Posts Tagged ‘hitler’

Taking It On The Chin

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The Habsburgs were a crazy, out of control dynasty that ruled for over 600 years (a.k.a. Austro-Hungarian Empire) and were the most powerful European entity since Rome! They started out mostly a peaceful group and found that marrying their royals with other countries’ royals enlarged  their holdings without firing a shot. But this eventually resulted in a lot of in-marrying, and a slew of reasons that this was not a good idea for their gene pool (more in a minute on that).

The 19th Century was their time to shine with Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and Strauss, Freud, Doppler and a host of others. At the turn of the century, Vienna was the world’s 5th largest city in the world and had managed to avoid all revolutions and revolts. Then came World War I, (which I could make a case for the greedy Habsburgs starting and losing) and their holdings were split asunder. Then Hitler took over in 1938 and that’s enough of a history lesson for now. I read tons about everyplace I visit.

After a few generations of sisters marrying brothers, uncles with nieces, you get the idea, a few quirky things started showing up in the family Christmas photo. We see hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and skeletal deformities such as smaller stature and the easiest to spot; ‘Habsburg chin’. This is a very pronounced chin (think Jay Leno x 10). Phillip II of Spain was so deformed he could not swallow or speak.. In this portion of a prominent statue in the city center, you see Leopold I (and Holy Roman Emperor) kneel in thanksgiving for the plague being over. He was married to his niece who was also a first cousin so they weren’t fast learners either.

Habsburg Chin

Habsburg Chin


Friday, July 13th, 2012

I can’t help but think about World War II when I am in Germany. Steve and I had parents who fought in it, and evidences of it are all around.

After D-Day with the assault on the beaches of Normandy, the Allied troops whittled their way across France into Germany to put down Hitler’s war machine. What they didn’t bomb, the Germans bombed so nothing was found to capture. I did a bunch of reading on the battles and philosophies and am nearly finished “The Nuremberg Trials” (not an easy read). Does it count that I watched “Judgement at Nuremberg” the movie twice!?

Well today we are in Nuremberg. It is the sight of most of those parades you see with all the soldiers heiling the Furher. Went to the Memorial at the sight of the trials and it was appalling that the worst of war criminals; Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler were never  brought to justice…they committed suicide.

The towns we have visited were all damaged in bombings but the Americans chose not to bomb historical sites so many of those only needed repairing. It was interesting to see train tunnels disguised as castle parts to avoid shelling.  

Sixty five years later it’s still a horror the world should not forget.