© Neil Spark

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24 Feb 2017

Another step towards World War II was made when Nazi leader Adolf Hitler secretly authorised the founding of the German airforce, the Luftwaffe on 26 February 1935. The airforce contravened the Versailles Treaty that forbade a German military airforce. World War I air ace and long-term...

10 Feb 2017

I devour books about the inter-war period. There’s a plethora of non-fiction and fiction. I post my thoughts from time to time about my reading journey. Here’s my review of The Black Orchestra by JJ Toner.

When committed Nazi and Abwehr signalman Kurt Muller discovers the body of a col...

29 Jan 2017

Democracy did not end when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933. Its demise began with the legislative election of September 1930 and was hurried along by Hitler’s three predecessors.

Germany had three chancellors in 1932: academic economist Heinrich Brüning, an...

26 Jan 2017

The 84th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s assumption of power is in just a few days. There will be a vote in Turkey in just a few months for a new constitution that could give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (above) unchecked power. History has a litany of examples of the disastrous consequ...

19 Jan 2017

The first election in Germany after the Great War was just 14 months after the signing of the Armistice.  Voting method was proportional representation for the election of 421 legislators on Sunday, 19 January 1919. Proportional representation is often criticised on the basis it was the...

15 Jan 2017

Tony Blair is back. After almost a decade out of politics, the controversial former New Labour UK Prime Minister is taking tentative steps to be involved, albeit not directly. Blair’s intention to contribute more to the political debate is welcome because his is a persuasive voice of th...

5 Jan 2017

Pervitin was a shopping staple in Nazi Germany. And it propelled the Blitzkrieg of 1940 when Nazi troops occupied six countries in the first nine months of World War II.

Pervitin was a methamphetamine. It fuelled the German army. It fuelled the civilian population’s happiness. This is...

18 Dec 2016

If there is one phrase that describes the United States Constitution, it is checks and balances.  So concerned were the founders that the power of government had to be restrained, checks were imposed at every level – even on the people.

It is why the President is not directly elected....

11 Dec 2016

Eighty years ago this weekend, the uncrowned British King Edward VIII abdicated.  “I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all,” he said in a radio broadcast on 10 December 1936.

It was the best decisio...

11 Nov 2016

The violence against Jewish people in Germany on 8 and 9 November 1938 was an omen of annihilation. What became known as Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Crystal) wasn’t the first European Jewish pogrom. But it was the first that was not only sanctioned by the government of an advanced in...

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