believe in the Indispensable Nation, the City on the Hill, and Great and Good America that fights for freedom and democracy, confronting Evil everywhere on Earth. The idea that America itself might be the Evil, and that folks we are fighting are the Good Guys is simply too much for most Americans to deal with. They simply flat out refuse to believe it. The Americans are always the Good Guys and our enemies are always the Bad Guys. Even Democratic Party liberals hold this attitude as one of their core beliefs. If you tell these liberals otherwise, they start jumping up and down, screaming and yelling and ordering you to get out of their homes. US patriotardism runs extremely deep in society. I estimate 80% of Americans are hardcore patriotards. In fact, for much of my life, I believed the bolded lie myself until I finally wised up and learned the very painful truth.
Thinking the Unthinkable
I have been putting off writing about this topic for a very long while. In fact, I wrote several articles trying to explain the self-evident truism that the US/NATO/EU does not have a military option in the Ukrainian war. First, in an article entitled Remembering the Important Lessons of the Cold War, I tried to explain that the reason the Cold War did not turn into a hot shooting war is that both sides understood that they simply could never win and that any escalation in strikes and counter-strikes could very rapidly lead to a intercontinental nuclear war, something which neither side was willing to risk.
In a piece entitled Making Sense of Obama’s Billion Dollar Hammer, I tried to show that all the money the US will be pouring into “European security” is just a grandiose bribe for some European elites and that it had no real effect on the ground. A few days later I posted an article entitled Why the US-Russian Nuclear Balance is as Solid as Ever in which I tried to dispel the myth prevalent in the West about the putative state of disrepair of the Russian military in general and of the Russian nuclear forces in particular. Lastly, in a piece entitled Short Reminder about US and Russian Nuclear Weapons, I tried to show that in reality it was the US nuclear forces who were in a state of disrepair.
And over and over, in many comments, I tried to lay out the reasons why I simply did not believe that the US/NATO/EU would dare to attack Russia.
In summary, I will say this: the US is not nearly as powerful as US propaganda claims. Without going into long debates about what “victory” and “defeat” mean, I will just say that in my personal opinion is that the last time the US military fought well was in Korea, and even there it had to accept a draw. After that, it was all downhill. This is not the fault of the US solider, by the way, but instead is caused by the fact that big money and politics got so heavily involved in the US military that they corrupted everything.
This is most evident in the USAF which still has superb pilots but who are given a terrible choice: either fly on good but old aircraft or fly on new but terrible ones (I believe that given the choice, most would chose the former). As for the European NATO allies, they are such a joke that they hardly deserve mention. They even look bad on a parade.
As for a military option in the Ukraine, it appears unthinkable to me not only because, frankly, I don’t see a single military in the West capable of taking on the Russian military in full-scale battle but also because geography powerfully argues against such a crazy idea (the very same geography which would make it impossible for Russia to try to invade western or even central Europe).
And yet, something in all this very logical reasoning felt wrong to me. A few days ago it finally hit me. What bothered me was this:
The American Duck
Among the many beautiful and witty expressions and neologisms Americans use, I always loved this one: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. This so-called “Duck test” is funny, but it is also a powerful logical method which ended up chewing at me day after day after day. Here I was, all sure and certain that the US/NATO/EU would never consider such a ludicrous notion as a military attack on Russia or Russian forces.
But kept hearing the voice of the American Duck telling me: look at what they are doing, what does that look like to you? Suspend your conclusions and just tell me what are you observing? Tell me, if they had decided to escalate to the point of a military confrontation with Russia, would they be doing things differently?
And a few days ago, I threw in the towel (at the duck, of course) and had to accept that while I did not know what they were thinking or what their intentions really were, it sure looked to me like the western plutocrats had decided to escalate the crisis has much as possible.
In truth, I have to admit that when I studied the theory of deterrence in the 1980’s, my teachers always insisted that this theory of deterrence was predicated on what they called a “rational player”.
To put it simply – how do you deter a lunatic? Or a desperate man with nothing to lose? Or a person hell-bent on mutual destruction? The truth is, you cannot. Deterrence assumes a rational actor making a logical decision about unacceptable costs. As far as I know, nobody has ever developed a theory of deterrence applicable to a madman.
When I initially wrote my pieces explaining why I believed that a US/NATO/EU attack was impossible, a lot readers posted comments saying that while maybe the top US military command was still mainly composed of rational men, the US imperial elites had clearly gone crazy a long time ago and that they were so stuck in their arrogance, imperial hubris, delusions of invincibility and knee-jerk and systematic use of violence that they could no more be considered as rational. At the time I replied that, yeah, sure, maybe, but what is the point of analyzing something crazy? How do you try to make sense of the suicidally insane?
And yet, this is what I propose to do today. I will try as best I can to try to place myself in the mind of these lunatics and see what they could try doing and what the consequences of that would be. I will go through several possible plans that these crazies might have starting from the most limited one and then going up the insanity slope.
Plan One: a Symbolic and Limited Intervention
This plan is already underway. We know that there are US military advisers in the Ukraine, including at least one general, we know that the Dutch and Australians will be sending in a lightly armed force to “protect” the investigators at the crash site of MH17 (although how a few men armed with assault rifles can protect anybody from Ukie artillery, tank or mortar fire is anybody’s guess).
Then there are all the reports of foreign mercenaries, mostly US and Polish, fighting with the Ukie death squads. There is also some good evidence that Poland is sending military equipment, including aircraft and possibly crews. Well, all of that is dumb and serves very little useful purpose, but that is what the West is so good at: pretending. If this plan stays at this level, I would say that it is not very important. But, alas, there is a nastier possibility here:
Plan Two: A Tripwire Force
This is just an extension of plan one: bring in a few men and then have them killed. This would trigger the needed “popular outrage” (carefully fanned and reported by the corporate media) to force the Europeans to accept more US sanctions in Europe or even some kind of “EU-mandated peacekeeping force”.
Of course, if the Russians or Novorussians do not take the bait and fail to kill the “observers”, US/NATO false flag teams could easily do that. Just imagine what a heavy mortar strike on a building with these OSCE observers would look like. The junta in Kiev would be more than happy to “invite” such a “peacekeeping” force into Novorussia and since this would be an “invited” force, no UNSC Resolution would be needed.
Finally, such a “peacekeeping” force would be regularly reinforced and augmented until it could basically cover the flanks of the Ukies in their attacks against Novorussia. This force would also assume the command and control of Ukie forces, something which the Ukies could greatly benefit from (their current command and control is a mess).
Plans One and Two assume that Russian forces stay on the other side of the border and that the only opposition to such a deployment could come from the Novorussians. But what if the Russians decided to move into Novorussia either to protect the locals or to stop this limited US/NATO/EU “peacekeeping force”? Then the US/NATO/EU would have to take a dramatic escalatory step and send in a much bigger force, more capable of defending itself.
Plan Three: UPROFOR on the Dniepr?
This is the Yugoslav scenario. The West would send in something on the order of 10 battalions which would each be given an area of responsibility for “peacekeeping”. Then police forces would be also sent to “maintain law and order,” and EU commissars would be sent in to “help” the local population “express their will” and “organize” a local government. Soon there would be some kind of EU-run election, and all the Novorussian forces would be declared “bandits” from which the local population need to be “protected”.
Since Strelkov himself fought in Yugoslavia as did many other Russians, I don’t believe that the Russians or Novorussians would fall for this one. I think that Russia would express its opposition to such a plan and that if she was ignored, she would move in her own forces along the line of contact.
This might be the US/NATO/EU end goal: to create a Korea-like “line of demarcation” which would isolate the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics from the rest of Novorussia and the rest of the Ukraine. This would mean getting plenty of Kosovo-like “Camp Bonsteels” all along the Russian border, and it would make it look like the “Wartime President of the One Indispensable Nation stopped the Russian Bear”. Finally, it would create a perfect Cold War-like environment in which the western 1%ers could continue to exploit the 99% while constantly scaring them with the “Russian threat”.
Plan Four: Operation Storm in Novorussia and Crimea?
I would not put it past the folks in the Pentagon and Mons to try to pull off an “Operation Storm” in Novorussia and even possibly Crimea. That is the scenario Glazev fears: the US/NATO/EU would put enough forces inside the Ukraine to allow it to survive long enough to mobilize a sufficient number of men and equipment for a lightning-fast attack on Novorossia and even possibly Crimea.
And in theory, if we assume that Banderstan does not collapse under its own weight and economic disaster, the Ukraine has the resources to mobilize far more men and equipment that the tiny People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk or even Crimea. But that again assumes that Russia will let that happen, which she won’t, so now we have to look at the really crazy plans:
Plan Five: First “Desert Steppe Shield,” Then “Desert Steppe Storm”
That is a crazy notion: to do with Russia what the US did with Iraq. First, to place down a “protection force” in the Ukraine, isolate Russia, and then attack in a full-depth and full-scale determined attack. We are definitely talking about a continental war with a fantastic potential to turn into a world war. This plan would have be based on two crucial assumptions:
The US/NATO/EU conventional forces would be capable of defeating the Russian military.
If facing conventional defeat, Russia would not use nuclear weapons.
I think that both of these assumptions are deeply mistaken. The first one is based on a mix of propaganda, bean counting and ignorance. The propaganda is something which western military are very good at. They are not. Most western armies are a pathetic joke, and those who can fight well (the Brits, the Turks) are too little to matter.
That leaves the US military which have capabilities far in excess of what its NATO allies can muster. Just as in WWII all the serious fighting had to be done by German units, in case of a WWIII (or IV?), all the serious fighting would have to be done by Americans. The problem is that the Americans would have an extremely hard time bringing in enough forces to really make the difference. In any case, I have the biggest doubt about the current fighting capabilities of the US Army and Marine Corps. Faced with a Russian battalion defending its own soil, I think that an equivalent US Army/Marine force would get slaughtered.
The “bean counting” is when you compare all the NATO APC’s or tanks to the number available to the Russian military. The corporate media loves these sorts of charts in which soldiers, APC’s, tanks, aircraft and other gear are compared. Professional analysts never use them simply because they are meaningless.
What matters is how much of that gear is actually available for battle, the kind of tactics used, the training and morale of the soldiers, the skills of their commanding officers, and stuff which is never mentioned: supplies, logistics, petroleum, lubricants, ammunition, lines of supply, medical standards, and even food and weather. Bean counters simply never see that. But one could argue that the number of trucks is more important to a military than the number of tanks. Yet trucks are never counted. But yes, on paper NATO looks huge. Even though most NATO gear could not even survive your average Ukrainian road, never mind the winter.
But let us assume that the Hollywood image of the US military is true: invincible, best trained, best armed, with a fantastic morale, led by the very best of the best officers, it would easily defeat the primitive Russian military, armed with antiquated weapons and commanded by fat drunken generals.
Okay, and then what? If the official Russian nuclear deterrence doctrine is examined, in this case Russia would use nuclear weapons.
Since even in Hollywood movies nobody makes the claim that the US anti-missile systems could stop Iskanders, cruise missiles or even gravity bombs, we would have to accept that the invincible US force would be turned into radioactive particulates and that in turn would leave the US President two terrible choices: a) take the loss and stop b) retaliate, and the second option would have to include the location from where the strike came from: Russia proper. That, of course, would place the following choices for the Russian President: a) take the loss or b) strike at the continental United States. At this points nuclear mushrooms would start appearing all over the map.
Now please make no mistake: Russia can not only destroy Mons, the Pentagon and Cheyenne Mountain (just a matter of placing enough warheads on the right spot) but also every single major city in the United States. Sure, the USA can retaliate in kind, but what kind of consolation would that be for anybody left?
I cannot believe that the US Deep State would truly, deliberately, want to start a planetary nuclear war. For one thing, US leaders are cowards, and they will not want to take such a monumental decision. A far more likely version is that being stupid, arrogant cowards, they will stumble upon just that outcome. Here is how:
Plan Six: American Football’s “Hail Mary”
In American football there is a specific pass which is used only when seconds are left on the clock, and your team is badly losing anyway. Basically it works like this: every single person who is not defending the quarterback rushes to the end zone, as do all the defenders, and the quarterback then just throws the ball straight into that zone with the very slim hope that one of his own players will catch it and score a touchdown. This is called a “Hail Mary” for very good reason as only a miracle makes such a desperate plan work. Most of the time the ball is either fumbled or caught by the other team. But, very rarely, it works.
I can very much imagine a desperate Obama trying to show the American people that he “has hair on his chest” and that he is not going to let “regional power” challenge the “indispensable nation”. So what he and, really, his administration risks doing is the following: to play a game of chicken hoping against all odds that the Russian will yield. This is my worst nightmare and the worst possible assumption to make because Russia cannot yield.
In March of this year I issued a warning which I entitled Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine – now Russia is ready for war. What prompted me to issue that warning was the fact that the Council of the Russian Federation has just unanimously passed a resolution allowing Putin to use Russian armed forces in the Ukraine. Since then, this resolution has been repealed at Putin’s request and for obvious political motives, but the mood and determination are still there. In fact, I think that it has grown much stronger.
There has been much useless speculation about Putin, his motives and strategy. This is way bigger than just Putin. If the US/NATO/EU really push too far, and that includes a genocide in Novorussia, an attack on Crimea or an attack on Russian forces, Russia will go to war, Putin or no Putin. And Putin knows that. His real base of support is not the Russian elites (who mostly fear him), but the Russian people (with whom his current rating are higher than ever before). And Putin himself openly spoke about the “threats to Russian sovereignty” though he did add that because of the Russian nuclear forces, there was, in his opinion, no immediate threat to Russian territory.
If the US decides to play a game of chicken with Russia, then it will do the same thing as a car driver playing a game of chicken against an incoming train: regardless of the train’s driver, the train is on tracks and its momentum is too great: it cannot stop or veer away.
The problem is that the USA has a long record of making absolutely irresponsible statements which end up putting them into a corner from which they cannot bulge without losing face. Just look at the MH17 disaster: the Obama administration immediately rushed to blame the Russians for it, but what will it do when the evidence to the contrary comes out? What if Obama also draws a red line somewhere (it does not really matter where) and then forces Russia to cross it?
Sadly, I can imagine the USA declaring that the US/NATO will defend the Ukie airspace. I think that they are dumb enough to try to seize a Russian ship entering or leaving the Black Sea.
Remember – these are the folks who hijacked the aircraft of Bolivian President Evo Morales to try to find Snowden on board. These are the folks who regularly kidnap Russian citizens worldwide (the last time the son of a well-know Russian member of Parliament who was kidnapped in the Maldive Islands). And, of course, these are the folks who did 9/11.
Their arrogance knows no limits because they are profoundly evil sociopaths. For them, the organization of false flag operations is a normal standard procedure. They almost triggered a war between the DPRK and South Korea by sinking a South Korean military vessel. They used chemical weapons in Syria not once, but several times. And the last time we had a Democrat in the White House, he was crazy enough to send two US Aircraft Carrier Groups into the Strait of Taiwan to threaten China.
My Biggest Fears
This is my biggest fear: some kind of desperate “Hail Mary” maneuver in which the US will try to convince Russia that “look, we are crazy enough to start this thing, so you better back off” not realizing that Russia cannot back off. The other thing which really scares me is that during the Cuban Missile Crisis everybody was aware of the stakes, and most people were truly terrified. Now, thanks to the propaganda of the corporate media, almost nobody is afraid and hardly anybody is paying attention. Russia and the USA are on a clear collision course and nobody cares! How come?
Because if 9/11 proved anything, it is that there are things which most people are simply unwilling to contemplate, no matter how close and real they are. It would only make sense that the Empire of Illusion would be populated by a people in total denial. After all, illusion and denial usually go hand in hand.
Most of you, dear readers and friends, seem to be sharing with me a sense of total distrust in the sanity of our leaders. When I asked you whether you believed that the US/NATO were crazy enough to use military forces against Russia, an overwhelming number of you answered “yes,” and a good part of you were even emphatically sure of that. Why? Because we all know how crazy and deluded our Imperial Overlords are. Crazy and deluded enough not to quality as “rational actor”? Crazy and deluded enough to play a game a chicken with a train? Crazy and deluded enough to risk the planet on “Hail Mary? Alas, I think that this is a very real possibility.
But What Does Uncle Sam Really Want?
There is a gradual realization in Russia that for Uncle Sam this is not about the Ukraine. It is about Russia and specifically about regime change in Russia. A vast majority of Russian experts seem to believe that the US wants to overthrow Putin and that this entire war in the Ukraine is a means to achieve that. As a very cynical joke going around now says “Obama is willing to fight Putin down to the very last Ukrainian”. I think that this is correct. The US hopes that one of the following will happen:
A Russian military intervention in Novorussia which will allow the US to restart a Cold War v2 on steroids and which will also fully re-enslave Europe to the USA. Putin would then be blamed for falling in the US trap.
The creation of a US-run “Banderastan” in the Ukraine. That would ‘contain’ and destabilize Russia. Again, Putin would be blamed for letting that happen.
A “nationalist Maidan” in Russia: this is what is behind the current Putin-bashing campaign in the blogosphere: to paint Putin as a weak and/or corrupt man, who traded Crimea for the Donbass (you know the tune – these folks even comment on this blog). These efforts are supported and sometimes even financed by Russian oligarchs who have a great deal of money involved in the EU and don’t need the current tensions. Here Putin would be blamed for not doing enough.
In all three cases, Putin would risk a (patriotically) color coded revolution which would, inevitably, bring either crazy rogue or a clueless fossil to power (a la Zhirinovsky or Zuganov) or, much better, a pro-American “liberal” (a la Medvedev). I think that all of these plans will fail.
Putin will not give Uncle Sam the intervention he wants. Instead, Russia continue to support the Resistance in Novorussia until Banderastan goes “belly up”, i.e. for another 30-60 days or so. As for the “nationalist Maidan”, the Russian people see straight through this “black PR campaign” and their support for Putin is higher than it ever was. It’s not Putin who does not want to intervene overtly in the Donbass, it is the Russian people. The attempts at stirring up anti-Putin by first stirring up anti-Strelkov feelings have completely failed and, in fact, they have backfired. A lot of these “hurray-patriots” are now overly called “useful idiots” for the CIA or even provocateurs.
Finally, while they are at this point in time only rumors, there seem to be more and more specialists of the opinion that MH17 was a deliberate false flag by the US. If the news that the Ukies did it ever becomes public, then the entire destabilization plan will go down the tubes. At this point, I would not put anything, no matter how crazy, past the US Deep State.
And that is a very scary thought.
If you have never heard of it, here is a refresher.
Quoted from the page:
The 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash occurred on 10 April 2010 when a Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. These included president Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria, former president Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 18 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.
They were en route from Warsaw to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre; the site is approximately 19 kilometers (12 mi) west of Smolensk.
In brief, the crash occurred in poor visibility due to heavy fog. The plane flew too low in landing and crashed into some trees.
Conspiracy theories are of two main types: Most popular: Anti-Russian. Russia blew up the plane with explosives in order to kill the Polish President and much of his government. Also revenge for Poles continuing the play up the Katyn Massacre. The people spreading this nonsense are Polish anti-Communists often associated with the armed Polish anti-Communist resistance that fought in Poland from 1944-1956, Russophobic, rabid, crazed members of the Polish government, lunatic Russophobes the world over, far rightwing nutcases and of the course, the US CIA.
There is absolutely no evidence for this conspiracy whatsoever.
The Russians are not so insane as to do something like that. They are not that nuts. Further, the Polish President killed in the crash was one of the few Polish Presidents who has not been a crazed Russophobe. He refused to side with NATO in their war against Russia. He obviously could not side with Russia either, but he did adopt a neutral stance in the NATO-Russia conflict which made him widely hated in the West. In other words, he was Russia’s best friend. So Russia killed their best friend. Right. Much less popular: NATO shot down or blew up the plane in order to kill the neutral Polish President. There is even less evidence for this one, and anyway, if it were true, the Russians would have figured it out right now and would have blown the whistle on the West. Crazy: Among the Lunatic Conspiratard Sphere of the Web, many a crazed theory has been offered up. One of the choice ones is that the entire crash was faked (By whom? By the West? By the Russians? By both operating together? Why?), none of the people on board were killed and in fact everyone is alive and well. Yet none of the folks on the plane have been seen anywhere on Earth since the crash. We haven’t even seen their ghosts. Where are they hiding and why?
This will be part of series where I will periodically look at conspiracy claims to see if there is something to them. I will try to blow the whistle on as many fake conspiracies as I can (and there are many of them).
That report is a lie. The rebels say that 200 Polish mercenaries just surrendered at the airport, and I believe them. Obviously they were there with the consent of the Polish government. So really NATO is already fighting in Ukraine.
There have been huge battles at both Donetsk and Lugansk Airports. The airports have been very hard to clean out. They are full of underground passageways and many of the junta forces are underground. The Ukies have been trapped at the Lugansk Airport for a very long time, but they have never been eliminated. Both airports are to the south of their respective cities – Lugansk Airport is quite a bit to the south of Lugansk.
There is breaking news, as yet unconfirmed, that chaos and mass unrest is spreading across Transcarpathia. So the region is now apparently in open and obvious rebellion. Wow!
The Transcarpathian region, known as Zakarpattye Oblast, declared their independence from Ukraine a long time ago, but not much followed from there. Recent reports said that half the oblast was in open rebellion, armed with checkpoints everywhere that won’t let you past unless they know you. Then we heard that the junta had sent an army detachment into the region. Not much was heard after that.
A large number of recruits from Transcarpathia recently defected from the war zone in the east. They hopped on buses and rode west. At some point they were stopped at a military checkpoint where it was determined that they were deserters who were fleeing the war zone. At first the soldiers at the checkpoint told them to go back, but then they changed their minds and said those who want to go home, sit here and those who do not want to home, sit here. Quite a few opted for each group. Then the soldiers allowed the troops to go back to Transcarpathia.
Transcarpathia is mostly home to people called Rusyns, who speak a language similar to but not the same as Ukrainian. It is actually a separate language. The junta says that there is no such thing as a Rusyn language and that instead they speak Ukrainian. The Rusyns have not taken kindly to Ukrainian nationalism and the truth is that they want out of this new Ukraine. In the west, there are many Hungarians who still speak their language. They also want out of the new Ukraine.
Pretty amazing stuff. Keep in mind that they were like this before they even started killing lots of people. And during this period, they were wildly popular, not only in Germany but also in other parts of Europe, especially in Eastern Europe.
January 30, 1933 – Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany a nation with a Jewish population of 566,000.
February 22, 1933 – 40,000 SA and SS men are sworn in as auxiliary police.
February 27, 1933 – Nazis burn Reichstag building to create crisis atmosphere.
February 28, 1933 – Emergency powers granted to Hitler as a result of the Reichstag fire.
March 22, 1933 – Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich, to be followed by Buchenwald near Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and Ravensbrück for women.
March 24, 1933 – German Parliament passes Enabling Act giving Hitler dictatorial powers.
April 1, 1933 – Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.
April 11, 1933 – Nazis issue a Decree defining a non-Aryan as “anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan…especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith.”
April 26, 1933 – The Gestapo is born, created by Hermann Göring in the German state of Prussia.
May 10, 1933 – Burning of books in Berlin and throughout Germany.
July 14, 1933 – Nazi Party is declared the only legal party in Germany; Also, Nazis pass law to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship.
In July – Nazis pass law allowing for forced sterilization of those found by a Hereditary Health Court to have genetic defects.
In September – Nazis establish Reich Chamber of Culture, then exclude Jews from the Arts.
September 29, 1933 – Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land.
October 4, 1933 – Jews are prohibited from being newspaper editors.
November 24, 1933 – Nazis pass a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allows beggars, the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.
January 24, 1934 – Jews are banned from the German Labor Front.
May 17, 1934 – Jews not allowed national health insurance.
June 30, 1934 – The Night of Long Knives occurs as Hitler, Göring and Himmler conduct a purge of the SA (storm trooper) leadership.
July 20, 1934 – The SS (Schutzstaffel) is made an independent organization from the SA.
July 22, 1934 – Jews are prohibited from getting legal qualifications.
August 2, 1934 – German President von Hindenburg dies. Hitler becomes Führer.
August 19, 1934 – Hitler receives a 90 percent ‘Yes’ vote from German voters approving his new powers.
May 21, 1935 – Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military.
June 26, 1935 – Nazis pass law allowing forced abortions on women to prevent them from passing on hereditary diseases.
August 6, 1935 – Nazis force Jewish performers/artists to join Jewish Cultural Unions.
September 15, 1935 – Nuremberg Race Laws against Jews decreed.
February 10, 1936 – The German Gestapo is placed above the law.
In March – SS Deathshead division is established to guard concentration camps.
March 7, 1936 – Nazis occupy the Rhineland.
June 17, 1936 – Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the German Police.
August 1, 1936 – Olympic Games begin in Berlin. Hitler and top Nazis seek to gain legitimacy through favorable public opinion from foreign visitors and thus temporarily refrain from actions against Jews.
In August – Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions (by healthy women).
In January – Jews are banned from many professional occupations, including teaching Germans, and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances.
November 8, 1937 – ‘Eternal Jew’ traveling exhibition opens in Munich.
March 12/13, 1938 – Nazi troops enter Austria, which has a population of 200,000 Jews, mainly living in Vienna. Hitler announces Anschluss (union) with Austria.
In March – After the Anschluss, the SS is placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria with Adolf Eichmann establishing an Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. Himmler then establishes Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.
April 22, 1938 – Nazis prohibit Aryan ‘front-ownership’ of Jewish businesses.
April 26, 1938 – Nazis order Jews to register wealth and property.
June 14, 1938 – Nazis order Jewish-owned businesses to register.
In July – At Evian, France, the U.S. convenes a League of Nations conference with delegates from 32 countries to consider helping Jews fleeing Hitler but results in inaction as no country will accept them.
July 6, 1938 – Nazis prohibited Jews from trading and providing a variety of specified commercial services.
July 23, 1938 – Nazis order Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards from the police, to be shown on demand to any police officer.
July 25, 1938 – Jewish doctors prohibited by law from practicing medicine.
August 11, 1938 – Nazis destroy the synagogue in Nuremberg.
August 17, 1938 – Nazis require Jewish women to add Sarah and men to add Israel to their names on all legal documents including passports.
September 27, 1938 – Jews are prohibited from all legal practices.
October 5, 1938 – Law requires Jewish passports to be stamped with a large red “J.”
October 15, 1938 – Nazi troops occupy the Sudetenland.
October 28, 1938 – Nazis arrest 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany, then expel them back to Poland which refuses them entry, leaving them in ‘No-Man’s Land’ near the Polish border for several months.
November 7, 1938 – Ernst vom Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, is shot and mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan, the 17-year-old son of one of the deported Polish Jews. Rath dies on November 9, precipitating Kristallnacht.
November 9/10 – Kristallnacht – The Night of Broken Glass.
November 12, 1938 – Nazis fine Jews one billion marks for damages related to Kristallnacht.
November 15, 1938 – Jewish pupils are expelled from all non-Jewish German schools.
December 3, 1938 – Law for compulsory Aryanization of all Jewish businesses.
December 14, 1938 – Hermann Göring takes charge of resolving the “Jewish Question.”
January 24, 1939 – SS leader Reinhard Heydrich is ordered by Göring to speed up the emigration of Jews.
January 30, 1939 – Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.
February 21, 1939 – Nazis force Jews to hand over all gold and silver items.
March 15/16 – Nazi troops seize Czechoslovakia (Jewish pop. 350,000).
April 19, 1939 – Slovakia passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws.
April 30, 1939 – Jews lose rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses.
In May – The St. Louis, a ship crowded with 930 Jewish refugees, is turned away by Cuba, the United States and other countries and returns to Europe.
July 4, 1939 – German Jews denied the right to hold government jobs.
July 21, 1939 – Adolf Eichmann is appointed director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration.
September 1, 1939 – Nazis invade Poland (Jewish pop. 3.35 million, the largest in Europe). Beginning of SS activity in Poland.
September 1, 1939 – Jews in Germany are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer.
September 3, 1939 – Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.
September 4, 1939 – Warsaw is cut off by the German Army.
September 17, 1939 – Soviet troops invade eastern Poland.
September 21, 1939 – Heydrich issues instructions to SS Einsatzgruppen (special action squads) in Poland re
garding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for the future “final goal.” He also orders a census and the establishment of Jewish administrative councils within the ghettos to implement Nazi policies and decrees.
September 23, 1939 – German Jews are forbidden to own wireless (radio) sets.
September 27, 1939 – Warsaw surrenders; Heydrich becomes leader of RSHA.
September 29, 1939 – Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland. Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.
In September – Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher – “The Jewish people ought to be exterminated root and branch. Then the plague of pests would have disappeared in Poland at one stroke.”
In October – Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.
October 6, 1939 – Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews.
October 12, 1939 – Evacuation of Jews from Vienna.
October 12, 1939 – Hans Frank appointed Nazi Gauleiter (governor) of Poland.
October 26, 1939 – Forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60.
November 23, 1939 – Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10.
In December – Adolf Eichmann takes over section IV B4 of the Gestapo dealing solely with Jewish affairs and evacuations.
In the Ukrainian conflict pitting the Nazi Ukrainian regime against Novorussian antifa separatist self-defense forces in the East, all of the West is has lined up with the Nazis, oddly enough. This is really a re-run of the times right after WW2, when much of the West supported the Banderist Ukrainian nationalist Nazis fighting the USSR in the Ukraine. The Nazi nationalist forest fighters of the Baltic states such as Latvia and Estonia also received a lot of Western support, as did the rightwing death squad regime in Greece.
It didn’t take long after the Nazis were defeated that the West rallied with their old Nazi pals. Many Nazis were spirited away from the prison cells that loomed before them to South America and even to the United States. The US helped many of these Nazis escape because the CIA realized that Nazis were some of the most savage anti-Communists of all, and the CIA wanted to use these Nazis in order to fight the USSR.
In the early days of Hitler’s regime around 1933, many in the West were quite smitten with Adolf. The Jewish-owned New York Times even ran long articles lauding the Fuhrer for his staunch anti-Communism. This shows that the rich Jews will always side with Capital no matter what form it takes, even when Capital is against the Jewish people. Big Money Jews will choose Mammon over Israel any day of the week and will sell out the tribe for the price of a piece of silver with barely the blink of an eye. The US of course is fanatically pro-Nazi. Opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans are supporting the Nazis in this conflict. Is there a reason for this except that US foreign policy has always supported rightwingers? The UK is also extremely pro-Nazi now. What is the reason for this? Why would the UK be supporting the Nazis in this conflict? The truth here may be that the UK is an “Atlanticist” state. Atlanticism is a political philosophy popular in Western Europe for a while now. Atlanticist European states line up with the US on every foreign policy issue due to some unfracturable alliance. They don’t even think of the morals of the issue at stake – they simply do whatever Uncle Sam does. It’s follow the leader. It is considered to be an unbreakable alliance, and the Atlanticist states simply cannot refuse to do whatever the US does. A case of ideology trumping sense. Spain is very pro-Nazi, but the Spanish ruling class never abandoned fascism, and further they are worried about secessionism in their own land. After the fall of Franco, the fascists never went away. Instead, they slowly folded into the ranks of the Conservative Party which has ruled Spain for more than a few years lately. Although that party is not actively fascist, at the very base of the party is deeply connected to movements with fascist roots. The party is not so much fascist as fascist-allied, and even that is mostly covered up in an ivy of subterfuge.
The Spanish state ran a fascist “anti-terrorism” group that assassinated figures in the Basque guerrilla movement for a number of years. This group operated outside of the military or the police purportedly as another illegal armed group, albeit a rightwing one, even though they were controlled by the security forces. This was for all intents and purposes similar to the CIA’s rightwing death squads of Latin America. Germany is strongly pro-Nazi now. This makes sense in a lot of ways. Merkel is a Christian Democrat, and that is a party with deep fascist roots. At the end of WW2 although a de-Nazification was said to take place, it never really happened. A few Nazis were removed and even tried, but mostly the whole charade was over in a few years.
The reasons are painful. In order to do a true de-Nazification, you would have to had to imprison or sanction almost the entirety of German society. Nearly everyone was guilty at some level.
In East Germany, they did a much better job of this, and although the East German regime ended up being staunchly antifascist, this transformation never happened in the West.
Many former Nazis simply recycled their way into political parties, and the conservative Christian Democrats were the party of choice as the Social Democrats were anathema. The problem was even worse in industry and finance, where sanctions and prison sentences were few, and the German junkers, industrialists and banksters simply cycled their way back into power at the throne of German industry. The West German elite has been heavily former-Nazi for decades now. It’s a dirty little secret, one hardly anyone but Gunter Grass dares talk about. The Netherlands is one of the most pro-Nazi states of all in Europe. I don’t get this, except that the Netherlands is one of the strongest Atlanticist states of them all. The tail on the American dog. They follow American orders. France is taking a less pro-Nazi line than the rest. Most Frenchmen still hate the Vichy Regime, and all forms of Nazism and fascism are seen as repellent and against the moral values of the Republic. Italy seems to be very much pro-Nazi. I am not sure if I get it, but an Italian friend told me that fascism is still popular among the Italian rich, especially in certain cities such as Rome. The young men of the Italian upper class are especially prone to this deviation. My friend said that fascism simply never went away in Italy. Indeed, some suggest that Berlusconi may have fascist ties.
The Strategy of Tension during the Days of Lead in the 1970’s was a terrorist campaign run by fascist gangs who were supported by the Italian state, the military and the rich. These gangs set off bombs all over Italy, focusing especially on places where large numbers of civilians gathered. The state and state-controlled press always blamed the armed Left (which was small but active) for the bombings, but they never carried out even one of them. Every one of these attacks was documented as a false flag attack. The purpose was simply to create chaos and terror so that the people would feel that they had nowhere to turn but to the state to protect them. Then the state put in increasingly authoritarian laws. Norway is coming out very strongly for the Nazis, both the press and the vast majority of the people who are apparently brainwashed. I do not get this one either, but Norway surrendered immediately when attacked by Germany, and they promptly put in an ass-kisser named Quisling whose name has gone down in infamy. At the time though, nobody much minded him. What this less that spirited defense says about the Norwegian people, I am not sure. Australian media is incredibly pro-Nazi. The Australians are part of the Anglosphere which consists of the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. All are now run by fairly rightwing governments. This is considered to be a de facto alliance based on common language and culture originating in the UK. Another case of Ideology Uber Alles.
In Poland, the elite is very much pro-Nazi (Poland and Lithuania are the most pro-Nazi states in Europe) because they have aligned themselves very tightly with US neocons, much to their own detriment. Somehow they think that aligning themselves with the US and with the neocons in particular is the way to the gravy train, but I think they are wrong.
A case of overreaction to their Soviet experience. They hated Communism so much that in reaction, they idiotically moved 180 degrees in the opposite rightwing direction to show how anti-Communist they were. Their hatred for Communism was so great that they lined up with the wildest anti-Communist governments of them all.
However, many of the Polish people are supporting the Novorussian antifas for some reason. This is probably because hatred for Nazism and fascism in general is still probably quite strong among ordinary Poles due to past experience.
Many East European regimes also adopted horrible neoliberal policies once again in an overreaction to Communism. In this case, they chose the most polar opposite economics of all to Communism, which would be neoliberalism/Libertarianism/cowboy capitalism.
Most East European countries who reacted in this stupid way have been seriously damaged. Latvia and Estonia have been nearly destroyed. 1/3 of the labor force of these countries has immigrated due to a financial collapse related to an utterly unregulated financial sector.
After the crash, the neoliberal regimes imposed frightening “austerity” nonsense which did nothing but kick the working people and spit on them while they lay in the gutter. Estonia actually passed laws cutting wages by 1/3. Surely the Estonian rich thought that was a great idea. Social services were eviscerated. It was like 1933 America in Tallinn the past few years. Logically, working people reacted to this extreme abuse by the rich, the capitalists and the political elite of their nations by voting with their feet. Lithuania and Latvia issued pro-Nazi statements, but they had fascist governments when they were independent between world wars, and after independence, both Lithuanian and Latvian nationalism have had deep pro-Nazi roots. The Nazi-installed regimes in the 1940’s are regarded as the pinnacle of Baltic nationalism, and pro-Nazi fighters fought in the forests for years after the War against the USSR which had usurped their lands. Lithuania and Poland are the most pro-Nazi countries in all of Europe. They are absolutely determined to bring the Nazis into NATO. If they succeed, maybe we will have to change the name of it to Nazi Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Upon independence, all statues from the Soviet era were destroyed, Soviet street names were obliterated, and many new monuments were constructed to heroes of the Lithuanian and Latvian nationalist movements of the 1940’s and 1950’s who were deeply pro-Nazi.
Bigoted laws were imposed on the Russian minority in these countries, demanding that they learn to speak Latvian if they wanted to vote or claim benefits. Now a large percentage of the Latvian electorate, the Russian speakers, are disenfranchised and cannot vote in elections. Nevertheless, Latvia is very worried about the Russian minority in their country writhing under the Latvians’ own boot heels. There are rumblings of a secessionist movement among these Russians, but no one knows how serious it is. Austria, Portugal,Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Denmark, Slovakia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Romania and New Zealand – Their positions are unknown. Slovakia and Romania might want a bite out of a disintegrating Ukraine themselves. Romanian Bessarabia was annexed to the USSR in the 1940’s by Stalin. Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Serbia may well be lining up against the Nazis and with the Russian antifas due to a common culture they share with Orthodox Russia. A large contingent of Serbian antifa fighters have gone to Novorussia to fight the Nazis.
I have known this for quite some time now. Many of the Maidan terrorists, particularly the Right Sector Nazis, were trained at a special institute in Poland months before the Maidan riots and the subsequent coup. NATO and the US knew about this and may have been involved in it. This is more evidence that the Maidan riots and the subsequent Nazi coup have been planned for some time.
Poland is a logical source for cooperation with the Ukrainians. Poles hate Russians as much as Ukrainians or Georgians do. This goes back to ancient feuds in this part of the world. There have been Catholic-Orthodox wars on the western border of Russia since the early 1600’s. The Russians see the Western border as the place where the Catholic West keeps trying to attack Russia. The West sees the Catholic nations on Russia’s Western flank as jeopardized by an expansive Russian imperialism.
There were more wars later on. Much of this region then came under the influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. Before and during World War 1, there was great deal of fighting between the West and Russia, particularly in the region of Ukraine and Ruthenia. These regions have been home to “anti-Russians” (Catholics who look to the West) and pro-Russians for a long time now. The pro-Russians often call themselves Russians (see the names “Rusyn” and “Ruthenia” – the name “Rusyn” was adopted by a Russianizing group of these people who speak a language closely related to Ukrainian but who hate Ukrainians. Ukrainians say that Ruthenians do not exist and Rusyn is a Ukrainian dialect, not a language. They say that Ruthenia is a part of the Ukraine.
During World War 1, Ukrainians and Ruthenians working with the Austro-Hungarian Empire arrested many “Russianizers” and put them in a camp in Southeastern Europe. This was for all intents and purposes a concentration camp, and conditions were so poor that many of the men sent there died.
Western Ukraine, particularly Galicia and Lvov, have traditionally been part of Poland, Lithuania, Poland-Lithuania, or Austria-Hungary. All of these are Western and Westernizing Catholic entities who look to Rome. Russian Orthodox call these people Papists and hate them. The Catholics in this region tend to hate and fear the Russians whom they regard as the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
This hatred has been going on forever and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. It is from this rancid soil that Zbigniew Brezhinski, who, as a man, an influence and a theory, is really the brains behind the current “Destroy Russia Now” project in the Ukraine. Brezhinski is the hardest of the hardcore Russian-haters. As you might expect, he is a Pole. He is also one of the highest ranking agents of US imperialism and an important theorist of US imperial policy (read his books). Brezhinski’s father was an official in the fascist government that held power in the interwar period in Poland.
In 1918, a virulently anti-Russian ideology was hatched in Poland. This hate and fear driven ideology saw Russia as the main threat to the existence of Poland. The project, a true conspiracy, involved working with minorities in Russia to chop Russia up into as many pieces as possible, thereby delivering the death by a thousand cuts and rendering Russia harmless and impotent.
This same ideology has since been taken up by various Georgian regimes and is the main ideology behind the Ukrainian Nazi government.
As you can see at the link, the former security adviser to the government of Poland was photographed outside of Slaviansk talking to the current Nazi President of the Ukraine.
This man, a virulent Russia-hater, has been trained as an anti-Russia agent by the US government State Department in Israel, Germany, France and the US.
After the fall of Communism in the East Bloc in the early 1990’s, Westerners pushed something called shock therapy, or rapid privatization. A new study by the Lancet shows that shock therapy actually killed 10 million men and an unknown number of women in the East Bloc.
The study points out that it was not the transtion to capitalism per se that was at fault but how it was done. Rapid privatization or shock therapy was one way, but the other way is more gradual privatization. The study makes clear what we on the Left have been saying forever, that shock therapy kills.
The study also found that the more social connections a person had, the less likely they were to be killed by shock therapy. As radical capitalist neoliberalism has as its purpose the destruction of all bonds between men other than profit-seeking and the complete atomization of all humans, leading to mass insecurity and a Hobbesian war of all against all, it figures that neoliberal capitalism works strongly against social bonds. The more neoliberalism, the weaker the social bonds between humans.
Shock therapy had differential effects in different places. In Poland and the former Yugoslavia, there was little damage. The damage was severe in Russia.
In the US, the entire mass media and both conservative parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, vociferously pushed shock therapy. I read many articles about it at the time, always wondering why this was such a great thing. In the “free press” there was no dissent on the subject of shock therapy. You could not find a single opinion anywhere saying that this might be a bad idea. So much for “freedom of the press” in the USA. It was the way to go. Bill Clinton pushed it as strongly as Newt Gingrich.
Most of the Americans pushing shock therapy were connected with the Chicago School of Economics, and all of the most prominent ones were Jews. Many Jews in Israel also got in on the looting in Russia and the East Bloc. In addition, Russian Jews were very heavily involved in the mass looting and destruction of their great land.
Much of the looted funds was transferred to agents of International Jewry in the US and the UK, in particular Lord Rothschild. A lot of the money ended up in Israel. Richard Perle and other neocons on the right along with George Soros on the Left both gladly looted Slavic lands to benefit the tribe.
One wonders what the motivation for this mass rape of these mostly Slavic people was. Possibly it was revenge for anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and Russia, another chapter in the war of the Slavs and the Jews. The Jews were getting their revenge for the Holocaust and Russian anti-Semitism. All in all, it was shameful behavior on the part of the Jews. The Jews are supposed to be progressive people, but here they were, acting just like the feudal lords and masters who they worked with in Eastern Europe for centuries. Worse, they were raping the East just as the ultimate Amelekite, Hitler, had done.
Every Jew on Earth should hang his head in shame at this grotesque display, if they have any sense of decency at all.
To be fair, a lot of the riches just went to the Western rich, mostly bankers. And many Russian gentiles helped the Russian Jews rape Russia. The Jews couldn’t do it alone.
As one might logically predict, this Jewish-led mass looting led to a huge upsurge in anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, even in places like Romania (5,000 Jews) and Poland where there were hardly any Jews left.
If Jews hate anti-Semitism so much, why do things to worsen it? I don’t get it. Or do Jews hate anti-Semitism? Maybe they like it?
Excellent comment from a commenter about the recent Russia-Georgia conflict.
Russia had peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia as part of the agreement with Georgia from the 1990′s after the South Ossetian had won their de facto independence. The present government of Georgia disavowed that earlier agreement.
When the Georgians and South Ossetians got into an artillery fight, the Georgians sent in their army. As part of that attack, they targeted the Russian peacekeepers, so the Russians sent in their army to defend their peacekeepers.
The Russians advanced into Georgia for two reasons, to knock out artillery that the Georgians were using to bombard South Ossetia and to separate the South Ossetians along with their allies the Abkhazian armies which had advanced into Georgia from the Georgians. Once that was accomplished after a couple of days, the Russians retreated back to their former positions.
However, the Russians then took the step of recognizing the South Ossetia and their allies, the Abkhazians, and so now Russia has upgraded the Russian forces in these places from peacekeepers to combat troops, so they now have a couple of infantry regiments along with some artillery and AA weapons stationed there.
Sums it up quite well, I think. It is true that Russia plays geopolitics as far as secession is concerned, recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia and not their own Chechnya nor their allies’ Kosovo. But the USSR did let all of those republics go in the first place, one of the most progressive acts of recognition of self-determination that the world has ever seen.
Georgia has staked out a place since independence as hostile to Russia, for whatever reasons. For that reason, Russia supported the secessionists in Georgia. If Georgia would not have been hostile, then Russia probably would not have done that.
As someone who supports self-determination, I am happy that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are having their rights recognized. I believe that South Ossetia wants to join North Ossetia as “Ossetia” and become a part of Russia like North Ossetia is. Abkhazia, I believe, wants to become an independent country.
A commenter noted that Russia is trying to control that part of the world in order to control Europe. But the USSR controlled that part of the world for 74 years, and they never controlled Europe. I think that Russia just wants friends in that part of the world.
It is the US and some East Europeans who are treating Russia as a hostile nation, for no apparent reason, as Russia means us no harm and is not an enemy state; if fact, it wishes to be an ally. We along with our East European friends are surrounding Russia with bases and stationing defensive missiles in Poland. Both of those are hostile acts directed at Russia.
US imperialism is paranoid. It sees enemies where they do not exist and wishes to dominate as much of the globe as possible for unknown reasons, possibly as a form of modern mercantilist warfare to increase the profit share of US corporations and the wealth of America vis a vis the rest of the world. As the rest of the world is impoverished, the wealth of US imperialism is increased. US imperialism relies on the principle of vassal states of the US along with tributaries or supply lines to control the trade of the vassals and the US.
Russia does not have a hostile, beggar thy neighbor type imperialist project going on. Why this is I am not so sure, but possibly it is a residual holdover effect from the USSR. Russia seeks allies, and you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours relationships.
They have their own self-interest only in that they do not wish to be screwed by the machinations of US imperialism, which is trying to screw them out of markets and regional influence, in addition to threatening them with surrounding them with military bases and hostile states. Russia seeks co-existence, not domination.
I assume that the US’ hostility to Russia dates back to Soviet days. Even though the USSR fell and Russia entered the capitalist sphere, we still regard them as a hostile country due to the past.
But then US imperialism is very aggressive anyway. The super-imperialists around the neoconservatives, Rumsfeld and Cheney even said that Europe not an ally but a hostile competitor (“Old Europe”). They have written papers on the need to screw Europe out of various markets and whatnot. These papers treat Old Europe as an enemy region.
I suppose that an imperialist capitalist country can have no allies. The stage of US imperialism was set in the Truman Administration when George Kennan said that the US controls of 24% of the world’s economy, and it’s the duty of the security state to see that that gross maldistribution is not lessened even one percentage point.
If the world gets fairer and we don’t get such a huge slice of the pie anymore, the rest of the world gets richer and we get relatively poorer. It’s a fight over slices of pie. We get rich by keeping others poor. As others increase their share of the pie and get richer, we lose and get poorer. So US imperialism is dedicated to keeping the rest of the world poorer vis a vis the US in order to preserve our often ill-obtained wealth.
White Christians are pretty much assholes, but it feels nice to have some sort of religion. In the Mediterranean or Hispanic Catholic world, most men will tell you that they are Catholic, then that they are not sure if the Bible is true, or even if God exists at all. But they are Catholic, dammit! I like this kind of religion. They just say they believe in it, leave it at that and don’t think much about it after that. It gives them some solace, but it doesn’t occupy their mind very much.
The Catholic Church I went to here in town was very “Jesusist” – all about the life of Jesus and the New Testament. The OT may as well not have existed. Also very pagan. The Mass is almost a a pagan ritual. The holy water and the idols that the Mexican pray to at the end are very pagan stuff. I like it! It’s good. Up with paganism!
I found the Hispanic Catholics to be among the most nondogmatic Christians I’ve ever met. Down in Latin America, everyone is Catholic. I think even most of the Shining Path was Catholic, including the leadership! They never renounced it either. Most of the FARC is Catholic too.
Catholicism is cool because there is a strong Catholic Commie (Liberation Theology) and social justice aspect to it. Probably the coolest form of Christianity out there. The Filipino branch is OK too. Most of the NPA are Catholics, and there are many active priests who work with the NPA. Up with Liberation Theology!
I don’t know about Polish Catholicism. The Irish are OK. Note how the Leftist IRA was all Catholic and Irish priests are in the forefront of social justice in the US. Polish Catholicism looks pretty bad. Mostly rank anti-Communism. German Catholicism is almost Nazism. French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian Catholicism are OK, similar to the Latin American kind.
Of course Catholicism sort of ruins most Catholic countries. The Church can’t keep its nose out of politics, and most Catholic countries are insane on abortion, euthanasia and some other things. Still, I will take the Catholics against the wild free marketeer economic Libertarians of US fundamentalist Protestantism.
No way would Jesus be a follower of Milton Friedman. That’s why Friedman had to be a Jew. Milton expounded a theory that contradicted everything Jesus ever taught. But what has Judaism ever been but the religion that positioned itself as the antithesis of Christianity – the anti-Christian religion, the religion for those who found the humanist and moral demands of Christianity too much to hassle with?
It’s never been easy to be a Christian. That’s why so many give up on it, and say the Hell with it. But then it’s never easy to be a good person either, is it? It’s so much easier in a hyper-capitalist society to just be a caveman asshole and say the heck with it.
In the Middle East, most folks have a religion. Even the secular do. You just reach up from the sky, grab one, call it yours, and don’t think much about it again. Middle Eastern Christians are very similar to Catholics. They believe, but it’s no big deal in their lives.
Atheism feels totally miserable. I don’t care if it’s true. I want no part of this miserable philosophy.
A touchy subject, but it’s clear that Stalin became anti-Semitic at the end of his life. He outright murdered leading Yiddish writers for no legitimate reason that I can think of. There’s controversy about whether or not he was going to purge the Jews to Siberia (population transfer) around the time of his death. There’s also controversy about whether or not there was something to the Doctor’s Plot, that is, some Jewish doctors may indeed have poisoned him, but no one knows this for sure. The impetus for their killing him was presumably his planned Jewish population transfer.
After Stalin died, most agreed that the USSR entered an anti-Semitic phase. The theory of Zionology and the persecution of “rootless cosmopolitans” and “rootless cosmopolitanism” was the low point in this shameful episode for a Communist state committed to anti-racism.
Similar nonsense went on in Poland in the 1960’s, where in the previous 20 years, Jews had played a major role in the revolution. Yitzhak Shamir said Poles learn anti-Semitism at their mother’s breast, and I guess that applied to Polish Gentile Communists too. Too bad. If the Left is anything, it’s anti-anti-Semitic.
The refuseniks, etc. were probably just a reaction of Soviet Jews to the increasing anti-Semitism of the state. It’s clear that the formation of Israel screwed up everything for Soviet Jews and pretty much led to the end of the dinner party they were having. Did wonders for those Arab Jews too. More pogroms than you can count.
Such a liberatory project for the Jews, that Zionism!
Interesting that even during the worst years of anti-Semitism, Jews continued to win the vast majority of Soviet chess competitions, even though there was doubtless discrimination against them. Just goes to show that the Jews seem to rise above everything, even anti-Semitism, to succeed. Amazing people. That’s why I get tired of all the Blacks “Da White man is keeping me down” BS. Grow up.
US film director and fugitive Roman Polanski has been arrested on an extremely old sex charge of giving drugs to a 13 year old girl and having sex with her at Jack Nicholson’s Hollywood home. The arrest sparked outrage in a sane part of the world (Europe), in particular in two sane countries, France and Poland.
Europe in general and France and Poland in particular are not yet been feminized cultures, and are not under the domination of the Female Spirit as is America. In France, even the women are sane, and America-style feminist Cunts are relatively rare.
Polanski was arrested in Zurich on directions of the US government when he went to a film festival there to receive a lifetime achievement award. The US has been trying to extradite him for four years now.
Government ministers, movie directors, writers and intellectuals (sane people) expressed shock and outrage at his detention.
In Paris, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand (sane person) said he was “dumbfounded” by Polanski’s arrest. Other reports said France and Poland (sane governments) are to ask the US to drop the charges and consider a presidential pardon over the case.
Calling Polanski, who won Best Director Oscar for The Pianist in 2003, one of the greatest film directors of our time, the festival directors said they had “received this news with great consternation and shock.”
At the time, Polanski said the girl was sexually experienced and had consented to sex, which was apparently true. The girl is now a grown woman living in Hawaii.
Fortunately, she was sane enough to blow the whole thing off instead of allowing this pleasurable experience to cause “lifetime mental illness” of course needing very expensive lifetime therapy with all-female, pure Cunt therapists, as so many silly young teenagers are doing nowadays.
It’s the all-female “sexual abuse therapist industry”, extremely feminist, all Cunt and pure man-hating, that is driving much of the Pedophile Mass Hysteria in the US. Every time a teenage girl has sex with someone a day over age 18 and the guy gets caught, half of the females in her life start swarming around her insisting that she “got molested” and is “a victim of child abuse.”
The girl is usually confused and insists she was just having a good time. Her female friends all insist that that’s called “identifying with your abuser” and they say in reality, she’s all fucked up in the head now but she just doesn’t realize it.
A lot of silly impressionable teens don’t know what to think and fall for it. They end up in very expensive therapy for many years, develop various self-created, needless mental illnesses and life dysfunctions, but there’s always a silver lining.
That teenybop hop in the sack with the older gentleman tutor can always be pulled out of the hat whenever the now-adult female needs any kind of excuse for fucking up her life. “I got abused!” She shrieks, and tens millions of American females wail along with her, howling at the sky. The whole thing would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad, stupid and cruel.
France is supporting Polanski because he fled there after his arrest. France has a reasonable low age of consent law and they don’t much give a damn about older guys fucking young women or even teenage girls, nor do they care about older women fucking young men or even teenage boys. This sort of thing is sort of a French tradition.
Poland is supporting Polanski because he’s a Polish native, born a Jew in France but sent to Poland at an early age. Polanski lived in the Warsaw Ghetto in WW2, but somehow escaped, yet his mother was murdered at Auschwitz.
On the other hand, I guess Polanski is lucky he didn’t commit this act in Poland nowadays, otherwise he would be looking forward to lifetime chemical castration.
Polanski is 76 years old and looks fantastic. He’s the Sophia Loren of men.
The “victim”‘s name is Samantha Geimer. She says she doesn’t want to press charges, but that never stops a DA.
Her song and dance has always been the usual, “He raped me!” but a commenter on my site recently offered another explanation:
On Polanski – The girl has been interviewed and told in detail what went on between them. She, with her mother’s help, was doing anything to get into show business, including having sex. Polanski wasn’t her first time to have intercourse. The girl was already using drugs such as LSD and cocaine regularly while consuming alcohol.
She got in the hot tub, took off her clothes and aroused Polanski with her hands and body. Polanski and the girl both testified that Polanski expressed concern about her age and that he did not want to have intercourse with the girl. They both decided to have anal intercourse instead.
So much for the innocent little girl theory that a lot of people had in mind.
The Indo-European languages include most of the languages of Europe, Iran and Northern India. For instance, English, Gaelic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Greek, Albanian, Armenian and Kurdish are some of the better-known IE languages of Europe and the Near East.
In Iran, the major language, Farsi, is IE, as is the major language Pashto in Afghanistan. In India and Pakistan, the huge languages Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi are all IE.
They go back to a proto-language called Proto Indo-European, or PIE. In that the languages are all related, the truth is that the peoples are all related to for the greatest part. So Northern Indians, Pashtuns, Iranians, Kurds and Armenians are all closely related to Europeans since they all sprung in part from a common source, in the famous words of Sir William Jones, who discovered the IE languages in the late 1700’s.
Going back 6,500 years, we can reconstruct Proto-Indo-European quite well. One of the best resources is Julius Pokorny‘s Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary (or Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch).
Originally written in German, this incredible 2,500 page masterwork has been translated largely, but not completely, into English. One of my favorite pastimes is wading through this monster. I have a downloadable copy on the blog here (huge file).
The homeland of the Indo-Europeans is the subject of much debate, but the modern consensus centers around putting the homeland at 6500 years before present (YBP) around Southern Russia. I have narrowed it to southern Russia, southeastern Ukraine and southwestern Kazakhstan north of the Caucasus. This is more or less the region in between the Black and Caspian Seas.
An arid region called the Kuma-Manych Depression is in the middle of this region and seems to be a major center of PIE culture. I could not find a map of the Depression, but it separates the North Caucasus from the Russian Plain.
There were also settlements in southeastern Ukraine near the Sea of Azov, about 50 miles north of the Caspian Sea in southwestern Kazakhstan and up around the Lower Volga Region near Samara. A good word for this general region is the Pontic-Caspian Steppe.
From there, it’s not really known how or when the Proto-Indo-Europeans spread out, but they show up in Europe some time later. A good map of their migrations or conquests is here. The PIE people had several advantages over their neighbors. They were already into the Bronze Age for one, and not only that, but there were horses running around Southern Russia. The PIE had managed to domesticate the horse. That’s quite an advantage, but the PIE people did one better.
They even invented a wheel. Then they logically put the two together and made horse-drawn chariots. With these chariots, the PIE people apparently conquered much of Europe and later parts of Southwest Asia and South Asia.
The people in Europe at this time were pre-PIE folks. We know little about their culture, but the master of PIE culture, the celebrated professor Marija Gimbutas (A woman!) calls it “Old Europe.” Old Europe is very little known or understood. A probable surviving language from Old Europe is Basque. Another, long extinct, is Etruscan.
The very early people of the British Isles, whose descendants are now known as the Black Irish, populated the Isles between 9000-11000 YBP. They had dark hair, dark eyes and very pale skin. Genetically, they seem to resemble the Basques and may have come on boats from Spain.
The Basques themselves and related peoples may have come from the Caucasus long, long ago. Although Basque is said to have no living relatives, I believe it is related to Caucasian languages like Chechen and Ingush. Throughout Europe one finds folks called Black this and Black that.
I had a girlfriend who called herself a Black Swede and later on, a girlfriend named Linda of Polish heritage. Both had very dark, curly hair, dark eyes and very pale skin. As a guess, these types of Europeans may be the remains of Old Europe.
Gimbutas is also the founder of the Kurgan Hypothesis, which is currently the best PIE theory out there. Gimbutas (photo) sort of lost it towards the end when she got into “Goddess worship” and whatnot, but it’s clear that this Lithuanian archeologist was one of the great scholars of our time.
Some time after 6500 YBP, PIE began to break up, but no one knows quite how this occurred. At any rate, by 4200 YBP, a split had occurred in PIE and a separate language had broken off, Indo-Iranian. There are maps out there of the Indo-Iranian homeland, but I don’t like them all that much so I made my own. My best guess was to place it in the far north of Kazakhstan and just over the border into Russia.
From there, after 3500 YBP, the Indo-Aryans moved out and migrated into Afghanistan, Pakistan, North India and Iran. Many people in these regions today speak Indo-Iranian languages descended from these people. These folks are thought to be the source of the famous Aryan Invasion of India at around this time.
As I noted, the process whereby these languages split off, other than the Indo-Aryan split, is little known. However, assuming this tree diagram is correct, maybe it can shed some light on the matter.
Unfortunately, this chart is hard to read, so I will try to decipher it. The first thing to note is the Anatolian split in the tree, apparently the first split. There are problems with the date for PIE. A glottochronological study recently gave a date of about 8500 YBP for PIE, considerably earlier than the usual date of around 6500 YBP.
Promoters of something called the Anatolian Hypothesis have used this to suggest than an earlier language called Proto-Indo-Hittite was spoken in Anatolia 8500 years ago.
The Anatolian languages split off, and the PIE speakers moved to the Pontic Steppe. The movement of Proto-Indo-Hittite speakers out of Anatolia to the Pontic Steppe to form the PIE people may be related to the Black Sea Deluge Theory which has recently been proven correct.
The Black Sea expanded dramatically according to this theory as, around 7600 YBP, a waterfall 200 times the size of Niagara Falls (!) poured through the Bosporus Straits, transforming the pre-Black Sea freshwater lake into the present-day brackish (part-salt water, part-fresh water) Black Sea. Soon after this event, PIE culture appears in the Pontic Steppe.
This is a very controversial proposal called the Indo-Hittite Theory, but I have long supported it. The late Joseph Greenberg, one of the greatest historical linguists that ever lived, also supported it.
This theory holds that Indo-European has two branches, Indo-European proper and the Hittite branch. The Hittite branch is related to the other branch only in a binary fashion. There is good evidence for this.
The Anatolian languages, all of which are now extinct, are very strange and seem distant from the rest. The appear archaic and have retained many forms which seem to not be present on the rest of IE. My guess is these are archaic forms.
Anatolian lacks grammatical gender – masculine:feminine, an IE innovation spread through the family. Instead, it has an archaic noun class system called animate:inanimate. This is reminiscent of ancient Niger-Congo languages in Africa. In addition, the Anatolian vowel system is reduced (fewer vowels) and the case system is simpler.
Many basic IE vocabulary terms are simply missing in Anatolian. All of this debris tends to add up to the hypothesis of an ancient branch of the language family.
Tocharian is visible on the diagram as Italo-Celtic-Tocharian. This branch is extremely strange, since Tocharian was spoken way over in Asia near East Turkestan and Kyrgyzstan, and Celtic and Italic are spoken in the heart of Europe. This is the area where the mummies with blond hair and blue eyes have been found. Tocharian may have split as early as 6000 YBP.
The Tocharian language is also very ancient and strange and is only distantly related to the rest of IE. If anything, it seems to look somewhat like Anatolian.
A very ancient branch of IE also split off around this time. Known as Balkan or Paleo-Balkan, it may also have split off 6000 YBP. There were two major branches, Thracian and Illyro-Venetic. Thracian is extinct, and all that remains of Illyro-Venetic is Albanian, a very ancient IE tongue that is only distantly related to the rest of IE. Proto-Illyrian and Thracian split around 4200 YBP.
Here is a map of the Illyrian tribes before the Roman conquest. It is from this milieu that the Albanians emerged. The Albanian language is quite strange within IE and seems to have very ancient roots dating back to Proto-Paleo-Balkan from 6000 YBP.
Another very early split you can see in the chart is something called Indo-Irano-Armeno-Hellenic. The Armeno-Hellenic branch probably split off 6000 YBP. The fact that Armenians and Greeks today still possibly retain a PIE appearance is also suggested by this early split. Only the Greek languages and Armenian remain of this family, as most of the family is extinct. Proto-Hellenic may have split off around 5000 YBP, and Proto-Armenian may have split around 4500 YBP. The proto-Hellenics seem to have been related to the Indo-Iranians. This may be why a number of North Indians look like Greeks, Turks or Armenians.
Armenian and Hellenic are also strange IE branches that are only distantly related to the rest of IE.
The Italo-Celtic branch broke off as early as 5000 YBP. Proto-Celtic split about 2800 YBP; the homeland is in Northern Austria. The Hallstatt Culture is associated with them. The Proto-Italics are dated to around 3500 YBP in Italy. Before that, the Italo-Celtic Homeland is thought to have been in southern and central Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
The fact that Italics (Italians and related languages) and Celts share common roots shows how insane and stupid Nordicism is, as Nordicists say that Italians south of the Po are ‘non-Whites.’ It turns out that those greasy dagos and those blond and blue guys in dresses blowing pipes in the Highlands are the same folks after all, as they share common genetic roots in Austria 3500 YBP.
Proto-Germanic also dates far back, with pre-Proto-Germanic possibly being spoken 3800 YBP in northern Germany, Denmark and Southern Scandinavia ( map). The homeland of the pre-proto-Germanics is in Southern Sweden and Jutland. They may have settled this area as early as 5000 YBP. These speakers may have been speaking something called Balto-Slavo-Germanic, a group you can see on the tree above.
Proto-Germanic proper probably dates from the Jasdorf Culture. The homeland of the proto-Germanics was in northern Germany, around Schleswig-Holstein south into the Lower Elbe region in what is now Saxony-Anhalt and the Hanover area.
It also extended along the Baltic coast of Germany to about the Polish border, down into Brandenburg and Mecklenburg. The original center of the homeland was in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.
Balto-Slavic is also a very ancient branch of IE. Lithuanian is an ancient IE language that is very conservative and has retained many ancient IE reflexes that have been lost in the rest of IE. Proto-Balto-Slavic probably split around 4000 YBP. Proto-Baltic and Proto-Slavic split apart about 3400 YBP. Map of the Balto-Slavic homeland. This homeland encompassed Western Ukraine, Belarus and Eastern Poland.
Proto-Slavic, dating from 3400 YBP, seems to have its homeland in Northern and Western Ukraine and in Southern Belarus.
The proto-Baltic homeland dating from the same time frame is about the southern border region of Belarus around the Pinsk Marshes.
The rest of the splits, of Slavic, Italic, Celtic, Indian, Iranian and Germanic into their branches, are pretty well-documented, and all occur within the past 1500-3000 years.
Let us move to some interesting dilemmas about the Indo-Europeans. One is the distribution of R1a associated with the Indo-Europeans.
The highest levels of this haplogroup are found in Eastern Europe in a narrow band from the Black Sea in the Ukraine through Poland to the Baltic Sea and in Northern India and areas to the northwest around the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs, but that does not mean that these two groups are particularly closely related. Northern Indians are most closely related to Iranians and relatively distantly to Eastern Europeans.
The truth is that this haplogroup is only a signature of a split from around the Aryan-Greco homeland in the Pontic Steppe region discussed above. This left high levels of R1a in Eastern Europe and in north India. High levels in North India are not particularly notable but exist only due to a founder effect. Actually, the highest levels are not found in North India but in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and north Afghanistan.
The high levels found in North India have led some to assume incorrectly that the homeland of the R1a people was in that area, but this is not the case.
R1b levels are highest in Spain and the Western British Isles. The launching point for the R1b seems to have been the Maykop Culture of 5500 YBP. From there, they spread all over Europe.
The Maykop Culture was an early PIE split that existed between the Taman Peninsula just east of the Crimea east to the Dagestan border in the area that includes part of Southern Russia east of the Crimea, Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya in the Caucasus.
The center of the culture was around Maykop in Adygea (Circassia). The region is now inhabited by peoples of the Caucasus and is heavily Muslim.
The Proto-Indo-Europeans belonged both R1a and R1b. Their homeland was in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, in what is known as the Kurgan culture (7000-2200 BCE).
The presence of R1b in modern times between the Black Sea and the Caucasus hints at the Maykop culture (3500-2500 BCE) as their most plausible homeland, while the Eurasian steppes to the north were R1a territory. […]
A comparison with the Indo-Iranian invasion of South Asia shows that 40% of the male lineages of northern India are R1a, but only 20% of the female lineages could be of Indo-European origin (H, J, K, T, U).
The impact of the Indo-Europeans was more severe in Europe because European society 4,000 years ago was less developed in terms of agriculture, technology (no bronze weapons) and population density than that of the Indus Valley civilization.
This is particularly true of the native Western European cultures where farming arrived much later than in the Balkans or central Europe. Greece was the most advanced of European societies and was the least affected in terms of haplogroup replacement.
Native European Y-DNA haplogroups (I1, I2a, I2b) also survived better in regions that were more difficult to reach or less hospitable, like Scandinavia, Brittany, Sardinia or the Dinaric Alps[…]
The eastern branch of the R1a steppe people was the Andronovo culture (2300-1000 BCE), around modern Kazakhstan, which correspond to the Indo-Iranian branch of languages. Their migration to the south have resulted in high R1a frequencies in southern Central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent.
The highest frequency of R1a (about 65%) is reached in a cluster around Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. In India, 15 to 45% of the population is R1a, depending on the region and caste. Over 70% of the Brahmins (highest caste in Hinduism) belong to R1a1, due to a founder effect.
Pokorny, Julius. 1959, 2007. Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary. A Revised Edition of Julius Pokorny’s Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch. Published on the Internet: Indo-European Language Revival Association.
This research takes a lot of time, and I do not get paid anything for it. If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a a contribution to support more of this valuable research.
In the comments section, Lafayette Sennacherib unfortunately displays some unorthodox revisionist opinions about the start of World War 2.
Why is it always taken for granted that invading Poland and the Sudetenland were monstrous deeds? Until Britain declared war, Germany had done no more than reclaim parts of its country that had been given, with their German populations to the rule of foreigners.
It’s not hard to see why leftists have a problem with Hitler, but why are they so outraged by the idea of self-determination for the Germanic peoples, especially when it opposed the oppressor British Empire?
Revanchism and irredentism are flat out bad news. All ultra-nationalists do this. All ultra-nationalists either wage, or threaten to wage, revanchist and irredentist wars to “reclaim the stolen land for Greater Whatever.”
It’s a solid principle on the Left to oppose this ultranationalist poison everywhere on Earth it starts stinking up the neighborhood. Borders are borders.
Yeah, the Germans lost land. So did Italy. Practically everyone lost land after WW1. Even French Alsace Lorraine kept going back and forth. So what. The Germans lost land after WW2 too. They have a right to fight and get it back?
All the borders on Earth are pretty much the markers of a crime, of invasion, conquered land, ethnic cleansing. We can’t open the genie box and let the ultranationalists start redrawing borders again and reconquering all the lost ancient homelands. That’s a war that will never end.
Repost from the old site.
Take a lot at these “Black” and “non-White” Chechen kids in Jordan. Boy, they sure look pretty darn White to me! Especially that girl with the dark red hair and the turquoise eyes. Wasn’t that one of Hitler’s favorite combinations? White Power boneheads.These people would probably be considered to be members of the Balkano-Caucasian race*. In this group, there are many with fair skin, light eyes and a lot of body hair.
This will go along with another post I wrote along the same lines, Are Dagestanis and Tajiks White?. The conclusion of that post was, yes, they are White. The reason it is even an issue is that Russians insist that the people of the Caucasus are “Blacks” and “non-Whites”.
It seems that quite a few White nationalists also deny that Armenians, Georgians, Dagestanis, Azerbaijanis, Chechens and other Caucasian peoples are White. White in this case will refer to peoples having a phenotype that is not only Caucasoid but also resembles European Caucasoids. As you can see in this neat video of cute little Chechen kids shot in Jordan.
There is a large Chechen and Circassian population in Jordan dating back to the imperial wars of conquest that Russia waged on the Caucasus from 1806-1863.
Having looked at quite a few pictures of people from the Caucasus, I think that there is a distinctive phenotype there. Some say that the people of the Caucasus are the only Whites or Caucasians who should be considered “pure” Caucasians, as opposed to any mongrelized Europeans, although the whole concept of pure races and mongrelized races is pretty ridiculous.
More “non-Whites” or “Blacks” or whatever. This is a photo from a law firm in Georgia. This could be a photo of any American law firm. There does seem to be a bit of a Georgian phenotype. There are suggestions that the people of the Caucasus are the “purest” Euro-Caucasians of them all, though the whole notion is pretty silly.On the other hand, it is thought that the Caucasoid race did begin somewhere around this region, and the Middle East, the Caucasus, India and North Africa have been among the most important regions in incubating and developing of the proto-Caucasians.Georgians are probably members of the West-Caucasiantype of the Balkano-Caucasian race. They are characterized by an above-average stature, a slight build, relatively light skin, sharp features and dark eyes. A pretty typical Dagestani phenotype in this young girl. Notice the women with the head coverings. As you can see, these folks are obviously non-Whites. Snark. Dagestanis are part of the Caucasian division of the Balkano-Caucasian Race*. This race is highly variable and varies among ethnic groups, but its principal features are a massive skull, medium height and relatively light skin. In the Bagulals, it is characterized by comparatively dark pigmentation, a massive broad face and a round skull and large stature. The Udis have massive skulls and relatively light skin. The Tindis are more related to the Caspian Race, with a smaller skull and darker features. In the Tabasarans, a thin face is present. The Khinalugs have hooked noses like Jews and Arabs. The Archis have an aquiline nose, a high forehead and short stature. A Dagestani girl with a possibly Iranian appearance. The people of the Caucasus are extremely diverse genetically, with as great a distance between small groups as between large groups around the world. They may have achieved this high rate of differentiation due to the high peaks which allowed people to remain in their valleys, interact and breed little with outsiders and cultivate strange and wildly divergent languages. Genetically, they are Caucasians, but they are apart from most Europeans. But then so are Basques and Sardinians. There is a Chechen girl in the video above who has a similar phenotype. Azerbaijani kids. The blonde and probably blue-eyed kids look like they could be Norwegians. The general consensus is that Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan are not a Turkic people. Instead, they are a people of the Caucasus, like Georgians or Armenians, who converted to Islam and adopted a Turkic tongue. The mechanism is unknown, but possibly they were conquered by a Turkic people. They may have been Christians before this conquest. Azerbaijanis are as White as you can get. More very White-looking Azerbaijanis from their peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. They look like British, Americans, or Danes. Some Azerbaijanis, probably at a town meeting. This is a secular Shia Muslim society, but the women generally cover their hair.
Some of the most infamous students of race, in particular the Caucasoid Race, especially the White or European branch of it, were the Nazis. The Nazis were actually incredible in this regard. Germans are pretty obsessive and studious about most things, and they love to write up ponderous, footnoted essays on everything around them. The Nazis were no different.
The were some of the most horrible murderers in history, but they were particular about who they killed. They were even particular about Jews. Their beef was not with the Jewish religion – the Nazi beef with the Jews had to do with race. All of the things that Nazis disliked about Jews were said to be genetically coded into the Jewish genome, and the Jews who they really hated with the Ashkenazim.
For instance, when the Nazis moved into the Caucasus and the Crimea from Spring to September of 1944, they ran into Mountain Jews (Jews of the Caucasus), the Karaites (a split-off sect from Judaism, and the Krymchaks of the Crimea.
The Krymchaks were determined to be Jews by Himmler himself and ordered destroyed, although they were generally considered to be non-Ashkenazi Jews.
The Karaites were considered to be racially Tatars, descended from the famous Jews of the Khazar Kingdom, and hence were ordered to be saved. However, there was some confusion, and some were killed.
Amazingly, the Einsatzgruppen themselves (the fanatical murderers of lore) actually conducted research studies into the Karaites when they showed up in the Crimea to determine if they should be killed or not. They also sent requests back to Germany for guidance on whether or not to kill the Karaites.
The Karaites themselves petitioned to the Nazis that they were not Jews, and a number even went to work for the Nazis. 400-500 even fought in the German Army.
In Crimea and Stavropol, communities of Mountain Jews were destroyed.
However, when the Nazis conquered part of the Caucasus from August to October 1944, in particular the towns of Mozdok and Nalchik, the Mountain Jews there were largely spared. There was a controversy in the party over whether or not they were really Jews. The Nazi Party said they were, but German specialists in Oriental Studies said they were racially Iranians. Here is a photo of the beautiful Sarit Hadad, a Mountain Jew whose parents moved to Israel. She’s a very famous singer in Israel.
Incredibly, the Einsatzgruppen had scholars in its ranks who went into the homes of these Mountain Jews to conduct studies on whether to kill them or not! This controversy was not settled by the time that the Nazis were driven out in early 1943.
It is interesting that in general, the Nazis cared much more about the racial stock of a given Jewish group than about whatever strange brand of Judaism they practiced. A good overview of this strange and complex situation is here in a piece by Kiril Feferman.
Nazi racial scholars working at various institutes set up for the study of race in Germany (!) and within the Nazi Party also studied the people of the Caucasus. It is not known what they determined, but apparently the people of the Caucasus were considered non-Slavs and a good racial stock. At any rate, very large numbers of people in the Caucasus went over to the Nazis during World War 2.
There is current anti-Communist revisionist thinking that says that hardly any Caucasians went over, but this is not the case. Many people in this region had long wanted to be free of the Orthodox Slavic Russians, and the Nazis played up this fear by offering them the promise of independence.
At the time of the Russian invasion, Stalin put almost the entire population of Chechnya and Ingushetia on board trains for Siberia because he feared that they would cooperate with the Nazis. The local Chechen and Ingush governments had in fact welcomed the Nazis and said that they would collaborate with them.
These deportations were horrible, and it is said that when they were returned to the Caucasus a decade later, 1/3 of them had died. The Crimeans were also deported on the basis of collaboration, and many of them died too. Many Crimeans had in fact collaborated with the Nazis.
All through the region, there were lots of collaborators. There were separate Georgian, Armenian and Caucasian legions of volunteers in the Nazi military. After the Soviets withdrew, they went back to the Netherlands and served as an occupying force there. To be fair, many Caucasians also fought for the Red Army.
The emblem of the Georgian volunteer division of the Wehrmacht. The file says BeVOF, but I don’t know what that stands for.The Osttruppen Legion in the Caucasus already in 1943. I believe that these are local volunteers. Gleeful Nazi soldiers murder an innocent Soviet female villager and steal her ducks. This was standard practice during Operation Barbarossa in the Slavic regions, and 75% of the “inferior” Slavs were slated to be killed in one way or another. This photo is from 1943, but I am not sure where in the USSR this took place. A Nazi soldier gets ready to murder two Soviet Slavic women during Operation Barbarossa. This incident probably took place in the Ukraine or Belarus, but I am not sure. These women aren’t being killed for any particular reason, only that they are Slavs. The emblem of the Armenian volunteer legion of the SS. The file says BeVOF, but I am not sure what that stands for. There were quite a few Armenians who considered themselves Aryans and went along with Nazi racial doctrine, and there are even some today. There are open neo-Nazi groups inside Armenia who distribute all sorts of nasty anti-Semitic conspiracy against Armenian Jews, tying them to the Armenian genocide and all sorts of nonsense. Anti-Semitism is a pretty serious problem in Armenia, and it’s pretty widespread. Strange for the Armenians, often called in the US, “Jews without money”. The SS sleeve of the Berghaukasien volunteers. This SS group was made up of Caucasian volunteers for the SS. A propaganda poster used in the Nazi invasion of the Caucasus. It says, “Free Caucasus From Bolshevik Tyranny.” Here is a propaganda poster for the Free Caucasus Movement set up by the Nazis after they invaded. I’m not sure what this file represents, but I think it is was the flag of an Armenian pro-Nazi group at the time. A map showing German allies in the Caucasus in November 1942. It lists the large volunteer divisions that were easily recruited in this region among Georgians, Caucasians, Crimeans and Armenians. Once more, the SS legions of the Caucasus who followed the Nazis out of the USSR and back to the Netherlands where they served as an occupying force. The Georgian, Armenian and Caucasian SS groups helped to occupy the Netherlands in from 1943-1945. A photo of the Bergmann Legionnaires, apparently a group of local Caucasian volunteers for the Nazis, in action in the Summer of 1942 in the Caucasus. The same Bergmann Legionnaires in action in Warsaw in 1944. I’m not sure what they were doing there, but possibly they were in action putting down a Warsaw Uprising that took place there in that year. Not the famous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of the Jews in Spring 1943, but another one of the Gentiles. Incredibly, new anti-Communist revisionist material blames Stalin for the decimation of this uprising. Supposedly he waited on the outskirts of Warsaw until the Nazis had put down the uprising, and then he entered the city. Apparently he wanted to see all those Poles killed. Why? Commenters have more information about this in the comments thread for this post, including a more rational explanation for what took place. More photos of the Bergmann Legionnaires, this time in Greece in 1944. I don’t know what they were doing there, but I guess they were helping to occupy the place. Bergmann officers at a meal, location unknown but possibly Greece. The file says CD14 Festung Europa. I don’t know what that means, but this is obviously an anti-Soviet propaganda poster showing a Red Army solider coming from the East to destroy Christianity, with a torch in his hand. The Christian armies of Europe apparently wait to do battle with this invader from the East. This is apparently a book written by Eduard Abramian about the Bergmann Legionnaires, who included Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Caucasian factions. I bet that book is hard to find, but it might be an interesting read. An Armenian legionnaire on the Western front. This map shows the various Caucasian volunteer legions occupying the Netherlands in Summer of 1944. The Bergmann volunteer legion in Greece in 1944. Bergmann legionnaires in battle in 1944, location unknown.
*According to the old system of anthropology If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.
Repost from the old site.
A new book by Gunnar Paulsson, a Polish-Jewish historian who lost relatives in the Holocaust, offers a completely revisionist view of the standard Jewish view of the Poles being the most evil anti-Semites of them all, or, as Yitzak Shamir said famously, “Poles imbibe anti-Semitism in their mothers’ milk.”
A corollary is that the Poles were the worst Jew-killers of all during the Holocaust, and to this day, many Jews are pretty angry at Poles and Poland.
I won’t go into details, but Paulsson offers a seriously revisionist view of these commonly held beliefs. Instead, I will just offer you some links so you can check them out yourself. Paulsson’s book website. An article by Paulsson on TotallyJewish.com, a site for UK Jews. Go there and see what he has to say, you might be surprised.
Like so many things in life, the Polish-Jewish thing is oh so complicated.
Unfortunately, people promoting Paulsson’s book have been accused by Jews of (Guess what?) being anti-Semites and Nazis. Boy, that Nazi card is worth so much to some folks.
Repost from the old site. This article has produced a tremendous amount of controversy, angry comments, and even, oddly enough, virulent hate mail. I guess I hit some raw nerves. I stand by my comments that these cities are some of the worst in the world, and, in doing further research on the Net, have found only further support for my thesis. Some of these cities, such as Bogotá, for instance, have large wealthy districts that are apparently quite pleasant. If one is rich, one can make a nice life just about anywhere on the globe. But this is not important – what is important is how the majority live.
The title is a play on the line, “Nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there”, said about many less-than-desirable tourist locales. This post is about the worst places on Earth to visit, and probably to live too. The ratings were based on research done on the Internet in various places, including here and here.
I’m going to focus on the places that are dirty, smelly, crime-ridden, trashy, rip-off havens, unsanitary and dangerous (Third World), and avoid places that are merely depressing, unsightly, rude, etc. (First World). Why? Because I live in the US, and those Third World qualities are going to be the most disturbing to me. I’m also avoiding active war zones because everyone knows they are horrible.
To be fair to the “Third Worldists” out there, I noted that many people slammed various places in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Ireland Italy, the US, Great Britain and Australia for various reasons, mostly because they are said to be unfriendly, depressing, tacky, cheesy, boring, etc.
Detroit seemed to top the list as worst US city, along with Newark (though it had one fan), East St. Louis and New Haven (though some liked New Haven) were runners-up. Various small towns in the Rockies (especially Idaho) and Texas also were listed. For some reason, a lot of people hate Vancouver, BC in Canada.
To my thinking, many of the horrible cities below point out the catastrophe of Latin American, Indian, Indonesian and Philippine capitalism. In much of Africa, capitalism doesn’t seem to working very well.
For all its faults, impoverished Cuba certainly does not resemble any of these Latin American hellholes in any way, shape or form. I don’t think that capitalism in the First World is failing, but looking at many of the cities below, it’s hard to argue that capitalism is doing anything but failing in those places.
Some of the winners in the Loser Destination Contest: Colon, Panama: A dirty, crime-ridden disaster of a city. The most dangerous city in Latin America, full of residents who seem like they would just as soon knife you as say hello. Other than the free trade zone, the entire city seems to be sprawling slum. Colon has no redeeming qualities. This city topped many worst lists. Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador: Guayaquil is horrible. A stinking, steaming, downright dangerous heap of a city with miles of slums. With armies of glowering gang members, this place is dangerous even in mid-day. There are garbage dumps everywhere with corpses laying out in plain sight and guns going off all the time. Quito is similar. Guayaquil topped many worst city lists. Johannesburg, South Africa: How sad that this country now has one of the worst violent crime rates on Earth. Although popular with tourists, this city is downright dangerous. This city also topped many worst lists. This blog supports the Mandela government, but the problems of this tragic nation seem insurmountable.
***** Lagos, Nigeria, or the whole country: This city, and even the whole country, seems to top everyone’s list. Garbage is everywhere, the city stinks, the poverty is horrible, animals are slaughtered on the streets, and it seems that at least half the population wakes up every morning thinking, “Who can I rip off today?” Up to 90% of the economy may be “underground”, off the books, or crime-related in some way or another.
Nigeria has what must be the worst government on Earth and the country is rated the second most corrupt on Earth. The national airlines are dangerous and not recommended. The ripoff attempts often start as soon as you land at the airport and won’t let up until you leave.
It’s best to assume that most, if not all, Nigerians you meet in Lagos are out to rip you off in some way or another and then proceed from there. The city is full of impostors, and you really do not know if anyone is really who they say they are. The police and Customs officials are all crooks and so is 99% of the government.
Most bank and post office employees are also crooked. Imagine waiting in line at the post office, and a group of swaggering gangsters with fake ID’s strut in to pick up their stolen goods reshipped from overseas. They go straight to the front of the line ahead of everyone else, pick up their stolen property, and walk away laughing, having paid off the Post Office clerks. Welcome to Nigeria.
There are Internet cafes all over the city, where 150,000 full-time Internet scammers ply their trade in plain view of anyone to see, and the government doesn’t bat an eye or lift one finger to stop them. In many cafes, 80% or more of the patrons are Internet scammers. Nigeria is now world-famous for Internet scams. Even out-of-work TV newscasters scam away in the cafes, trying to steal from Americans.
The scammers started out with the famous 419 email scams but have now branched out into lottery, romance, auction, roommate, orphanage and check-cashing scams. The scams are continuously evolving, and Nigerian con artists are widely acknowledged to be some of the best in the world, as they have been practicing the art for decades now.
On highways outside of Lagos, you can see numerous vehicles wrecked on the side of the road, or even in the middle of the road, some with dead bodies still in them or beside them. Thieves pick through the wreckage and rifle the corpses looking for stuff to steal. All of the roads are dangerous, as armed robbers often set up roadblocks to shake down travelers.
Nigeria is now a world center for counterfeit pharmaceuticals, credit card fraud and drug dealing, and a district of Lagos, Oluwole, is now a world center for top-notch forgery.
The FBI and the US Merchant Risk Council recently came to Nigeria and inspected 40 packages coming into the country from the US to check for stolen goods. 39 of the 40 packages contained stolen property.
When the agents arrived at a Lagos neighborhood and tried to arrest an 18-year-old boy for reshipping scams that targeted US merchants, much of the neighborhood – up to 100 people – rushed out of their homes to defend the local punk from Big Bad Whitey.
Although the country is awash in oil, the power goes out all the time because the government power company is so crooked. The power company has either stolen all of its own budget money or the power comes in, but the crooked company resells it on the side.
As with elsewhere in Africa, Whitey is blamed for all the troubles here. Hatred of Whitey is higher in Nigeria than in much of the rest of Black Africa and the White visitor will definitely feel it.
The degeneration of Nigerian society is complete, and the culture appears near collapse. Mobs lynch thieves in the street and kill them in public for as meager a crime as stealing a cellphone, yet crime rages on anyway. Anyone can just up and say they own your house, put it on the market and sell it and you are out a house. Law enforcement, courts and anything resembling government seem to be nonexistent.
****** Lima, Peru: When they tell you to visit Peru, they don’t mean the nightmarish capital. There are teeming slums as far as the eye can see, horrible crime (although not a lot of violent crime), pickpockets everywhere, and on top of all that, the sun never comes out. The fog mixes with the smog and the filthy streets to make a toxic brew. Lima made many worst lists.
But it has its fans, and the upscale Miraflores district is said to be nice. The execrable Shining Path took up their nihilistic, deranged war in this country for a reason – because Peru is a rotten heap of a country.
****** Medan (Sumatra), Jakarta, Surabaya, Indonesia: Jakarta is a reeking city with terrible pollution, open sewers and wrenching poverty. Medan seemed to top many lists for worst city on Earth, though it has a few fans. It’s hot, dirty and polluted, with factories, thieves and leering, menacing men everywhere. There is also nowhere to stay, not that you would want to stay anyway. Besides Medan, the rest of Sumatra is much better.
The river running through Surabaya is so polluted you might vomit walking across the bridge. As you suppress your gag reflex, you will look down and notice that people are actually washing their clothes in this river.
***** Mumbai, Patna (Bihar), Calcutta, all large Indian cities, India: Indian cities are very dirty and teeming with some of the most miserably poor and wretched people you will ever see, but at least there is not a lot of crime. The Hindu religion keeps crime down because believers fear they will be punished by returning in the next life as something terrible, like one of the huge rats you see scurrying about. Mumbai has pollution that is so bad that people actually get lung cancer from breathing the air. Mumbai, a stinking and sometimes dangerous city, made many worst city lists. Patna is the sorry capital of Bihar, the poorest state in India. It’s dirty and miserable, and it’s almost impossible to even get a taxi to get you out of town, which means it’s hard to leave the place. Calcutta is generally agreed to be one of the worst cities in India.
***** Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, China: Deadly pollution, mostly from coal. Bucharest, all of Romania: Stalinist pollution covers the whole country and everyone seems depressed. Bali (in particular Kuta Beach), Indonesia: Hopes so high, reality so low. It seems everyone is out to rip you off. Surly locals hungry for money. Dangerous roads, nightmarish traffic, rude, leering men. When it rains, the sewers flood into the streets. Very high crime rate, hustlers everywhere. Most of the rest of Indonesia is pretty nice. Kuta is a tourist trap gone to Hell.
**** Manila, Philippines: A crime-ridden hellhole. There are armed guards everywhere, especially in front of banks due to constant bank robberies. Their nemeses, criminal gangs armed to the teeth, roam streets filled with prostitutes and transvestites.
It’s a town where everyone seems like they are out to rip you off in one way or other, and the hotel workers and cab drivers are all crooked. The latest advice is to have your Filipino friend meet you at the airport and head straight to their place, thereby avoiding all the ripoffs and con artists that seem to descend on every tourist. Traffic is horrible, and pollution is so bad it kills people. But some people don’t mind it.
**** Gdansk, Poland: Combine a high crime rate and daylight robberies with totally crooked, thieving officials, and you get this Polish city. However, a number of others said it’s just fine.
**** Mexico City, Villahermosa, Mexico: Mexico City is a dirty, polluted city suffering an insane, surreal epidemic of street crime, especially violent crime. Add 20 million people, stir well, bring to a boil, cover with a lid of otherworldly smog, and simmer.
Reportedly, tons of human waste are blown into the air every day, and much of the population has constant respiratory infections. The sewer system is reportedly above ground and more or less runs through lots of neighborhoods where many people are residing. Villahermosa is a Mad Max-style, violent, crime-ridden disgrace of a city. There are stabbings and shootings galore here, even with a 10 PM curfew in place.
***** Tangier, Morocco: This is a dangerous place with lots of street crime. That’s unusual for a North African country, but Tangier is so close to Europe that it is almost a part of Europe.
***** Cairo, Egypt: Cairo has horrible pollution, smells terrible, there is trash everywhere, nothing works, there are armies of miserably poor people and it boasts some outrageously awful traffic. In the souks there are huge rats and wild, mangy scavenging dogs running about in plain sight. There seems no escape from aggressive, pestering hawkers. On top of all that, all the Customs officials are criminals.
The crime rate is fairly low, though. Thank President Hosni Mubarak. 25 years ago, Cairo was one of the great world cities.
***** Bangkok, Thailand: This gigantic city has pollution so bad you need to wear a mask over your face. However, some folks like this city and say it has many positive attributes.
***** Brindisi, Naples, Italy: No one seems to like Brindisi. It’s a sad, dirty, polluted and ugly city, with hostile, brawling, drunken locals, hungry stray dogs, belligerent drivers, horrible traffic, and miles of soul-killing tenements.
You would think that despite all of that, being genuine Italians, they could still manage to make a decent pizza. Forget it: even the pizza is terrible. Brindisi topped many worst lists, although it has a couple of fans.
I had never even heard of Brindisi and had to look it up on a map. It’s located in southern Italy on the East Coast, southeast of Naples. Naples has a great deal of crime, and many think this city is overrated as a tourist destination, although others say that, despite the drawbacks, it has its joys. All of southern Italy has a lot of crime, but it’s mostly property crime.
***** Athens, Piraeus, or the whole country, Greece: Greece, especially Athens, gets mixed reviews. A lot of people really hate Athens; others don’t. The detractors say the city is dirty, ugly, depressing, polluted, and covered with garbage and traffic. I was surprised that Athens made the list, as I had always thought it was a wonderful city.
The port city of Piraeus is a nasty place. The whole city smells like a giant sewage treatment plant, and the ocean offshore has a sickening color to it.
**** Suburbs of Paris, France: These tragic towns, full of hostile Arab immigrants angrily refusing to assimilate to French culture or join French society, are a sign that the French model is not working well, at least for some folks.
There is a terribly high crime rate here, and cops and firemen often won’t go there because they get attacked as soon as they show up. These mournful towns are packed with angry, unemployed young Arab men who like to seriously riot every year or so, or even more often if the mood strikes them. Lately, they have been staging mini-riots every night. If only 100 cars are burned, that’s a good night.
Otherwise, Paris, of course, is one of the world’s great cities. But that doesn’t mean you might not walk into a subway station reeking of urine and see junkies shooting up in plain sight. But still, Paris is a must on any serious travelers’ list.
****** Brussels, Belgium: As with Paris, the districts with many Arab immigrants are quite dangerous and unpleasant, but the rest of the city is as nice as any big city. Abidjan, Ivory Coast: With one of the worst crime rates in Africa (although it has plenty of competition), this city topped many worst lists.
***** Bangui, Central African Republic: One of the worst cities in Africa, as bad as Lagos. The crime rate is totally insane. The locals will try to steal everything you own and even a contingent of armed guards will not be enough to protect you.
Your hotel room will feel like a war zone. This fiendish city made a number of worst city lists. Lonely Planet’s guidebook more or less tells you to avoid this city altogether. Here is a harrowing report of a visit to Bangui.
***** Bamako, Mali: Mali has one of the worst governments in Africa, admittedly a race with a lot of competition. Bamako is a sick joke of a town, where the tourist surcharge is rigorously enforced, and the ridiculous, potholed streets are undriveable by any vehicle. Guatemala City, Guatemala: A totally dangerous, dirty, polluted, terminal patient of a city, full of scary, heavily armed teenage soldiers. The soldiers are there to keep the teeming, crime-ridden slums that stretch as far as the eye can see, from overrunning the place. But this city has a few fans. Belize City, Belize: This sweltering, miserable, impoverished, crime-ridden, very dangerous city is built on a swamp, with a jungle for a backyard. The beggars are aggressive and even menacing, and shady characters shadow you on the streets as you walk about. Cops are nowhere to be seen. This is one of the worst cities in the Americas. But the rest of the country is a great place to vacation.
***** Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:Sao Paulo is the industrial engine of Brazil. This major city is full of garbage and very dangerous. There are hustlers as far as the eye can see, chaotic streets that render maps useless, not enough cops and Godawful traffic. Rio de Janeiro, the popular tourist destination with the killer skyline perfect for any postcard, is a deceptive place. It’s a very dangerous city with lots of violent crime. Street gangs armed to the teeth regularly shoot it out in military-style wars with the cops.
Death squads of off-duty cops funded by local businessmen roam the streets at night, murdering homeless, drug-addicted street kids and petty criminals with impunity in a sickening “social cleanup” campaign.
There are pickpockets and muggers all about, often in menacing, youthful gangs (especially on the famous beach) and they frequently operate in broad daylight. A dystopian horrorshow of a city.
****** Nairobi, Kenya: Unfortunately, this city is seriously crime-ridden. Even locals admit that violent crime has reached catastrophic proportions. Caracas, Barquisimeto, or the whole country, Venezuela: The crime is very bad here, sadly, and there is garbage everywhere you look. This blog supports Hugo Chavez, but crime in Venezuela is a tragic, long-standing problem with no quick fixes. Guinea-Bissau: There is no water, no electricity, no place to stay, and the only hotel is half-demolished. San‘a’, Yemen: In a Dickensenian touch, children are actually chained up here in order to beg! Moynaq and Nukus, Uzbekistan: These two cities broiling in a merciless desert have been ruined and turned into ecological dead zones by Stalinist pollution.
***** San Pedro Sulu, Honduras: This sad town has a horrible amount of crime. Swarms of locals will attack you on the bus, trying to steal your luggage. You will have to fight them off if you wish to retain your suitcase.
Like the rest of this wreck of a country, it’s full of US gang members gone home to Honduras. People here are very poor and desperate. If you can make it to the nice part of town and afford to stay there, though, you can be quite safe.
***** Dakar, Senegal: According to some, this large West African city has horrible street crime – it is very dangerous. They say if you don’t have armed guards with you, don’t even go outside your hotel room.
However, others report that they spent a week there and found it to be safe, in fact safer than many American cities. Violent crime is reportedly rare, and the country is one of the most stable in Africa, and has been that way since independence.
***** Port Au Prince, Haiti: This filthy, degraded, extremely dangerous and desperately poor mess of a city is best avoided at all costs. It sports open sewers, enslaved children, riots, killings and lots of other fun things. This blog did support President Aristide’s efforts to improve the tragedy of a nation called Haiti. Lome, Togo: Criminals are as common as mosquitoes here, walking around fearlessly in broad daylight in this terrible city full of miserable people and crooked taxi drivers.
***** Istanbul, Turkey: The 200% tourist markup is fully in force in this dirty, ugly city full of harassing, hawking, hostile locals and crumbling buildings, and you can scarcely find a merchant who does not enforce it. There is also a lot of crime here, including some violent crime, unusual for a Muslim city. The weather is lousy, but there are some pretty mosques to visit. However, Istanbul does have a fan or two.
The rest of the country is a great place to visit, has many fans and is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Best bet for Turkey is just to head to the tourist spots and blow off Istanbul altogether.
***** Phnom Penh, Kampuchea: This city has become a very dangerous, crime-ridden place. The gangs of little girl prostitutes add a particularly poignant touch.
***** Bogotá, Colombia or really the whole country: Bogotá is one of the most dangerous places in the Americas but there seems to be agreement that Colon, Lima and Guayaquil are worse. Really, all of Colombia is dangerous as Hell, to be honest.
This comment about Bogotá was recently rebutted by a Bogotán blogger, with more comments here. His post aggressively taking issue with this entry is in Spanish, but my Spanish is good enough to get the gist of it. Also I am getting a lot of comments coming in from Bogotáns on the Internet aggressively objecting to the content.
The sole issue that these Defenders of Bogotá are taking issue with is my contention that the city is a very dangerous place. To be honest, Bogotá used to have a truly horrible reputation for crime, but in recent years, there has been a huge effort put into cracking down on street crime. For some more agreement that Bogota is dangerous, see here, here, here and here.
I will now attempt to prove that. There are twice as many murders in Colombia as in the US, and the US has seven times as many people. That means that the murder rate in Colombia is an outrageous 14 times that of the US, and the US is considered to have a high murder rate for the developed world.
Colombia has the highest murder rate on Earth, with Washington, DC and Johannesburg not far behind, but in the case of Colombia, we are talking about a whole country, not some festering city. Out of every 100,000 people, 60-70 will be killed every year. Defenders may try to argue that this is due to a simmering civil war, but 75% of the 25,000 homicides are merely of the criminal variety.
On an average day in Colombia, there are 2 bank robberies, 8 highway robberies, 72 murders and 204 assaults or muggings. You have a greater chance of being murdered in Colombia than you do of dying of cancer! Death squads made up of soldiers and off-duty cops roam the streets, murdering drug-addicted, petty criminal street kids, transvestites, homosexuals and prostitutes.
In fact, probably more prostitutes and homosexuals are murdered per capita in Colombia than even in the most barbarian parts of the Muslim World. Want to fly a plane in Colombia? Don’t. There have been 138 plane crashes since World War 2, with 2,745 deaths.
One of the most popular things in Bogotá is scopolamine. This drug is used by crooks to disable their victims so they can rip them off. It is sprayed in the face, dumped in your drink or spiked into a cigarette. Bogotá hospitals receive an incredible 2,000 scopolamine victims every month, or an astounding 66 a day. The drug knocks you out and can cause medical problems.
Colombia has one of the world’s worst road systems. Many roads are not even marked. Drivers are reckless and many cars don’t have headlights at night. Cows have a tendency to wander into the road.
Taxis are totally dangerous and are best avoided, if possible. Women are advised to avoid all taxis at night. Anyone is advised to avoid any taxi that already has someone in it.
In many cases, this is a criminal accomplice of the thuggish driver. In addition to getting scopolamine sprayed in your face, another popular scam is the “jump-start”: you are told that the taxi has stalled and asked to get out and help push. As you do so, the taxi driver leaves with your luggage.
Buses are also best avoided. Thieves haunt the buses, waiting for you to fall asleep, at which point, they rip you off. Certain bus lines are frequented by thieves offering drugged gum, sweets, food and cigarettes. After the drug knocks you out, they rob you blind. In addition to theft and druggings, kidnapping and extortion are also rife on buses.
In view of all of the above, it is nothing short of amazing that all of these Colombians are angrily protesting my characterization of their country as dangerous. Or perhaps they doth protest too much?
***** Managua, Nicaragua: This dirty, crime-ridden, dangerous disaster of a city has a bombed-out look about it. This blog supports Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista Party and prays that they can ameliorate this mess.
***** San Salvador, El Salvador: See Managua. Full of dangerous former LA gang members. Death squads roam the streets, slaughtering gangsters by the dozen, but for every one you kill, it seems five more pop up in his place.
This blog supports the FMLN’s efforts to reform this ruined land, but the crime here has become so terrible, one wonders if anything short of an act of God could make things better. In fact, I used to make contributions too the FMLN’s weapons fund via an FMLN agent in Los Angeles during the 1980’s.
***** Detroit, New Haven, Newark, Gary (Indiana), Hammond (Indiana), USA: Detroit topped all lists as the worst city in the US. An ugly, dangerous, depressing and filthy city with a downtown that looks like a war zone – a despairing district surrounded by miles of crumbling, abandoned industrial buildings, torn-down fences and rusting cars. Newark is similar, with few to no redeeming qualities. It’s a frightening, polluted city with a postwar look of miles of weedy, trash-strewn vacant lots where crumbling apartment buildings have been torn down. It’s also a dangerous city with a high crime rate. New Haven, despite the presence of Yale University, is similar. There are legions of homeless, begging drug users clogging the streets, and the crime rate is very high due to hordes of crack-dealing gangs shooting it out on the streets. Congress and Columbus Avenues are notorious for drive-by shootings, drug dealing and muggings.
It is reportedly the HIV capital of the East Coast due to IV drug use. A lot of the more respectable people have been moving out for some time now. Although much of the city is quite ugly, New Haven does have its bright spots, thanks to Yale. There are nice parts of town, parks, trees, etc. Gary is yet another postindustrial Rust Belt train wreck of a town. A grimy town full of abandoned factories, overgrown lots, rusting fences, graffiti, barred windows and vomit. Go downtown and see tall buildings all boarded up, with no vehicles in sight and unhinged stoplights swaying in the wind – for all practical purposes, a ghost town. This was once a vibrant, working-class city, and now it looks like Road Warrior. Hammond is similar, a suicidally depressing city lined with shuttered factories on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yet another Rust Belt post-industrial ruin.
***** Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A collapsing, dirty, crime-ridden hellhole. Osaka, Japan: I never would have thought that this city would make the list but according to my friend Tumerica, she says it is the worst city she has ever lived in. I tagged her with the title of this story. In blogging, tagging mean you are supposed to write on the topic – kind of like, “Tag, you’re it.” I will let her explain why Osaka is such a crappy place in her post here.
Repost from the old blog. More dealing with Jews, Eastern Europe, WW2, ethnic conflict, etc etc. Eat it up antisemites. One thing I realized in writing up this stuff was how monumentally complicated all of this was. Even the history of Poland in the 20th Century left my head spinning.
Great thread on the UK Guardian’s comment page about Poland’s enormously complex recent ethnic history, with Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Jews all fighting with, killing and making nice with each other. I don’t begin to understand it all, but I can grasp the outlines.
Pay attention to the anti-Semitic and anti-Russian Polish nationalists and their usual distortions, generally along the lines that Stalin was far worse than Hitler. Ukrainian and Belorussian nationalists were cut out of similar cloth during this war, and most of them are still wearing these silly clothes.
Their anti-Communism and hatred of the USSR is leavened heavily with anti-Semitism, and most of them fought alongside the Nazis during the war.
This is what this crap about the “Holodomor” (or man-made famine – falsely named because there was no intentional famine) and the Katyn Massacre is really all about – trying to make the Soviets seem worse than Hitler in the interest, in effect if not in intention, of furthering Nazi propaganda.
The alliances shift back and forth, Poland invades the USSR in 1920 and anti-Communists blame Soviets for starting the war (!!). Russia conquers eastern Poland early in the war, not a nice thing to do, but those under Russian occupation fared far better than those under German annihilationist occupation.
The theme of Polish anti-Semitism runs through the whole thing. Jews were resented for a variety of reasons, principally the fact that Poles were Catholic and Jews refused to convert to Catholicism. Many Jews also supposedly refused to learn Polish. There were also allegations of economic competition that surface wherever Jews exist in large numbers.
Holocaust survivor and Israeli resident Israel Shahak’s much-derided book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion is a great read. It’s not that long, and the whole thing is up on the Net. The late Shahak is accused of anti-Semitism, mostly by other Jews. Unfortunately, most of his fine works can only be found on anti-Semitic websites.
In Chapter 4, there is a section on the history of Poland. During the 1600’s, many Jews were serving as tax collectors for the Polish Roman Catholic nobility. The peasants they were collecting taxes from were Orthodox Slavs. The Cossacks revolted against the Polish Roman Catholic overlords and their Jewish agents.
The revolt resulted in the severing of Ukraine from Poland. Russians and Ukrainians view the rebellion positively and Poles have tended to view it negatively. Khmelnitsky is regarded as the Father of Ukraine, similar to our George Washington. Given this difficult history, you can understand why Jews and Ukrainians have had such a hard time.
This rebellion, called the Chmielnicki Rebellion, lasted from 1648-1656, and resulted in the deaths of many Jews, but the numbers have been exaggerated. Chmielnicki is seen by Jews as an anti-Semite, but he called upon the poor Jews to join him in his rebellion, which was just a peasant rebellion against feudalism. The poor Jews refused, citing ethnic solidarity to stand alongside their brethren fighting alongside the feudalists.
The Soviet Union created the Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky (Chmielnicki) for heroism during the Great Patriotic War. There were three classes of the order. Altogether, over 8,423 Soviet citizens were granted this order. Some Jewish soldiers were upset when they heard they were going to be granted the medal because Khmelnitsky is regarded by Jews as a vicious anti-Semite.
Jews focus on the 20,000 or so Jews killed during the rebellion – 1/2 of the Jewish population in the Ukraine (not 100,000 as some Jews say) but during this horrible period in the mid 1600’s, Poland was invaded by multiple nations at once, including Sweden, and was riven with horrible wars all across the land.
In the context of the typical human deprivation caused by feudalism itself, an incredible 1/3 of the population of Poland died. Yet the Jews see only 25,000 dead Jews and turn their eyes from the larger genocide. Typical Jewish myopia.
The Jews welcomed Stalin’s forces with open arms early in World War 2, then Germans overran Soviet forces a year later, and eastern Poland was under the slaughterhouse of German rule. In 1944, the Soviets “re-invaded” (according to Polish nationalists!) and whatever Jews that remained, along with many Poles, thought the Soviets were just fine as they were fighting Germans.
Yitzhak Shamir once said that Poles suck in their anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk, a nasty thing to say, but yes, there is truth to it. The Polish Communist government had quite a few Jews in it, and this also fed anti-Semitism along with Polish nationalism and pro-Catholicism.
It’s true that Stalin put a lot of Jews in the Polish government because he did not trust native Poles to run the new Communist state very well, as Communism was so unpopular.
After a while, there were plenty of Poles running the Polish Communist state and few Jews; by 1970 or so, the Polish state was officially anti-Semitic, running campaigns against “rootless cosmopolitanism” and “Zionology” in tune with the now anti-Semitic Soviet state.
But not all Eastern Bloc states mirrored this anti-Semitism from the USSR, which was rooted in the Jews’ mass flight to Zionism and the new Israeli state, aligned with the West, so there must have been some uniquely Polish animus at work there, even in Polish Communists. The Israeli state has since become most famous as being the World’s only single race-religion state, a most dubious distinction.
Someone asked why Stalin was persecuting Jews after the war, and he blurted out, “But you don’t understand! They are all Zionists!” Stalin was also afraid of East Bloc and Soviet Jews spying for the West in tandem with the Israelis’ turn towards the West in the late 1940’s.
In this he was partly correct, as we now have some evidence, via Terry Kollek, Jewish CIA agent, that a number of Eastern Bloc Jews followed their loyalty to the pro-West Israel by spying for the US against the Soviets and their allies, beginning as early as 1946. Jews in the Eastern Bloc were helping to implement Communism and at the same time working for the CIA to stop it.
As usual, there were Jews on both sides of a major issue.
To call Stalin an anti-Semite is wrong, but he did turn into one late in life.
Stalin persecuted all sorts of minorities, not out of racial supremacism as is often alleged (a sort of hyper Georgian nationalism), but generally only those minorities he saw as disloyal to the USSR. Yet early in its history, the USSR laid down a new model for the best treatment of minorities by a state, a model that is mirrored now in many progressive states the world over. The paradoxes go on and on like funhouse mirrors.
The Jews are coming back to Poland, which is very heartening. The anti-Semites are re-awakening too, as we would expect. It’s not correct to be either excessively optimistic or pessimistic about Jewish prospects in Poland today.
Nationalist Jews will usually sneer at any notion that things are any better there – as they see Poles as some sort of metaphysical eternal anti-Semites, corrupted probably in their very souls with nary a hope of salvation.
Neither is it correct to cheer these events on too much. But in Polish-Jewish relations, any forward progress should be cheered, as it should in most any other arena of life.
Deborah Lipstadt, a fighter against Holocaust Denier David Irving, has some comments on the absurd Jewish notion that “Poles were worse than Nazis”. I don’t really like her much, but she’s smart and perceptive. At the end of the day, she’s no Jewish viper as the Deniers claim; she’s just a garden-variety Jewish nationalist, carrying on about Jewish intermarriage as if it were the New Holocaust.
I read through the whole thread and found it fascinating. It’s very long, but you may wish to dip in if you have any interest in the history of Poland in the past century. Note the nationalist Jew or Jews on the thread throwing the anti-Semite epithet around promiscuously.
There are some excellent comments by readers at the end of this post on the old blog.
Repost from the old blog. This is great stuff here – a debate on the Katyn Massacre. I tend to agree with Communist and anti-Zionist Israel Shamir’s assessment at the end, seconded by Joh Domingo and Treanor. The hullabaloo over the Katyn Massacre is, as Shamir suggests, a tempest in a teapot.
6 million Poles died in World War 2, most of them murdered in cold blood, and few thousand Polish officers is the worst crime in the war? Please. Polish nationalists have jumped all over this because it demonstrates the perfidy of the USSR, who imposed Communism on reluctant Poles.
Even Stalin said imposing Communism on Poles was like putting a saddle on a cow. Part of the reason for the Poles’ reluctance to embrace Communism is their intense Catholicism. Far Rightwingers love Katyn because it shows that the true evil force in World War 2 was the Soviets, not the Nazis. This line of thinking is strongly tied in with anti-Semitism and pro-Nazism and appears in many different forms.
Hitler was only trying to save the West from Communism. Jews took over in the USSR, killed some people, and then this set Hitler on some maniacal murder spree because his sensitive heart was so troubled by the murderous Jewish Bolsheviks.
The USSR was getting ready to attack Germany and Germany pre-emptively attacked just in the nick of time. Anti-Communism, anti-Semitism and pro-Germanism all wrap together here like vines of ivy and picking them apart is no easy task. Part and parcel of this nonsense is the notion of the Holodomor, literally a “deliberate genocide” which was nothing of the sort.
1.5 million died in a famine that was mostly due to natural causes and partly due to the chaos of too-rapid collectivization, and partly to the kulaks’ destruction of 50% of the livestock in the USSR and much of the nation’s grain crop through either refusal to plant or burning of fields.
Kulaks were not innocent, most had formed armed gangs that killed members of collective farms, raped peasant women and committed mass sabotage. The Ukrainian famine occurred in the midst of a counterinsurgency. During that year, there was famine and there were famine deaths all over the USSR, even in big cities like Moscow. It was just a lot worse in the Ukraine.
The famine was jumped on by Nazi William S. Hearst in league with Adolf Hitler and other Nazis. Pro-fascist Alexander Solzhenitsyn played his part. The figures were constantly revised upwards to 6-8 million dead, when the true figure is 1.5 million.
There is a reason for this. Ukrainian nationalists were overwhelmingly pro-Nazi and many still are. The whole idea is to make the “Holodomor’ a higher figure than the Jewish Holocaust, for nefarious purposes. For more on the Holodomor, see my previous post.
I wish the Hollywood Jews were as pro-Communist as they are always said to be, but I doubt if they are. I used to hang out in Hollywood for years on end, and I met some of these people. They aren’t Communists at all – they are just bourgeois liberals for the most part.
The people who say that “Hollywood Jews” (coded as Commie fellow travelers) cover up the crimes of Communism because “Communists were Jewish”, is, frankly, a Nazi lie. The Killing Fields was a big Hollywood hit. Were the Chinese Maoists Jews too? How about the North Koreans?
Jan Thomasz Gross’ book about Polish anti-Semitism is right on. Many Poles are anti-Semites; it’s just a fact. And large numbers of them gladly helped the Nazis to point out the Jews in their midst; on this one issue, occupiers and occupied often shared one hatred.
But many rescued Jews during the war and the General Government tried to save Jews and was one of the first to blow the whistle on the Nazi project for the Jews. Like most things, the relationship between Poles and Jews is complicated. Polish nationalism is objectively anti-Semitic and probably has been for some time. Jews have a right to be wary about it. For more on this subject, see my previous post here.
I am dubious about whether anyone is trying to stir hatred between Russians and Poles in order to put the NATO missiles in Poland. Russia is perfectly correct to be indignant about these missiles on its front door. How’s about if Russia sticks missiles in Mexico? Poles already don’t like Russians too much due to Communism.
Cold Warriors have jumped all over Katyn as evidence of the evils of Communism. Why Stalin would order 4000 totally innocent Polish officers to be murdered for no apparent reason was always beyond me. Now we find out that the killers were Germans and Ukrainians.
Ukrainian and Polish nationalisms, two vicious and insane ideologies, had been dueling during this period, with persecution, bigotry, ethnic cleansings and killings all around. In part it was a conflict between Catholics and the Orthodox, but Shamir wisely points out the class angle, always neglected in “class does not exist” America.
That the Nuremberg Trials found that the Nazis committed the Katyn Massacre is now used by anti-Semites as more evidence of the evil project of the Jewish-controlled Nuremberg Trials to hang wonderful Nazi humanists and at the same time let the Jews’ genocidal Bolshevik Soviet buddies off the hook.
The Nuremberg decision was a good one at the time. Whether new research has proved them wrong is not known. Exhumations show that some of the Polish officers killed at Katyn were killed with German weapons. Those sneaky Commies must have stolen German guns to blame the nice Nazi pacifists!
It also appears that most of the people shot at Katyn had taken up arms against the Soviets who had moved into Eastern Poland. The Soviets were facing a very nasty insurgency there by Polish nationalists.
There is quite a bit of Jewish-conspiracy mongering in the text below. Although Jewish conspiracies, like all sorts of other ethnic conspiracies, obviously exist, I don’t see much to indicate that Soviet Jews were behind the Katyn shootings or that Hollywood Jews are trying anti-Russian anymore than anyone else and trying to stir up Poland against Russia.
By World War 2, the Jewish era of the NKVD was through – the heyday was 1936-1938. Besides, I am sick and tired of debating anti-Semitic “Bolshevik Jews” talk.
Ferreting through the genealogies of Soviet leaders for drops of Jewish blood here and there smacks of anti-Semitism and seems to be a wrong-headed enterprise, unless one can prove that 1/4 Jewish blood somehow anoints one into the Tribe, I say let it rest. Lots of Jews don’t even like converts, I can imagine what they think of 1/4 Jews.
Hollywood Jews are leftwing pacifists, anti-imperialists and soft Zionists. They are hardly agents of Tel Aviv or the neocons – if anything, they are their opponents.
Joachim Martillo adds his comments to start off:
I tend to agree in terms of relations among nations and particularly in cases where the truth is extremely hard to determine or history is used to create hostility instead of understanding, but comprehending how the Katyn Massacre has been used historically from Nuremberg until today is worthwhile if only because it is still being used politically — Joachim.
Source: Our British reader, Martin Webster (once a prominent far-right leader) wrote about the Katyn film:
Polish film about Katyn Massacre.
The above is the link to a review about a new Polish film which a Polish friend tells me deals with the massacre by the Soviet Union of the Polish officer corps — a crime which for years was blamed on the Germans.
It seems that this film is so good it is up for some kind of a film industry prize, even an Oscar.
I doubt if any such film will be granted high accolades. The people who run the movie business may not be too keen on allowing a prize to go to a film which places the blame for a notorious war crime on the Communists rather than the Nazis!
And as it happens, the Zionists have just commenced a propaganda initiative in Poland designed to make the Poles feel co-responsible with the German Nazis for “the Holocaust”.
Recently Jan Thomasz Gross, a Polish Jew who left Poland in 1968 to become a U.S. citizen and a history professor at Princeton University, has returned to the land of his birth to promote his latest book Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz.
His technique for securing publicity for his book has been to stage provocative public meetings in Polish cities at which he accuses the Polish people in general and the Polish Catholic Church in particular, of responsibility for massacres of Jews during and after the German occupation.
These meetings caused an uproar for, as Time magazine of 23rd January 2008 reported:
“……Poland, which lost about 6 million of its citizens in the war — half of them Jewish — prides itself on being the only country in Nazi-occupied Europe that did not have a collaborator government.
This kind of vilification of the Polish people by Zionist propagandists has been part of Israeli school curriculum for decades past and it has clearly inculcated among Israelis a hatred for Poland and its people. Shamir replied to Martin:
This is your mistake: “The people who run the movie business may not be too keen on allowing a prize to go to a film which places the blame for a notorious war crime on the Communists rather than the Nazis!” And this is an archetypal error of the Right.
Your “The people who run the movie business” are Jews, and associated with them other forces. You think that for Jews, Nazis are forever the most evil force, while Commies are akin spirit.
Jews are not such idealists as you think. “The people who run the movie business” are first of all American Jews, and they are fully siding with the US, so they want to eliminate every independent force and cause everybody, all mankind, to submit to the will of the US, and by proxy to their will.
Russia is the real enemy for them, as well China or Iran, Cuba and Venezuela, but they are first of all enemies of Russia, the militarily strongest one. They want to cause more hatred between Russians and Poles in order to implant the US missile stations in Poland and move NATO troops eastwards.
This is important real stuff, while the fight with Nazis is a nice entertainment. Nazis were defeated in 1945, and the modern far right is too weak to matter.
“The people who run the movie business” will give this film an Oscar if it will help to undermine Russia’s independence. Joachim Martillo proposed to shift the blame for Katyn on the Jews:
Here is the Katyn Massacre Recommendation/Order. Investigating Beria’s background leads to the same sort of confusion that is associated with Lenin’s ethnic heritage shown later to be in part Jewish.
The signers of the massacre order are all reputed to have been members of the Kremlin Jewish Faction. From what I have read practically everyone up and down the chain of command in the killings of Polish leaders and intellectuals was Jewish. It takes a little digging to get the backgrounds, and I have yet to see it published in a popular journal.
It took 90 years for the NY Times to admit that all the killers of the Czar and his family were Jewish. Probably around 2030 the NY Times will publish the complete story of the Katyn Massacres including who conceived the idea and advised Stalin. Shamir concludes on Katyn:
This is far from clear who and how many were shot and when at Katyn. There is a whole literature of blame-shifting and denial, much of it in Russian, Polish, German.
The Nurnberg Tribunal decided that the massacre was done by Germans, and denial of Nurnberg is illegal in many countries – but you may do as much as you wish, if you aim against the present enemy, the too-independent Russia. Probably you may also blame it on Muslims, or Palestinians – as it was almost done by Dershowitz.
This Katyn Massacre was chosen by our enemy. Otherwise, who would give a damn about a few thousand soldiers and officers’ fate in the war where millions perished? More Poles died at Monte Cassino, not to mention Warsaw. What actually happened in Katyn?
It is perfectly possible that as many as 4,0000 Polish officers were actually executed by the Soviets as enemies: do not forget that Napoleon executed 6,000 POW’s, the whole garrison of Jaffa, after they have surrendered. There was much bad blood between the Red Army and the White Poles: over 100,000 Red Army POW’s were killed or starved to death by the White Poles after 1920.
On the other hand, some of the Poles exhumed in Katyn were undoubtedly killed by German weapons. The place could be a preferred place for mass killings, as the Babi Yar in Kiev was, and it was used by whoever was in power.
As far as I understand, one may consider the background, Eastern Poland/Western Ukraine, a piece of land that was shifted from Austro-Hungarian empire to independent Poland after Versailles and to the Ukraine in 1939.
There was extreme animosity between ruling Poles and peasant Ukrainians; the Ukrainians were harshly treated by their Polish masters, and this animosity caused severe persecution of the ethnic Poles when Polish rule was over.
Whoever ordered the shooting the Polish officers – the Soviets or the Nazis – it was anyway done by the Ukrainians, the pro-Soviet Ukrainians or pro-German Ukrainians, for there was nobody else to do the job. In other words, Katyn fits well into Volyn, the place where tens of thousands of ethnic Poles were massacred by Ukrainian nationalists.
One may compare it with the massacre of whites in Haiti after their colonial rule was over; and many other unpleasant events in human history.
I agree with our Polish friend Marek G, with Treanor and Joh Domingo: it is better to forget some things, using the Greeks’ example: they had a capital punishment cure for those with over-long memories. It is better for Russians and Poles to be good neighbours; but the enemy wants them to fight. Likewise, the enemy wants the Arabs to fight Iranians.
The rest of the discussion appears here.
This is a repost from the old blog by a guy I used to publish as a guest author – the mysterious Eastern Orthodox expatriate US academic Stojgniev O’Donnell (a pseudonym). I kept warning the guy about his anti-Semitism (we don’t publish anti-Semitism here and we deny the Jews and Judeophiles who lie and say we do) but you know, these guys just can’t seem to knock it off. He’s basically coming from the POV of an Orthodox Christian Polish or Pan-Slavic nationalist. I believe the guy was an academic or was a grad student in the US, had bad experiences Jewish colleagues, and they either tried to run him out or fired him, I forget. Anyway, he left the US and has been holing up in, I think Poland lately. He’s afraid that Jews are out to destroy his career in the US, and I guess they are. I have no contact with him anymore.
He writes pretty well. Unfortunately, this mindset is very common among many Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, etc. It’s a combination of Pan-Slavism and Pan-Orthodoxism and it is best on display in Russia with nationalist types. It’s not going away! This essay is anti-Semitic and I put lots of comments in there. Still, because the history of Jews and Poles has been so tragic, it is useful to publish the Polish side of the affair in an effort to try to understand the roots of the problem. This essay deals with a pogrom of Jews in Kielce, Poland, in 1946, after World War 2 was over, from a Polish nationalist point of view. Although I have not read it, Jan T. Gross’ Fear – Anti-Semitism After Auschwitz is supposed to be an excellent work that deals comprehensively with the terrible Kielce pogrom. Out of a pre-war Jewish population in Kielce of 25,000, only about 200 Kielce Jews survived the war. The surviving Jews returned from the forests and camps and found that Poles had stolen their homes. This was the setting in which the famous pogrom took place. It is fascinating how Jewish Zionists can rage beet-red about “Poles stealing the homes and land of Jews”, while being oblivious to the nightmarish Jewish state occupying Palestine, which has stolen every inch of land it illegally claims. Although only 39 Jews were killed in the pogrom (relatively few compared to other pogroms), the Kielce Pogrom had great significance for Polish history. After WW2 ended, many Jews had hopes of continuing to live in Poland. For many of them, Kielce ended all of that. As Stephen Pollard notes, Kielce convinced many of them of the need for a Jewish state (this is actually a dubious assumption on the part of Zionist Pollard). Debate about the Kielce Pogrom and the Polish role in it has continued in recent years. A Polish commission in 2000 concluded that a mob of local Poles spontaneously attacked and killed the Kielce Jews as a result of “unfortunate coincidences of an historical nature”, and dismissed a conspiracy theory that the pogrom was instituted by the Soviet Union. Last month, on July 6, a memorial to the victims of the pogrom was laid in Kielce on the 60th anniversary of the pogrom. The Polish President’s office read a statement at the ceremony describing the pogrom as “a great shame and tragedy for the Jews and Poles”. This blog concurs completely in that sentiment. The essay below deals with an article by Adam Michnik, the Jewish editor or Poland’s largest newspaper. This article also sheds light on current Polish affairs and indicates that, alas, all is still not well between the Poles and the Jews. The piece makes some pointed critiques, which are commonly made, of secular, liberal Jews in the media using that forum to aggressively push a particular type of Jewish tribal agenda onto a non-Jewish population. Note the anti-Russian and anti-Soviet sentiment in O’Donnell’s piece, typical of Polish religious nationalism. Suffice to say that O’Donnell’s views are pretty typical of Slavic Eastern Orthodox Christians in Poland, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and to a much lesser extent among Orthodox Christians in Greece and the Arab World. Socially conservative yet anti-imperialist and to some extent anti-Western, these Orthodox have also had a tempestuous relationship with the Jews. These difficulties, and the reasons behind them, have of course been shrouded in fog by the Politically Correct theory of anti-Semitism, which holds that anti-Semitism is a form of mental illness, is not understandable by anyone but a psychiatrist or a prison warden, and occurs for no known reason at all. I call this the mystification of anti-Semitism, and while it serves ego-defensive purposes for the Jews and philo-Semites who have contrived this nonsense, it surely sheds little light on anti-Semitism. Furthermore, by promoting Zionism and the Jewish state (one of the worst mistakes the Jews have made in recent years) this mystification serves more nefarious ends. For it is Zionist dogma, elucidated by Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism himself, that the Gentiles will always hate the Jews, everywhere the Jews are, for eternity. Such it has been, such it is, such it will be. Hence the need for the armed gangster-state ghetto (It even has a wall around it!) called Israel. A further elaboration is that worldwide, an eternal epidemic of anti-Semitism has occurred, continues to occur, and most importantly, will always occur, ever since the Jews appeared on Earth, for no intelligible reason whatsoever other than merely a manifestation of evil. The insidious and disgusting sentiments working here? All Gentiles are anti-Semites. Anti-Semitism is incomprehensible other than as an infection of evil. Putting the two together, we realize that many ultranationalist Jews actually believe that all Gentiles are evil people. Hence, apparently on some level, they hate us (Israel Shahak said a majority of Israelis had a deep hatred of all Gentiles). And they accuse us of being “haters”. In truth, Jewish suffering has not been particularly unique. Throughout most of the history of feudal Europe, Christian serfs would have gladly traded places with Jews. Certainly there were pogroms and other forms of prejudice and racist hatred, but serfdom for the serfs themselves was one centuries-long pogrom. If one reviews the history of any ethnic group, tribe or nation, one will find that they have often been in conflict, often armed conflict, with various neighbors for various reasons. Wars have been ongoing, and many members of the tribe or nation were killed. The land was often overrun by invaders, often repeatedly, much of their land stolen, and many of their people killed. Painful as it may sound, the history of the Jews (until the 1940’s anyway) is probably not that much more painful that that of many tribes and nations. Even the extermination attempt in the 1940’s was not unique, sadly, as there have been many attempts to exterminate various ethnic groups. The Tutsis lost possibly 70% of their population in the genocide in 1994. By any accounting, that is more than the 1/3 of Jews lost in the Shoah. One-third of the population of East Timor was killed after Indonesia invaded, equivalent to the Shoah as a percentage. Many American Indian tribes have been wiped clean off the map altogether. I am not an expert on Slavic Orthodox Christian anti-Semitism but in Poland, in general, Catholic anti-Semitism was religiously-based, or more accurately based on confessionalism (religious bigotry without religious belief). In a nutshell, the Poles wanted Jews to convert to Catholicism and intermarry with Poles. The Jews would do neither, and hence anti-Semitism ensued. The Chmielnicki Rebellion in the Ukraine from 1648-1654, during which about 20,000 Jews and 100,000 noblemen were killed, has achieved permanent victimology status amongst Jews as merely an outbreak of murderous anti-Semitism, and nothing else. That it was, but many Jews had formed a middle class that allied itself with the brutal feudal lords. The Jews were often the only face of feudal rule that the serfs ever saw. The rebellion was probably mostly just a peasant rebellion of serfs against the feudal lords and their allies. Many people were killed on all sides. Chmielnicki, who led the rebellion, actually implored the Jewish poor to join the fight against their brethren who were allied with the feudal classes. The Jewish poor refused. To this day, Chmielnicki is seen as a hero in the Ukraine, while Jews regard him as some kind of Hitler and see his fame as emblematic of anti-Semitism in the region. Chmielnicki is probably more akin to, say, Tupac Amaru, who led the Inca against the Spaniards in the late 1700’s, or Mao Zedong, or Ho Chi Minh, or Desallines in Haiti in 1804, or other leaders of peasant rebellions. It is useful to note that peasant rebellions, whether involving Jews or non-Jews, are typically bloody affairs. For example, in 1804, in the Haitian Slave Revolt, the Haitian slaves rose up against French slave-holding families in Haiti and killed most of the 25,000 population of them. This blog regards that wild massacre, as, in general, a great day for humanity (though the children of the slaveowners could have been spared). Another interesting aspect of the Chmielnicki Rebellion is that the Jews look at the rebellion and the 1600’s in which it occurred, as one of, as noted above, an insane outbreak of murderous anti-Semitism, and little else. From the Jewish point of view, this was the century in which people went nuts in the Ukraine and slaughtered Jews for no reason. Not much else happened of consequence in the region at that time. Never mind that the Jews killed were the public face of inhuman feudal brutality, as noted above. We need also to note that during this same period, Poland was wracked another terrible outbreak of anti-Semitism, but this occurred in the context of general chaos, wild warfare and multiple invasions of Poland by various foreign powers. During the period in which Jews narcissistically mourn their own losses as the only salient tragedy of the time, an incredible 1/3 of the population of Poland (the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) was exterminated. This is a population loss equivalent to the Jewish Shoah. So, while Jews were definitely being killed in Poland during this time, the Poles themselves were also being slaughtered like flies. Whether Jews were being killed to a greater extent than Poles is open to debate. The critical point here is that this was not so much only another wild outbreak of incomprehensible Nazi-like slaughter of Jews (the myopic Jewish view) but instead, it was simply a period of mass slaughter of the population at large by various actors for various reasons. The number of dead in the Chmielnicki Rebellion has also been exaggerated, which has been a general tendency of Ashkenazi Jews who have cultivated a victimhood epic. Exaggeration of one’s own losses, and the resulting embrace of victimhood, is probably a general human tendency and not limited to Jews. Jewish sources originally said that 2.4 to 3.3 million Jews were killed during Chmielnicki, and modern-day Jewish sources put the figure at 500,000. An Israeli historian has produced a more accurate figure of about 19,000 Jewish dead out of a population of 40,000. Nobles suffered much more, as they were virtually exterminated from the Ukraine – scarcely one survived. Nevertheless, one gets the impression that Jewish activists look at Poland in the 1600’s and see only dead Jews and no other corpses. A useful book that deals peripherally with Polish-Jewish and Ukrainian-Jewish relations is Primo Levi‘s “ If Not Now, When?” (review here) about a group of armed Jewish anti-Nazi partisans operating behind enemy lines in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Germany in World War 2. They meet up at one point with a group of Polish resistance fighters. The Jews air their grievances about Polish treatment of Jews to the Poles, who retort with a history of equally lamentable treatment of Poles at the hands of all sorts of invaders and local abusers. The Jews end up concluding that the Poles have been just as abused as the Jews have, but in their twisted way, many of the Poles took out their rage on the local Jews instead of on the real abusers. Both sides leave with a refreshed understanding of each other. By the way, I enjoyed Levi’s book and recommend it. With that background, we can move on to the piece. As usual, my comments, if any, will appear in bold brackets:
I am no expert on the history of the events that took place in Kielce, Poland in July 1946 and resulted in the death of a group of Jews. And I have no intention of becoming an expert, for several reasons. First of all, I am convinced that the version of the Kielce events which is promoted by Jews as historical reality is, in fact, a clever distortion of the truth. [RL: I do not think that this is completely accurate, though the standard Jewish line includes various inaccuracies.]
The aberrations include that 80, or 50, or however many, Jews were killed – no, it was 39 – and that the Polish army and police and gleefully joined in the killing – in fact, the Polish army fought off the mob for some time, and took the wounded to the hospital, although some other soldiers joined in the pogrom.]
The Jewish version of the notorious “pogrom” has been crafted by Jews because of the propaganda value of its symbolism. Kielce is one of those shticks with which Jews love to thrash Poles. (Always the Jews glorify their distinctiveness. They can’t speak German unless it becomes “Yiddish.” They can’t get their butts kicked unless it’s a racist “pogrom”). [RL: For the record, Yiddish and German are distinctive languages. Yiddish is not even a dialect of German; it is a separate language altogether. Yiddish is actually a sort of a German-Slavic creole with many Hebrew words mixed in.]
Life is too short to be distracted by what happened in Kielce. Some Jews were murdered by Poles. A Polish boy mysteriously disappeared for awhile (though he turned up unharmed after the violence) and there were rumors of ritual murder.
Substantial evidence suggests that the Kielce “pogrom” was engineered by Soviets in Poland, who used the incident to slander postwar Poland in the international press, while at the same time shoring up and legitimizing the unpopular Soviet occupation, which was bitterly opposed by the vast majority of the Polish population. [RL: This view is quite popular in Poland, especially with Polish nationalists. A major Polish commission reviewed all evidence about this Soviet conspiracy theory and rejected it out of hand as unproven. There are many problems with the theory. The main one is that there is little, if any, hard evidence supporting it, only a cui bono theory that suggests that the Soviet Union could have benefited from it. Another mark against this theory is that, despite the blatherings of Jewish ultranationalists, the Soviet Union was not anti-Semitic at the time or prior, and was not until the disappointing “rootless cosmopolitan” campaign of 1948.]
The reason I raise this topic is because of an interesting article on Kielce by Adam Michnik, the notorious Jewish “dissident” and contemporary media magnate. Michnik’s article appeared in his newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza: “Pogram Kielecki: Dwa rachunki sumienia” (3-4 July 2006, pp. 12, 13, 14 and 10-11 July 2006, pp. 22, 23, 24).
How did Michnik (real name: Adam Szechter) go from poor dissident to publisher of the most powerful daily in postcommunist Poland? I leave it to the reader to draw his own conclusion.
Michnik’s newspaper is a source of rabid anti-Polishness; anti-Christianity; political correctness; strident support of homosexuality, love parades, and social deviance; and propaganda for all of contemporary America’s and Western Europe’s wickedest nonsense on relativism and multiculti.
Michnik occasionally and strategically writes with sympathy about the Catholic Church, which enjoys the backing of the great majority of the Polish population. [RL: Jewish hostility towards Christianity, to one degree or another, is often seen in even very assimilated US Jews, and is most pointed towards Catholicism, and not so much towards Protestantism. Jews have long memories, and Christian anti-Semitism in Europe was, for the vast majority of its history, Catholic.]
We see this Catholic anti-Semitism in Latin America also. Typically, it took the form of a complaint that “Jews killed Jesus”. Hence the furor when Mel Gibson, a deeply conservative Catholic, made the movie,”The Passion”. Protestants in general have never cared much about Jews one way or the other, though lately many Protestant fundamentalists have become passionate Zionists.]
Michnik’s people will pen some insignificant article on a minor religious celebration, illustrated perhaps with a color photo, while in the same issue publishing a couple of deeply ideological articles which seek to compromise the Polish Church. [RL: I confess it is beyond me why the secular, liberal, Westernizing Jews that tend to own media outlets so often play with fire in this way. We have seen so many reports like this of Jewish ethnic activists in the media aggressively pushing a particular secular, liberal, Westernizing Jewish agenda onto a non-Jewish population that it cannot possibly anti-Semitic fantasy. However, to dislike Jews due to the activities of these “media Jews” is a mistake. Many Jews, especially Orthodox Jews and particularly in Israel, are deeply conservative on social issues like multiculturalism, abortion, homosexuality, etc. They don’t have much in common with the species of liberal “media Jew” described above. Contrast the “media Jew” behavior with the mindset of Overseas Chinese, another minority very similar to Jews in that a tiny minority has often achieved huge economic power in a number of societies. Yet the Overseas Chinese tend to keep their heads down, assimilate, and not provoke the majority. Pogroms have occurred against the Overseas Chinese, as they have against Jews, which suggests an economic basis for at least some of these violent uprisings. Yet perhaps Jews could learn a thing or two from the Overseas Chinese about how to not go out of one’s way to provoke a majority population.]
In the article on Kielce, Michnik demonstrates his mastery of the Jewish art of propaganda.
He goes so far as to quote long passages about the Kielce “pogrom” written by Kielce Archbishop Czeslaw Kaczmarek and later delivered to the American ambassador in Warsaw (international Jewry at that time was agitating the West to defend Poland’s helpless, innocent Jews against racist Polish anti-Semitism).
Archbishop Kaczmarek eloquently explains the Poles’ suspicion of Jews:
Here after the large-scale murder of Jews committed by the German government in recent time in Poland, also in Kielce, there was no negative antagonism towards Jews and there was no anti-Semitism. Everyone sympathized with the Jews, even their most determined enemies. The Poles had saved many Jews, and without Polish aid, not a single Jew would have survived” Jews are unpopular, even hated, throughout Poland. There is no doubt about that. Jews are hated by those Poles who belong to no political party, but also by those who belong to the ruling [communist] party – The origins of that antagonism are well known, but certainly they have no racial basis. Jews in Poland are the chief propagators of the communist system, which the Polish nation completely rejects.”
Jews are everywhere in the government, in [Polish] institutions outside of Poland, in industry, in administrative offices, in the military, and everywhere in the most important, most influential positions. They control the nation’s press; they control all censorship today in Poland. They control the security apparatus and they are responsible for arrests (p. 13).
Something similar took place in other countries of the postwar Soviet bloc, as Jews in the name of communism and the brotherhood of nations with violence and terror “settled their accounts” with Christians. [RL: The Cardinal’s account is self-contradictory and problematic. As a Leftist, I don’t necessarily have problems with Jews being Communists. It was true that there were many Jews among the Communists in Europe and the Soviet Union, especially in leadership roles. These Jews were often outside of normative Jewish culture, religion and even mainstream Jewish identity. The notion that Jews in the Communist movement may have unfortunately used their power to attack their ancient enemies is a long-standing complaint of anti-Semites that deserves examination. Certainly in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s in the Soviet Union, the abuse of the Christian religion was almost taken to the form of a fetish. But note also that the institutional Christian churches in these Eastern Bloc states often opposed the Communist regimes. Jews as part of these regimes (and other government officials) consequently attacked these churches, as they attacked any other dissidents. The notion that Jewish Communists were attacking dissidents not as Communists first, but as Jews first, is problematical and remains to be proven. Many Communist Jews in the Eastern Bloc were probably trying to put into practice the noble Jewish tradition of being a “light unto nations”. They may have been misguided, but they were probably sincere about wanting a better world. Furthermore, many Eastern Bloc Jews probably saw Communism as a remedy for long-standing, often irrational anti-Semitism in the region. Note that in the 1960’s, the Polish Communist government could no longer be considered Jewish-dominated, and even orchestrated a disgusting anti-Semitic campaign called the Polish 1968 Political Crisis.]
Here I should remind those foolish and naive Poles who worship America that the latter country does not allow any discussion or investigation of the Jews’ role in the communist terror. [RL: This is simply not true at at all. There are no laws against it. However, there is a taboo associated with the subject. The Nazis made much of the association between Jews and Communism, so anyone equating Jews with Communism since then has been, partly properly, seen as treading in Nazi footsteps.]
According to the American academy, there was no collaboration between Jews and communists (I was recently told that point blank by one American professor).
Michnik (along with a handful of other Jews) occasionally admits, however, that Jews truly were responsible for communist terror. [It’s not proper, as I have noted above, to ascribe all Eastern Bloc Communist repression to Jews. I believe that Jews were a minority even amongst, say, the Polish Communist Party. In the early days, even in Poland, Communism was actually fairly popular, despite what O’Donnell implies, especially among working-class Poles. Initially, conditions for workers and especially peasants were dramatically improved. Recall that Polish feudalism did not truly die until 1945, and it was the Communists who put the stake into feudalism’s dying heart once and for all. But the Polish Communists made a number of stupid mistakes, especially very heavy-handed repression, and by the mid-1950’s or so, much of their popularity had evaporated.]
It is permissible in America for a Jew, but not for a non-Jew, to point out parallels between Jews and communists.
The main point of Michnik’s article is that the Catholic Church is to blame for the murder of innocent Jews in Kielce. (The ultimate implication, then, is that such an institution cannot be legitimate). Michnik quotes other Poles in the Catholic hierarchy and points out the moral failings of their political incorrectness.
And yet Michnik is so daring in his propaganda, so convinced of his skill at selling his “buy-one-get-one-free” illusion, that he is willing at times to argue the side of truth, i.e. the Polish point of view.
Archbishop Kaczmarek’s explanation, as quoted by Michnik, is a balanced, unemotional explanation of the Jewish role in the postwar communist terror in Poland. Reading Archbishop Kaczmarek’s text, one understands that, for historical reasons, Poles will never ever trust a Jew. [RL: I think that is dubious. People have short memories, and Polish Communism is dead anyway.]
Michnik quotes some words delivered by a certain Rabbi Kahane in Kielce at the ceremonious burial of the Jewish victims of “Polish terror.” Michnik doesn’t provide background information on Kahane, but I have in my mind a definite, colorful snapshot of a spiteful rabbi puffed up with pride and venom.
Michnik, confident in his skill of disinformation, asks:
Polish reality, obligated at that moment, in 1946, to appeal publicly to the Jewish public for [Jews] to avoid cooperation with the communist regime imposed upon Poland, and especially with the security system, which was in fact for Poles a system of persecution? Was not the rabbi obligated to condemn the violation of human rights [in Poland], the persecution of people [from the non-communist, anti-Nazi underground], the excesses of censorship, the fake elections?
[RL: On the other hand, the only proper attitude of the Polish people towards Kielce itself is the statement of the Polish government at the July 7 ceremony discussed above – that it was a shame and a tragedy for both the Jews and the Poles.]
In attempting to appear impartial, Michnik raises some legitimate, essential questions. Why were Jews silent when Jewish communists were arresting, persecuting, and murdering innocent Christians? [RL: We have dealt with the “Jewish Communists persecuted Christians” bit on this blog before. Recall that over 95% of Poles and 80% of Russians were at least nominal Christians, even during Communism. So any Communist repression was likely to target “Christians” simply because they were a majority of the population. This essay of O’Donnell’s seems to be an example of a Polish phenomenon called Zydokomuna and his complaints about persecution of Poles an example of Polonphobia. Both articles are excellent background for this post.]
The implication is this: Why was your Jewish Holocaust more important than ours? [RL: It is interesting to note that 3 million non-Jewish Poles were killed in WW2. Poland lost an incredible 1/3 of its total population. That is 1/2 of the Jewish Shoah right there. 22 million Russians died in WW2. That is almost 4 times the number of deaths in the Shoah. Where are the “Russian Holocaust” Museums in America?]
We live in a time of struggle with Jews. The inclination of the Jew is to lead the world to Armageddon. [RL: This is just rank anti-Semitic nonsense, but as far as the gangster, thuggish state of Israel goes, combined with its determined and often-fanatical opponents, there seems to be some truth in this. Which is another reason that state should have never been created.]
As I have noted before, a great virtue for the Christian is knowing when and how to ignore Jews. [RL: I think it is important to note the ethnic biases which may be lurking in the propaganda of various ethnic groups. At that point, one can at least choose to ignore that propaganda or decide that it has an ethnic basis that may not be relevant to one’s own group.]
One should never permit one’s life to be directed by Jews. Those non-Jews who spend their life in hatred of Jews are foolish, for their hatred is exactly what the Jew thrives upon – it confirms the Jew’s ethnocentrism. [RL: Unfortunately, I conclude that this is true. Anti-Semitism indeed feeds Jewish ethnocentrism, which then feeds further anti-Semitism, which then…get it? Albert Einstein, who was Jewish himself, noted that Jews were determined to be at war with the whole world and then were surprised when the world did not react favorably to them. Hostility towards outsiders, along with xenophobia and accompanying paranoia and a victimization fetish, go hand in hand with ethnocentrism. All ethnocentric groups (that means all humans, really) have the potential to display such tendencies. As a group becomes more ethnocentric, they will tend display these qualities more. Jews, being perhaps the most ethnocentric tribe on Earth, would be expected to display xenophobia and accompanying paranoia along with a penchant to see themselves as eternal victims, in spades. The solution, as noted by progressives from Marx on, is simply the assimilation of the Jews and the tearing down of all ghettos, physical and mental. Such is the road to liberation.]
I pity those Americans who have, in contempt, adopted the pejorative name “kike.” Never have I heard a non-Jew use that word in conversation. I have encountered “kike” only among Jews, who are hoping and dreaming that someone would legitimize their ethnocentricity by calling them a “kike.” The name “Jew” is enough. Jew says it all.
When a Jew mentions Kielce or Jebwabne, I simply smile and comment on the weather. I refuse to allow a Jew to dictate my thoughts. The point of this article is this: as the Jews become more powerful, they become more daring in their allusions. [RL: As Kevin MacDonald notes, as Jews increase their power over non-Jews, anti-Semitism seems to increase. It is this, not some incomprehensible sickness of the soul, that holds the key to our understanding of much anti-Semitism. The question then is, which way forward? Is there something to be said for the Overseas Chinese tendency to keep one’s head down and be discreet? Belligerence and overreach have caused the Jews untold heartache through time. Minorities prosper and live in peace at the whim of majorities, like it or not. Hence, pragmatism mandates reasonable discretion on the part of any minority.]
Adam Michnik and other Jews have come to believe that Poles are so simple-minded that they can be persuaded that Kielce is proof of the inherent evil of Polish society and the Polish Church. The reality is that Michnik, in particular, and Jews, in general, are deceiving charlatans. It is in their nature to deceive non-Jews. Comments: I was taught somehow, possibly through the standard pro-Jewish Holocaust line, that Polish Jews had heavily collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews. Let us note that the degree of Polish collaboration with Nazis in Occupied Poland is controversial. For some alternate views on the Nazi occupation of Poland that show that many Poles collaborated with the Germans and, more commonly, delightfully helped themselves to Jewish property after the Jews were gone, contradicting my general tone in this post, see here, here and here. It is true that some Poles participated in 22 massacres of Jews during the Holocaust and a number of Poles collaborated with the Nazis. But one point of view is that, unlike Lithuania, Ukraine or other East European states, Polish enthusiasm for collaboration and pogroms during the Holocaust was less than other East European nations. In fact, most Poles did not cooperate with the Nazi persecution of the Polish Jews at all, and most of the Jews who were killed in Poland were killed by Germans alone (with some exceptions such as the Jebwabne Pogrom). In the cases where the Nazis had “local” collaborators, it is more accurate to describe them as the Polish Government in Exile did in the famous letter below, as “the dregs of Eastern Europe”, rather than only Poles. In other words, Nazi collaborators in Poland came from a variety of East European nations. There are more Poles listed than any other national group in the Righteous Among Nations Award given by Israel for those who helped to save Jews during WW2. In Nazi-occupied Poland, hiding Jews was punished by the death penalty. Poland was the only Nazi-occupied country that formally instituted the death penalty for sheltering Jews. Nevertheless, as we noted above, more Poles saved Jews than any other national group. The Polish government in exile was the first government to tell the world of the existence of concentration camps and the Nazi policy to exterminate the Jews (a copy of that famous document is here). Anyone who insists, as one of my commenters did at the end of this piece, that the vast majority of Poles collaborated with the Nazi Final Solution, or that the Poles have always been some of the worst anti-Semites on Earth, needs to carefully read this remarkable 15-page historical document. This document, describing the reality of life in Nazi-occupied Poland in stark, brutal terms, focuses on the plight of the Jews, and describes the Nazi destruction of Polish Jewry in rich, detailed terms. The document could have been written by the ADL or the Israeli government. We should also note that the Polish government in exile was the only government that set up an organization specifically dedicated to saving the Jews of Poland – this organization was called Zegota. When I first read O’Donnell’s post here, I could not understand his anger and I thought that he was just degenerating into anti-Semitic irrationalism (as he does from time to time). But now that I have learned the reality of the dynamic between Poles and Jews in WW2, I am beginning to understand his anger. Yes, a number of Poles collaborated and some even killed Jews themselves, but this occurred in most Nazi-occupied countries. But the vast majority of Poles refused to get involved, and a huge percentage of the population either joined or supported an often-suicidal Polish resistance. The Polish resistance was one of the largest, most potent and accomplished of all of the resistance armies in the Nazi-occupied lands. The Polish resistance, with the support of millions of Poles, worked feverishly to save every Jew in Poland as part of their resistance project. They even organized an amazing resistance organization in the bowels of the Auschwitz itself. A Pole, Witold Pilecki, was the only person who volunteered to be imprisoned at Auschwitz and the first person to organize a resistance organization there. Those few Jews who survived (a horrifying 90% were exterminated – 3 million in total out of 3.4 million, or 1/2 of the entire Shoah) survived only at the whim of their Polish neighbors who hid them. The reality of the Polish-Jewish dynamic in Occupied Poland was, as elsewhere in Nazi-occupied lands, more complex than the sound bites the propagandists feed us. Some Poles collaborated but many more did not. Some Poles killed Jews, and many more worked night and day to save them and fight Nazism. In that light, Jewish chauvinist propaganda depicting Poles as super-Nazi collaborators and the worst anti-Semites on Earth is not only erroneous but it is also disgusting and unfair. And this is the misguided agenda of Organized Jewry (exemplified here by Mr. Michnik). This agenda needs to be condemned alongside Poland’s historical anti-Semitism and the refusal of many Poles to take responsibility for Kielce. Kielce happened, 60 years ago, but it’s all over now. It’s time to put it to rest and move on towards Polish-Jewish healing instead of this endless, divisive pummeling of dead beasts. In that context, Jewish obsession with Kielce and other Polish horrors seems misplaced. The latest philo-Semitic notion is that “the world was silent” after Kielce – that seems highly dubious to me. Instead, Poles should be commended for refusing to collaborate in the Judaicide. Michnik’s harping on aberrations like Kielce would not appear to be conducive to rebuilding Polish-Jewish relations.
Repost from the old site. More red meat for you anti-Semite lions and tigers.
This post is in response to a commenter who commented that Ukrainians, Russians and Poles are the biggest anti-Semites of all because Jews dominated their economies for so long and because of the Jewish role in implementing Judeo-Bolshevism on the backs of an unwilling people.
Z comments: But the most antisemitic people in the world are Romanians.”
I’d actually say that the Ukrainians, Russians, and Poles are actually more antisemitic that Romanians, if only because there were so many more Jews in those countries as compared to Romania.
So many of the citizens in all of these Eastern European countries are antisemitic because Ashkenazi Jews dominated their economies for so long (as a non-native ethnic minority) and played such a major role in the repressive form of Communism that existed there…so can you really blame them for harboring ill-will toward them?
I respond: Ok, first of all, it’s not all Ukrainians who are anti-Semites. It’s much more prevalent amongst Poles. It’s true that Poles are anti-Semites for a variety of reasons:
1. They wanted Jews to convert to Catholicism.
2. Catholicism was doctrinally opposed to Judaism.
3. Jews refused to assimilate to Polish culture.
4. Jews often refused to learn Polish (though this has been overblown as many Jews did learn Polish).
5. Competition between poor Jews and poor Poles.
6. Role of Jews in Communism, which most Poles really hated. As Stalin said, bringing Communism to Poland was like putting a saddle on a horse. The main reason Poles opposed Communism was not that they were wonderful people or anything, but it was due to their Catholicism.
The business about Jews promoting Communism mostly applies to the postwar period, so Poles can hardly use it as an excuse for their behavior during the war.
Jews never dominated the economy of Poland at any time to my knowledge, unless you want to go way back in time 100’s of years. By the mid to late 1800’s, there was a massive population explosion of Polish Jews and this ended up impoverishing a large number of them.
Let this be a lesson to all of those racialists, racists, nationalists and ethnic nationalist pro-natalists who say that having lots of babies is wonderful for the economy!
Many Ukrainians are anti-Semites, but note that there was mass volunteerism when Germany invaded Ukraine. There were quite a few fighting with the Ukrainian Nazis (nationalists), yes, but there were vastly more fighting with the USSR and then in partisan bands. These partisan bands were full of Jews.
Nowadays, many Ukrainians are anti-Semites because many are nationalists. The nationalist-Nazi line has gone over pretty well, but that’s mostly in the Western Ukraine. In the eastern Ukraine, there is not much anti-Semitism and they are pro-Soviet. This is part of the Holodomor crowd.
It’s not really known how nationalist or anti-Semitic Ukrainians were from 1945-1990. The Ukrainian nationalists blow things way out of proportion. Keep in mind that many more Ukrainians joined partisan bands and volunteered for the Red Army than joined the nationalist bands.
Note that the Red Army and the partisans were in a war to death with the nationalists – a terrible and gruesome war with atrocities on all sides. The Holodomor – Ukrainian nationalist crowd is associated with the nationalist bands who fought alongside the Nazis against the Red Army and partisan bands in WW2.
To say that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians still line up with the nationalist – Nazis against the partisans, or that it was always this way, is completely mistaken. Many Ukrainian peasants were quite happy to be rid of those kulak bastards, and peasants were the overwhelming majority in the Ukraine, not kulaks.
Yes, there was a famine in the Ukraine, but life expectancy exploded in the Ukraine before and afterwards. This was a time of hardship, and people were just taking a lot of this horror in stride.
I would guess that the vast majority of Ukrainians felt or later figured out that the Nazis were far worse for the Ukraine (and had an infinitely worse plan for the future) than Stalin ever did. During WW2 and even afterwards, most Ukrainians did not believe in this Holodomor bullshit, and most felt that about 2 million died.
Ukraine lost 25% of its population during the Nazi invasion, and the Nazis had deadly plans for most of the rest. That’s way more than died in any kind of Holodomor, fake or otherwise.
Russians do not hold it against Jews that they played a role in Communism. Communism is actually pretty popular in Russia right now, or at least it is not unpopular. The Russian nationalist fascists like Solzhenitsyn are not that common and even the Russian Nazis are usually socialists and even pro-Stalin. Stalin is positively regarded by most Russians today.
There is resentment against Jews by Russians, but Jews never dominated the economy in either Ukraine or Russia except for now with the return to capitalism, so there is now some resentment due to their role in looting the USSR.
Russians started hating Israel because the Israelis lined up with the West after WW2. That’s what that was all about. Also E European Jews (Zionists) were caught spying for the US over and over. The USSR always disliked Jewish nationalism so that was another reason they opposed Israel.
But initially Stalin supported Israel when it looked like they were going to be pro-Soviet or even neutral. They turned pro-West real quick. This explains Stalin’s anti-Semitic turn in the USSR after the war.
At one point in the late 40’s someone asked Stalin why he was persecuting the leaders of the Jewish organizations in the USSR and he said, “But you do not understand! They are all Zionists!” So he wasn’t going after them because they were Jews but because a lot of them were thought to be lining up with the West in the Cold War.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s statement published in the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper in Poland in October, 2003. It kind of goes on and on, but you get the picture. Modern US neoliberal capitalism really is a pile of steaming pig shit, is it not? those capitalist apologists who say, “The problem is corruption” need to answer some questions. Why almost 100% of 3rd World capitalist states, even “socialist” China, are mandated to succumb to this corruption or be destroyed by their moral lessers in the race to the bottom. The inability of Mexico and Poland, not to mention the US, one of the wealthiest capitalist states on Earth, to regulate Smithfield’s pig factories is instructive. I n most capitalist countries, even the most advanced, and certainly in the less advanced, it is completely impossible to regulate Smithfield’s factory farms. As the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Freedom would note, to regulate Smithfield’s sickening factory farms is de facto if not de jure anti-capitalist. It’s bad for capitalism and it’s bad for he economy. Truth is that it simply cannot be done in most cases. Apologists for capitalism need to address the issue of why under most forms of capitalism it is simply impossible if not unthinkable to regulate Smithfield. Why is this? Capitalist apologists say it’s a bug, not a feature. It’s the other way around. Capitalism’s inability to regulate Smithfield is a feature, not a bug. You can also see by reading this that capitalism is completely destroying Poland. Fuck off Solidarnosc. Fuck off Lech Walesa. The article also lays bare the oft-repeated lie that Communism destroyed Poland’s environment. The opposite is true. Compared to capitalist West Europe, Poland’s environment is in excellent shape. 97% of the soils are pure and not contaminated by the heavy metal pollution one finds everywhere in capitalist West Europe. Storks have been almost exterminated in Europe, especially West Europe. There are only several pairs left in all of Denmark. The waters of capitalist West Europe are so polluted that the fish have been so poisoned that it has killed off all the storks. Relatively unpolluted Poland has a full 25% of the Europe’s stork population, because its rivers and the fish in them are are relatively pollution-free. Communist Poland left us with the horrible legacy of Europe’s last clean-flowing rivers. The horrors! Poland has the cleanest soil in all of Europe. The horrors of Communism! It leaves nations with clean rivers, pure soil and lots of fish and birds! It’s clearly a failed system. Whatever the problems of Communist Poland, horrible pollution was clearly not one of them. Whatever the Veblenesque conspicuously consumable delights of modern Polish capitalism, a whored, corrupted and bought and paid for elite of politician-sluts was not one of them.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. ON SMITHFIELD FOODS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR:
I am President of Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental group and a leader of a national coalition of family farmers, fishermen, environmental and animal welfare organizations, religious and civic associations, and food safety advocates who are fighting Smithfield Foods in the United States.
During the past eighteen months, I have come to Poland twice to alert the Polish people about the dangers of allowing Smithfield a foothold in this country, most recently at the request of the Animal Welfare Institute.
Smithfield is one of a handful of large multinationals who are transforming global meat production from a traditional farm enterprise to factory style industrial production. Smithfield is the largest hog producer in the world and controls almost 30% of the U.S. pork market. Smithfield’s style of industrial pork production is now a major source of air pollution and probably the largest source of water pollution in America.
Smithfield and its cronies have driven tens of thousands of family farmers off the land, shattered rural communities, poisoned thousands of miles of American waterways, killed billions of fish, put thousands of fishermen out of work, sickened rural residents and treated hundreds of millions of farm animals with unspeakable and unnecessary cruelty.
Four years ago, in 1999, Smithfield began buying slaughterhouses and state farms in Poland. On July 22nd of this year, I sat in the crowded Senate Conference Room in the Polish Republic’s Senate Building in Warsaw listening as Smithfield’s Vice President Gregg Schmidt promised the senate agricultural committee that Smithfield will “modernize” Polish agriculture and bring prosperity and jobs to rural communities.
For the past two decades, Smithfield Foods and its allies have made identical promises to the people of North Carolina, one of America’s rural states. After listening to these promises, the state Senate passed laws to make it much easier for Smithfield to do business in North Carolina.
With encouragement from these politicians, Smithfield built the largest slaughterhouse in the world in Bladen County, North Carolina. The plant butchers 30,000 pigs each day. By building this pig slaughter plant, Smithfield set off explosive growth of a new way of producing hogs in North Carolina — factory-style production.
Although Smithfield, a Virginia-based meat packer, never before owned a farm, its CEO, Joe Luter, began buying up farms so that the company could control, as he likes to boast, all aspects of pork production “from piglets to pork chops.” Luter who describes himself as “a tough man in a tough business” lives in a $17 million Park Avenue mansion in New York.
He is known for a ruthless style that maximizes profits by industrializing agriculture and eliminating both animal husbandry and the family farm.
Smithfield builds football field-sized warehouses in which the company crams thousands of genetically manipulated hogs into tiny metal boxes where they are deprived of sunlight, exercise, straw bedding, rooting, and social opportunities. A hog is as smart and sensitive as a dog. Under these crowded stressful conditions, they must be kept alive by constant doses of antibiotics, and heavy metals. Antibiotic resistant bacteria and residues of these additives naturally end up in their waste.
Industrial Style Pollution
Since a hog produces ten times the amount of waste as a human, a single hog factory can generate more fecal waste than Warsaw. One of Smithfield’s factories in Utah houses 850,000 hogs and produces more fecal waste than New York City’s 8.5 million people. Hog waste falls through slatted floors into a basement where it is periodically flushed into giant outdoor pits called lagoons.
While cities must treat sewage before discharging it, Smithfield’s meat factories dump their liquid manure untreated onto fields which quickly become saturated. The manure then percolates into groundwater or is carried by rain into nearby streams or lakes.
Waste from industrial pork factories contains a witch’s brew of nearly 400 dangerous substances, including heavy metals, antibiotics, hormones, deadly biocides, pesticides, and dozens of disease-causing viruses and microbes. Antibiotic residues in this lethal soup foster the growth of deadly “super bugs” — disease organisms that are immune to human antibiotics.
Polluted Water Supplies
Millions of tons of fecal stew produced by the meat factories has poisoned groundwaters in 34 states with deadly nitrates that can kill infants and cause severe mental retardation in children. Disease epidemics caused by meat factories have sickened and killed thousands of Americans. In 1993, for example, a meat operation’s microbes were suspected to have tainted a water supply sickened 400,000 people in Milwaukee (half the population!) and killed 114 individuals.
Fifteen years ago, the state of North Carolina had some of the purest waters in the United States. Today, it has some of the most polluted waters. A spill from one hog lagoon killed one billion fish in the Neuse River in 1995. North Carolina had to use bulldozers to plow the fish onto the shores of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.
Today, as a result of Smithfield’s invasion in North Carolina, hog industry pollution has poisoned the Neuse so badly that a hundred million fish die every year die in that river.
Pfiesteria; the “Cell from Hell”
Hog factory contaminants have also fostered outbreaks of a previously unknown microbe, Pfiesteria piscicida, in America’s coastal waters. Pfiesteria kills billions of fish and causes open sores that won’t heal, severe respiratory illness and brain damage in humans who handle fish or swim in the water.
Pustulating sores cover the bodies of fishermen from the Neuse River. Some of them have trouble recalling basic information like the route home due to brain damage from Pfiesteria. Pfiesteria has appeared in Maryland where my sister, until recently, was Lieutenant Governor. The state had to close the famous rivers of the Chesapeake Bay to protect public health.
Hog factory stenches defy description. Neighboring farmers choke, vomit and faint from the fetid gases as they ride their tractors or work their fields. The smell cannot be removed from skin or clothing — even with the strongest soap. Food eaten even a mile downwind of a hog factory can take on the odor and flavor of hog waste.
Neighbors can no longer sit on their porches in the summer, open their windows, hang their laundry or enjoy their meals. Factory odors can be so strong that they nauseate people flying in airplanes as high as 3,000 feet above these facilities!
The fumes inside hog buildings are so strong that when the twenty-four hour ventilation systems fail, all pigs inside quickly die from asphyxiation. Hydrogen sulfide, methane and ammonia gases emanating from these factories also harm human health.
Numerous studies show that factory farm workers and downwind neighbors contract lung disease, nausea, eye infections, nosebleeds, gastrointestinal illness, depression and even brain damage. Every year, hog factory workers become seriously ill and die from deadly gases emanating from liquid manure pits.
Recent scientific papers by the U.S. government indicate that toxic air discharges from hog factories are so poisonous that they violate the federal health and environmental laws and endanger the health of neighbors. One study shows that millions of antibiotic resistant bacteria move by air from hog factories every day, threatening public health and neighboring herds.
Another study shows that some meat factories emit seven times the particulate matter allowed under American Clear Air laws. Particulates can cause asthma attacks.
The End of the American Family Farm
Each hog factory puts ten family farmers out of business, replacing high quality agricultural jobs with three or four hourly wage workers in degrading jobs that are among the lowest paying and most dangerous in America. Because animals are given almost no husbandry, as few as two workers may tend a factory of 10,000 hogs!
Conditions are so miserable that employees seldom endure these jobs more than a few months. Major slaughterhouses, including Smithfield’s, have a 100 % annual turnover rate of its employees.
The situation in North Carolina, America’s second largest hog producer, is typical. Two decades ago there were 27,000 family hog farmers in North Carolina. Today, there are almost none. North Carolina’s hog farmers have been replaced by 2,200 hog factories; 1,600 owned or indentured to a single multinational — Smithfield Foods. Smithfield now controls 75% of hog production in the state. From North Carolina, Smithfield moved to Iowa, the number one hog producing state.
As a result of factory farms, Iowa lost 45,000 independent hog farmers in recent years with half of the remaining 10,000 already controlled by Smithfield and a few other large corporations. Joe Luter told the Washington Post that Smithfield will turn “Poland into the Iowa of Europe.”
Contract Farmers; How to Become a Serf on Your Own Land
As I listened, Mr. Schmidt told the Polish Senate that Smithfield would bring employment to Polish farmers by giving them contracts to produce hogs. I can tell you that any farmer who signs a contract with Smithfield will become a serf on his own land. Here’s how Smithfield took over the family farms in America.
Smithfield signed a few contracts with large producers to produce tens of thousands of hogs for its slaughterhouse. Then it swallowed those producers who had to take Smithfield’s price for their farms because they had nowhere else to slaughter their hogs. Once Smithfield owned these large farms the company began overproducing hogs so that the price of pork dropped from 60 cents per pound to 8 cents per pound.
Since it costs 36 cents per pound for a farmer to raise a pig, most pig farmers had to go out of business except the ones that Smithfield signed contracts with. The contracts are never negotiated. The desperate farmers will sign the contract the way Smithfield writes it.
Typically the contract requires the farmer to use his farm for security and borrow approximately $200,000 to build a warehouse according to Smithfield’s specifications. The company promises him approximately $20,000 per year. The farmer owns the warehouse and pays the insurance and interest to the bank.
Under the contract, Smithfield owns the feed and the pigs, but the farmer owns the manure. Smithfield does not pay him enough to legally dispose of the manure. That’s his problem and soon it will be the problem of his community as he pollutes the air and water with the excess manure.
Smithfield’s contract is typically good for only one-year even though it’s going to take the farmer twenty years to pay off the mortgage. When it is in Smithfield’s interest to buy more land, the company has the power to make future contracts so burdensome that the farmer goes bankrupt. Smithfield can then buy his hog house and land from the bank for pennies on the dollar.
Since the farm is valueless without a Smithfield contract, there are no other bidders. It was in this way that Smithfield came to control pork production in North Carolina. The company is already using the same practices in Poland. Any farmer who signs such a contract will be a slave on his own farm.
Now when the price of pork drops to 8 cents per pound, Smithfield continues to make money because the price the consumer pays for bacon at the grocery store stays the same. Since Smithfield owns the slaughterhouse, it can still make money while it squeezes the farmer until it has a monopoly or farm production.
This is one of the reasons that the United States Senate today is considering national legislation, and many states as well, that will ban the ownership of farms by slaughterhouses. Smithfield’s “integration” system puts the farmer at a catastrophic disadvantage.
There are many studies that show that factory farms have a devastating impact on rural economies and quality of life. There is not a single empirical study showing net benefits to rural communities. Studies show that property values in counties hosting pork factories fall, on average by 30%.
If you drive through America’s rural communities, you will see bankrupted hardware and feed stores (factory farms don’t buy locally), boarded up main streets and closed banks, churches and schools. America’s heartland and historic landscapes are being emptied of rural Americans and occupied by large corporations.
Hog factories produce far more manure than is needed to fertilize fields around them. The costs of properly treating and disposing this waste would make meat factories uncompetitive with traditional farms unless they violate numerous environmental laws. Traditional farms are exempt from these laws since manure, for them, is not a waste product but a valuable fertilizer spread on fields to grow crops.
Because factory meat producers must break the law in order to survive, the industry’s business plan relies on the assumption that pork factories will be able to evade prosecution by improperly influencing government enforcement officials.
Smithfield uses its wealth to buy politicians, paralyze regulatory agencies and break health and environmental laws with impunity. In North Carolina, Smithfield made business partnerships with both powerful state senator Wendell Murphy and powerful United States Senator Launch Faircloth, who protected the company’s interests in local and federal legislatures.
Using adept campaign contributions and such cunning alliances, the hog industry has been able to corrupt and control the North Carolina State Senate. The state’s largest newspaper, Raleigh News and Observer, won the Pulitzer Prize for its five-part investigative report disclosing how the factory hog industry had captured and corrupted the state senate.
Politicians who oppose the hog barons are punished. When North Carolina’s Duplin County State Assemblywoman Cynthia Watson began speaking out against Smithfield’s impact on her farm community, the hog industry launched a savage multimillion dollar attack, spending as much as $10,000 a week for two years to destroy her reputation.
As a result, she lost her election and the hog barons sent a message to all the senators in North Carolina that if you speak out against this industry or this company, we will punish you!
Citizens who protest get the same treatment. Typically, the industry launches its occupation by removing the democratic rights of local communities who refuse to site these facilities in their communities. In Iowa, North Carolina, Michigan and many other states and Canadian provinces, public officials have stripped local governments of their decision making powers over these facilities.
Similarly, we have seen that in Poland, local officials who opposed Smithfield’s facilities have been overruled by national authorities. The industry routinely uses bullying lawyers and illegal intimidation, threats, harassment, and violence to terrorize and silence its critics including its own workers.
A group of Nebraska citizens who made comments during a public hearing on a hog factory permit were sued by Nebraska’s largest livestock producer. Neighboring farmers are routinely sued for participating in public hearings or speaking out against the hog industry. Contempt for our laws and bullying are part of industry culture.
Smithfield’s own records show that it has committed tens of thousands of violations of state and federal environmental laws. Indeed, recent court decisions indicate that hundreds of Smithfield’s facilities around the country are in almost daily violation of federal environmental laws. In 1997, a federal judge ordered Smithfield to pay $12 million dollars, one of the largest Clean Water Act penalties in history.
The court determined that a single Smithfield plant had violated the Clean Water Act over 6,000 times and that company officials had intentionally lied to federal regulators to cover up its violations. In 2000, a National Labor Relations Board Judge found Smithfield guilty of serious labor law violations.
The judge found that that Smithfield managers conspired with local police to physically intimidate and assault union supporters. He also found that Smithfield attorneys suborned perjury and that company witnesses lied under oath. Again in 2002, Smithfield was found guilty of significant labor law violations, this time by a federal court, which ordered the company to pay $755,000 in damages to workers who the company had wrongfully imprisoned.
Smithfield Invades Poland
In 1999, Smithfield announced its plans to move into Poland and began purchasing slaughterhouses that year. Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), one of our allies in the battle against Smithfield, brought a delegation of Poles over to tour the farm landscapes of America to see what they were in for.
AWI took the Poles to Missouri where you can drive 50 kilometers without leaving company land and then to Duplin County, North Carolina, where they were enveloped in an unbearable stench. During this trip, one lady in North Carolina, Mrs. Carr, pleaded with the visiting Poles, “I’ve never been to Poland, but for God’s sake, don’t let them do to you what they’ve done to us.”
The Polish delegation promised that this would never happen in Poland. Unfortunately it is happening now. Just as Smithfield used North Carolina to launch its takeover of American pork production in 1980, Poland is Smithfield’s platform for launching its bid for monopoly control of pork production in Europe.
In 1999, Smithfield purchased Animex, the state-owned conglomerate of giant communist-era farms and nine slaughterhouses that export Polish sausage and ham to the United States. The deal was a bargain, Luter paid only $55 million just after Animex, at state expense, made extensive renovations. For example, the government’s Constar plant brought ultra modern equipment from the U.S. just before the Smithfield takeover.
Estimated value of the company following these improvements was $500 million. Luter boasted that he paid, “only 10 cents on the dollar.”
Gaining monopoly control of the country’s slaughterhouse capacity is more difficult in Poland because there are over 4,000 slaughterhouses in this country. Smithfield’s strategy was to get the government to do its dirty work by closing down the competition.
At Smithfield’s request, the Polish government began closing hundreds of small slaughterhouses after Joe Luter had a three-hour meeting with President Buzek. Buzek’s Minister of Agriculture promulgated regulations that would put up to 50% of Poland’s slaughterhouses out of business.
The government justified these new rules under the fraudulent pretense that small slaughterhouses must be shut down to comply with the EU regulations. However, EU regulations clearly state that small slaughterhouses may be kept open to serve regional markets.
In fact, Germany, France and Sweden fought to keep their small slaughterhouse and milk plants open and even subsidize them knowing that those are the core of local markets and food distribution. Once the small slaughterhouses disappear, local markets quickly follow.
Furthermore, large high-tech slaughterhouses do no make a safer food supply. In the U.S. and in England, the closure of small slaughterhouses actually coincided with an increase of meat-borne disease by 300% and 500% respectively.
This is because large centralized slaughterhouses force pork production onto factory farms where disease is rampant and because of long transport distances, stress the animals and spread disease. Furthermore, technologies that increase line speed inside the slaughterhouse multiply worker errors and make proper inspections impossible. (Now the big slaughterhouses are insisting on the controversial technology of irradiation in order to solve their problems of diseases vectors.)
The Polish government took a number of other steps to facilitate Smithfield’s takeover of Polish agriculture. For example, the government legalized liquid manure and tried to dismantle the Animal Welfare Act. The government allowed Smithfield to buy and lease farms in Poland despite official policies forbidding foreigners to purchase agricultural land.
In addition, the government gave large pork export subsides to Smithfield amounting to 55 cents per kilo. These subsidies are intended to benefit Polish farmers but since Smithfield imports both its pigs and the feed, there is not much benefit to Poland.
With this help, Smithfield has converted as many as thirty-five state farms to hog factories. One of these, in Nielep, West Pomerania, already houses 30,000 hogs. To circumvent Polish laws, some of these are owned by front companies wholly owned by Smithfield. Typically Smithfield has only one of several directors in each but the company charter requires unanimous votes.
Prima Farms, for example, is officially owned by two Poles but every important decision must be signed by Mr. Griffith of Smithfield. In this way, Smithfield can capture subsidies from the EU intended for Polish farmers.
In mid-July, I spent a week touring the agricultural areas of northern Poland. I learned that you have in Poland something that we’ve lost in the United States and something we miss very much. Poland is an oasis of traditional farming in a world dominated by agribusiness multinationals. Poland has over two million farmers — as many as the half of Europe put together.
About 18% of Poland’s population are farmers or farm families. We passed through picturesque farm villages where the farms averaged five hectares with modest homes of wood, timber and fieldstone. Each farmer has a horse, two cows, some pigs, and some chickens. Animals are raised on the free range, humanely and have lives of dignity.
In Poland, you don’t see the vast monocultures of row crops that we are now accustomed to in the United States. Polish farmers rotate a variety of crops, in the traditional way that fosters healthy soils.
I was thrilled that many farmhouses had occupied stork nests on their roofs. Poland hosts 25% of Europe’s white stork population — 50,000 pairs — more than any other country in Europe. The white stork has been exterminated by modern agriculture practices elsewhere in Europe; liquid manure and pesticides effectively extinguished fish, frogs, crabs and many insects that the storks eat. In Denmark, there are only six pairs left.
Poland has large stands of timber and Europe’s last clean flowing rivers. Poland has purer soils than anywhere else in Europe. Its land is uncontaminated by pesticide and fertilizer residue, and according to Professor Andrzej Mocek, Dean of the faculty of agronomy in Poznan, an astounding 97% of its soils are uncontaminated by heavy metals which are the artifact of industrial smokestack pollution throughout the rest of Europe.
One morning, we ate breakfast with the Kornilo-Jarzyna family at their farm near the village of Nowodwory. Agrotourism is a growing business in Poland, where farmers take in tourists who come to fish, hike, pick berries, or just eat great food. Great slabs of traditional Polish sausage and meats, open jugs of homemade honey of acacia or linden smothered our breakfast table.
We slapped pork fat onto plum rolls like butter and ate pierogis filled with buckwheat, homemade cheese and mint and sweetened with berries and spices. My favorite was bigos stew which Polish hunters invented by adding various meats to a perpetual pot of boiling cabbage — delicious! This farm family makes their own butter and cans their own jelly.
The house is surrounded by hives, orchards of cherries, apples, pears, and plums with understories of black currants, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. I was full as a tick! It’s no wonder that people from Lublin and Warsaw and all over Europe come here to indulge in chemical-free foods with real farm flavor.
I thought about the poor taste of food in the United States where there has been a dramatic decline in meat quality due to factory farming of pigs and poultry. Many American chefs, food writers and home cooks have entirely abandoned cooking pork raised by industrial meat companies like Smithfield because they find it dry and flavorless. These deficiencies are apparently due to the manner in which confinement pork is bred and raised.
Millions of years of natural selection have endowed hogs with back fat to regulate body temperature. But Smithfield gets more money from meat than from fat so the company has bred its own strain of super-lean pigs born with almost no back fat. They are high strung and unable to survive normal outside temperatures.
According to food professionals, this extreme leanness has dramatically diminished the eating quality of American pork. An article in the April/May SaveurMagazine describes the pigs of modern confinement agriculture as being so skinny that they looked “like dachshunds.”
And an article in the May 4, 2003 New York Times Magazine applauded the old breeds and traditional farming methods of the kind used in Poland, pointing out that “the pork industry has managed to engineer a pig with almost no fat at all. And this is why most modern recipes for pork involve some kind of liquid — putting the meat in a marinade before cooking, basting it while cooking or braising it in broth. If you simply grill a mass-market pork chop, it becomes inedibly dry.”
The Times then observes that free-range pork, in contrast, “is rich when sliced and sautéed, fine textured and robust in flavor. It needs nothing more than seasoning with salt.”
The dryness and poor taste of confinement pork have gotten so bad that many major pork companies are now “enhancing” their pork — adding water, flavored liquids, or even stock to their tray-pack and prepared meats and using red food coloring to improve its drab appearance.
North Carolina Comes to Poland
Smithfield is already putting its trademark on Polish farms and rural communities. On July 19th, I visited the town of Wieckowice, a beautiful village with shrines and wooden and brick homes with tile roofs and long barns of brick and stone.
We ran across several dozen local activists carrying signs outside a former state farm owned by Animex where Smithfield reportedly houses 17,000 hogs. The facility has permits for only 500 cows and 500 hogs. Governor Nowakowski of Poznan told me that all the local citizens are adamantly opposed to Smithfield Foods and that he refused to give the company permits when it bought the farm two years ago.
But 6 months later the Environmental Ministry overrode him. The Animex farm is 40 yards from an elementary school where, according to the residents, children get sick and vomit from the hog odors. Among the protesters was a dignified woman, Irena Kowalak, who served as village mayor for 35 years. She told us she had resigned recently because of intimidation by Smithfield.
Thanks to the governor, Smithfield is not able to get permits for liquid manure, so the farm uses straw bedding and has not yet devised a plan for disposing of its waste. Fields of wheat surround the hog barns but they are never harvested since Smithfield is not interested in agriculture. To Smithfield, these fields are a place to dump the notorious wastes of industrial meat production.
A convoy of indignant Wieckowice residents drove me out to see the giant pile of hog manure. On the side of a 1,000 acre wheat field, I saw a mountain of hog waste 150 meters long, 12 feet high and 50 meters wide. “Seventeen thousand hogs for 6 months,” a young man said nodding at the pile.
Local authorities have been ordering Smithfield to move the illegal pile for six months, but the company has refused. The night before my visit, Smithfield covered its pile with a giant black tarp, which was already inflated and writhing with the internal pressure of methane gas.
Six hundred meters downhill from the pile, villagers had created a public beach on a 1,500 acre lake where umbrellas shaded dozens of families swimming and playing on a steamy 90ş day. Manure residues fester on the shores of a nearby embayment into which Smithfield’s waste pile drains. An old man with twinkling blue eyes sticks his hand into the water, smells his fingers and offers us a whiff. “Smithfield Foods!” he says.
Governor Nowakowski told us that another Smithfield factory in Sedziny with 4,500 hogs only has a permit for 1,000 cows. The governor said his assistants were now inspecting the facility. “But,” he said, “the legislation is very difficult for the local government to enforce [without support of the state].”
Unfortunately, the federal government is not supporting him. He is not the only local politician begging for federal help. Zofia Wilczynska, a member of Parliament, has complained to the government that a Smithfield operation in Polczyn Zdroj is endangering the village’s 400-year old health spa. Another health spa in Goldap is also threatened by pollution from a Smithfield facility.
The following day, I met with the deputy of the Agriculture Committee of Parliament who told us that the Agricultural Ministry has recently conducted an investigation of sixteen Smithfield farms — fourteen owned by Smithfield and two farms owned by front groups controlled by Smithfield — and found that all Poland’s veterinary and health laws and construction standards had been broken at every one.
Even when Smithfield lacks proper permits or breaks the law, the company gets laughable fines of a few hundred dollars for their lawbreaking.
Not all local officials are opposed to Smithfield’s operations. One hundred sixty kilometers north of Wieckowice in western Pomerania, the mayor of another village, Wierzchowo, gave Smithfield permits for two enormous farms after Smithfield paid his wife approximately $4,000 to perform the Environmental Impact Assessment for the company.
We witnessed firsthand not only Smithfield’s lawbreaking but the economic impacts of its production methods on local communities and markets. When Smithfield took over Animex, the company’s three principal farms in northeastern Poland, near Goldap, employed sixty workers. Now, following the farms’ conversion to automated hog factories, only seven workers remain.
Smithfield says it wants to produce six million pigs per year in Poland. Polish peasants now produce 20 million pigs per year and a quarter of them will have to lose their jobs to make way for Smithfield. Smithfield is already squeezing the small farms. In Pomerania, we found that the small slaughterhouses had already been closed and that the remaining slaughterhouse, which was owned by Smithfield, would not slaughter hogs from the small farms.
The rest of Poland will soon follow. Once Smithfield controls the slaughterhouses and has eliminated local markets from farmers, it will be able to control prices and it will soon control the farms.
The Tyranny of Monopoly Capitalism
When I told Polish audiences about Smithfield’s behavior in the Unites States, Poles were absolutely astounded that an American company could behave so badly.
There is such an enduring faith in America and American capitalism and such a hunger for capital investment in a nation left behind after the Second World War when the rest of Europe was feasting on the Marshall Plan, German reparations and free market capitalism. The Polish people’s love for America and faith in our system made me doubly determined not to allow Smithfield to take advantage of them.
POLES, DEFEND YOUR PIGS, DEFEND YOUR COUNTRY! (Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland October, 2003)
Updated May 10, 2017. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; it runs to 101 pages.
This is Part 3 of my reclassification of the German language. Part 3 deals with Upper German.
Part 2, dealing with Middle German, is here, and Part 1, dealing with Low German, is here.
This classification splits Upper German from 10 languages into 81 languages using the criterion of >90% intelligibility = dialect and <90% intelligibility = language.
There is much confusion about the phrase High German or Upper German. Standard German is referred to as Hochdeutsch, or High German, and many think that that means that Standard German is a High German or Upper German language. In fact, it is a Middle German language. However, there is a conflation of Middle German and High or Upper German in which both are subsumed under the mantle of High German. In reality, though, Middle German and High or Upper German are quite different.
The Upper German lects are in pretty good shape. They are located in Southern Germany, and most are doing extremely well. The Upper German Franconian lects are doing fine. The Bavarian lects are going strong. Swabisch and Badisch are doing great.
Low Alemannic in southern Germany is doing fine. Bavarian is the standard language of communication in Austria, and Swiss German is the standard language of communication in Switzerland. Only Alsatian, spoken in France, is somewhat in trouble due to France’s one-language policy.
It is uncertain why Standard German has been unable to take out Upper German languages well, but Southern Germany has always been isolated from the rest due to mountainous terrain and an independent spirit. Bavarian and Swiss German are guaranteed as official languages of nations and are in no danger. A few small Upper German languages in Italy are in trouble, but that is mostly due to their being linguistic islands in a sea of Italian. Upper German Hutterite is doing very well.
This treatment breaks Upper German from Ethnologue’s10 languages into 82 separate languages.
Sudfrankisch (South Franconian) is an Upper German language transitional between Central and Upper German. It is spoken in northwest and north-central Baden-Württemberg around Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim and Rastatt. It has a low number of speakers, and some do not even consider this lect to be a separate entity, so its treatment here is tentative.
The very existence of this language is controversial. For instance, although Karlsruhe and Heidelberg are said to be South Franconian-speaking, in other analyses, the language is “Kurpfalzisch”. This language, or at least the variety spoken in Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, is very hard for Standard German speakers to understand.
Dialects include Bad Schönborn, spoken around the city of the same name, Odenwäldisch, Kraichgauisch, spoken around the cities of Kraichgau and Santkanna, Unterländisch, spoken in and around Heilbronn, Central North Badisch (Zentral Nordbadisch), and Southern North Badisch (Süd Nordbadisch). Intelligibility is apparently good between all dialects (Costin 2015)
Schwabianis a Alemannic lect that has about 40% intelligibility with Standard German. Speakers of Standard German say they find it almost impossible to understand. Commercials and TV series in Swabian are shown on German TV with subtitles. It is spoken in southwest Germany in a region called Swabia.
The southern border of the Swabian language is Villingen-Schwenningen. After that, it follows the Danube to the east. In the east, the border is a line from Augsburg south to the Aargau. Reutte/Außerfern, a dialect in upper East Tirol on the Lech River just south of the Bavarian border, is considered to be Swabian. Stuttgart is in the Schwabian speaking area and the standard version of Swabian is spoken in Stuttgart.
It has 820,000 speakers. Swabian has great dialectal diversity, and there is more than one language in Swabian.
Badisch and Swabian form a dialect chain in which the dialects at the far ends of the chain are not intelligible with each other. The Western Swabian dialects are most comprehensible with the eastern Badisch dialects. Swabian is not intelligible with Alsatian, Swiss German or Bavarian. In fact, the differences between Swabian and Swiss German are tremendous. This is important to note because there are claims that the two are mutually intelligible.
Swabian has many lects. Some of the major groupings are Lower Swabian (Niederschwäbisch or Neckarschwäbisch), East Swabian (Ostschwäbisch), Upper Swabian (Oberschwäbisch), and Southwest Swabian (Südwestschwäbisch). Schwäbisch vom Haiberg is an unclassified dialect spoken in the Swabian Alps. Lower Swabian is spoken in and around Stuttgart and in the Eastern Black Forest. It is not fully intelligible with Upper Swabian (see the Würtingen entry below). In fact, separate languages develop quickly only a few miles from the Upper Swabian/Lower Swabian border. Lower Swabian is also spoken north of Stuttgart up to around Pforzheim and Heilbronn, where it starts shading into East Franconian. Some of the big cities in the Lower Swabia area include Esslingen, Reutlingen and Tubingen. Würtingen Lower Swabian is a divergent Upper Swabian dialect spoken in Würtingen, 35 miles south of Stuttgart. It is not intelligible with the Upper Swabian spoken just six miles away and may not be intelligible with the rest of Lower Swabian. Investigation is needed to determine if Würtingen is intelligible with the rest of Lower Swabian.
The dialects of Würtingen and Dettingen 35 miles south of Stuttgart are so different as to represent separate languages, Würtingen Lower Swabian and Dettingen Upper Swabian, yet they are only 6 miles away from each other. Dettingen seems to be a Upper Swabian dialect, and Würtingen seems to be an Lower Swabian dialect. This is in the area around Reutlingen, where there are several distinct dialects of Swabian spoken. Upper Swabian is language a spoken in the Upper Swabia in the Swabian Mountains (Swabian Alps) in Baden-Württemberg. Tuttlingen is a main city in this area. Upper Swabia is the region from the Swabian Alps south to the Danube. At least the type spoken in Albstadt seems to be unintelligible with the rest of Swabian, in particular with the Swabian spoken in Tuttlingen and Esslingen. Even in and around Albstadt, there are villages only three miles away that speak completely separate languages of Alpine Swabian that are not intelligible with each other, so clearly there are multiple languages within Upper Swabian. Dettingen Upper Swabian is spoken in and around Dettingen, 35 miles south of Stuttgart. It is not intelligible with the Lower Swabian spoken in Würtingen nearby. Bavarian Swabian (Bayerisch Schwaben or Rieser Schwäbisch) is a major division of this language that is spoken in the Donau Reis, a region of Bavaria. It can be seen on the map as the Swabish speaking area of Bavaria north of the Danube. This is the form of Upper Swabian spoken in the Schwaben region of southwest Bavaria. According to residents, it is not intelligible with either Bavarian or with the rest of Swabian spoken in Baden-Württemberg (Kirmaier 2009), hence it is a separate language. Dialects include Augsburg and Lechhausen. Lechhausen is quite different. Other towns in the area include Brenz, Iller, and Lech. The town of Lech is said to be the border between Bavarian Swabian and Bavarian. East Swabian is spoken in the Eastern Swabish Alps. It is also spoken in East Württemberg. Major towns in East Württemberg include Aalen, Ellwangen, Heidenheim an der Brenz, and Schwäbisch Gmünd. Southwest Swabian is spoken in the Neckar Mountains. Allgäu Swabian (Schwäbisch-Allgäuerisch) is spoken in the Allgäu region on the border of Switzerland, Swabia and Bavaria. It contains three divisions. Lower Allgäu Swabian (Unterallgäuerisch), Northern Upper Allgäu Swabian (Nord Oberallgäuerisch) and East Allgäu Swabian (Ostallgäuerisch). Wolfegg, Biberach an der Riß, and Bergatreute are dialects.
Reports indicate that the type of Swabian spoken where Austria, Switzerland and Germany all come together is not understood anywhere else in Germany. On that basis, we can assume that Allgäu Swabian is a separate language. Internal intelligibility data for the dialects is lacking. Russian German Swabish is one of the divergent Swabish dialect spoken by Russian Germans in their widespread colonies. In general, it is not understood by anyone in Germany. There are only a few elderly speakers left. Whether or not it is intelligible with specific Swabish lects is not known. This is an old Swabish from around 200 years ago. Low Alemannic is a group of Alemmanic Upper German lects that are spoken in southern Baden-Württemberg, across the border into France, a bit into Switzerland, and over into southwestern Bavaria.
Upper Rhine Alemannic(Oberrhiinalemannisch) is a Low Alemannic superfamily division based on the work of linguist Karl Bohnenberger. This group includes Alsatian, Badisch, Upper Rhine Alemannic proper, and Basel German. South Badisch is a group of dialects, apparently a separate language, spoken along the French border of Germany and east a ways to the border with Swabian starting near Freiburg im Breisgau and heading up towards Karlsruhe, where it borders South Franconian. The differences between South Badisch and South Alemannic spoken just to the South are considerable, and the two are probably separate languages.
Dialects include Ortenau (Ortenauer), Gottenheim, Freiburg-Opfingen, Elz, Kuppenheim, Iffezheim, Zell am Harmersbach, Kämpflbach, Breisgau (Breisgauer), Middle Kinzig River, and Black Forest (Schwarzwälder). Elz, a subdialect of Black Forest, is spoken around the city of Waldkirch in the Elz Valley. Gottenheim is spoken 6 miles northwest of Freiburg. Freiburg-Opfingen is spoken in and around the city of Freiburg and is composed to two dialects, Freiburg and Opfingen. Zell am Harmersbach is a dialect of Middle Kinzig River.
Badisch forms a dialect chain with Swabian in which the far ends of the chain are not intelligible. The eastern dialects of Badisch are intelligible with the western dialects of Swabian. Intelligibility data between this and Alsatian is needed. Badisch is not at all intelligible with Standard German. Alemán Coloniero (Colonia Tovar) is a Low Alemannic language spoken in Venezuela. It is not intelligible with Standard German. It is originally derived from a Badisch-type lect. Baar Alemannic(Baar Alemannisch) is a Low Alemannic dialect. It is spoken in a region called the Baar in the upper headwaters of the Danube River in far southern Baden-Württemberg.
Towns in this region include Löffingen, Tuttlingen, Bad Dürrheim, St. Georgen, Furtwangen, Villingen-Schwenningen, Rottweil, Trossingen, Hüfingen, Spaichingen, Geisingen, and Donaueschingen. Intelligibility data between this lect, Basel German, South Badisch and Upper Rhine Alemannic and is needed. Rottweil is a dialect spoken in the town of the same name.
Alsatian is a Low Alemannic language spoken in Alsace, France around Strasbourg, and is not intelligible with Standard German, Swabian, Swiss German or Bavarian. In Alsace, it is mostly spoken in the Sundgau region of south Alsace and in the rural areas of the center.
It is an Upper German language related to Schwabian, Swiss German and Walliser. It has 700,000 speakers. The language is still widely spoken despite the fact that it gets little to no support from the French state. 20 years ago, 70% of teenagers said they could speak the language well.
This is a strange area where there are speakers of French, German, and languages that are neither French nor German but are transitional between the two. In this way it resembles the Limburgs region in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Alsatian borders Upper Rhine Alemannic on the east and Alsatian speakers say it is not the same language as what they speak (Auer 2005). Furthermore, Alsatian is not intelligible with the Upper Rhine Alemannic spoken over the border.
The reason is that Alsace has been cut off from the culture of Germany and Switzerland for so long that it has retained many archaic forms that went out to the east. At the same time, a huge amount of French has gone into Alsatian that has not gone into the languages to the east.
Alsatian is actually a number of dialects, not all of which are completely mutually intelligible, although this is somewhat controversial. The language changes from village to village, and it is common for Alsatians to not understand each other. This implies that Alsatian is actually more than one language, but we don’t have enough data yet about intelligibility between varieties to split any of them yet.
However, the Strasbourg variety has been promoted as the standard and is used on the local TV station (Osorio 2001). Dialects include Strasbourg, Colmar, Vosges, Orbey Valley, and Mulhouse.
Alsatian has only 40% intelligibility with Standard German (Minahan 2002).
Lake Constance Alemannic (Bodeseealemannisch) is a super split in the Low Alemannic languages according to linguist Karl Bohnenberger. It includes Allgäuisch, Vorarlbergerisch, and South Württembergish (Süd Württembergisch), all separate languages.
It has a strong French influence. It has 50% intelligibility with Central Bavarian. It is probably not intelligible with Swiss German.
This language family is spoken in Vaduz, Lichtenstein; Bregenz, Austria, and Ravensburg and Tuttlingnen in Baden-Württemberg. In Tuttlingnen, it borders on Swabish. Allgäuisch (Allgäuerisch) is a group of Low Alemannic lects spoken in far southwestern part of German Bavaria on the border with Switzerland, Austria and Baden-Württemberg. This is part of the Lake Constance Alemannic superfamily. It is not intelligible with Swabish.
It probably resembles Swiss German, but considering that you need a dictionary to translate between Allgäuisch and Swiss German, they must be separate languages.
This language is probably closest to Swabish and the Vorarlbergerisch spoken in far western Austria, to which it is geographically close. This language has heavy French influence.
There are four different Allgäuisch subdialects in each of the four major valleys in the region. One of the dialects is Bernbueren, spoken near Schongau and Weilheim. Other dialects include West Allgäuisch (Westallgäuerisch), East Allgäuisch, Upper Allgäuisch and Lower Allgäuisch. Upper Allgäuisch is further divided into Southern Upper Allgäuisch (Süd Oberallgäuerisch) and Northern Upper Allgäuisch. Lower Allgäuischis spoken in the northern Allgäu. Opfenbach West Allgäuisch is a West Allgauisch dialect. It is spoken at least in and around the town of Opfenbach in far southwestern Bavaria between Wangen and Lindenberg. East Allgäuisch is spoken in the East Allgäu and in the area around Füssen and the Upper Lech River. Upper Allgäuischis spoken in the southern Allgäu and in central Allgäu around Immenstadt and Kempten. The area around Immenstadt and Kempten is probably where Northern Upper Allgäuisch is spoken. Oberstdorf is a dialect of Southern Upper Allgäuisch. Vorarlbergerisch Vorarlbergerischis a group of Low Alemannic languages that is part of the Low Alemannic Lake Constance Alemannic Family. It is similar to Swiss German. Vorarlbergerisch was originally a Swabian language. For the most part, the Vorarlbergers came from Valais in Switzerland in the 1200’s and 1300’s.
This language is spoken in Austria and is not intelligible with Bavarian, Standard German or other German languages. It is spoken in Vorarlberg, a region in far western Austria near the Swiss border.
This is a very different form of Eastern Upper Alemannic Swiss German that is still widely spoken in the area of Vorarlberg. Most reports on the lect indicate that it seems to be a separate language, unintelligible with all other German, Swiss German and Austrian lects other than West Allgauish and Appenzell Swiss German.
Most towns in Vorarlberg have their own dialects. It has elements of Swiss German along with Tyrolean and Bavarian. Vorarlbergerisch is so different that speakers are given subtitles when they speak on Austrian TV. Many Vorarlbergerisch speakers either cannot or do not speak Standard German. There are three main divisions of Vorarlberg – Montafon, Lustenauerisch and Bregenzwalderisch. Feldkirch, Lustenauerisch, and Dornbin are listed as dialects, but Lustenauerisch is so different that it is a separate language. Most Vorarlbergers have some difficulty understanding Lustenauerisch, Muntafunerisch and Wälderisch. South Württembergish(Süd Württembergisch) is a major division of Lake Constance Alemannic. It is spoken east of Tuttlingnen and the Baar along the Upper Danube, south to the Swiss border and over to the border with Bavaria. This language has a heavy French flavor. South Wurttembergish has good intelligibility of Vorarlbergerisch (Scheffknecht 2015) and is best seen as a form of that language. Überlingen,Radolfzell, and Konstanz are dialects. Konstanz is spoken in the city of Konstanz on Lake Constance straddling the Swiss border. It is very different from the Thurgau Swiss German spoken across the border in Kruezlingen (Auer 2005). Lustenauerisch is so different that it itself is a separate language. Most people in Vorarlberg say that they cannot completely understand Lustenauerisch when it is spoken. That is because for many vocabulary items, the words are completely different. In addition, vowels also differ (Scheffknecht 2015). Bregenz Forest Vorarlbergerisch (Bregenzwalderisch or Wälderisch) is a very distinct form of Vorarlbergerisch spoken in the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwald) in far northwest Vorarlberg on the borders of Switzerland and Germany. Other Vorarlbergerisch speakers from elsewhere in Vorarlberg have some difficulty understanding Bregenzerwald speakers, so it may be a separate language (Scheffknecht 2015). This area is very famous for its dairy products, especially its cheeses. Lustenauerisch speakers say this is a different language from both Vorarlbergerisch and Lustenauerisch.
There are two main dialects of this language – Vorderwald and Hinterwald – and they are quite different. Nearly every village has its own dialect. Intelligibility between dialects is not known. Egg is a dialect of this language. West Allgäuisch is spoken in the western Allgäu, in the Alemannic-Swabish transition zone of the Allgäu and in the city of Lindau and the area around far eastern Lake Bodensee. West Allgäuisch is close to Swiss German and especially the form of Vorarlbergerisch spoken in the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwald) in the northern part of Vorarlberg on the German border. This dialect is apparently intelligible with Vorarlbergerisch (Scheffknecht 2015), at least with Bregenz Vorarlbergerisch. This lect is best seen as a form of Bregenz Vorarlbergerisch. Montafon Vorarlbergerisch (Muntafunerisch) is a Vorarlbergerisch language that is spoken in the Montafon Valley in Vorarlberg, Austria. This valley extends from about Bludenz to the Silvretta Mountains on the border with Switzerland. Speakers say that the situation is better described as other Vorarlbergerisch speakers having some difficulty understanding Muntafunerisch (Scheffknecht 2015).
It has Romansch influences since it is spoken near the Romansch-speaking part of Switzerland. Even villages 15-20 miles away cannot understand this language. This language is utterly unintelligible to any German. Schruns is a dialect of this language. Appenzell Swiss German (Appenzellerisch) is an Eastern Upper Alemannic Swiss German lect that, while not intelligible with other forms of Swiss German, is actually intelligible with Vorarlbergerisch (Scheffknecht 2015) and is best seen as a form of that language. It is spoken in Appenzell Canton in Switzerland near the border with Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Appenzell Innerhoden and St. Gallen (Sankt Gallener or St. Galler Deutsch) are dialects of this language. High Alemannic is a group of lects that are spoken primarily in Switzerland. However, a few are also spoken in Baden-Württemberg right on the border with Switzerland. The most famous High Alemannic language is Swiss German. Central Bavarian has 50% intelligibility with High Alemmanic languages. South Alemmanic is a group of High Alemannic dialects, apparently a separate language, spoken in far southwestern Baden-Württemberg in regions called Markgräflerland and Hotzenwäld. Markgräflerland goes from about Basel to about Bad Krozingen in the north and to the Black Forest in the east. Hotzenwäld is a region around the Swiss border from Wehr to Waldshut-Tiengen, otherwise known as the Waldshut District. The differences between South Alemannic and Banish are considerable, and the two are probably separate languages. Klettgau is a South Alemannic dialect spoken on the Swiss border in the Waldshut District. Other dialects include Markgräflerland (Markgräflerisch), Hotzenwäld (Hotzenwälderisch), Rheinfelden, and High Rhine Alemannic (Hochrhein Alemannisch). Intelligibility between this and Swiss German in Switzerland and South Sundgau in Germany is not known, although it is probably not fully intelligible with Swiss German. Within Markgräflerland, there are subdialects such as Lörrach, Grenzach-Wyhlen, and Weil am Rhein. South Sundgau (Süd Sundgauisch) is a High Alemannic dialect spoken in southern Baden down around the Swiss border. Intelligibility between this and Swiss German is not known, but it is said that once you leave Switzerland and cross the border, people are no longer speaking anything close to Swiss German. Standard Swiss German (Schwyzerdütsch) is a High Alemannic language that is from 20% intelligible with Standard German. For many Germans, Swiss German is about as intelligible as Dutch. It has over 6 million speakers. There are dozens of varieties, and every canton in Switzerland has its own lect. Two major varieties are Zurich and Bernese German. However, Bernese is not intelligible with Swiss German proper. Thurgau is very different.
The city of Vaduz, Austria, also speaks Swiss German. There are 20-70 different lects within Swiss German, and according to Ethnologue, many of them are not mutually intelligible. Swiss German is so diverse that speakers are given subtitles when they speak on Austrian and German TV.
The dialectal situation of Swiss German is very complex. About 30-40 years ago, before people started moving around a lot, there were many full Swiss German languages that were not intelligible to other speakers. We can call these the pure dialects. However, the situation has changed a lot since then. A form of Swiss German, call it Standard Swiss German, is now used across Switzerland when communicating with people who speak another form of the language.
Many of the dialects seem to be changing from full languages into mutually intelligible forms of Standard Swiss German with regional dialects, similar to the situation in the US with our mutually intelligible regional dialects. When people are interviewed on Swiss TV, they typically speak in this standard language to make sure that they are understood.
There are some elderly people who can speak only their regional form of Swiss German and not the standard version, and sometimes they cannot communicate with people in a similar situation speaking another version of the language.
However, if you recorded speakers of many of the various forms of Swiss German speaking among themselves and then presented it to speakers of other forms of the language, you would probably need subtitles for them to understand it. In terms of lexicon, the Swiss German lects differ dramatically. There may be 40 different words for the same term in 40 different lects.
Many Swiss German speakers dislike speaking Hochdeutsch, only speak it if they have to, and may refuse to speak it unless it is mandatory. Hochdeutsch classes are now mandatory in the schools, but most Swiss hate to study the language, and this requirement is resented by many Swiss. Some can understand the Hochdeutsch spoken on TV but may not understand the Hochdeutsch of a visitor. Some older Swiss cannot understand Hochdeutsch at all.
However, most even elderly Swiss can speak some form of Hochdeutsch (Chervet 2016).
Although Swiss German is considered to be a Upper German language, it has Low, High and Highest Alemannic forms inside of it. Hence, “Swiss German” is something of a trashcan description for forms of German spoken in Switzerland. The Pündner dialect is unclassified. Basel German (Baseldeutsch, Baslerdütsch, Baslerdietsch, Baseldütsch) is a type of Low Alemannic Swiss German spoken in and around Basel, Switzerland, that is not intelligible with High Alemannic Swiss German.
However, the watered-down lect spoken in the city of Basel itself nowadays is indeed intelligible with Swiss German Proper (Chervet 2016). It is spoken across the border a bit into France west of Basel and north and northeast of Basel up into Baden-Württemberg to Freiburg.
There are different dialects spoken in Baselstadt (a canton encompassing the city of Basel) and Baselland (Basel Canton), but it is not known how much they differ. Intelligibility between Basel German and South Alemmanic spoken to the north is not known, but it is said that when you cross from Germany to Switzerland in this region, people are no longer speaking the same language. Bernese Swiss German (Bärndütsch, Bäärndüütsch, Berndüütsche, Baernduetsch, Bern Deutsch) is is a Western High Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible with Swiss German proper and is thus a separate language. Langenthal is a dialect of this language. Other Western High Alemannic Swiss German dialects include Solothurn (Solothurner, Solothurnerdütsch), Olten, West Aargau (Westaargauisch), Lower Frick Valley (Unterfricktal), Möhlin, Upper Frick Valley (Oberfricktal), Laufenburg, Central Aargau, Aargau, Middle Bernese (Mittelbernisch), Entlebuchisch, Lucerne (Lozärno, Lozärnerdütsch), and Zug (Zogerdütsch).
The Frick Valley is located in northwest Aargau Canton. Möhlin is a subdialect of Lower Frick Valley and Laufenburg is a subdialect of Upper Frick Valley. Olten is a subdialect of Solothurn. Intelligibility data between the lects is not known. Ettiswil Bernese Swiss German is spoken in the town of Ettiswil in the canton Bern. It is so divergent that it may well be a separate language. Zurich Swiss German (Zuridootch, Züridüütsch, Zürcher, Züritüüstcht, Züritütsch, Züridütsch, Zöridütsch, Zuerideutsch or Zürischnüre) is not readily intelligible to speakers of Standard Swiss German. It is spoken in Zurich.
As most Swiss hear this language a lot on TV, they are familiar with it and it is probably intelligible to most of them, but that does not mean it’s inherently mutually intelligible, because it’s not. Züridüütsch is a Central Swiss German dialect. Zurich Oberland and Goldbach are dialects of this language.
Other Central Swiss German dialects include Stadtzürcherisch, Ämtler, See, Oberländer, Winterthurer and Unterländer. Schaffhausen (Neu Schaffhauserdeutsch, Schaffhuserisch), Zurich Weinland (Zürcher Weinländerdeutsch), Davos, Lower Toggenburg (Untertoggenburgerisch), Upper Toggenburg (Obertoggenburgerisch), and Rheintal (Rheintalerisch), Seeztal (Seeztalerdeutsch).
Other dialects in the same group include Middle Lucerne/South Aargau (Mittelland Luzerndeutsch/Südaargauisch), Sursee, East Aargau (Ostaargauisch), Schaan, Balzers, Lucerne (Luzerndeutsch, Luzerner, Luzärnerisch, Luzärner), Bünd (Bündnerisch, Bündner, Bündnerdüütsh, Bündnerdütsh), Bad Ragaz, Chur (Churertütsch, Churer) and Graubünden (Graubündnerisch).
Intelligibility data is lacking. Lucerne contains the following subdialects: Lucerne Hinterland (Hinterland Luzerndeutsch), Middle Lucerne (Lucerne Mittelland), Rigi, Sursee, Entlebuch and Lucerne/Hochdorf. Bad Ragaz is a subdialect of St. Gallen. Chur and Davos are subdialects of Graubünden. Schaan and Balzers are spoken in Lichtenstein. Thurgau Swiss German is an Eastern High Alemannic Swiss German language that is hard for many Swiss German speakers to understand. Dialects include West Thurgau (West Thurgauerisch), East Thurgau (Ost Thurgauerisch) and Upper Thurgau. Inner Swiss German is a group of Swiss German lects that are transitional between High Alemannic Swiss German and Highest Alemannic Swiss German. Intelligibility data is lacking. Dialects include West Oberland (Westoberländisch), Haslital (Haslitalerisch), Lungern, North Urn (Nord Urnerdeutsch), South Urn (Süd Urnerdeutsch), Obwalden (Obwaldnerisch), Nidwalden (Nidwaldnerisch), Engelberg (Engelbergisch) and West Obwalden (Westobwaldnerisch). Lungern is a dialect of Obwalden. Nidwalden Swiss German (Nidwaldnerisch) is an Inner Swiss German language that is not intelligible with other Swiss German lects, especially with Zurich Swiss German. Intelligibility with other Inner Swiss German lects is not known. Fribourg Swiss German (Fribourgerisch, Friburgerisch) is a Highest Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible to other speakers of Swiss German and must be a separate language. It is spoken in Fribourg Canton southwest of Bern in southwest Switzerland. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Jaun, Sensebezirk and St. Antoni are dialects of this language. Other Highest Alemannic Swiss German lects include Unterwalden and Glarus (Glarnerdeutsch, Glarner). Since Highest Alemannic languages seem to be hard for High Alemannic Swiss German speakers to understand, it is questionable to what degree the lects above are intelligible to High Alemannic. Intelligibility testing is in order. Bernese Oberland Swiss Germanis a Highest Alemmanic Swiss German language notorious for having poor intelligibility even with native speakers of Swiss German. It therefore qualifies as a separate language. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Uri Swiss German (Ursnerisch)is a Highest Alemannnic Swiss German language has poor intelligibility with other Swiss German speakers, in particular with Zurich. It is spoken in Uri Canton. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Attinghausen is a dialect. Schwyz Swiss German is a Highest Alemannnic Swiss German that is not intelligible to other Swiss German speakers, especially speakers of Zurich. It is spoken in the canton of Schwyz. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Walser German is a Highest Alemannic language spoken in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Lichtenstein and Germany. It is spoken by 22,780 speakers. It is not intelligible with any other Alemannic languages and is very different. This is very different from the Walliser language, which is a variety of Swiss German spoken in Wallis Canton.
The Walsers split off from the Walliser group in about 1200 and moved to other areas. The Walsers moved into many areas of the Alps, often displacing or attempting to displace Romansch speakers. In many places, settlements failed, but they held in a few others.
By the mid-1300’s, Black Plague ended the Walser migrations by devastating both the source and the destinations of the migrants.
Most Walser dialects are very different even from one another, so there may be more than three languages in Walser. A process of assimilation is occurring in Switzerland whereby Walser speakers are assimilating to the German-speaking culture around them and in the process losing their language. Intelligibility between the widely variant dialects, other than Toitschu, is not known.
The Walser are expert dairymen, woodworkers, weavers and mountain-climbers who often build a distinctive style house called a Walser house.
Walser has many dialects. Prättigau (Prätttigauer), Avers, Obersaxen, Davos and Rheinwald are spoken in Grisons Canton. Triesenberg is spoken in Lichtenstein and has the support of the local government. Kleinwalsertalis spoken in Austria and has been on the decline lately. Rimella, Rima San-Giuseppe, Alagna Vallesia, Macugnaga and Formatta are dialects of Walser spoken in northwest Italy. The dictionary for Algana Walser has an incredible 22,000 words. Intelligibility data among dialects is not known. Gurin Walser German (Gurinerdeutsch) is a Walser dialect spoken in Bosco-Gurin, Ticino (Italian-speaking) Canton, Switzerland. It has remained isolated from other German varieties for centuries and may well be a separate language. This is close to the forms of Walser spoken in Italy. It must be unintelligible with other forms of Walser other than Italian Walser, and since Italian Walser is not even intelligible to the villages right next door, Gurin Walser must be a separate language.
There are only 23 speakers of this language left in the village of Bosco-Gurin, and it seems to be dying out (PFECMR 2006). However, including speakers outside the town, there are 120 speakers. In addition, 40 people have receptive but not productive competence in the language (COE 2006). Toitschu Walser German is an outlying language related to Walser that is spoken in the village of Issime in the Upper Lys Valley in Valle d’Aosta in far northwest Italy.
Toitschu is a highly divergent Walser lect that has been heavily influenced by Piedmontese and Francoprovencal. It is unintelligible with the rest of Walser and is a separate language. Both Toitschu and Titsch have 600 speakers and are both an endangered languages. Titsch Walser German is spoken in the same region as Toitschu in the Italian Alps of northwest Italy in the nearby villages of Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinité. There are currently major efforts underway to preserve both Toitschu and Titsch, but the regional Italian government does not seem very cooperative.
Both languages are quickly giving way to Italian especially and both lack many words for modern things. Titsch is much different from Toitschu as it seems to have continued to evolve in time, while Toitschu seems to have been frozen back in 1200 or so.
There is poor intelligibility between Toitschu and Titsch, and both must be separate languages. Major dictionary projects have just been completed and a large conference on both languages was held in the region recently which resulted in the publication of an amazing 163 page document exclusively about the Walser language. The dictionary of Titsch has an incredible 125,000 words, only 4% of which are foreign loans. Walliser German has about 250,000 speakers in the German part of Wallis (Valais) Canton, Central Switzerland. It is is a Highest Alemannic language. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with Walser. This is the more modern form of older, archaic Walser German.
There are six dialects: Gomer, Briger, Saaser, Zermatter (spoken in Zermatt), Lötschentaler and Raron. Simplon is a dialect of Gomer. There is currently a petition before SIL to have it recognized as a separate language. The petition states that all of the the dialects are mutually intelligible.
Gomer differs in having a vowel shift to öi > ö. Briger is the most commonly spoken dialect. Zermatter has a different phonology and sounds melodic. Saaser is similar to Zermatter but not as melodic-sounding. It has a lot of unique vocabulary. Lötschentaler Walliser is the most archaic dialect, about halfway between the archaic Walser German and the modern Walliser German. It also has a lot of unique vocabulary. It is so different that other Walliser German speakers have a hard time understanding it (Chervet 2016). Therefore it makes sense to split it off into a separate language.
Raron is characterized by a vowel shift ä > e. General Walliser Cäse > Raron Cese.
The main city here is Brig.
The language arose from immigrants from the Bern region who came to Wallis in the 700’s. Two different immigration waves led to two different Walliser dialect groups. In the 1100’s, a Walliser group split off and moved to other parts of the Alps. This group became the Walser German language speakers.
Bavarian is a macro-language with three main varieties: Northern Bavarian, Central Bavarian and Southern Bavarian.
There are claims that broad Bavarian is mutually intelligible across its length and breadth, but these claims seem somewhat dubious if not false in light of the 40% intelligibility figure with Standard German and in light of my interviews with native speakers.
Also, there are claims that the diversity of dialects of Bavarian makes it impossible to create one unified dialect for writing Bavarian, as the debate over the Bavarian Wikipedia shows. Even Northern and Central Bavarian, supposedly mutually intelligible, are so different that to create one written form to unite them is impossible.
For these reasons, intelligibility testing is imperative for Bavarian.
Central Bavarian is described as extremely diverse. The various Vienna dialects have all died in the last 20 years, and Viennese now speak a Bavarian-Standard German mixed language based on an old East Viennese dialect mixed with Standard German and no longer speak pure Bavarian.
The differences between Tyrolean Southern Bavarian, Carinthian Southern Bavarian, Styrian Southern Bavarian and Viennese are described as great. An attempt on the Internet to compare Bavarian with Texan English was described as ridiculous.
All of this suggests that intelligibility inside of Bavarian is not all it is cracked up to be.
Bavaria itself is very diverse linguistically, and the state is not synonymous with the language. In Southwestern Bavaria, Bavarian Swabian is spoken; the northern half of Bavaria speaks several Middle German Franconian lects (Bavarian is Upper German); and the far northwest of Bavaria speaks a Palatinian Rhine-Franconian language. Hence, less than 1/4 of Bavaria actually speaks Bavarian, adding up to about 1/3 of the population of the region. Each Bavarian-speaking village in Germany is said to have its own dialect.
Bavarian is not intelligible with Swabian, Alsatian or Swiss German.
A nice chart of the various Bavarian lects is here.
Northern Bavarian or German Bavarian is spoken in Upper Palatinate, Bavaria. It is not intelligible with Central Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009).
Oberpfälz North Bavarian (Oberpfälzerisch or Oberpfälzisch) is a language spoken in southeastern Germany in central eastern and northeastern Bavaria from Regensburg, Kelheim and the Bavarian Forest north along the Naab River to the Fichtelgebirge (Fir Mountains) and in the Northern Bohemian Forest along the border with Czechoslovakia. It is also spoken up by Neumarkt.
According to residents (Kirmaier 2009), this is a separate language, not intelligible with other German Bavarian lects. Dialects of this language include Danube Oberpfälzisch, which, though different, is fully intelligible with the Oberpfälzisch spoken in Neumarkt. This is the Oberpfälzisch spoken along the Danube around the towns of Kelheim and Regensburg. Bohemian German (Boehmerwaelderischish) is a Upper German language spoken in Czechoslovakia, Germany and the US. It looks like both North and Central Bavarian. Starting in the 1200’s, Germans began moving into the Sudetenland, often invited by Bohemian kings. Over the centuries, they pushed out the Czechs and Slavs living in the area and took it over for farming. Although intelligibility data for Bohemian German is lacking, it is often considered to be a full language of its own, so we will treat it as one in this analysis.
Actually, since it ranges from East Middle German to Bavarian Upper German, Bohemian German seems to be a wastebasket designation for the varying lects spoken in the Sudetenland.
On the border of Silesia, it resembled Silesian. On the border of the Erzgebirge, it looked like Erzgebirgisch. In the far northeast, where the Riesengebirge separated Bohemia from Silesia, in the Hultschiner Laendle, the people had a very divergent lect of their own.
To the south of the city of Mies, along the Bohemian Mountains, it looked like Niederbayerisch. A dialect called Böhmish is spoken spoken in the Böhmerwald or Bohemian Forest. In the south, extending all the way towards Moravia, it looked very much like the Central Bavarian spoken in Austria. Sorting all of this out and determining what was a dialect and what was a separate language is going to be difficult. Schönhengst is a dialect of this language spoken in Moravia. Some Bohemian German speakers migrated to New Ulm, Minnesota. Quite a few others could be found in Bukovina, Romania. Egerland Bohemian German (Egerlaenderisch) is spoken in Bischofteinitz, Mies, Tachau and Taus Counties in the Czech Republic in Western Bohemia and in and around New Ulm, Minnesota, where there are still speakers ranging from 52-98 years old. In the Czech Republic, each village had a separate dialect, but all dialects are mutually intelligible. This appears to be a separate language from Oberpfalz Northern Bavarian. German speakers visiting New Ulm say that they cannot understand one word of this language.
This seems to be the same language as Sechsämterland spoken across the border. The Sechsämterland dialect is spoken in the area around Selb, Wunsiedel, Hohenberg and Thierstein in the far northeast of Bavaria near the border with Czechoslovakia and Lower Saxony.
Dialectal diversity is very high in this area, and every village has its own dialect. Lauterbach is a divergent dialect spoken east of Tirschenreuth on the Czech border. Tiss is a divergent subdialect of Egerland. Sangerberg is a divergent Egerlaenderisch dialect spoken in Prameny, Czechoslovakia. Eger is spoken in the large German city of the same name. Tachauer is a dialect that formed the basis for the Machliniec dialect spoken formerly spoken by the Carpathian Germans in their language island in the Machliniec area of the Ukraine. They left during WW2. German Central Bavarian is a group of Bavarian lects that are spoken in Germany. This group includes Lower Bavarian, Upper Bavarian and Lechrain Bavarian (Lechrainisch). It has 50% intelligibility of High Alemannic and Lake Constance Low Alemannic. Lechrain Bavarian is spoken in Western Bavaria and is transitional to Swabian. Map of the Lechrain region. Lechrain is very different from the rest of Bavarian, but intelligibility data is lacking.
Lower Bavarian includes the Bohemian Forest language and many dialects.
Upper Bavarian includes the Starnberg, Highland and Meisbach languages and many dialects. Lower Bavarian Central Bavarian (Niederbayerisch) is spoken in the Lower Bavarian region of German Bavaria. Major cities include Landshut.
According to residents (Kirmaier 2009), this is a full language unintelligible with other German Bavarian lects. Speakers of Landshut Lower Bavarian Central Bavarian claim that Landshut is intelligible with Münchnerisch.
On the other hand, some speakers of Münchnerisch find Regensburg Niederbayerisch almost impossible to understand. Dialects include Landshut, Regensburg, Passau, Straubing, Rottal-Inn, Breitenberg, Neureichenau, Thalberg, Germannsdorf, Untergriesbach, Wegscheid, Geiselhöring, Rattenberg and Landau.
Rottal-Inn is spoken in the Rottal-Inn district east of Munich. Towns here include Eggenfelden, Pfarrkirchen and Simbach am Inn. Rottal-Inn is a fairly typical Central Bavarian dialect, nevertheless, the dialect of Simbach is different from the dialect spoken just across the border in Braunau.
Breitenberg, Neureichenau, Thalberg, Germannsdorf, Untergriesbach and Wegscheid are spoken in far southeast Bavaria near the Austrian and Czech border and are very divergent. Geiselhöring is spoken in the Straubing-Bogen area of the Bavarian Forest. Rattenberg is also spoken in the Straubing-Bogen area and sounds like Viennese. Bohemian Forest Lower Bavarian is spoken in the far southern Bohemian Forest, at least along the Regen River and around the town of Zwiesel, where a dialect called Zwieslerisch is spoken. At least Zwieslerisch is not intelligible with the Niederbayerisch spoken around Straubing, which is only 60 miles away. This language is interesting because it has significant influence from Muhlviertel Lower Bavarian in Austria. Upper Bavarian Central Bavarian (Oberbayerisch) is spoken in the Upper Bavarian region of German Bavaria. The major city in this region is Munich. According to residents, it is a separate language not intelligible with the rest of German Central Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009).
Upper Bavarian Central Bavarian is said to be intelligible across the border into Austria for some ways, but this notion needs clarification since it is said that if you go 15-20 miles in any direction outside of Munich, you are dealing with separate languages.
Some say that people in Munich do not speak Bavarian anymore, but this does not seem to be the case. On the contrary, 20% of the population are Bavarian native speakers and with them, nearly all casual conversation is carried on in Oberbayerisch, and they often refuse to speak Standard German on principle at parties and such.
However, the variety spoken in Munich (Münchnerisch) is a very watered-down type of Bavarian that is no longer the real deal. Nevertheless, speakers of Standard German often find it baffling. The pure Bavarian Münchnerisch seems to be dying in Munich with the massive influx of immigrants from all over Germany. Münchnerisch is still holding on very well in the boroughs of Sendling, Giesling, Obermenzing and parts of Neuhausen.
The type of broad Central Bavarian spoken in Munich is widely understood in the urban centers from Munich to Vienna. There are at least 19 major Central Bavarian dialects, some of which are separate languages.
Dialects include Oberschweinbach, Friedberg, Holledau and Bad Reichenhall. Holledau is spoken in a region north of Munich roughly bounded by Moosburg, Pfaffenhofen, Ingolstadt and Neustadt. This is the largest hops-growing region in the world.
Oberschweinbach is spoken the Fürstenfeldbruck district west of Munich. Bad Reichenhall is spoken southeast of Munich on the border with Austria, near Salzburg. Friedberg, while located in Bavarian Swabia, speaks Bavarian, not Swabian. Starnberg Upper Bavarian is spoken in and around the city of Starnberg, 12 miles southwest of Munich. It has poor intelligibility with Munich Upper Bavarian. This language is mutually intelligible for some distance around it, but speakers cannot understand the Highland Upper Bavarian spoken 20 miles to the south (Anonymous July 2009).
Highland Upper Bavarian is spoken along the German-Austrian border in Germany and Austria in the regions of Rosenheim, Meisbach and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany and across the border in the Karwendel Mountains in Austria. Rosenheim Upper Bavarian is spoken in the Rosenheim District south of Munich near the Austrian border, especially along the Mangfall River in the foothills of the Alps, the Chiegmau Mountains. Towns here include Rosenheim and Bad Aibling. It has very poor intelligibility with Münchnerisch. Intelligibility testing is needed between this language, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Meisbach. Meisbach Upper Bavarian is a Bavarian language spoken in the Meisbach district of Bavaria in the towns of Meisbach, Finsterwald and possibly others. It is not intelligible with at least some other highland Bavarian lects (de Gyurky 2006). Intelligibility testing is needed between this and other highland Bavarian languages, especially Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Rosenheim, which are close by. Rosenheim is actually the next district over. Garmisch-Partenkirchen Upper Bavarianis a separate language that is spoken in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 50 miles southwest of Munich 6 miles from the Austrian border. This language is not intelligible at all with Münchnerisch. There are 2 dialects in this language – Garmisch and Partenkirchen. Intelligibility between the two is not known, and intelligibility between this language, Rosenheim and Meisbach is also unknown. This language is also spoken across the border in the Karwendel Mountains in Austria.
This language is said to resemble the Tirol Bavarian spoken in Innsbruck, and may not even be a Central Bavarian language. Austrian Standard Central Bavarian is a koine language that is understood in most of Austria except for many in Vorarlberg who speak Vorarlbergerisch. It is based somewhat on the Vienna dialect, but it seems to have diverged quite a bit from the true pure Viennese. It is even understood in Tirol.
This language differs dramatically from the Central Bavarian spoken across the border in Munich and in general is often not intelligible with it. There is a wide diversity of lects in Austrian Bavarian. It is not unusual for one lect to not be understood 50-80 miles away. In Austria as a whole, one source describes the dialects of the country as akin to dozens of different languages, which implies that there are more than 20 languages spoken here. Other sources say that there is a different dialect in each Austrian region, and none of them are intelligible with each other. Based on that, further investigation into Austrian Bavarian intelligibility is urgently needed.
The lects are reasonably stable compared to the situation in Germany because most Austrians still grow up and live most of their lives in one area. Nevertheless, the situation is still poorly understood. Central Bavarian is not intelligible with the Southern Bavarian spoken in Tirol, Carinthia or Syria in Austria.
Austrian Central Bavarian has two major divisions, Austrian Central Bavarian proper and Austrian Southern Central Bavarian.
Southern Central Bavarian includes two main divisions – Styrian and West Southern Central Bavarian. Styrian includes West Styrian (Weststeirisch), Middle Styrian (Mittelsteirisch), Upper Styrian (Obersteirisch), East Styrian (Oststeirisch), Southeast Lower Austrian (Südostniederösterreichisch) and Burgenländ (Burgenländisch).
West Southern Central Bavarian includes dialects such as Salzburg (Salzburgisch), Ausseerländ (Ausseerländisch), North Tirol (Nordtirolerisch) and Werdenfelsisch.
Dialects include Innviertlerisch, Linz, Upper Pielachtal, Salzburgerisch , Wienerwald, Braunau, Bad Aussee, Bad Goisern, St. Johann in Tirol, Salzkammergut, Kufstein and many more.
Viennese and Linz are very different. Innviertlerisch is spoken in the Innviertel Mountains in Upper Austria near the Bavarian border. Intelligibility testing is needed between this and Mühlviertlerisch. Upper Pielachtal is spoken along the Mariazellerbahn Railway from Mariazell to St. Polen in Lower Austria.
Salzburgerisch is spoken in Salzburg. Wienerwald is spoken in the Vienna Forest west of Vienna. Bad Aussee is spoken in far northwest Styria near the border with Upper Austria. Bad Goisern is spoken in far southern Upper Austria near the borders with Salzburg and Styria. Braunau is spoken on the border with Bavaria.
St. Johann in Tirol and Kufstein are actually spoken in Tirol – there are a few Central Bavarian lects spoken there. St. Johann is spoken in the Kitzbühel district in the far northeast of Tirol near the border with Salzburg. Kufstein is spoken in the Kufstein district in northeast Tirol near the Bavarian border.
Central Bavarian is a dialect chain in which, while the lects of two adjoining cities are similar, the lects of major cities can differ dramatically. Speakers of Standard German sometimes say that they cannot a word of Viennese Central Bavarian. Thalgau Central Bavarian is spoken at the very least in and around the town of Thalgau east of Salzburg in Salzburg state. It is utterly unintelligible with other forms of Central Bavarian. Salzburg Central Bavarian (Salzburgerisch) is spoken in and around Salzburg, Austria. However, as of 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pongauer, Pinzgauer and Flachgauer. Hence, it may well be a separate language. The situation today is not known except that dialect use has dropped off alarmingly in Salzburg since then. Pongau Central Bavarian is spoken in the Pongau region south of Salzburg in Austria. Towns ion the area include Bad Hofgastein, Schwarzach, Werfen, Bad Gastein, Dorfgastein, Radstadt, Flachau, and Bischofshofen. 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pinzgauer, Salzburger and Flachgauer. Thus it may well be a separate language. Pongauer has Danube Bavarian influences. The situation today is unknown. Pinzgau Central Bavarian is spoken in the Pinzgau region southwest of Salzburg on the German border near the border with Tirol. The principal town in this region is Zell am See. Towns in the region include Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße, Dienten am Hochkönig, Ferleiten, Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße, Hollersbach im Pinzgau, Kaprun, Krimml, Lend, Lofer, Mittersill, Neukirchen am Großvenediger, Rauris, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer, Taxenbach, Unken, and Uttendorf.
Dialect use remains very high in this area. Pinzgauer is transitional between Central Bavarian and Southern Bavarian, but it is utterly unintelligible with Tyrolerisch. As of 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pongauer, Salzburger and Flachgauer. The situation today is not known. Flachgau Central Bavarian is spoken in the Flachgau region surrounding Salzburg. 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pinzgauer, Salzburger and Pongauer. The situation today is not known. Like Pongauer, it is similar to the Danube Bavarian spoken across the border to the west in Germany. Towns in the area include Neumarkt am Wallersee, Seekirchen am Wallersee, Mattsee, Anif, Fuschl am See, Sankt Gilgen, Lamprechtshausen, Oberndorf bei Salzburg and Straßwalchen. Lungau Central Bavarian is a lect spoken in the Lungau District in the southeast part of Salzburg state. It is quite different from surrounding lects. It is transitional between South Bavarian (Tyrolean, Styrian and Carinthian) and Central Bavarian (Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria. Carinthian influences are most prominent. It has 20,000 speakers. Use of this dialect has dropped off a lot in recent decades.
Intelligibility data with surrounding Bavarian languages is not known, but considering that the other Salzburg district dialects have poor intelligibility with each other, and the uniqueness of Lungauer, Lungauer is probably a separate language. Mühlviertel Central Bavarian (Mühlviertlerisch) is spoken in the Muhlviertel, or Bohemian Forest, region of Austria where Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany all come together. It has poor intelligibility with other types of Austrian Central Bavarian. This language is extremely variable, with each village having its own dialect, and the dialects even between villages often differing markedly.
It does not appear to be readily intelligible with the Linz dialect spoken in the biggest city of Upper Austria either. Intelligibility is unknown between this language and Bohemian Forest Lower Bavarian spoken in the German part of the Bohemian Forest. Rural Upper Austrian Central Bavarian in general is unintelligible in both Vienna and Graz. Viennese Central Bavarian (Wienerisch) itself seems to be a separate language. The stronger form of the dialect spoken by low level workers, taxi drivers, etc. is hard to understand even for other Austrians speaking closely related lects. It is therefore reasonable to assume that this hard form of Wienerisch is a separate language. It is still alive in some suburbs such as Ottakring.
Viennese has many unusual words that other forms of German lack. It has a comical quality that is sometimes imitated in parodies.
Most Viennese now speak a Viennese German dialect that is readily understandable to any speaker of German. It is quite similar to the standard German spoken on news outlets. There are a few words that are different for body parts, expletives and food, but other than that, the vocabulary is the same as Hochdeutsch. The accent is less different than the difference between British and American English.
However, Lower Austrian Central Bavarian is still spoken, mostly by older people, in the countryside outside Vienna. It is only about 50% intelligible with Viennese Central Bavarian, so it is a separate language. Further investigation is needed to determine the exact names of these various rural lects and how well they can communicate with each other. Carpathian Central Bavarian was formerly spoken in Slovakia by scattered German colonies. They were ethnically cleansed after WW2, and most ended up in Germany. There still appear to be some speakers left, but they are probably elderly and the languages appear to be moribund.
Dialects included Pressburg, Zipser and Hauerlaender. Pressburg was spoken near the city of Pressburg, and Zips and Hauerlaender were spoken near areas of the same names. Pressburg is a dialect of Viennese, but Zips and Hauerlaender are so diverse that they are not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian. Zipser Carpathian Central Bavarian was spoken in an area of Slovakia called the Zips. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2. Scattered elderly speakers probably remain, mostly in Germany. Not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian (sample). Hauerlaender Carpathian Central Bavarian was spoken in and around an area called the Hauerland in Slovakia. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2. Scattered elderly speakers probably remain, mostly in Germany. Not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian (sample). Landers Central Bavarian is spoken by Transylvanian Saxons who lived in Transylvania in Romania. They were deported from the Salzkammergut region of Austria northeast of Salzburg in the 1730’s. They were ethnically cleansed after WW2, but then were allowed to return.
The language is still spoken in Neppendorf, Großau, and Großpold in Romania and in Germany where many of the Landers fled to after the war. They originally spoke a Salzkammergut Central Bavarian lect, but over time, it changed so much that it must surely be a separate language, and that is the impression that Tapani Salminem, top expert on European languages, gives in a recent assessment. Southern Bavarian is spoken in Austria and in Alto Adige-Südtiro in Italy and includes the cities of Graz, Klagenfurt, Lienz and Innsbruck in Austria and Bozen and Moran in Italy. It is also spoken in the Samnaun region in Switzerland.
Some of the Tyrolean lects in Austria, referred to here for convenience sake as Tyrolean Southern Bavarian (Tirolerisch), are so divergent that they are not intelligible with the rest of even Southern Bavarian; further, each valley has its own lect , and some are not intelligible even with each other. Hence, Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is a separate language.
In Innsbruck, the main city in the Tyrolean Bavarian region, speakers have a hard time understanding many of the Tyrolean Bavarian lects spoken in many of the surrounding valleys.
There are several main divisions in this language, including Tirol Highlands (Tiroler Oberländisch), Central Tirol (Zentral Tirolerisch), Tirol Lowlands (Tiroler Unterländisch) and East Tirol (Osttirolerisch). Smaller dialects include Innsbruck, Galtür, West Steeg, West Stuben, West Ischgl, West Lech, West Warth, West St. Anton/Tirol, Imst and Zillertal. Zillertal is spoken in the Zillertal Valley. Samnaun is an isolated dialect of this language spoken in the Samnaun region of the Lower Engadine Valley on the border of Austria and Switzerland. It is also spoken in the town of Samnaun in Switzerland, making it the only Bavarian lect spoken in that country. It is said to be very different from the rest of Southern Bavarian, possibly due to its heavy Romansch influence. The Samnaun area was Puter Romansch speaking all the way up into the 1800’s. Intelligibility between Samnaun and the rest of Austrian Tyrolean Bavarian is not known. Zillertal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is not intelligible with Kitzbuhele spoken to the northwest, therefore, it is a separate language. Zillertal is transitional with Salzburg Central Bavarian to the east. Kitzbuhele Tyrolean Southern Bavarian has poor intelligibility with Zillertal, therefore, it is a separate language. Kitzbuhele has probably even more Salzburg Central Bavarian influence than Zillertal. Kitzbuhele is spoken in the Kitzbuhele Mountains on the eastern border of Tirol Province. Ötztal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is one of the most ancient and divergent lects in Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian. It has about 8-15,000 speakers. It was recently awarded a UNESCO cultural heritage award as a unique cultural heritage. There is no one Ötztal lect, but there are separate dialects in every little village, and they often vary dramatically.
It is spoken in the Ötztal Valley in Austria is understood at least into the Upper Inn Valley in Austria and over the border in Italy to the Schnals region northwest of Merano. Ötztal appears to be secure for the next few generations anyway and is the common means of communication among people of all ages. Since Ötztal is not understood outside the region, it must be a separate language. Lower Inn Valley Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is not intelligible with Lechtal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian spoken just to the northwest. This language is spoken in the lower valley of the Inn River west of Innsbruck. Therefore, it is a separate language. Lechtal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian has poor intelligibility with Lower Inn Valley Tyrolean Southern Bavarian spoken just to the southeast. This language is spoken in the Lechtaler Mountains west of Innsbruck. Towns in the region include Steeg, Bach, Elbigenalp, Elmen, Stanzach, Weissbach and Reutte. This language is on the border between the Alemannic and Bavarian language groups, and it also has an Allgauish flavor. Pitztal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is spoken in the Pitztal Mountains west of Innsbruck. Towns in this region include Arzl and St. Leonhard. Pitztal is very different from Ötztal Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian and communication between the two lects is difficult. Therefore, Pitztal is a separate language.
West Tyrolean Galtür was Swiss German speaking until 1900, and today its dialect is more Alemannic than other Tyrolean lects. The West Tyrolean areas of West Steeg, West Stuben, West Ischgl, West Lech, West Warth and West St. Anton/Tirol, all along the border of West Tyrol and Vorarlberg, were originally Highest Alemannic Walser settlements like Vorarlberg. All of West Tyrol was Swabian-Bavarian speaking until the Middle Ages.
Onto this Swabian base came influence from the Walser and Swiss German villages described above, and all of this on top of an earlier Romansch base, as the whole region was also Romansch-speaking. All of these have receded, leaving only Tyrolean Bavarian, but these are the substantial inputs into Western Tyrolean Bavarian. Western Styrian or Western Styrian Southern Bavarian, (Steirisch) is said to be unintelligible outside of the region, and hence must be a separate language. Another lect spoken in Styria, this one in the southern part, is South Styrian. Intelligibility data is not available.
Speakers of Central Austrian spoken on the Austrian flats cannot understand Carinthian Southern Bavarian (Kärntnerisch) either, so it looks like a separate language too. There are three principal dialects of Carinthian, Upper Carinthian (Oberkärntnerisch), Middle Carinthian (Mittelkärntnerisch) and Lower Carinthian (Unterkärntnerisch). Intelligibility data is lacking. Carinthian has heavy Slavic influence due to its proximity to Slovenia.
There are also speakers of Carinthian Southern Bavarian in the Canale Valley/Val Canale area of Udine in Italy. This area used to be part of Austria but it changed hands after WW2 and most of the German speakers moved to Austria. Now about 80% of the population speaks Italian and Friuli and 20% speak Carinthian. This appears to be the same language in Italy and Austria. In Carinthia, there are at least 10 separate dialects of this language.
Intelligibility testing is needed between Tyrolean Southern Bavarian and Carinthian Southern Bavarian. Gottschee Southern Bavarian (Göttscheabarisch or Gottscheerisch) is an outlying Bavarian language spoken by people called the Gottscheers in Kocevje, Slovenia. They apparently originally came to the region in the 1300’s from the Carinthian/Tyrolean border area. It is heavily influenced by the Slovene Carniolan dialects.
It is closely related to the lects of other outlying German colonies in the area, including Zahre (Sauris in Italian), Tischelwang (Paluzza-Timau in Italian) and Pladen (Sappada in Italian) in Northern Italy. The Italian settlements were settled around 1420.
Pladen/Sappada is in the eastern Upper Italian province of Belluno at the far end of the Piave Valley, to the south of the Carnic Alps. These people originally came from the East Tyrolean Pustertal Valley in Austria in the vicinity of Sillian-Heimfels near the towns of Villgraten, Tilliach, Kartitsch, Abfaltersbach and Maria Luggau. Pladen Southern Bavarian is spoken here by about 1,000 of the 1,500 residents, but many also speak Friulian (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
Southern Bavarian is spoken in Zahre and based on an old East Tyrolean language from the Lesach Valley, which they left in 1280. Zahre is very similar to Pladen, but has more influence from the Romance family, particularly Italian (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). However, Zahre has been isolated from Pladen for 700 years (Denison 1971). This time period is so long that the two lects are probably no longer mutually intelligible.
Zahre is still very much alive and spoken in the town, but it is being displaced by Friulian among young adults and by Italian among children. The Zahre lect was pronounced nearly extinct in 1849 and again in 1897 by visitors.
In Timau, Tischelwang Southern Bavarian is spoken in the But valley, on a tributary of the Tagliamento River on the southern slopes of the Plöcken Pass in the Carnic Alps in the province of Udine. This is actually a Carinthian lect that is probably not intelligible with the Pladen and Zahre lects, though intelligibility data is needed (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
Therefore, Tischelwang Southern Bavarian is in all probability a separate language. Pladen and Zahre are probably no longer intelligible with lects in Austria, considering they have been isolated from their Austrian parents for 700 years, hence they are probably separate languages. Pladen and Zahre have been isolated from each other for 700 years since the migration, hence they are probably two separate languages, Pladen Southern Bavarian and Zahre Southern Bavarian.
Tischelwang has been heavily influenced by the Friulian language.
Gottscheerisch has maintained many of the features of the Medieval Bavarian languages and it is said to be the oldest living Bavarian language. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2, and now they are scattered about the world. There are about 3,000 native speakers left in the world, many of them living in Ridgewood, New York, where speakers still maintain the language. All remaining speakers are elderly.
It does not appear to be intelligible with the rest of Bavarian or with other German languages and is therefore a separate language.
In Italy, Italian Southern Bavarian encompasses three different lects that differ dramatically from one another. It is spoken in Belluno, Trento and Udine (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
The Fersina Valley/Valle del Fersina is in Eastern Upper Italy, to the north of Pergine (Persen) near the capital of Trento in the province of Trentino. There are many Bavarian speakers here. They originally came from various valleys in North and South Tyrol. They speak an old mixed Tyrolean vernacular from the 1200’s with a lot of unique developments.
In addition, in the Fersina Valley, every village has its own subdialect. Fersina Valley Southern Bavarian is probably a separate language and is probably not intelligible with other Bavarian lects (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
In this area, everyone speaks Italian too. This variety of Bavarian has heavy Italian influence.
There is also a South Tyrol Standard Southern Bavarian (Südtirolerisch) that is beginning to emerge in this part of Italy so the three dialects can talk to each other (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). Although intelligibility data between this koine and the rest of Southern Bavarian is not known, it does appear to be a separate language, as most koines are.
One Tyrolean lect spoken in this area is called Eisacktalerisch. It is spoken in the Eisack Valley of South Tyrol and is about halfway between the Innsbruck dialect and the lect spoken in Bolzano. Intelligibility data is not known.
Since the three dialects of Southern Bavarian in Italy cannot understand each other, we may as well split them off. Udine Southern Bavarian is spoken in the province of Udine in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is not intelligible with the varieties of Southern Bavarian spoken in Trentino or Belluno. Belluno Southern Bavarian is a Bavarian language spoken in the province of Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy. It is not intelligible with either Trento Southern Bavarian or Udine Southern Bavarian. One dialect of Belluno is called Puschterisch and is spoken in the area of Brunico only 15 miles south of East Tirol. Intelligibility with the rest of Belluno is not known. Trento Southern Bavarian is spoken in the province of Trento in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of Italy. It is not intelligible with Belluno Southern Bavarian or Udine Southern Bavarian. Hianzen Southern Bavarian (Hianzisch) is spoken in southern Burgenland, Austria, along the Hungarian border, particularly around the town of Güssing. It seems to have poor intelligibility even with other nearby forms of Southern Bavarian. Cimbrian is a Bavarian macrolanguage spoken in northeastern Italy. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with other Bavarian languages. It has 2,230 speakers. Cimbrian is actually three separate languages. Lusernese (Lusern) Cimbrian is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It is spoken in the province of Trento, Italy, where it has 500 speakers in Trentino Alto Adige 40 km southeast of the city of Trento. Tredici Communi (Dreizehn Gemeinden) Cimbrian (Tauch) is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It has 230 speakers near Verona, Italy, where it is currently spoken only the village of Giazza-Ljetzan. Sette Comuni (Sieben Gemeinden) Cimbrian is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It is spoken near Asiago, Italy, where it is currently spoken only the village of Roana-Robaan. It has 1,500 speakers. Mocheno is a Bavarian language spoken in Alto Adige-Südtirol, Italy. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with other Bavarian languages. It has 3,500 speakers. Hutterite German is a Bavarian language spoken in Canada and the US. Intelligibility: 70% intelligible with Pennsylvania German, a Palatine language, but only 50% intelligible with the Low German Plautdietsch and Standard German. Hutterite is derived from a Carinthian Bavarian lect. Yiddish is a language spoken by European Jews that has heavy Hebrew influence on a Germanic background. It branched off from Medieval Middle German (mostly Rhenish languages) and was influenced by modern German in the 1800’s and 1900’s. It is not a dialect of German as commonly thought, but is instead a full language. It contains two languages, Western Yiddish and Eastern Yiddish. Eastern Yiddish is spoken in Israel by 215,000 speakers and by 3,142,560 Jewish speakers worldwide. It has poor intelligibility with Western Yiddish. Eastern Yiddish originated east of the Oder River through Poland, in an area moving into Belarus, Russia (to Smolensk), Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Palestine before 1917 (in Jerusalem and Safed).
There are three dialects: Southeastern, Mideastern and Northeastern. Dialects are apparently intelligible. Southeastern is spoken in Ukraine and Romania, Mideastern is spoken in Poland and Hungary and Northeastern is spoken in Lithuania and Belarus. Eastern Yiddish is not intelligible with Standard German or any other form of German.
Linguist Paul Wexler argues that Eastern Yiddish is a version of West Yiddish creolized over a Kiev-Polessian Slavic lect. Hence, it is a Germano-Slavic creole. Western Yiddish is a language spoken in Germany by 49,210 Jewish speakers. There are also speakers in Belgium, France, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland. There are three dialects: Southwestern , Midwestern and Northwestern .
Southwestern is spoken in southern Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace (France). Midwestern is spoken in central Germany and parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Northwestern is spoken in northern Germany and the Netherlands. West Yiddish has poor intelligibility with East Yiddish. Western Yiddish is not intelligible with Standard German or any other form of German.
Linguist Paul Wexler has argued that Western Yiddish is a Germano-Sorbian creole. Crimean German is an extremely divergent lect of German that must be a separate language. There are probably few speakers of this language left. It is poorly known. Baltic German (Baltendeutsch) is another extremely divergent lect of German that in all probability is a separate language. They were ethnically cleansed by the Soviets in 1939. This language was formerly spoken by German colonies in the Baltic states. Most of them left for Germany after World War 2. About 10% of the words are unique to Baltic German. The last remaining speakers are mostly over age 45, and it is not being taught to children. There are about 300-400 of them left in Canada, but the youngest of them are age 45. They grew up speaking the language.
Updated June 28, 2016. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; it runs to 66 pages on the Internet. This is part 1 of the essay: Low German. Part 2 deals with Central German and Part 3 deals with High German.
This classification splits Low German from 10 languages into 12 languages using the criterion of >90% intelligibility = dialect and <90% intelligibility = language. Low German or Low Saxon is a group of far northern German dialects. Dialects up by Hamburg and Friesland sound like English. According to an older edition of Ethnologue, there are 20-30 Low German lects which are all mutually unintelligible. None of the Low German languages are intelligible with Standard German. Low German differs from region to region and even from village to village. Ethnologue says that there are only 1,000 speakers of Low German, but that 10 million can understand the language. This is completely wrong.
On the basis of a recent survey conducted in the former West Germany 25 years ago, 20%, or 3.5 million, said that they could speak Low German very well. Another 36%, or 6.5 million, said they had anywhere from some to good Low German speaking abilities. Fully 89%, or 16 million, had some reasonable amount of understanding of the language.
This means that 25 years ago, there were 10 million people in West Germany alone who could speak Low German to one degree or another.
Until fairly recently, most Low German speakers could only speak their Low German language and nothing else.
Low German has over 4,000 different dialects in it. As late as 1960, a situation existed from Hamburg west to the Netherlands border in Germany whereby, while most spoke Standard German, most also spoke regional dialects. In general, one village could understand the next couple of villages over, but beyond that, things got dicey. So even 50 years, you had many de facto separate languages of Low German. The question is how many of these separate languages still exist.
Even today, more pure forms of Low Saxon have about 40% intelligibility with Standard German.
Recent writings suggest that all Low Saxon speakers can communicate adequately in any of these disparate lects. This flies in the face of SIL’s earlier statement about 20-30 inherently unintelligible languages. Therefore, there needs to be an assessment on the ground of what existing Low Saxon lects look like and how intelligible they are with each other.
Some descriptions describe the type of intelligibility within Low Saxon as akin to that between the Scandinavian languages. However, recent findings seem to indicate that the mutual intelligibility of the Scandinavian languages is much exaggerated.
Having seen transcriptions of translations of a single short story into different Low Saxon lects, it seems clear to me that they differ dramatically. Ethnologue has already split off Westphalian and East Frisian Low Saxon, so the matter is settled as far as those two go. All of the rest are lumped into Low German as some possibly dubious macrolect. The situation regarding intelligibility within German Low Saxon remains very confused. North Low Saxon is a Low Saxon language spoken in the north of Germany. It is understood across a wide region. There is a standard version based broadly on the Hamburg dialect that is widely used on TV and in the media. Dialects include Holsteinisch, Schleswigsch, Bremen, Hamburgs, Emsland and Oldenberg. All of these dialects are apparently mutually intelligible, though transcribed versions of them are often quite divergent. Schleswig-Holstein is a North Low Saxon language spoken in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany. Holsteinisch North Low Saxon and Schleswigsch North Low Saxon appear to be mutually intelligible, but some speakers of Schleswig-Holstein have difficulty understanding North Low Saxon from Lower Saxony to the south. Holsteinisch (Holsatian)is a North Low Saxon dialect spoken in Holstein around Kiel. It has similarities with the Old Low German language and to Bremen Westphalian and Heide Westphalian. Holsteinisch is still holding up pretty well.
This is the area from which the Angles and Saxons originated before leaving for Britain. Holsteinisch may well be intelligible with Hamburgs, Oldenberg and Schleswigsch. Subdialects include Heikendoft, Dithmarscher, Central Holsteinisch (Zentral Holsteinisch), Stormarner, East Holsteinisch (Ostholsteinisch) and Kiel. Schleswigsch (Schleswickian) is a North Low Saxon dialect spoken in Schleswig. It has a lot of influence from North Frisian and Low Danish. This lect is not intelligible at all with Standard German. People from around Berlin even say that they can’t understand a word of this lect in its pure form. In the city of Flensberg near the Danish border, the whole city speaks Schleswigsch. Very close to the border with Denmark, people speak a form of Schleswigsch that is intelligible with South Jutnish, a highly divergent form of Danish spoken in the far south of Denmark that is actually a separate language.
This dialect is doing very well compared to the rest of Low Saxon, especially in the west area of the zone. Angel German is a North Low Saxon language spoken in the Anglen region of far northern German. This region stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north and east to the Dannevirke and the Slie in the south and the moors in the west, a triangle of 350 square miles. This is where the Angles who invaded England and gave the name of the country and the language their name came from. Angel German to this day sounds somewhat like English. Angel German is poorly understood even by other Low German speakers because it still has many Danish words and grammar (Bock 1933).
Most of the grammar is German, but most of the vocabulary is Danish with some German and Low German words mixed in (Gosch 1861). It sounds a lot more like Danish than German. There are certain Danish sounds such as the z, soft s and sch that no German can pronounce without special training. One theory is that this was formerly Danish or more properly South Jutnish, a dialect so divergent that it can be seen as a separate language from Danish, that simply became Germanized over time due to instruction in the German language.
At one time, fishermen around Lübeck spoke a form of Low Saxon koine that could be understood by sailors and fishermen from any of the Baltic Sea nations. Hamburgisch is a North Low Saxon dialect that serves as something like the official form of Low Saxon, a koine, or Standard Low Saxon, in Germany. It is widely understood across the Low Saxon speaking region. The language itself is spoken and around Hamburg. Ollands, spoken in Ollands, a fruit and vegetable growing region of northern Germany on the Lower Elbe, is a subdialect of Hamburgisch. Other subdialects include Finkwarder, Kirchwerder, Harburg , Olwarder, Veerlanner (with many sub-subdialects), and Barmbeker. Kirchwerder is spoken 12 miles southeast of Hamburg.
There are still some middle-aged speakers of Hamburgisch, and the language is doing better than most Low Saxon lects. In addition, there are also some young speakers of Hamburgish, especially on islands off the coast of the mouth of the Elbe River. Bremen is a North Low Saxon dialect that is spoken in the area about from Bremen east. It has traces of both the Frisian and the Oldenberg languages and is related to both the Holstein and the Heide languages. It may be intelligible with Oldenberg, Hamburgs, Schleswigsch and Holsatian. Bremen has only 57% intelligibility to speakers of Gronings-East Frisian Low Saxon. Oldenberg is a North Low Saxon dialect that is spoken just west of Bremen in what used to be the state of Oldenberg. This language is holding up better than a lot of the other Low Saxon lects.
It has been influenced somewhat in the north by East Frisian, and there is an inland version of East Frisian called Saterland Frisian that is spoken right around this area. To the south, it has been influenced by Munsterland Westphalian, and to the east, by Bremen Westphalian and Heine Westphalian. Subdialects include North Oldenburg (Nordoldenburger). It may be intelligible with Holsatian, Hamburgs, Schleswigsch and Bremen. Emsland includes the southern part of the former Weser-Ems district (the area around Osnabrück in Lower Saxony and Emsdetten in far Northern Rhine-Westphalia). This dialect has very heavy East Frisian, Dutch and Groningen influences. It is still doing fairly well. Weser-Trave is a subdialect. West Low Saxon is a group of languages and dialects spoken in the Netherlands and Germany. For the West Low Saxon languages spoken in the Netherlands, see here. Dialects spoken in Germany include South Emsland (Südemsländisch), Hümmlinger, South Oldenburg (Südoldenburgisch), North Osnabrück (Nordosnabrückisch), and West Diepholzer. South Oldenburg is spoken in Oldenburger Münsterland.
Westphalian (Westfäölsk) is a West Low German language spoken in Westphalia in the northeastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, but not in Siegerland and Wittgenstein. It is a separate language and is definitely not intelligible with other forms of Low German.
It is mostly spoken by older people now. Westphalian is doing fairly well, but not great, compared to other Low Saxon lects. There are still a tiny number of speakers in Iowa in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area of Blackhawk and Bremer Counties. Dialects include West Munsterland (Westmünsterländisch), South Westphalian (Südwestfälisch), and Bentheimisch. Münsterlandishis a Westphalian language spoken in Westphalia around Munster. Furthermore, it is very hard for Northern Low Saxon to understand, harder to understand than the rest of Westphalian. It is mostly spoken by older people now. Intelligibility testing with this language and the rest of Westphalian is indicated. Steinfurt is a Munsterlandish dialect spoken in Westphalia around Munster. It is quite different from Munster Westphalian proper. This language is transitional between North Saxon, Eastphalian and Westphalian.
This seems to be the lect that is often described as Grafschafter Platt (County Language). The term “county” refers to the fact that this region was one of the few in Germany that had was ruled by a count (a feudal figure like a duke). Grafschafter Platt seems to be spoken in the region between Osnabrück (Emsland) and Munsterland and over to the Dutch border where it looks like it borders on Twents.
There are a tremendous number of dialects in this language, especially over by the Dutch border. It’s not really correct to say that each village has its own dialect, but there is definitely a dialect continuum with new dialects every few villages or so.
The five main dialects are Gildehaus, Upper Grafschaft, Nordhorn, Lower Grafschaft, and Wietermarschen Group. Wietermarschen Group is spoken in Wietermarschen, Drievorden, and Engden. Nordhorn is spoken in the city of that name. Lower Grafschaft is spoken around the towns of Emlichheim, Laar, and Hoogstede. Lower Grafschaft has heavy Dutch influence, more than any other West Low German language spoken in Germany. This language has undergone a serious decline in the past 50 years. It is now spoken by 25% of the population and understood by 50%. East Westphalian (Ostwestfälisch) is a series of lects that are spoken in the eastern parts of the Westphalian speaking zone. Osnabrück is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in the area around Osnabrück in southern Lower Saxony. Lübbecke is an East Westphalian language that is spoken in and around Lübbecke and to the north. The variety from around the towns of Stemwede and Oppenwehe has poor intelligibility with the Osnabrück Westphalian spoken around Bad Ilburg south of Osnabrück only 25 miles to the southwest. The region is heavily forested. Ravensbergish-Lippish is an East Westphalian dialect that is spoken in the north of Northern Rhine-Westphalia near Lippstadt, Steinhagen, and Rheda-Wiedenbruck. Paderborner is an East Westphalian dialect spoken around Paderborn in northeast Northern Rhine-Westphalia near the border with Lower Saxony. Soester Westphalian is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in and around the city of Soester east of the Ruhr region. Sauerland is an East Westphalian language, definitely a separate language, spoken in Westphalia in the Sauerland, which is in southeast North Rhine-Westphalia. Although it is related to Westphalian, it is a separate language and is not intelligible with other forms of Westphalian or Low German. This language is definitely still spoken. There are other languages spoken in the Ruhr-Sauerland region. Balve is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in and around Balve, near Dortmund in the Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia. This area has tremendous dialect diversity and there is a new language every couple dozen miles or so. Knowing this and comparing Balve with Lüdenscheid, Balve may be a separate language, however, until we get specific data, we can’t split it off. Lüdenscheid is an East Westphalian language spoken in and around the city of Lüdenscheid in North Rhine Westphalia. Speakers report that the Low German in this region is incredibly varied, with new languages ever couple dozen miles or so. Thus, Lüdenscheid may be a separate language, , however, until we get specific data, we can’t split it off. Gladbeck is an East Westphalian language spoken in the town of Gladbeck. Gladbeck is a town located in the Ruhr between Gelsenkirchen and Bottrop and north of Essen. Eastphalian (Ostfälisch) is a West Low German language spoken east of the Weser River in southern parts of Lower Saxony and western parts of Saxony-Anhalt, in cities such as Hanover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Göttingen, and Magdeburg in Eastphalia. It is completely unintelligible with the rest of Low Saxon.This language is barely holding on, with very low activity and only a few speakers. Eastphalian is best seen as transitional between Low German and Middle German.
Eastphalian lects include Solling, Braunschweiger, Bode (Bode Ostfälisch), Calenberger, Elbe (Elbostfälisch), Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch, Heide (Heideostfälisch), Hildesheimer , Holzland (Holzland Ostfälisch), Huy (Huy Ostfälisch), North Eastphalian (Nord Ostfälisch), Oker (Oker Ostfälisch), East Eastphalian (Ostostfälisch), and Papenteicher . Solling is an extremely divergent lect of Eastphalian that is spoken in the Solling Forest of Lower Saxony. It is dying out, but the pure form of it is still spoken by the elderly. It is very strange and is said to sound like the Frisian language. It is quite possible that this is a separate language, as it is said to be quite distant from Eastphalian proper. Elbostfälisch is an Eastphalian language spoken around Oschersleben and Haldensleben in the Magdeburger Börde, which is between Helmstedt and Magdeburg. It is spoken on the west side of the Elbe River from Magdeburg west to the Harz Mountains in Saxony-Anhalt. This language has heavy influence from East Low German and is actually transitional between East and West Low German. It is still in very good shape and is widely spoken in Magdeburg at least. Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken around Göttingen, Northeim, and Osterode am Harz. It is mostly spoken by older people now. Heideostfälisch is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken around Celle that has some with Northern Low Saxon elements. It is spoken between Hamburg, Bremen and Hanover. This language has many words that look like English. This suggests that Heide was close to one of the original Old Low German languages that gave rise to Old English. Heide means “pagan” in this language, and this group resisted feudalism and Christianity longer than most other groups in the area. This in part explains the ancient nature of their tongue. This is the area from which the Angles and Saxons originated before leaving for Britain. Central Eastphalian is is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken in a large area surrounding Braunschweig and Hanover. It is mostly spoken by older people now. This dialect is in particularly poor shape. Papenteicher is an Eastphalian dialect spoken just north of Brunswick. There are only about 300 speakers left. It is no longer taught to children. There are many more who know individual words and phrase. The language is almost never heard in the region anymore. This dialect has some interesting sounds that are only heard in Friesland and Jutland. It is thought that the region was originally settled by people from this region 1,500 years ago. East Low German is a group of languages spoken in Mecklenburg – West Pomerania and Brandenburg and surrounding areas, including over into Poland. The two main branches are Mecklenburgish-Pomeranian and Markish. Low Prussian is not included in this grouping – it is a separate group. These are more recent lects, created from West Low German lects with Russian and Standard German admixture. Mecklenburgisch-Vorpommersch is an East Low German language group. Lects in this group include Wendländisch, Mecklenburgish, West Pomeranian (Westpommersch), and Strelitzisch. Strelizisch is transitional to Mittelpommersch. There are still a considerable number of people who speak and understand this language. Mecklenburgisch is an East Low Saxon dialect spoken in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. It has very high to excellent intelligibility with North Low Saxon, so it may only be a dialect of Low German. It is spoken in far northeastern Germany around Straslund and Rostock. This area was once Slavic, but Charlemagne moved Germans in this area. These Germans spoke Low German. Many of these immigrants also spoke Frisian, so there is an element of that too.
However, in the 1700’s, High German became such a strong force in the area that this dialect began to be mixed with High German. The dialect remains very archaic, as the region is very resistant to change in general. This dialect is doing ok, but not great, compared to other Los Saxon lects. Although it is officially an East Low German dialect, it is actually on the border between East Low German and West Low German. Before 1945, this dialect was the main means of communication in the villages. Vorpommern or West Pomeranian is an East Low Saxon language spoken in Western Pomerania, Vorpommern or Hither Pomerania, however you want to translate the term. This is a part of far northeast Germany on the border with Poland. The northern border is the North Sea. This language is doing ok, but not great, compared to other Low Saxon lects.
As part of a dialect continuum, Pomeranian is clearly not intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon, but it may be intelligible with Mittelpommersch or Mecklenburgisch. Markish (Märkisch)* is a group of East Low German lects spoken below Middle Pomeranian through Brandenburg down to Berlin and south and east of it, and over to the eastern parts of Saxony-Anhalt. It is little known. It is a major high level German dialect division. Markish is not intelligible with Upper Saxon. This suggests that Markish may well be a separate language. There are many Dutch words in this language.
There are nine lects of Markish. Pomeranian or East Pomeranian is a Markish language spoken in Poland. This area was Slavic in the 600’s. The Danes laid waste to the area in the 1000’s. The destruction was so severe that the rulers invited German farmers to the area to rehabilitate the land, and this interesting language developed.
Speakers are all elderly and scattered, and the language is moribund. This language was also decimated by the expulsion of Germans from Poland after WW2.
There are five major dialects: West Prussian (Westpreußisch) was formerly spoken in West Prussia. Western Further Pomeranian (Westhinterpommersch) was formerly spoken in western Further Pomerania. Eastern Further Pomeranian (Osthinterpommersch) was formerly spoken in eastern Further Pomerania. Bublitzisch was formerly spoken in Bublitz (now Bobolice), Poland. Pomerelian (Pommerellisch) was formerly spoken in a region called Pomerelia.
Pomeranian is not intelligible with Low Prussian or other Low German languages. There is still a significant Pomeranian community in Brazil, and there are some Pomeranian speakers in the US too. North Margravian or Mittelpommersch is a Markish dialect spoken in the northern part of Brandenburg State around Prenzlau and Wittenberg and in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania around Pasewalk-Ueckermünde.
This dialect has or had two subdialects, West Middle Pomeranian (Westmittelpommersch) and East Middle Pomeranian (Ostmittelpommersch). East Middle Pomeranian was spoken in the Lower Oder River region of Poland around Stettin and Stargard and may well be extinct since 1945. West Middle Pomeranian is still alive and is spoken in the areas discussed above. There is some activity to keep this language going, and there are still some speakers left. Before 1945, this language was still the main medium of communication in almost all of the villages in the area. North Markish (Nordmärkisch or Altmärkisch) is a Markish dialect spoken in Salzwedel, Gardelegen and Stendal in far northern Saxony-Anhalt. This dialect has Eastphalian influences. Westprignitzisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Perleberg, Pritzwalk, and Wittstock in far northwestern Brandenburg. Ostprignitzisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Löwenberg, Templin, Zehdenick, and Fürstenberg in far northern Brandenburg. The Prignitz dialects show less Dutch influence than other dialects in the area. They are also close to Mecklenburgish. New Markish (Neumärkisch) is a Markish dialect spoken in Angermünde and Schwedt/Oder in northeastern Brandenburg. Flämingisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Jüterbog and Buchenwald in Brandenburg south of Berlin near the border with Saxony-Anhalt and in Saxony-Anhalt in areas north of Wittenberg. Flämingisch is transitional between Low German and Middle German. It is little spoken anymore except by the elderly who are partial speakers. Persons composing a dictionary have only been able to come up with about 1,500 words. It is clearly dying out. Havelländisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Rathenow, Premnitz and Nauen in Brandenburg west of Berlin. Brandenburgish or Central Margravianis an East Low German dialect spoken west of Berlin in Staaken, Potsdam and Brandenburg and west of Berlin in Potsdam, Brandenburg an der Havel.
It has been influenced heavily by Dutch from guest workers who came in the 1700’s, and it also has a Westphalian influence. South Brandenburgish (Südbrandenburgisch) and Eberswalder are dialects of Brandenburgish.
There are suggestions that this language is nearly extinct, and may even be extinct, and that speakers for the most part have reverted to a Berlinisch sort of dialect of German. However, this new lect (or whatever lect they area speaking) is unintelligible with Standard German. This language, whatever form it is taking, is still going very strong as of three years ago. New Mecklenburgish is spoken north and northwest of Berlin around Oranienburg and Neuruppin. It is not in good shape and is under heavy pressure from Berlinisch and Standard German. In fact, it may well be de facto extinct. Investigation is needed to determine if this dialect even exists anyone, or has reverted to some sort of Berlinisch dialect. Low Prussian (Niederpreußisch) is a separate branch of Low German spoken in eastern Poland. It is spoken in the region where the Slavic Kashubian language is spoken, so it received some influence from that language. This area was Slavic in the 1200’s and became German in the 1700’s.
This is a full language, not intelligible with Standard German or with any other German language. It used to have many speakers, but now it is moribund. There are a few elderly speakers left, but no language community.
It has 11 major dialects. Low Prussian-East Pomeranian (Übergangsmundart zum Ostpommerschen) was a transitional dialect with East Pomeranian. Vistula Delta (Weichselmündungsgebietes) was spoken around Danzig (Gdansk) at the mouth of the Vistula River. Frischen-Danzig Spit (Frischen-Nehrung Danziger-Nehrung) was spoken around the Vistula Lagoon. Elbing Heights (Elbinger Höhe) was spoken around Elbing (Elblag). Kürzungs was spoken around Braunsberg (Braniewo). West Käslausch (Weskäslausch) was spoken around Mehlsack (Pieniezno). East Käslausch (Ostkäslausch) was spoken around Rößel (Reszel). Natangian-Bartish (Natangisch-Bartisch) was spoken around Bartenstein (Bartoszyce). West Sambian (Westsamländisch) was spoken around Pillau (Baltiysk). East Sambian (Ostsamländisch) was spoken around Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Labiau (Polessk) and Znamensk (Wehlau). Eastern (Ostgebietes) was spoken around Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk), Memel (Klaipeda) and Sovetsk (Tilsit).
Another dialect was Haff (Haff Niederpreußisch). It is not known where this dialect was spoken.
Dialect intelligibility is not known.
It became moribund due to the expulsion of Prussian speakers from Poland after WW2. It is not intelligible with other Low German languages or with Pomeranian. There are apparently still some speakers in Wisconsin.
Updated June 27, 2016. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; combining all 3 parts together, it runs to 255 pages.
This post has been broken into three parts: Part 1: Low German, Part 2: Middle German and Part 3: High German.
This classification divides German from 20 languages to 137 languages based on the criteria of intelligibility. >90% intelligibility = dialect, <90% intelligibility = language.
The German languages, and German is not a single language, but, like Chinese and Italian, a family of languages, have been in need of a good reclassification for some time now. Ethnologue has done an excellent job, dividing German into 20 separate languages.
However, Ethnologue’s treatment does not go nearly far enough, as they themselves admit in the entry for Standard German: “Our present treatment in this edition is incomplete.” The entry for Low German itself formerly stated that LG is made up of 20-30 separate mutually unintelligible dialects, although this has been revised to “differing intelligibility, depending on distance” in the latest edition.
Hence, this treatment will attempt to expand the 20 German languages listed at present into a higher number. Many of the language divisions noted below are arbitrary, and admittedly based on more intuition than hard evidence. In many cases, intelligibility testing could clear up a lot of confusion. This treatment, like my prior treatment of Chinese, is best seen as a series of often very tentative hypotheses rather than a set of conclusions.
The classification scheme (for instance, the decision to include Low Saxon as a part of Macro-German rather than a part of Macro-Dutch) is fairly arbitrary and is not the purpose of this treatment, which deals mainly with intelligibility. This treatment makes no statements about classification, generally just following Wikipedia and Ethnologue. There are others doing major work on classification, and I will leave that up to them.
So far, this classification expands German from 20 separate languages to 142 separate languages. It is incomplete, and it is also a pilot study intended to spur further research, analysis and especially evidence-based criticism.
Criticism is welcome, as long as it is rational and evidence-based. Keep in mind that we have valid intelligibility data for a lot of these languages, so wild claims of widespread intelligibility are likely to be ignored. Further splitting is certainly warranted, and lumping may be too. Both will require evidence before proceeding. Method: Literature and reports were examined to determine the intelligibility of the various dialects of German. Native speakers of various lects were also interviewed, and the results of scientific intelligibility testing were examined. There was an appeal to authority – if states or the ISO recognized that a lect was a language, this determination was simply accepted.
>90% intelligibility was considered to be a dialect of German. <90% intelligibility was considered to be a separate language from Standard German.
The emphasis was on intelligibility rather than structural factors. Certain sociolinguistic factors also went into the calculation, but their use was minimized. Overtly political argumentation was ignored.
This piece may be seen as a companion piece to my other similar pieces. A reclassification of Chinese expands Chinese from 14 languages into 343 languages. A reclassification of Catalan reanalyzed it from 1 language to 2 languages. A reclassification of Occitan changes it from 6 languages to 12 languages. A reclassification of Dutch changed it from 15 to 30 languages.
As far as my qualifications for writing this, I have a Masters Degree in Linguistics, and I have been employed as a linguist for an American Indian tribe where I created an alphabet, ran the language program, worked on a dictionary and phrasebook and did fieldwork with native speakers.
German, like Chinese, is a pluricentric language, with a standard version and many typically mutually unintelligible major dialects surrounding it. Interdialectal comprehension is achieved via the use of Standard German.
Hence, the intelligibility estimates by the ignorant are going to be biased. What these people mean when they say that everyone in Germany can understand each other is that they can when they speak Standard German to each other. However, there are still a few older folks in Germany who cannot speak Standard German and can only speak their regional form of German.
There are 27 main German dialect families, and all are considered to be separate languages.
The German dialects exist as a dialect chain where dialects are normally intelligible to the dialect regions next door, but not to those more distant. At the same time, it is frequently stated that the major German dialects are not mutually intelligible. This makes delineating languages from dialects quite difficult and is why intelligibility testing is needed.
Most German “dialects” have low intelligibility (below 90%) to speakers of Standard German, because they are quite divergent and hence hard for a Standard German speaker to understand. There is a strong suggestion that all of the strong forms of the regional lects are not intelligible to a speaker of Standard German.
Germany is awash in dialects. There are over 4000 (!) different dialect groups within Low German alone, and there are 150 dialects in Ripuarian Franconian that were different enough to have dictionaries written for them.
In addition to not being intelligible with Standard German, the major German dialects are in general not mutually intelligible with each other either. Inside of that, there is the even more alarming suggestion that many of the major dialects are so diverse that they are not even completely intelligible among themselves.
A graph of the major German languages is here, and an even better one is here.
Separate languages or suspected separate languages are bolded below. Dialects or extinct languages are generally italicized. Macrolanguages that do not deserve separate language designation are generally printed in normal typeface. All languages and dialects are spoken in Germany unless otherwise noted.
Languages or dialects marked by an asterisk were definitely full languages 50 years ago, but whether they still are today is less certain. Some may still be languages, others may have dwindled to dialects and others may have disappeared. 50 years ago, those languages were still alive and well and probably even being taught to children. Most or all still have speakers, though the youngest speakers may be over 50 in some cases. These starred lects are very tentative additions to this classification.
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