Saturday, October 09, 2010

Nürnberger Gesetze

The Nürnberger Gesetze or Nuremberg Laws were signed into effect by Hitler in 1935, codifying the racist classification of who the Nazis considered Jewish, and restricting the rights of German Jews in a whole spectrum of ways. The laws are monumental as examples of the power of the modern state used as an implacable force to deny rights and destroy people.

An original four page copy of the laws, with Hitler's signature, was found in 1945 by a Jewish U.S. Army officer under the command of General George S. Patton. Patton took them back to California. This was in violation of a directive which ordered U.S. soldiers to hand over any evidence or documents to superiors for use in making the prosecution case against the Nazis, many of whom were tried after the war at, ironically, Nuremberg.

While on leave as the war in Europe was ending, Patton gave the documents to the Huntington Library, located near where he lived in San Marino. (The library's founder had helped Patton get into West Point many years before).

He then returned to Germany, and was killed in an accident in December 1945. The documents remained with the Huntington Library until this year, when they were handed over to the U.S. National Archives in August. The story of the officer who found the documents is fascinating too. Below, the final page of the documents with Hitler's signature.

Richard and Elvis

On December 21, 1970, Elvis Presley made his famous 'private' visit to see President Richard Nixon at the White House. The U.S. National Archives receives more requests for copies of this photograph than for any other image or document, including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

James and the Titanic

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ciudad de México

This is a still from a short film made for the Mexico City office of tourism, aimed at attracting (it seems Chinese) tourists. It's been praised for presenting this enormous and intimidating city (to me at least!) at its most beautifully ordinary...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Oh, Canada

The road across central Nova Scotia, passing by Kejimkujik National Park. I visited the park in August 1987, when I was 14.

Spaced Out

Mojave Air and Space Port, the 'airplane graveyard' in California's Mojave Desert

Q: What goes across the Periodic Table?

A: The Periodic Tablecloth.