Exactly 75 years ago, between November 7 and 13, 1938, a wave of anti-Semitic pogroms swept across Germany and Austria. This year, a group of German historians chose to commemorate the events, which marked a turning point in the Nazi’s persecution of Jews, using an unconventional medium: Twitter.
On October 28, the five historians who stem from different German universities, started live-tweeting the events of 1938 in German, as if they happened now, using the handle @9nov38 and relying on historical data that include newspapers and postcards.
The first tweet reads “Starting on October 28 more than 15,000 Polish Jews were expelled from the Deutsche Reich, immediately effective.”
Ab dem 28. Oktober wurden über 15.000 polnische Juden mit sofortiger Wirkung aus dem Deutschen Reich ausgewiesen.ampmdash; Heute vor 75 Jahren (@9Nov38) October 28, 2013
On the morning of November 8, the group posted a picture of the headline of the Nazi party’s newspaper “Der Völkische Beobachter” announcing the assassination of the German ambassador in Paris, Ernst von Rath, by 17-year-old German-born Jewish Herschel Grynszpan: “Jewish Assassination in Paris. Member of the German Embassy Perilously Wounded By Shooting. The Murderer Boy: A 17-Year-Old Jew. Villain to Europe’s Peace.”
Der "Völkische Beobachter" setzt alle Anweisungen des Propagandaministeriums um. pic.twitter.com/gOFoZ38u5uampmdash; Heute vor 75 Jahren (@9Nov38) November 8, 2013
You know what happens when someone achieves iconic status? People forget they were a real person before they became an icon. And when people forget this important fact, things can get really ugly.
Case in point: Anne Frank.
I’m referring specifically to the new Hipster Anne Frank (@HipstrAnneFrank) Twitter account. The tagline: “bestselling memoirist/loft dweller/voice of a generation.” (Facebook beat Twitter to it —there’s been a Hipster Anne Frank page since 2011, not to mention the Hipster Hitler page, which has been around since the year before that.)
Yeah, I get it. It’s all about applying the ironic to the iconic. Problem is, it isn’t funny in the least.
Here are some of the posts:
My skinny jeans are the skinniest.
There’s nothing funny about war. So it’s unsurprising that a trending Twitter hashtag #HamasBumperStickers is being met with equal parts horror and glee.
“What’s the martyr with you?”, “I don’t break for Jews,” and “My other car is also a mass of blackened, twisted metal” are just a few of the Tweets cascading out today under the #HamasBumperStickers hashtag.
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, a hashtag is a way of marking — with a # — a keyword or topic that other people can follow and post to. The People’s Cube, a satirical, conservative website, claimed credit for launching #HamasBumperStickers at 10pm on November 14. By Novembers 15, as Israeli and Palestinian Twitter feeds did virtual battle, #HamasBumperStickers was among the hottest trending topics on Twitter worldwide.
But not everyone was amused. “So disgusted that something like #HamasBumperStickers is trending,” wrote Malak. “It’s easier than ever now to identify racists and advocates of child murder on twitter,” wrote Patrick Galey. “Just follow #HamasBumperStickers.”
When both sides are done flinging insults at each other, they might want to head over to Cafe Press, which offers a wide selection of pro- and anti- Hamas and Israel bumper stickers, from a Hamas flag rectangle decal ($5.20) to a “JIHAD THIS” bumper sticker ($5).
Contact Paul Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @pdberger.
REFRESH TO SEE THE LATEST #HamasBumperStickers TWEETS
Monday night marked the final presidential debate of 2012. For those voters sad to wait another four years to hear their favorite talking points, we’ve captured the best reactions from the Twitter-verse on the action from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Foreign policy was the issue of the night, expected to draw many comments on Iran, Afghanistan and Libya. However, there was a surprise name-drop early on and cheers to anyone who had Mali in their country office pool.
President Barack Obama had the first good zinger of the night, telling Mitt Romney that the “1980s are calling for their foreign policy back.” However, not everyone was amused, including Commentary magazine’s Seth Mandel
What’s the use of a spin room when we have social media? Last night, the Twitterverse turned its eyes towards the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.
You’ve probably already heard all of the “malarkey” from partisans representing both parties, but here’s a look at the lighter side of last night’s important debate.
Early on, many viewers thought Biden was faring better than President Barack Obama’s widely-criticized performance last week. Andy Borowitz, author of The Borowitz Report, tweeted:
As discussion turned to Iran, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu became the hot topic of discussion. Commentary magazine’s Alana Goodman observed:
You know what Biden needs? A bomb chart.Alana Goodman (@alanagoodman) October 12, 2012
Michael Koplow, program director at the Israel Institute, noted that:
Picking “Bibi” in #VPDebate bingo was clearly the right move on my part.Michael Koplow (@mkoplow) October 12, 2012
There’s an early entry in the category political pin of the year. Not sure how everyone missed this pun for the first eight months of the political year, but finally someone realized that Mitt Romney’s first name can be turned into a Jewish good deed without too much trying.
As the Republican National Convention officially begins today, a bit of intrigue consumed the Twitter-verse this morning.
The schedule now includes a “To be announced” speaker on Thursday night, before Sen. Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney take the podium.
So who’s the mystery man (or woman)? Your Tweet’s as good as our’s.
@RosieGray, covering the convention for BuzzFeed, was at the Florida delegation breakfast this morning. No word on what was served, but she did have a breakdown of protestors interrupting Rubio’s speech. One yelled, about the GOP supposedly “whoring itself out” to corporations, while an elderly woman said, “Mr. Rubio, I want you to pay your fair share!”
Readers might not expect a lot of historical analysis from the British tabloid The Daily Mail. But it shouldn’t be too much for the editors to at least remember Nazi Germany and some of its signature evil.
That’s why it was particularly disturbing to see this item uncovered by the Twittersphere this morning from a piece published last month by columnist Dominique Jackson, in which she somehow forgot to mention the concentration camp provenance of the notorious slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei.”
The German slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” is somewhat tainted by its connection with Nazi concentration camps, but its essential message, “work sets you free” still has something serious to commend it. There is dignity to be gained from any job, no matter how menial, and for young people at the start of their careers, there are valuable lessons to be learned from any form of employment, whether that is on the factory floor, on a supermarket till or in the contemporary hard labour camp of a merchant bank or law office.