Posted in history, tagged 1870, 1922, Benny Thomas, Franco-Prussian War, history, integration principle, Paris, Sedan, starvation on February 6, 2014 |
Leave a Comment »
Prussians after routing the French Army at Sedan headed towards the city of Paris. They were methodical and French towns were notified in advance of their route and requirements at each place. The list included one-and-a-half pound bread per soldier,one pound meat and one-quarter pound coffee, to five cigars and either a pint of wine and a pint of beer for soldier. Towns that didn’t come up with the required supplies were burned to the ground.
News reached the Parisians and the city was in panic. To the pervasive beating of drums that relentlessly went on citoyens drilled in the streets days and nights men and boys alike, even at nights under the gas jets. Some 40,000 oxen and 250,000sheep were brought in from all directions to pasture in the Bois de Boulogne. Foods were packed into warehouses to prepare the city for siege. Rumor mill went on and every foreigner was suspect. Most foreigners had left Paris by August.
After the surrender of the Emperor the Government of National Defense had taken over the promise,’Not an inch of our soil will we cede, not a stone of our fortress.’ The US wanted Bismarck to lift the siege and also sent Civil War Generals, Sheridan and Burnside and Leonard Jerome(Churchill’s maternal grandfather).
The three envoys found the city starving. Warehouses were emptied long ago and so were the horses in the Bois de Boulogne. Some two months before Christmas menu at a Paris restaurant had listed:soup from horse meat,mince of cat,shoulder of dog with tomato sauce,roast donkey and potatoes, mice on toast.
According to one ‘sewer rats were considered far more delicate than young chickens. One gourmet found rat tasted like a mixture of pork and partridge.
Dogs sold for four francs a pound when it was available, compared to horse at 40centimes a kilogram. Cats were a delicacy and the price was 20 fr. per pound. According to Chronique de Siege the Parisians had eaten 25,523 cats not counting alley cats. When the zoo was closed elephant trunks went around eight dollars a pound. Camel kidneys were much cheaper. Bread seems to have been made from panama hats picked up from gutter and a piece of bread was the selling rate for a prostitute.
The only plentiful food was mustard and champagne. The prolonged siege made crush of starving men and women throwing at the Prussian soldiers for food. It angered Bismarck who wanted the troops to fire on the citizens. When someone pointed out that the Prussian soldiers may not do that the Iron Chancellor was sure that the soldiers ought to be punished for disobedience. He seemed to have remarked ,’I attach no great importance to human life, because I believe in another world.’ Concluded.
(ack:i)Napoleon II-and his carnival empire/John Murray-1988/John Bierman.ii)Jennie/The life of Lady Randolph Churchill/Signet,1970/Ralph G. Martin)
Tailspin: The terrible misery that visited Germany during the Hyperinflation and Paris under siege are two sides of the same coin. Integration principle works slowly but sets man’s inhumanity to one another on the same yardstick.
Read Full Post »
In 1928 at Neidenburg in the East at the local elections Nazis got only 2.3% of the votes cast. After the Great Depression the Nazis did not have a party office there. Neither did Hitler visit the place to drum up support. By 1933 the Nazi party got 53 % in Germany( actual figures I cannot vouch for.I am quoting this secondhand-b).
Nazi Manifesto was still the same as at the time of its founding and in 1933. People in Germany were dejected with the economy and disruptive Communists were for rejecting democracy. In such a flux energy of each German was in ferment and was ready for taking.
Energy of individual is in full flow when he sells himself to an idea. Look at the post-war Germany what with the hyperinflation and political chaos man on the street was waiting for one father figure who would guide him out of the woods. Defeated and humiliated German had already sold to fall in and Adolf Hitler seized the chance. Having got so much energy from so many Hitler like the Piedpiper of Hamelin led Germany to ruin.
Integration principle shows the pernicious influence of Nazi cult surviving even though National Socialism as a political movement was finished. Its evil has worked its way into the pores of the national life. Neo-Nazis for example.
Here are two principles at work:
How come the first Woodstock festival was a roaring success while the second music-fest was a colorless affair?The natural outgrowth of social changes of 69 was energy that each participant brought there. It is like a flash flood that made a path upturning the whole social landscape. The youth had laid claim to have a say in their destiny that let old fogeys who represented the Establishment give in. Eastern philosophy, music and a new moral order that experimented with multiple lifestyle choices connected to give the social changes its structure. It was natural while the music fest at the Woodstock 30 years later was organized. The first demonstrated Integration principle in creating something new from many influences already in flow.
A similar phenomena we see in the founding of the Church. When John the baptist began his ministry people were agog with expectation. Coming of Messiah had gripped all. Similarly there was a great gathering on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem and all those who were there because their master had promised them an outpouring witnessed something extraordinary. Holy Spirit came down in many tongues.
A Church that is organized is like a man with an idea seeking counsel from PR man. He simply kills the spontaneous fire in his soul to get so many on the bandwagon! It happened to Christianity where the Church of Rome became a power unto itself. The originality of the teachings of Jesus became diluted with passage of time. Within the first fifty years the Early Church was busy wrestling with the question of how best it could reconcile the gentile and Jewish converts into its hold.
Integration principle must trade off with Inversion principle.
Read Full Post »