the nazi and the psychiatrist, illustrations from the looking glass and brothers grimm

The Nazi and the Psychiatrist

Encounters behind bars between Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering and an American doctor 65 years ago raise questions about responsibility, allegiance and the nature of evil

More forbiddingly, Kelley learned that Goering displayed a terrible flip side to the charm and eloquence he showed on first impression. This man who, as Reich Forestry and Hunting Master, had repeatedly condemned cruelty to animals and drafted humane laws to preserve wildlife, also ordered the 1940 bombing of the defenseless city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands that flattened the city center and left 85,000 people homeless. After Goering matter-of-factly recounted the murder of a close associate that he had once set into motion, Kelley asked how he could bring himself to demand his old friend be killed. “Goering stopped talking and stared at me, puzzled, as if I were not quite bright,” Kelley recalled. “Then he shrugged his great shoulders, turned up his palms and said slowly, in simple, one-syllable words: ‘But he was in my way….’ ”

Not that I’m a scholar on Nazi atrocities and the Nuremberg trials, but I didn’t learn too much from this article excerpt for one thing.  And that one thing was not a completely new insight; evil people, even when confronted with clear evidence of their crimes always rationalize those crimes. Thus modern movements, like the neo-Nazi Stormfront ( they have their own web site which non-registered users can browse. Contrary to Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg) actual Nazis see Obama and progressives as socialists and communists, not Nazis. The Nazis see themselves as great patriots.). For those who have watched the occasional Sunday morning sermon, when confronted with their sins, the truly evil generally do not experience a coming to Jesus moment. Admittedly the Sunday confessors are into your more mundane sins like drinking, lying, petty thief and and adultery. A moment when sins are confessed, begging the heavens, praying with face buried in hands, tears streaming, asking for forgiveness and the congregation rejoicing in a sinner turned away from evil. Real evil just keeps on going. It is not usual for those evil doers to have a cottage industry of supporters. Which makes sense because the supporters were voters/enablers of the evil. Its hard to carry out an evil agenda from a super secret headquarters hidden in a mountain operated by Dr. Evil. To really do some damage, evil has to be out and about shaking hands and kissing babies, talking abut god and country.

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” — Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

The Jabberwock as illustrated by John Tenniel for Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass

Illustration from the Grimm Brothers The Frog Prince

Both of these original prints were made by engraved wood blocks. Tenniel’s  wood blocks are in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.


New Street Photography, 60 Years Old

Vivian Maier, evidently one of America’s more insightful street photographers, has at last been discovered. The release of every fresh image on the Web causes a sensation among the growing legion of her admirers. (Frankly, Lens is late to the table.) Ms. Maier’s streetscapes manage simultaneously to capture a redolent sense of place and the paradoxical moments that give the city its jazz, while elevating and dignifying the people in her frames — vulnerable, noble, defeated, proud, fragile, tender and often quite funny. Harry Callahan is just one of the masters with whom Ms. Maier is already being compared.

Beginning Friday, she is to be honored with a one-woman show, “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer,” at the Chicago Cultural Center in the Loop. The opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sadly, Ms. Maier won’t be able to attend. She died two years ago, at 83.

The NYT link has a slideshow and there are more still photos here, Photos: Vivian Maier’s Street Photography. Maier never made a living as a photographer. She spent most of her adult life working as a nanny in Chicago.

No Evidence for House Republican Charge that Health Reform Is a “Job-Killer”.