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Music Monday: Membra Jesu Nostri 1680

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Title: Häusliche Musikszene
Painting Author: Johannes Voorhout
Collection: Hamburg Museum
Image Credit: Wikipedia & Wikimedia

Three hundred, forty years ago, Danish-German Baroque composer and organist Dieterich Buxtehude composed Membra Jesu Nostri. Considered to be one of the most influential composers in Germany, his style is reflected in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, one of his students. [More] than 100 compositions of his survive […].

Membra Jesu Nostri [or The limbs of our Jesus], BuxWV 75, is a cycle of seven cantatas composed by Dieterich Buxtehude in 1680 and dedicated to Gustaf Düben. The full Latin title Membra Jesu Nostri Patientis Sanctissima translates to “The most holy limbs of our suffering Jesus”. This work is known as the first Lutheran oratorio. The main text are stanzas from the Medieval hymn Salve Mundi Salutare, also known as the Rhythmica Oratio, a poem formerly ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux but, now thought more likely to have been written by Medieval poet Arnulf of Leuven […]. It is divided into seven parts, each addressed to a different part of Christ’s crucified body: feet, knees, hands, sides, breast, heart and face. In each part, biblical words referring to the limbs frame verses of the poem.

Sources:
Duke Vespers Ensemble (MSR Classics)
Salve Mundi Salutare (New Advent)
Buxtehude Composition List (Wikipedia)
Dieterich Buxtehude (Wikipedia)
Membra Jesu Nostri (Wikipedia)
The International Dieterich Buxtehude Society

Movie Monday: To Hell and Back 1955

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To Hell and Back Image One
Image Credit: IMDB & Amazon

Sixty-five years ago, today, the war film To Hell and Back was released, originally in San Antonio. Directed by Jesse Hibbs and based on the book of the same name, it starred Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly, Gregg Palmer, Paul Picerni, David Janssen, Denver Pyle, Brett Halsey (Admiral’s great-nephew) and Gordon Gebert as a young Audie.

IMDB Summary:

Biopic of the wartime exploits of Audie Murphy (played by himself), the most decorated US soldier in World War II. Starting with his boyhood in Texas, where he became the head of his family at a young age, the story follows his enrollment in [the] Army where he was assigned to the 3rd Division. He fought in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, before landing in southern France and, eventually, fighting in Germany. A Medal of Honor recipient, he also received battle honors from the French and Belgian government.

Rotten Tomatoes Summary:

The highly variable Audie Murphy delivers his best screen performance as “himself” in Universal‘s To Hell and Back. Based on the star’s autobiography, this is the story of how Murphy became America’s most-decorated soldier during WW II. After dwelling a bit on Murphy’s hard-scrabble Texas upbringing, the story moves ahead to 1942, when, as a teenager, Audie joined the army. Within a year, he was a member of the 7th Army, serving in North Africa, Italy, France and, ultimately, Germany and Austria. One by one, the members of Murphy’s Company B are killed in the war, until only three men from the original company are left. [The] others appear at the finale as ghostly images […]. The bulk of the film is given over to Murphy’s conspicuous acts of combat bravery and his killing of 240 enemy soldiers. Highlighted by excellent battle sequences, To Hell and Back is a serviceable tribute to a most complex individual.

Audie Murphy Image Two
Date: 1948
Photo Author: Fort Detrick
Wikipedia & Wikimedia

Trivia Bits:
Filmed at Fort Lewis, WA, Yakima River, WA, Oak Creek Wildlife Area, WA and Universal Studios.
♦ Audie Murphy originally declined the opportunity to portray himself in the movie, not wanting people to think that he was attempting to cash in on his role as a war hero. Murphy initially suggested his friend Tony Curtis to play him.
♦ Audie Murphy’s war buddy Onclo Airheart was slated to play himself, but he declined due to the fact that the movie was to be shot during planting season.
♦ [Author] David Morell [sic] cites Audie Murphy as the inspiration for the character of John Rambo.
♦ In the movie, […] Murphy does his one-man standoff on top of a medium M-4 Sherman tank. [In] real life it happened on top of an M10 Wolverine tank destroyer.
♦ Audie Murphy’s feats of heroism and his much decorated status have been compared to those of his counterpart during World War I, Sgt. Alvin C. York […].

Murphy […] wrote poetry and songs, and, himself a sufferer, was among the first advocates for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He died on May 28, 1971, when the private airplane in which he was riding crashed.

Additional Reading:
To Hell and Back (American Film Institute)
To Hell and Back (Turner Classic Movies)
Alvin York (Wikipedia)
Audie Murphy (Wikipedia)

Word Wednesday: Glowering

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Word of the Day Image
Website Screen Capture

Origin

The verb glower, “to look or stare with sullen dislike” comes from Middle English gloren [or] glouren “to shine, gleam, glow, stare, stare at fixedly.” The Middle English forms are mostly from the north (Yorkshire) and Scotland. [T]he sense “to stare at fixedly” is Scottish. The source of gloren and glouren is obscure but, possibly, Scandinavian, e.g., Icelandic [as] glóra “to glow (like a cat’s eyes)” [or] Swedish and Norwegian dialect glora “to glow, stare.” The source of gloren [and] glouren may also be from Middle Low German glūren “to be overcast” or Dutch glueren “to leer, peep.” Glower entered English in the 15th century.

This is very similar to our “glaring at someone” which has its roots in Middle English, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German.

I’ve been doing a lot of glowering and glaring, lately. The whole world has gone insane-stupid. ~Vic

Wayback Wednesday: Hindenburg Disaster 1937

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Hindenburg Image One
Photo Credit: airships.net

Eighty-three years ago, today, the Nazi German dirigible, the LZ-129 Hindenburg, exploded at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester Township, New Jersey.

[T]he largest dirigible ever built, [it burst] into flames upon touching its mooring mast […]. There were 35 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen) from the 97 people on board (36 passengers and 61 crewmen) and an additional fatality on the ground.

The rigid airship, often known as the Zeppelin after the last name of its innovator, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, was developed by the Germans in the late 19th century. [It] had a light framework of metal girders that protected a gas-filled interior [of] highly flammable hydrogen gas, vulnerable to explosion.

Hindenburg Image Two
Photo Credit: Nationaal Archief/Spaarnestad Photo
Nationaal Archief Flickr
Sam Shere
Wikipedia & Wikimedia

On May 3, the Hindenburg left Frankfurt, Germany, for a journey across the Atlantic to Lakehurst’s Navy Air Base. While attempting to moor, […] the airship suddenly burst into flames, probably after a spark ignited its hydrogen core. Rapidly falling 200 feet to the ground, the hull of the airship incinerated within seconds. [M]ost of the survivors suffered substantial injuries.

The disaster was the subject of newsreel coverage, photographs and [radio announcer] Herbert Morrison‘s recorded […] eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day. He is known for his famous emotional declaration “Oh, the humanity!”

A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The event shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of [that] era.

Additional Reading & Sources:
Hindenburg Survivors & Crew (Airships website)
LZ-129 Hindenburg: A Detailed History (Airships Website)
The Hindenburg Disaster (Airships Website)
The Hindenburg Disaster (History Channel)
The Hindenburg: Nine Surprising Facts (History Channel)
Hindenburg Disaster (Wikipedia)
Zeppelin (Wikipedia)

British Pathé News Footage

National Geographic Documentary

Wayback Wednesday: The 1939 Reichstag Speech

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Reichstag Image One
Photo Credit: holocaustresearchproject.org

Eighty years ago, today, Hitler gave his infamous speech to the German Parliament, threatening the very existence of the Jews.

Excerpts From Wikisource:

“Greatly disconcerted about the future of my Volk, I moved into Wilhelmstrasse on January 30, 1933. Today—six years later—I am able to speak before this first Greater German Reichstag! Truly, we are, today, better equipped than any generation before us to appreciate the pious import of the saying: “What a turn of events brought about by divine dispensation!” Six years sufficed to fulfill the dreams of many a century; one year to afford our Volk enjoyment of the unity which many a generation yearned for in vain.

And when we venture to defend ourselves in view of the injurious attacks of such apostles of war as the gentlemen Duff Cooper, Eden, Churchill, or Ickes, then this is portrayed as though we were infringing on the most sacred of rights in these democracies. According to the understanding of these gentlemen, they apparently have the unchallenged right to attack other peoples and their leadership, but no one in turn has the right to defend himself against these attacks. I need not assure you that, as long as the German Reich shall exist as a sovereign state, its leadership will not allow one or another English or American politician to forbid it to reply in kind to such attacks. In the future, the weapons we forged shall insure that we remain such a sovereign state, as shall a great number of our friends.

Actually we could simply laugh off the libelous claim that Germany intended to attack America. And, indeed, we would much prefer to remain silent on the topic of the campaign of hatred pursued by certain British apostles of war and to simply ignore them. Yet we may not forget the following: 1. The democracies in question are states in which the political structures make it possible that, within a few months’ time, the most notorious of these warmongers may actually have emerged as the leaders of their governments. 2. We hence owe it to the security of the Reich to enlighten the German Volk about the true nature of these men in a timely manner. The German Volk harbors no hatred for England, America, or France, and desires nothing other than to live calmly and peacefully, while the Jewish and non-Jewish agitators persist in rousing the animosity of these peoples against Germany and the German Volk. In the event that these warmongers should succeed in their undertakings, our own Volk would be confronted with a situation incomprehensible to it, as it was not psychologically prepared for anything of this nature.

Therefore, I believe it necessary that from now on our propaganda and press shall answer immediately to any such attacks and inform the German Volk of them. It must know who these men are who so desperately seek to provoke a war, no matter what the circumstances. I am convinced that the calculations of these elements will prove faulty as soon as National Socialist propaganda begins to reply in kind to these provocations. We shall deal with them as successfully as we did in Germany’s interior when we wrestled the Jewish world enemy to the ground through the forceful use of our propaganda.

The peoples of the world will realize within a short time that National Socialist Germany does not desire to elicit the enmity of other peoples.

Allegations of the aggressive designs entertained by our Volk on other peoples are the products of a deranged, hysterical mind or blatant lies by certain politicians struggling for survival. In certain states, businessmen void of any conscience try to save their financial interests by propagating these lies. Above all, it is international Jewry which seeks thereby to gratify its thirst for vengeance and its insatiable hunger for profit. And this constitutes the greatest libelous claim ever levied against a great and peace-loving Volk.

After all, German soldiers have never fought on American soil other than for the cause of America’s independence and freedom. Yet, American soldiers were shipped to Europe and contributed to the suppression of a great nation struggling to preserve its liberty. It was not Germany that attacked America; it was America that attacked Germany. And it did so, according to the findings of an investigative committee in the American House of Representatives, without any compelling reason, other than perhaps capitalist considerations.

Nevertheless, let there be no doubt as to one point: all these attempts will not in the least sway Germany from its reckoning with Jewry. I would like to say the following on the Jewish question: it is truly a shaming display when we see today the entire democratic world filled with tears of pity at the plight of the poor, tortured Jewish people, while remaining hard-hearted and obstinate in view of what is therefore its obvious duty: to help. All the arguments with which they seek to justify their non-intervention lend only further support to the stance of Germans and Italians in this matter.

For this is what they say: “We”—that is the democracies—“cannot possibly admit the Jews!” And this those world powers claim who can boast no more than ten persons per square kilometer while we must accommodate and feed 135 persons per square kilometer.

Do not reproach me on the grounds of your humanitarian concerns. The German Volk does not wish to be governed by another people; it does not wish others to determine its affairs in its place. France to the French; England to the English; America to the Americans, and Germany to the Germans! We are determined to undercut the efforts of a certain foreign people to nest here; a people whose members knew how to capture all leading positions. We will banish this people. We are willing to educate our own Volk to assume these leadership functions. We have hundreds of thousands of the most intelligent children of peasants and workers. We will have them educated, and we are already educating them. We are hoping that one day we can place them in all leading positions within the state along with others from our educated classes.

No longer shall these be occupied by members of a people alien to us.

Above all, as the literal meaning of the term already indicates, German culture is exclusively German; it is not Jewish. Hence we shall place the administration and the care for our culture in the hands of our Volk. Should the rest of the world be outraged and protest hypocritically against Germany’s barbarous expulsion of such an extraordinary, culturally valuable, irreplaceable element, then we can only be astonished at the consequences such a stance would imply.

I believe the earlier this problem is resolved, the better. For Europe cannot find peace before it has dealt properly with the Jewish question.

Once again I will be a prophet: should the international Jewry of finance (Finanzjudentum) succeed, both within and beyond Europe, in plunging mankind into yet another world war, then the result will not be a Bolshevization of the earth and the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation (Vernichtung) of the Jewish race in Europe. Thus, the days of propagandist impotence of the non-Jewish peoples are over.

Peoples desire not to perish on the battlefield just so that this rootless, internationalist race can profit financially from this war and thereby gratify its lust for vengeance derived from the Old Testament. The Jewish watchword “Proletarians of the world, unite!” will be conquered by a far more lofty realization, namely: “Creative men of all nations, recognize your common foe!”

As a matter of principle, I should like to state the following on this subject: apparently, certain circles abroad are pervaded by the conviction that the outspoken avowal of sympathy for certain elements who have come into conflict with the law in Germany would bring about an improvement of their situation. In this context, there is perhaps the hope of terrorizing the leadership of the German State by employing certain methods of exerting influence through the media.

Above all, we shall not yield to threats or attempts at blackmail under any circumstances! Our relations to Japan are determined by this realization and the firm determination to arrest the menace of a progressive Bolshevization of a world blind to this danger. One day, the Anti-Comintern Pact may be appreciated as a focal point around which gathered a group of powers whose most salient ambition lay in the thwarting of this satanic phenomenon imperiling peace and culture worldwide. Within the past two years, the Japanese people has repeatedly and tangibly demonstrated its splendid heroism and, undoubtedly, it is a swordsman in the service of mankind on the other side of the globe. Its potential collapse would be to the detriment of the cultured peoples within Europe and beyond and would irrevocably herald the Bolshevization of the Far East. And no people can wish for such a development, other than perhaps international Jewry, which has an interest in this, too.

If Europe today is plagued by strenuous tensions, then this is due primarily to agitation in an unaccountable and irresponsible press. It allows not a single day to pass by without spreading disquiet among mankind by propagating false alarms, as ludicrous as they are libelous. The liberties taken in this context by the various organs of this worldwide poisoning of wells (Weltbrunnenvergiftung) can be regarded only as criminal wrong-doing. In recent days, there has been an attempt to place radio journalism at the service of this internationally instigated campaign. I wish to pronounce this warning here: if certain countries do not immediately desist from airing broadcasts targeted at Germany, then we shall respond accordingly. And then I hope statesmen from these countries will not venture to approach me with the sincere desire to restore normal relations between our states.

For I remain convinced that our educational campaign will be far more effective than the campaign of lies instigated by these international Jewish agitators. And the announcement of American film companies of their intention to produce anti-Nazi-i.e. anti-German-films, will only lead to our German producers creating anti-Semitic films in the future. And in this instance, too, certain elements would do well not to deceive themselves as to the effect: a multitude of states and peoples exist today who would be most receptive to such an educational campaign expanding their comprehension of this important issue.

I believe that, should we succeed in arresting the activities of the Jewishinternational press agitators and their propaganda, then a reconciliation between peoples would be speedily attained. These elements alone persistently place their hopes on war. I, however, believe in a long-lasting peace.

Our relations with the North American Union have suffered unduly because of a smear campaign. With the pretext that Germany threatens America’s independence and even its liberty, it has placed an entire continent at the service of all too transparent political and financial interests. These are attempting to agitate against those European states governed by the people for the people. All of us are aware that these elements are not representative of the will of millions of American citizens who do not doubt for one minute, despite bombardment by a ‘gigantic Jewish-capitalist instigated propaganda campaign—via press, radio, and film—that there is not a word of truth in all these claims. Germany desires to live in peace and friendship with all countries, America included. It declines any involvement in America’s internal affairs and hence, equally vigorously, it rejects American involvement in Germany’s internal affairs.

Without shedding a drop of blood, we succeeded in raising up this great Reich of the German Volk. Let us not forget, however, that this process meant painful sacrifices for some of us: the erasing of many Lander structures; the lowering of their banners; the oblivion of their local traditions. Yet may it be of consolation to these men that no generation involved in the constructive process of our history has been spared similarly painful experiences. Ever since the first German dukes labored to form wild tribes into higher unions, their endeavors had to obliterate institutions grown dear, cherished recollections, manly pledges of loyalty, and so on.

It was nearly two thousand years before the scattered Germanic tribes emerged as one people; before the countless lands and states forged one Reich.

We may now consider this process of the formation of the German nation as having reached its conclusion. The creation of the Greater German Reich represents the culmination of our Volk’s thousand-year struggle for existence.

As streams of German blood flow together therein, so do traditions of times past, their standards and symbols, and, above all else, all the great men of whom their contemporaries were rightly proud. Small matter whose side they stood on in their day, all those daring dukes, great kings, formidable warlords, mighty emperors, and around them the inspired geniuses and heroes of the past served as instruments of Providence in the formative process of a nation. Insofar as we embrace this great Reich in grateful reverence, the wealth of German history reveals itself to us in all its splendor. Let us thank the Lord Almighty for bestowing on our generation the great blessing to be alive at this time and this hour.

It was a very long speech and clips of it are all over the Internet. It is quite a read and it is clear that Hitler had the German peoples’ attention and adoration. I wanted to include a YouTube video showing the speech but, there are only snippets and mash-ups. And, regarding the Holocaust, I’m not re-inventing the wheel, here. I’m hardly an historical scholar. ~Vic