Nova Scotia

Columbus always gets the credit/blame for finding the Americas, even though another sailor gave them his name. And it’s strange that clear evidence of Viking habitation of the continent is largely ignored. Even stranger that reports of the recent discovery of Roman artefacts in the same region also ignore the subsequent Viking activity – as if nothing else happened until 1492!

We all deplore attempts to re-write history, but the persistent failure to recognise key events is even worse.

No doubt learned colleagues can offer an explanation…..

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  1. January 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    The Vikings built good ships and were great sailors and navigators, but as far as I know they were almost illiterate which meant that they couldn’t record much for posterity and thus got no credit. Whether the Romans got to America first or who knows, they were certainly (with a fair wind) capable and could have recorded their findings….if they survived.

    History is full of people who took the credit for this and that. Look at Archimedes who gets the credit for understanding displacement, but there were boats and floating things long before Archimedes and it’s more than likely that the relationship between weight and displacement was already well understood by sailors and shipwrights, but who like the vikings were illiterate and could only express their understanding in a practical rather than academic terms.

  2. January 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    There is no doubt that the Vikings were there, despite the lack of documentary evidence. As you say, written evidence tends to carry weight. It will be interesting to see whether the ‘diggers’ eventually corroborate the Roman evidence – even discovering ‘written’ proof in the form of coins or gravestones.

  3. January 3, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    janus “……It will be interesting to see whether the ‘diggers’ eventually corroborate the Roman evidence …”

    The Australians are involved now…?

  4. January 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Archaeological evidence of Viking contacts with indigenous nations in North America extends below the Canadian-Sub-Canadian North American border. There is broad consensus on this point. Columbus is celebrated only because his expeditions sparked the permanent European settlement of the Americas. It’s similar to, say, the emphasis put on James Cook’s expeditions to Australia and New Zealand.

    There is a fair amount of archaeological evidence that there was more contact with the Americas than previously thought. There are some similarities between Cherokee and Greek, for example. This supposition has been supported by genetic testing. Archaeological evidence shows that the Chumash People in California have skull types not seen outside of Polynesia and their language is closer to Polynesian languages than neighbouring languages. There have also been Chinese shipwrecks pre-dating 1492 off the coast of California.

  5. January 3, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Jazz, nice one. 😀

    C, I haven’t heard of the Greek connection. Fascinating.

    Btw there are rune stones in Nova Scotia.

  6. christinaosborne
    January 3, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Perhaps the discoveries of all voyagers are of no consequence. It was surely their failure to return to even tell others about it that doomed their discoveries to oblivion?
    Most of these discoveries either ended in shipwrecks or small settlements wiped out rather quickly by disease or the locals. No one knew they were there. One could hardly be expected to be included in the pantheon of skalds if they had never heard the tale.

    What I always found rather curious was that most of the early adventurers seemed to set up their camps pretty well where they first made landfall. Most were patently unsuitable for permanent habitation. I never could quite understand why they didn’t draw breath so to speak and then explore up and down the coast before putting down permanent roots. This is what the Mayflower group did and survived. Whereas the Roanoake settlement on an offshore tidewater island was subject to drought, erosion and fevers, without the consideration of hostile natives. They didn’t last five minutes!
    Interesting to me how none then or now ever take into consideration the geography of an area and yet it is the very first thing that will affect your survival chances.

  7. January 3, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    christinaosborne “….Interesting to me how none then or now ever take into consideration the geography of an area and yet it is the very first thing that will affect your survival chances….”

    No shortage of fools then or now.
    BTW, hope you’re feeling better.

  8. January 3, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    CO, the ancients understood it, by and large, but after the Dark Ages explorers reverted to amateurish colonisation. Except the Vikings, of course!

  9. O Zangado
    January 3, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Any connection between Greek and Cherokee languages are the result of visits in the distant past by extra-terrestrial beings. As any fule kno. 😀

    OZ

  10. christinaosborne
    January 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Just about turned the corner jazz, bad bout, but that is the 4th since October with the travelling so I expect my immune system is thoroughly in bad condition. Spent three days in bed last week, it is the only way I can deal with it, constant temp and virtually no food, hot drinks and no tablets, don’t do a thing! Been like it all my life. Terribly Victorian, taking to one’s bed, but no way can I function through bugs, just end up in hospital. I shall cancel everything for the rest of january, or will end up going down like a ninepin again. God rot foreign jauntings! The sooner you can go disassembled in a box instantly the better!
    Damn it, I would have died on the boat there!

    Janus, I expect the ancients did have a far better appreciation of environment, they lived closer to the earth than most of us do these days. Immediately you devoid yourself of the responsibility of producing your own food and most things you need to survive it must be very easy to get in the habit of presuming that they will all appear as if by magic. As some of us now think that food comes from a supermarket the 1500 equivalent was probably some peasant will grow an adequate supply with a lordly wave of the hand. Or, we’ll have it sent up from the country! probably a cogent explanation of why things went so perilously wrong for most.
    The only settlements that survived of any nation were those that had ships supplying them from home every year, for years! And they only went to haul out the ‘loot’ of whatever was profitable!

    As I am quite such an atavistic creature and a physical geographer to boot, all of this comes totally naturally to me. It is of the first consideration. I have lived in over 50 homes, never once have I lived in a property where I had a disaster of any nature. I rented once a house that flooded, but I knew it flooded and had it for a peppercorn rent. I took averting action before the event and never lost a single damned thing. I used to study a meadow about a mile up the road, when it was inundated I knew I had twelve hours before mine went under. Plenty of time! Happened three time in two years and never caught me once. The silver lining to this was that during that time I had the chance to save a deposit for a business. Broke as usual after a particularly nasty divorce! All worked out just fine. I never could understand why people wanted to live by rivers, cliffs, the sea etc etc. Best place is on a hill or the side of a hill, not too steep. (At least you can see the buggers coming so to speak. The Anglo Saxons had it right!)
    I always check the soil too, can’t help myself.

  11. christinaosborne
    January 3, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    ‘Foreign jauntings’ now include visits to Bellingham 15 miles away!
    A fatwah on anything more than 5 miles away!!

  12. January 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/before-columbus-how-africans-brought-civilization-to-america/5407584

    Clearly the Africans were there first, but they soon left in disgust when they discovered that there was nothing to destroy. For the uninitiated if Africans can’t steal it, eat it or f%$k it, they break it.

    And so the brave adventurers returned home to their gentile societies where they continued their pursuit of justice, science and the arts.

  13. christinaosborne
    January 3, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Bizarre, but he does raise a few points. I’m sure Africans taught the SE Asians how to build pyramids too! Like to open a book on the likelihood of it being aliens versus Africans or are they one and the same thing?

    Or are they the easiest shape to build where a great audience can watch simultaneously and everyone can see? One notes they were only ever built in hot climate places, not in cold rainy places where the audience would have buggered off PDQ in winter. Which is why they were invented by people all over the place?
    After all pyramids are not going to fall down are they? No embarrassment at architectural failure likely to ensue is there?

    Consider, pyramids are a physical manifestation of humanities’ need to establish a hierarchical society, imbued in all societies. The need for top dogs to be seen, adulated, worshipped, whatever. I’m quite sure an awful lot of differing societies in a certain stage in their development would come up with the same solution independently.

    Another thought. all pyramids are built in flat areas generally near rivers or lakes ie water supplies. Nile valley. SE Asian deltas, etc. There were no hills to stand on to address the multitudes. Pyramids are only codified little hills tidied up suitably to ascend and descend with appropriate grandeur. Couldn’t be seen to scramble up a slope and lose one’s footing could one? Must have a nice flight of steps!
    I think they fit rather well with most of humanities penchant for self aggrandisement.
    Don’t reckon anyone spread them anywhere, thought up in situ for gratification of the overentitled.

  14. christinaosborne
    January 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    I think the thoughts are more valid than the punctuation!

  15. January 4, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Sipu: Sorry, mate, but that article is bunkum. The writer is an Afro-Centrist who peddles discredited rants. Afro-Centrists are not well regarded by serious scholars as they are notorious for fabricating things to suit their agenda. The pyramids of Egypt and Meso-America are fundamentally different from those of Egypt. The Egyptians’ technology was superior to that of Meso-America despite being built much later on. Egyptian vessels were simply not capable of crossing the Atlantic. They were well-suited to the Nile and were capable of travelling the calm Mediterranean but were ill-suited to travelling the stormy, rough Atlantic. The writers other pieces are similarly the creations of a barking madman. Anyone who considers Gaddafi to have been a “Democrat” has to be strange. I disagree with his removal, but a liberal he was not!

    Oz: I blame Alex Salmond.

    CO: By South-East Asian pyramids do you mean structures such as Borobudur? There are other grand temple complexes such as Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom but they’re influenced by Indian temple architecture, not African. Don’t forget that until relatively recently South-East Asia was either Buddhist or Hindu and Islam only really became prominent in Insular South-East Asia a few hundred years ago. There was also significant Indian migration to South-East Asia for nearly 2,000 years. They never became demographically dominant, but, like the Chinese in Vietnam exerted a great deal of influence. As for Roanoke, there is reason to suspect that the reason why they disappeared is that after fleeing from hostile neighbours they quickly married into friendlier tribes and quick disappeared as a distinct group. English-language inscriptions dating from the time found elsewhere in the South-Eastern portion of Sub-Canadian North America support this.

  16. January 4, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Janus: Relatively recent genetic research has shown a strong presence of Greek genetic clusters in the Cherokee people. Linguistic research has also found a fairly strong Greek influence. They’ve remained largely North Asian in extraction but it isn’t simply a recent mixture.

  17. January 4, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Christopher, I think you may have lived too long in the USA. Your irony meter does not appear to be working.

    By the way, that should have been ‘genteel’ not ‘gentile’.

  18. January 4, 2016 at 4:45 am

    I’ve worked in academia for too long. I normally find such things amusing, but attempt to refute such superstitions. It’s a bit like Pavolov’s Dog.

  19. January 4, 2016 at 7:36 am

    C, I’m Pavlovian too. NB Pavlov! 🙊

  20. January 4, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Seriously though, could Greeks sail to America? Could they walk over ice?

  21. January 4, 2016 at 9:51 am

    The ancient Greeks had ships, so it’s possible that someone was tempted to sail through the Straits of Gibralter ( Pillars of Herculese ?) and keep going west until they hit something. Once they were out of sight of land they would have been at the mercy of the prevailing wind and currents, I doubt if they could have rowed across the Atlantic.

  22. January 4, 2016 at 10:05 am

    We know that Greeks imported tin from the Casseritides, identified as SW England, reported by Herodotus. Some scholars also interpret his travel claims as indicating he reached Iceland. If he did, it is quite feasible Greeks could have followed the Viking route.

  23. January 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I doubt if the Greeks followed the Vikings.

  24. Boadicea
    January 4, 2016 at 11:53 am

    To answer your original comment Janus:

    the persistent failure to recognise key events is even worse.

    Once a story has taken hold of popular imagination it's virtually impossible for it to be dislodged. It's even more difficult when one can see that the story has implications for the present day. The Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Vikings and even others may well have 'discovered' the Americas – but their discoveries were not part of the present-day story of the American continent. Their discoveries are, sad to say, totally and utterly irrelevant.

    Moreover, it is sometimes impossible to get people to accept proven truths. Some 'historical fables' appeal to people's imagination and prejudices while the truth simply does not.

    The 'myth' of Richard the Lionheart as a noble and chivalrous warrior and great English king is one such. He bankrupted England, and his deeds after the Siege of Acre show he was no chivalrous knight. Yet Church chroniclers and folk-lore stories of Robin Hood still capture the imagination of millions and cannot be replaced by the truth of what a cold and callous man he was.

    The story of the fall of Anne Boleyn is another such 'myth'. How easy and romantic to think that it was just another 'love affair' that went wrong. But it wasn't – it is the tale of a weak man who was manipulated into disposing of a wife who no longer had the support of the dominant party at court. And Henry VIII knew that. He balked at condemning Katherine Howard because, as he said, 'you have done this before'.

    My favourite example is the myth of the Peasants Revolt of 1381, deemed still, despite all academic research, to be the outcome of over-taxing the poor, English peasants. Utter Bunkum! Read the trial accounts and the tax documents – most of those who were indicted and punished were artisans. And the tax documents show that these relatively wealthy individuals were being assessed to pay more than they ever had before. None of these documents support the 'myth' of the poor rising up against oppression. Yet, what a marvellous myth for those who want to show how the poor were down-trodden by medieval kings.

  25. January 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Jazz, a priceless reply!! 😃

    Boa, thanks for that.

  26. January 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Christopher – The pyramids of Egypt and Meso-America are fundamentally different from those of Egypt. This does not make any sense to me.
    Boa – I am so grateful to live in the 21 century, where there are people, who take the trouble to put things right in hindside.
    I am really waiting for a collection of the most important myths and lies with given evidence. Only recently we cannot agree, if the americans landed on the moon, climate change is happening, etc.. Will there be people in 100 years still discussing that? Or is it, thanks to modern communication technology and research methods, that the truth will come out much quicker? Would be nice to belive that, instead of all this WAWA about god,the bible and trying to give evidence of something based on twisted belief systems, which many people have adopted to make their lifes worthwhile. As a scientist, I do not really care too much about history, but certainly the view of knowledgeable people, who try to be non-biased when making summaries and conclusions matters a lot.

  27. January 4, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Boadicea: there’s a good Italian expression, “even if it’s not true it’s well-told”. People want to believe in the implausible, the fantastic. Whether it’s Izunami-no-Mikoto and Izunagi-no-Mikoto, Odin and Frigg or Zeus and Hera most mythologies combine romance, action, scandal, intrigue, revenge, etc. How else could the periodic obsession with “New Age” spirituality or “wisdom” be explained? People want to discover the “wisdom of the ancients”, the esoteric “truth” that the ancients knew but had been lost.

    Agreed on rubbish interpretations of historical events. The Marxists are largely to blame for that. Class struggle had to always exist for their framework to hold so they’d fabricate whatever they couldn’t twist past recognition.

  28. Boadicea
    January 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Frau – I always feel very sad when people say they do not care too much about history. How can we know who we are, where we want to go or what mistakes we have made without understanding where we have come from?

    I don’t expect everyone to to look at the minute details of history – but the knowledge of a broad outline of the past is, I think, essential to all who look to and plan for the future.

    I can understand the excitement of pure logic. My first love, before I became a historian, was Pure Mathematics. But look at where relying solely on ‘scientific’ thought has led us. Just think about the ‘science’ of Eugenics. Certainly that ‘science’ has since thought to be defective. I have no idea whether it is – it may well have some value. But, because it supported the prejudices of many people in the early 1900s in Europe it has been utterly discredited.

    As far as I’m concerned Anthropomorphic Global Warming is another example of the know-it-all-scientists ignoring any other discipline than their own. Planet Earth has, if one bothered to listen to those who have studied the history of the earth in-depth, been subject to climate change since day 1 of its existence. I have no problem with the fact of climate change – but how utterly self-indulgent and ignorant are those scientists who think that humans are the sole cause of that phenomenon. Failing to listen to those ‘historians’ means that we are not dealing with the problem appropriately. We should be spending money on dealing with the situation and not on trying to change what we have not caused.

    Furthermore, I would, if I could, insist that all politicians study the history of their country before they were allowed to stand for election. The Labour party would have understood what happened when Governments subsidised low wages. This was tried in the 1600s and guess what! Employers promptly lowered their wages and left the local rate payers to pick up the deficit – just as big-business is doing in the UK right now.

    As a historian, I am obviously biased towards my discipline! But knowledge of history is not just a matter of idle interest – it really does have value to the modern world.

  29. christinaosborne
    January 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Bo, oh how I agree with you!
    Considering the world is pretty well a system in its entirety to itself you would think that people would regard its holistic whole as from the beginning.
    Not a bit of it.
    Talk about humanity doomed to repeat its mistakes through ignorance!
    It is all already written there either in the archive of rocks or in the libraries of man.
    Too ignorant and arrogant to make use of the information.
    No wonder this world is in the bloody mess it is.

  30. January 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Boa, yes. ‘Right’ answers are very appealing and ‘safe’ but if the wrong question is asked, what then?

  31. January 6, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    History is actually data (of variable quality), so it would be foolish to ignore it.

  32. January 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Jazz, historians try to make sense of a jigsaw puzzle with no clear edges and an infinite number of missing pieces. Not surprising if they disagree – so integrity is all.

  33. January 6, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    The turn this conversation has taken, specifically those comments about the dangers of ignoring history, brings me back to my days as a young soldier in the Rhodesian army when I wrote to my father about the state of affairs in southern Africa. Reading those words now, some 40 years later, I suppose I was somewhat precocious, but I do believe that there is some element of veracity therein.

    “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

    And thus the current regimes, here and in our neighbour to the south, came into being. It is a sad tale which leads to the irrefutable conclusion that Europe is about to enter another dark age.

  34. January 6, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Boa – excuse me, I seem to have not expressed myself well, may I be allowed to clarify: I was actually supporting your argument and referring to people like you, when I said we need some clever people resuming for us ( as we cannot know or study everything in detail) , such that we can make good judgements. A historical fact is always the Input to new scientific and or social theories and we must learn from it, no doubt about that. Please forget about my statement, I am not caring about history, this sounds really a bit stupid (reading it again), I should have said, it does not bring humanity a lot forward, when dwelling over events we don’t know for certain. Historical facts and figures of course matter a lot and detailed reports of people who have lived at a certain period as well. Only think about for example the diary of Anne Frank.
    Regarding the AGW debate, you are using as an example to have doubts about some scientists, I am completely with you on that as well, there are too many ‘self-nominated experts’ around in this world and this is true unfortunately for most disciplines and the disastrous debate about Anthropomorphic Global Warming has shown that very clearly in the field of science. I would feel embarassed, if I had to volunteer for one of these papers to be honest. Some good physicians have in the mean-time left this field and rather go back to economic figures and probabilities because of its complexity and measurable successes. I hope that helps to make my contribution a bit more useful.

  35. O Zangado
    January 6, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Sipu – I think what you wrote forty years ago, particularly, “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure.” might have struck a cord with the women of Cologne and Hamburg in recent days.

    But, on another less contentious note, does anyone here have any theories as to the colonisation of the South Pacific? The popular wisdom is that humans migrated eastwards from SE Asia, island hopping in outrigger canoes and that only the biggest and strongest survived the journey, hence the impressive physical stature of your average Polynesian, Samoans and Tongans in particular.

    I have a theory that once the Kiwis give all the Polynesian rugby players back to their roots, then Samoa or Tonga will win the RWC pretty damn quick. Or perhaps Fiji, whose team are already consistently spectacular at the Hong Kong Sevens. All those countries produce naturally talented players who learned their skills as children playing beach rugby on Sunday afternoons, a bit like Brazilians produce kissballers in the favellas of Rio.

    OZ

  36. christinaosborne
    January 6, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    sipu’s comment strikes me as eternal.
    Generally put- fiddling while Rome burns!
    The Assyrians ‘n’ thousand years ago, Nero yesterday and Camoron today.
    Nothing EVER changes.

    Quintessentially depressing, no wonder the aliens have us in deep quarantine, so would I, as the most stupid species of the universe.

  37. January 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    frauohneeigenschaften “…..Historical facts and figures of course matter a lot and detailed reports of people who have lived at a certain period as well. Only think about for example the diary of Anne Frank…..”

    There is some dubiety about The Diary of Ann Frank. .

  38. January 7, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Oz: so far as we know it started in South East Asia and Taiwan is generally seen as the hearth of Polynesia, but there remains a great deal of uncertainty about details. Others have speculated that migrations went in the opposite direction due to the insular nature of South-East Asian communities. I suspect that there was movement in both directions.

    CO: I have rather more sympathy for Nero. He was likely clinically insane at a time when mental healthcare didn’t exist. The Germanic kings of Iberia let the Moors over-run the peninsula in order to try scoring petty points only to realise, too late,that the Moors were a more powerful force than they believed them to be and that they were not about to cede any significant powers to them after they established themselves. It took centuries for Portugal to sort that mess out and Spain even longer to dislodge the last of them.

    Jazz: Irving? Really? That’s insulting. You might as well send a link to “Mein Kampf”.

  39. January 7, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Oops. I am somewhat embarrassed by my earlier comment. I thought my fraud would have been identified in a heartbeat. Those remarks were not mine but plagiarised from Winston Churchill. I was looking for the origins of the idea that history is doomed to be repeated when I came across this link.https://www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org/blog/churchill-quote-history/

    I was going to put in an acrostic as a clue, but I was too tired and emotional. My humble apologies.

  40. January 7, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I thought I could detect some Old Harrovian rhetoric there! Cheer up, lad, it’s Friday tomorrow.

  41. christinaosborne
    January 7, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Oooh! Shades of George Brown!

  42. January 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

    CO, I suppose Ted Heath is the closest we got to Nero – but he played the organ and did a bit of fiddling on the side! 😉

  43. January 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    christophertrier “….Jazz: Irving? Really? That’s insulting. You might as well send a link to “Mein Kampf”….”

    Christopher, If you find that insulting then you’ve got a pretty thin skin. Anne Frank’s diaries have been questioned by other people other than Irving, who by the way is a pretty good historian, he wrote an excellent account of the Convoy PQ 17 disaster and was well respected before he got on the wrong side of God’s chose people.
    I don’t believe everything that I read, including David Irving, I just take it all into account. Millions of people were killed in WW2, I don’t suppose the non combatants in London, Berlin or Leningrad were any less victims that those (not all Jewish) who died in German concentration camps.

    Anyway, always happy to oblige, here’s the link to Mien Kampf…on Amazon available also in Kindle or .pdf. Years ago I tried reading it but Hitler shares with Marx the ability to write really boring stuff….so I didn’t.

  44. O Zangado
    January 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Christopher – It is true that migration these days is from the Pacific Islands to almost anywhere else, including the islands of Oz and New Zealand, whereas the Asians are busily filling the gap left behind, but I doubt it was always thus. Asians are generally of small physical stature yet the Polynesians are usually of the Jonah Lomu (RIP) variety. The latter are more likely, genetically, to have survived weeks and even months in an open canoe on the open seas. I once sat in a cafe in Nuku’Alofa watching Tongan matrons walking along the wharf. They reminded me for all the world in their measured gait like Spanish galleons with all sails set in a light breeze.

    It must be pointed out, however, that Aussies and Kiwis go to have a look abroad for a year or several because abroad is so far away, but usually return home having had that look. And I do not blame them one iota for that. I do wish illegals turfing up in the UK would do the same.

    OZ

  45. January 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Irving chooses to ignore facts sometimes – so he is a novelist not a historian.

  46. January 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    O Zangado “…..I once sat in a cafe in Nuku’Alofa.. .” it’s a long time since I did that. We used to call there in the USSCo TSMV Tofua on which I was 3rd Mate.

    Janus, You don’t like Irving (supposing you’ve ever read him ?) because he says things that you don’t want to hear. The fact is that he’s a good writer and historian. He made a mistake taking a libel action over the Holocaust, there was absolutely no way that he could have won, the establishment wouldn’t ever allow it. A bit like Count Tolstoy who was prosecuted for libel for writing the truth about the disgraceful forced repatriation (to their deaths) of Cossacks and Yugoslavs, again there was absolutely no way that he could be allowed to win either.
    Both Irving and Tolstoy were naive enough to think that the truth would protect them.

  47. January 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Jazz: it has nothing to do with thickness of skin. David Irving was once an esteemed historian but has become a pariah after he embraced Holocaust denial. Under German law he’s a criminal. If you are sceptical about the provenance of Anne Frank’s Diary or the veracity of sections of it then send a link to a credible writer or organisation, not a deranged criminal. That you twisted what I wrote shows that I hit a nerve. Nearly 12 million died in the Holocaust, 6 million were Jews, 5.5 million were not. I also get irked when the other 5.5 million are left out but that has nothing to do with the deaths of 6 million others.

    Oz: the Taiwanese, especially in the South, are larger than Chinese. Well, in general they are. Most are mixed Han and Taiwanese Aborigine — same basic stock as Polynesians. Those I’ve met, Taiwanese Aborigines that is, are far larger than Taiwanese of largely Han descent.

    One can’t do much better than living in Australia or New Zealand. In the past it made sense to work for a time in the UK or elsewhere, but with visas growing more difficult to obtain and domestic economies developing nicely this is no longer as important as it used to be. A great loss for the UK, methinks. I often ask female-type parent why she couldn’t have chosen an Aussie or Kiwi to marry, not some revolting colonial.

  48. January 7, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Jazz: I suppose for a pathological liar fabrications, no matter how depraved, are a form of “truth”. Comparing Irving with Tolstoy is akin to comparing Churchill with Quisling. You insult the great Tolstoy.

  49. January 7, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Christopher, It would take a lot more than a comment from a (edited) to hit one of my nerves. Irving is no more a criminal than I am, I can’t speak for your record ?
    If he’s guilty of anything it’s simply saying things that some people don’t want to hear and are not willing to debate.

    Boa, I have edited this gratuitous insult against Christopher. Janus

  50. January 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Boa “……Boa, I plan to delete this gratuitous insult against Christopher. Janus.”

    Do what you like.

  51. January 7, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Jazz, now you seem to be fed up with this, but I think you really provoqued a bit too much. I can only share Christopher’s sentiment entirely and I go as far to say, no-one who is not german can understand the sentiment of the World War Two next generation.Your citations proof to me, that I did well not joining your club earlier at the end of last year. What soem of you came up with really hurts, goes under the skin, I find it really very sad sad generally well informed and educated bloggers, as you certainly all are still send links to such a perverted ‘documentation’ of historical events. I am appauled.

  52. January 8, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Jazz: I never claimed to be an intellectual, floppy or otherwise. I’ve met too many Holocaust survivors to have any time or use for the likes of David Irving. I’ve known far too many people whose families were largely wiped out by the Holocaust to have any respect for those who would deny it. Under German law Holocaust denial is a crime and Irving has committed it. Don’t like Jews? You don’t have to, but every action has consequences and doggedly defending the indefensible does little to build respect.

    FoE: I grew up with my grandparents who lived through the war. I grew up with the shell-shocked silence, the hushed tones and the products of ruined lives. I grew up with a paranoid grandmother who only survived the war because her mother’s priest destroyed her family’s conversion records — within living memory the female relatives were Jewish. Everyone knew people who disappeared, were were killed off. Nothing will change the past, but it can’t be denied, it must never be denied.

  53. January 8, 2016 at 6:56 am

    I think it is safe to say, whatever the truth behind the numbers that died in the Nazi concentration camps, two things are certain: 1) “The Holocaust” has become a money generating industry that has been exploited by many in the Jewish community for the last 70 years. 2) Making it a crime to deny the full extent of ‘The Holocaust’ is a breach of the right to free speech. Both are morally indefensible.

    And for some further pearls:
    Do not equate adherence to the law with morality.
    Do not maintain that anybody who distorts the truth on occasion, by definition, does so all the time.
    Do not make the mistake that a person who does not share the opinions of the rest of society has no valid reasons for doing so.
    Read the Emperor’s New Clothes.
    Most people in society are easily led and have only a nodding acquaintance to original thought.
    It takes courage to contradict society, as Oscar Schindler would have discovered.

  54. January 8, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Nice rules, Sipu.

    May I add:

    Do not assume that a good historical account of one topic guarantees all that historian’s work is reliable.

  55. O Zangado
    January 8, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Jazz – Did you ever work for Bank Line?

    Christopher – Although I am very content here in Portugal, I should never have left Brisbane.

    OZ

  56. January 8, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Sipu: free speech is not an absolute right in Germany. As with really everything in the Federal Republic, it is highly regulated, circumscribed, even. There are even regulations concerning what a person from a particular ethnic group can be called. Breaching this regulation doesn’t result in mere censure as it would in the UK or US, but potential civil action. For example, calling a person from Sub-Saharan Africa “black” is not acceptable, but “strongly pigmented” is. There is a fine of at least 200 euros for making this mistake! Thus, Holocaust denial is a serious crime in Germany and the German government will seek to extradite those who do it to face charges. I have no use, time or respect for Holocaust deniers. At the same time, I dislike attempts to profit from it and grow irked when the 5.5 million non-Jews who died are expunged from the record. Hitler killed 6 million Jews? Yes, the largest group by far but hardly the only group. Ignoring the others negates the existence of those who stood against the Nazis including a good many Germans.

    Janus: your final sentence is spot-on. An ethical historian will readily admit ignorance and conjecture. An unethical historian will see her or his reputation torn apart quickly, especially if mistakes are not admitted. There were times when I wasn’t clear enough and was thoroughly eviscerated.

    Oz: Australia never leaves you, does it?

  57. January 8, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I’m not really defending Irving, he doesn’t need it, just trying to point out that it is foolish to dismiss him.
    Why is it that anyone who questions the Holocaust is howled down as a ‘denier’ and threatened (in Germany at least) with legal action ? Nobody , including Irving disputes that the Jews were treated abominably by the Nazis, it’s the nature of what actually happened which piques curiosity.
    My guess is that we have been lied to, and the lie has grown so big, so intrenched and now involves so many people and organisations that the idea of opening it up to real investigation is insupportable.
    I have a lot of sympathy for the Russians, who had their country turned upside down by a murderous socialist creed, which killed millions, millions more being slaughtered in WW2 trapped between the Nazis and their own brutal government. If it had’nt been for them we would never have beaten Hitler and would have paid the price of declaring war on an enemy that we couldn’t defeat. However one never hears sympathy expressed for the Russian people who are far more deserving of it than some others.

  58. January 8, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Can’t argue with that one Janus.

    Christopher, I do appreciate that Germany has draconian rules, with ‘some’ justification. But even the most ardently PC person must see the idiocy of the situation when a person, e.g. Benedict Cumberbatch, has to apologise for use of the word ‘coloured’ to describe people of a strongly pigmented hue in a country where there is an organisation called the NAACP.What should it be called, “National Association for the Advancement of Strongly Pigmented People”? In any event, why is such an organisation permitted to exist? There ought to be an e-petition to ban any of its members from visiting the UK on the grounds that it promotes racial disharmony.

  59. January 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Oz, I never had the pleasure of working for the Bank Line.

  60. January 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    frauoh…,

    “….What soem of you came up with really hurts, goes under the skin, I find it really very sad sad generally well informed and educated bloggers, as you certainly all are still send links to such a perverted ‘documentation’ of historical events. I am appauled….

    How do you know it’s perverted……you don’t.. any more than I do. But you seem more than happy to accept the official version of the ‘truth’ which is probably just as perverted. Which, if you think about it, is what started the trouble in the first place.
    In fact, I don’t blame the German people for what happened, it could, given similar circumstances, have happened here.

  61. January 8, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    “I don’t blame the German people for what happened, it could, given similar circumstances, have happened here.”

    Jazz, given the vast recent influx of unwanted immigrants and the rapid dissolution of British traditions and culture, it may happen yet. What is happening in Europe is not sustainable. Something has to give.

  62. christinaosborne
    January 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Considering the priapic nature of the ravening incoming hordes of carpet munching woggery attacking the female population of mainland Europe the sooner they ‘fire up’ Auschwitz the better!
    Of course it will happen again in some way shape or form. Pretty well guaranteed by the nature of the vermin and the lack of self defense mechanisms of the population.

    Would never happen here with the concealed carry laws and the KKK and thank heavens for that. If they were shot, tasered or pepper sprayed instantly by their ‘victims’ it really wouldn’t happen too often!

    I for one am sick to death of the holocaust industry and the collective inherited guilt of the German people flagellating themselves endlessly and irrationally causing far more trouble than the whole thing is worth.
    Curiously the amount of Germans I know in Canada do not feel like this at all. Most are very right wing and have more than a degree of sympathy with Hitler. I spent Christmas day with 11 of them!

  63. January 8, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Sieg Heil, CO! 💀

  64. christinaosborne
    January 8, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I guess it was one way of getting rid of surplus population!
    Somewhat inefficient though.

  65. January 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    SIpu: In my opinion it is a product of a serious flaw in Germanic civil law. If it isn’t written down explicitly then it doesn’t, at least as far as the legal system is concerned, exist. Germanic civil law is far clearer and easier to comprehend than English common law — and there is nearly no jurisprudence to sift through — but it is at times painfully petty and pedantic. I do not support fining people for what they say and so long as people aren’t instigating a riot find no reason to limit free speech. The PC Mafia are acting like Eastern European/Soviet enforcers seeking to destroy all and sundry who do not perfectly toe an ever-changing line. The more it happens the more it resembles Mao’s Cultural Revolution — shatter statues, destroy the past, attack those were aren’t radical leftists, etc. This will end, but it will end in tears.

    CO: I’ve met very few Germans with any sympathy for Hitler. I’ve met more Yanks sympathetic to Hitler than Huns. Far more, in fact. As Germany spirals out of control — and it’s getting incredibly scary — people are seeking solutions that are not forthcoming from a political establishment that is too mendacious and self-serving to admit the extent of its cock-ups. Germans take New Year’s very seriously and this has outraged a large portion of an already distressed population. Things might well start to get really nasty at Carnival. A combination of alcohol, cultural revelry and a sense of siege rarely for a happy outcome makes. The Allahu Akbar Brigade will, of course, do much the same as they did at New Year’s. Western women are treated as less than Muslim whores by the lot and their religious tradition condones it.

  66. January 8, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Christopher, “…..— people are seeking solutions that are not forthcoming from a political establishment that is too mendacious and self-serving to admit the extent of its cock-ups….”

    Germany is not alone in suffering from that problem. I think it afflicts most ‘democracies’.

  67. January 9, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Jazz: most democracies these days are of the pseudo sort. There are multiple parties, but they’re nearly all interchangeable. Even politicians are interchangeable. Tear the head off one and put it on the neck of another. No difference, same nonsense spouted. If anyone does threaten the cosy political status quo expect a war of political attrition. The most recent example is Poland. A disobedient government is elected and the EU establishment and their media allies started to try to destroy it immediately.

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