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Is Trump Like Hitler? Only Holocaust Deniers Think So, Says Alan Dershowitz

(01-02-2019)  Is Trump like Hitler or is the very question a form of Holocaust denial? Alan Dershowitz muddies the fascism waters even more than they already were ... Read More
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Nazi Salute at Baraboo High: Freedom of Speech or History Education?

11-30-2018 Almost all the boys of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed for a picture doing the Nazi salute. Do the students have freedom of speech? Did they know what they were doing? If not, why not? ... Read More
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Trump is a Nationalist But the News Is How He Normalizes White Nationalists

Trump is a nationalist. Says the word "became sort of old-fashioned". He suggests it's one of those 'good old days' elements -- not morally repulsive at all -- like when America was great. He just normalized nationalism with fascist language. This is extremely dangerous! ... Read More
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Dutch Police Training: From Authoritarianism to Deescalation Strategies

In World War Two, the Netherlands felt what authoritarianism does. Respect for authority declined after the war. Dutch police training adapted, and focused on social skills like deescalation techniques ... Read More
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What is Fascism and What Does American Fascism Look Like?

The coming posts will address some fascist phenomena--and how they do or don't manifest in American fascism--as well as related terms like nationalism, authoritarianism, etc ... Read More
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Trump’s Muslim Registration and Identification Plans: Why History Matters

What American kids should be learning in History class: Just because something starts off small doesn't mean it's not a big deal. Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans are definitely a big deal ... Read More
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What Passes for American History Education is Pathetic, and Now I Know Why

American history education is comprised mostly of disjointed, unimportant personal anecdotes, dates of battles and numbers killed. Cause and effect are barely touched upon. I can see why kids think, "Booooring!" ... Read More
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Time Eternal in The Assault: Events Put in a Larger, Timeless Perspective

The tinkering with time and events in The Assault (see the previous post) leads us to what Harry Mulisch calls 'time eternal' -- the elements in his writing which put the historical events into a larger, more timeless perspective ... Read More
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Familiar Imagery from Dutch History, Culture and Politics in The Assault

Imagery of iconic people and events from Dutch history are interwoven in The Assault, as well as --then--current events. Two novels about resistance fighters, both based on true stories, had just been made into movies. Mulisch uses some of their most memorable images ... Read More
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History Changes, Then Solidifies in Historical Fiction, As in The Assault

To Harry Mulisch, history is a matter of selection (what is remembered, recorded and by whom) and reduction (what is deemed worth preserving). Ultimately, what remains of history -- what makes it permanent -- is historical fiction ... Read More
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Causality and Coincidence in History, Historical Fiction and in The Assault

It has been argued that The Assault is not real historical fiction, since many of the events are determined by accident; however, this view denies that history is, in fact, a combination of causality and coincidence ... Read More
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The Five Forms of Time in the Historical Novel The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured as a Greek tragedy. At this level the novel is a timeless epic. The element of time plays an important role in most of Mulisch's work. To him, a writer deals with time in many different ways ... Read More
A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is divided into five episodes, covering a time span of thirty-six years, in which the protagonist Anton Steenwijk, suffers the violence and guilt of the German occupation of the Netherlands. The following is a brief summary ... Read More
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The Time Capsule: An Introduction to the Concept of History in The Assault

In the winter of 1944-45, Anton reads a magazine article about a time capsule buried in 1938, to be unearthed six thousand years later. There's a lesson about history in the description of the contents of the capsule and what the reader knows about the events since 1938 ... Read More
Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

De aanslag / The Assault by Harry Mulisch is a historical novel par excellence. It's historical fiction, it's meta fiction about history and writing about history, and Mulisch has incorporated historical events and people so realistically that some Belgian television people came looking for the exact location of the assault.  ... Read More
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Paquette and the Nazis: or: Books and Babies, the Stuff of Nightmares

A random writing prompt: Write about being locked in a room with your greatest fear. I was reading The Hunchback of the Notre Dame while staying at my in-laws' with our baby. The nightmares I had from empathizing with Paquette were like being locked in a room with my greatest fear, I suppose ... Read More