Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jonathan Meades in Nazi Germany and Shoreditch

Time to catch up with one of this blog's heroes,

At the start of the month Jonathan Meades had an article in the London Review of Books reviewing two books on Nazi Germany:
Unlike many earlier authors, neither Kitchen nor Meades tries to exonerate Speer of his crimes. Meades writes
Speer’s earliest war crimes were largely restricted to evicting Jews from properties that Nazis coveted or which might provide shelter for bombing victims. He also effected the demolition of many homes to make way for the bloated white elephant of Germania, Hitler’s new capital. 
These clearances were paltry put beside the consequences of his work on concentration camps. He had no part in running them but it was part of his brief to get them built, to quarry and fire the materials. He was close to Himmler and enthusiastically subscribed to the Reichsführer SS’s dauntingly simplistic policy of Annihilation through Work.
Turning to Hitler at Home, he writes of the construction of the Führer's public image:
The note that ... dutifully credulous journalists struck was remarkably consistent and testifies to the manipulative efficiency of Hitler’s publicity machine. The same words recur: destiny, toil, youth, culture, music, authentic, sacrifice – oh the sacrifice. 
That publicity machine was also sedulous in courting useful idiots, none more useful than Lord Rothermere, who happened to own a newspaper and whose potential as messenger boy to the British establishment Hitler exploited, just as he exploited the New York Times Magazine, which on 20 August 1939 enthused about his love of chocolate and of gooseberry pie and his rapt attention to the petitions of ‘widows and orphans of party martyrs’.
Then came news that in April Jonathan Meades is having a one-man show of treyfs and artknacks at the Londonewcastle Project in Shoreditch.

Treyfs? Artknacks? You will have to follow the link to find out.

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