You have to smile these days - Revisionism everywhere! Here even Hitler gets revised not to his detriment by mainstream media:
In "Revealed How Nazis Stubbed out Smoking," you get to see the Führer in the light of scientific inquiry. The full article, from which I quote the excerpts below, can be found at <http://ads.mirrormedia.co.uk/click.ng/site=independent&icontent=international>
* Even by his own standards, Hitler's hatred of smoking was extraordinary."
* Half a century later (Hitler's) first smoking ban at a public place seems enlightened, at least from an American perspective.
* A US scholar has assembled compelling evidence to prove that, largely because of Hitler's obsession, not only the bunker but wartime Germany as a whole was at least 20 years ahead of the rest of the world in nailing tobacco as the cause of lung cancer and in attempts to curb the filthy habit.
* The implications are enormous. Millions of people puffed on after the war, oblivious to the dangers. On proper medical advice, some might well have given up smoking and lived a good few years longer.
* A reappraisal of German medical science is also in order. . . It has been assumed no worthwhile work was done by Third Reich biologists, so tainted were they all by their search for racial purity and related pseudo-science projects. The Nazis could build rockets - curing human ailments was not their forte.
* The historian Robert Proctor, author of The Nazi War on Cancer, explodes that myth, only to raise more questions: how did the knowledge gathered in the Third Reich become lost, and why did it take the medical establishments in Britain two decades and in the US even longer to rediscover it? Or did they know it all along?
* Tobacco was one of the first things (Hitler) would try to wipe off the face of the Earth.
* Soon after he reached power, millions of posters proclaiming nicotine as "poison for the Aryan race" were printed. Measures were promulgated, restricting the sale of cigarettes to women, cutting soldiers' rations on the Eastern Front and banning smoking in cars, trains and buildings. Members of the Hitler Youth were drafted in to spread the message with their inimitable subtlety.
* (M)oney was poured into research. . . In 1942 Hitler helped to set up the Institute for the Struggle Against the Dangers of Tobacco at Jena with 100,000 Reichsmarks from his own budget.
* Britain's Medical Research Council claims to have been the "first national institution in the world to accept formally the evidence that tobacco is a major cause of death". The research council took that leap of faith in 1957.
* Germany did not just investigate, it acted on its findings. As early as 1939 the Nazis convened a congress on the dangers of tobacco, attended by 15,000 scientists.
* In the same year Hermann Goering forbade soldiers from smoking on marches, in the streets or on patrol. Cigarettes could not be sold to women, drivers faced lawsuits for criminal negligence if found smoking at the wheel.
* Research continued, with mixed success. Hitler was convinced of tobacco's lingering genetic effects.
* "If it hadn't been for the war and the fact that this research had ideological grounding, the Jena study would be considered a classic early epidemiological work," said Professor George Davey-Smith of Bristol University, who was the first to unearth this piece of the jigsaw. "I think it was underestimated."
* "It's extraordinary what was in the medical journals of the time," said Professor Paul Weindling of Oxford Brookes University, a leading expert on Nazi eugenics research. "And the British and Americans would just read them."
* The international scientific community did not want to get mixed up with the unethical work of German colleagues, and therefore created the myth that all German medical science had been paralysed by primitive racism.
Thought for the Day:
"Just as a hundred fools do not make one wise man, an heroic decision is not likely to come from a hundred cowards."
Back to Table of Contents of the Nov. 1999 ZGrams