Mussolini, May 1930/ Hitler, May 1931

Addressing a crowd in Florence, Mussolini said, “Words are beautiful things, but rifles, machine guns, ships, and airplanes are more beautiful still.”

—  From Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke:  The Beginnings of World War II, which self began reading today (She skimmed the last 50 pages or so of Jennifer 8. Lee’s The Fortune Cookie Chronicles:  Adventures in the World of Chinese Food: it grew tiresome.  The best essay in the book was the one that explored the origins of the ubiquitous Chinese restaurant offering, General Tso’s Chicken)

*          *          *

During the showing of a film based on Erich Marie Remarque’s  All Quiet on the Western Front, Joseph Goebbels led two-hundred brownshirts into a movie theater.

As the film played, with Goebbels watching from the balcony, the brownshirts leaped up from their seats and began shouting “Jews out!  Jews out!”

*          *         *

“We can achieve something only by fanaticism,”  Hitler said during an interview with two editors from “a conservative newspaper,” at the National Socialist German Workers Party headquarters in Munich.  Later, one of the editors described Hitler as “a neurasthenic, a man of enormous egotism, with a tendency towards megalomania.  Sometimes, it was said, he burst into tears.  He left a strong impression, in any case; his chin, under the centerpiece of the mustache, showed great energy.  As he speaks he frequently grimaces, as if he would like to crush his opponent with his teeth.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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