There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 27 Sep 2022 10:00
Robert is joined by Matt Lieb to discuss Oskar Dirlwanger.
(2 Part Series)
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Angie's list is now Angie, and caring for your home is easier than never. You can still find top local pros and read reviews, but now you can also see upfront prices and book a service instantly. And that makes using Angie an easy call. Get the Angie app to get started. What's cracking my pepper? There's this is Robert Evans bringing you a classic introduction to the podcast Behind the Bastards, where we tell you everything you don't know about the worst people in all of history. Now, I've decided to do this blast from the past introduction because this week, LADS and Ladies, Thames and Thames, Himbos and us, about whatever. Anyway, we're doing a class. We're doing a classic behind the Bastards episode. We're getting back to our roots. We're doing an old school style, and we're talking about a Nazi. Yeah. Matt Leib, I guess for today. Matt, you're a podcaster. Sure. No hosts of the podcast. Pod yourself a gun, which is so, so the sopranos. And obviously, Matt, as a comedian, you understand that there's nothing more toxic than getting political. But I want to ask you to just kind of riskily delve into those waters and answer me this question. The Nazis. Are we like warm, cold, lukewarm? Where would you land on the Nazis? Honestly, bro, jury's still out on the Nazis. I think people are starting to just think like, hey, maybe they had some ideas, though. A lot of people are starting to think that way, man. They're like, wait, wait, maybe some of that stuff about the Jews. Connor rings true. JK, I'm anti, anti, anti, anti Nazis. Man. Yeah, mentally. How would you like to learn about the worst Nazi? Oh, man, I thought I've, every time I come on, I feel like I've learned about the worst Nazi and I'm like, well, we're done with the Holly cost. This is when we talk about the Nazis and we talk about the Holocaust. Honestly, there's a couple of different categories of worst. There's the guys who are actually like out in the field doing war crimes with their actual bodies against other people's actual bodies. And there's the guys who are like organizing it, doing the paper pushing that made it possible. There's the propaganda to got everyone riled up. I tend to find those latter two categories more interesting, right? Sure. There's always just like thuggish pieces of shit who will like hurt people. Absolutely. The guy we're talking about today is kind of both. Strattles both those lines. And as a spoiler, this is a guy who got written up by the SS for violence during the siege of Warsaw. That is, that is the level of, level of Nazi we're talking. The SS was like, this guy's making us look bad. This guy is really mean to the Jews right now. Yeah, I mean, I hate the Jews, but holy shit. Jesus comes a fuck down. Wow. Yeah, we get it. It's a Jews are bad. Just call me a fuck. We're killing these people, but good Lord. Yes. I understand you want to do it all right now, but there's a process, okay? We're trying to do it step by step. My God. Yeah. My God. Mine got. Oh. There's nothing like making fun of a German accent. Oh, it's a lot of them. It is good. You never have to ask for permission to make fun of. So officially, I think for the next thousand, the thousand years, everyone can just do a German accent and make fun of them. And not for history whenever you disagree with them on some random thing. That is the punishment. Instead of a thousand year rike for a thousand years, we all get to be a little racist to get German people, but it's okay. They're never going to complain. A thousand year accent rike, where you just like, oh, I'm German. Oh, look at me. Mr. Oh, crimes, yeah, I like to climb some mountains. I don't like Jews, but I lost a whole war. Look at my leader, Hoson and my decision to invade Russia without Vintakots. Yeah. I've had enough. I'm not in my hat. Look at me. I don't know. Do they have feathers in their hats? I feel like I'm thinking of a very specific point. Yeah. Feathers in that idol, this flower, whatever. Anyway. So we're talking about Oscar Duralwanger today. That's his name. Ridiculous name. Ridiculous name. But also quite possibly the worst personal history of bloodshed that I've heard about a Nazi having. Holy f**k. He is a real, a staggering piece of shit. What's his name? You said Oscar Duralwanger. Duralwanger, okay. Duralwanger. Ridiculous name. We call him Oscar's a grouch because he's so grouchy. He is a very grumpy man. He's a thug and just a gross thug. But he's also an unlike most of the thugs, a key part of like the organizing machinery of genocide. He didn't just take lives hand to hand. He helped orchestrate mass killings and made sort of policy for Nazi field units doing genocide that was adopted on a pretty white scale. But before we talk about him, we got to get into one of my favorite topics, Matt Lieb. What? Hitlerology. Yes. So a lot of people study Hitler. A lot of Hitler stands out there. Yeah. And I'm a big Hitlerologist. You know, I'm a religious too. Yeah. I've decided that I would not go back in time to kill him. Oh, really? Yeah, because if you think about it, by now, like Hitler's got to be a f**k expert at killing time travelers. You're right. That is a good point because that's all he does all day. So every time traveler who's gone back in time has died at the hands of Hitler because we still know who he is. So yeah, I feel like it's a trick to get the Jews to accidentally Holocaust themselves by like inventing time travel and then dying at the hands of eight off Hitler. Like he has a little room that they all go to. That's his actual secret plan. See, I had, I actually have an idea for a TV show. Perhaps I shouldn't be sharing this with the open internet. But scientists go back in time and they reverse the polarity of Hitler's brain and they make him reverse Hitler. And then after that, it's a matchmaking show and he's just trying to get Jewish couples to get together and have babies to undo all of his crimes. Like a Hitler Yenta. Yeah, like a Hitler love boat. Yeah, right. Exactly. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me. I love that. Yeah, yeah. Probably we'll be the, yeah, probably shouldn't, shouldn't say that on the open internet. But I did. So amongst people who are like Hitler nerds, which nobody who does this professionally calls themselves, but I call that. Yeah, there's a big debate as to whether or not Hitler was what some academics call a weak dictator. Now this term, when it gets kind of like translated, particularly a pocket bag, academics is sort of un, it gets people kind of interpret it the wrong way. When the people who are the academics who are calling him a weak dictator are not arguing that he wasn't influential or central to Nazi crimes. Instead, it's more of a debate about the way in which he exercised influence and the way in which the actual structural ways in which he contributed to the Holocaust, right? There's a debate about, and basically so one side of this, they're called intentionalists. An intentionalist historians argue that Hitler was, quote, master in the third Reich, essentially a micromanager who exercised tremendous direct control and gave specific orders that are behind many of the regime's crimes. Now, the other side of this debate, they're called generally either structuralists or functionalists, right? These historians think that the structure of the Nazi party and the Nazi state actually hamstrung Hitler from exercising direct power and thus his influence in things like the Holocaust was more a result of his rhetoric and the culture that he helped build and helped have take over Germany rather than actual specific minute orders that he issued, right? Interesting, okay. Yeah. So like the George W. Bush theory where everyone's like, he's not really war criminal because he's too stupid. It was Cheney who's the real war criminal and I'm like, why not both? Yeah. Yeah. And I do want to say most of the people who are making the argument that like he was a weak dictator are not trying to mitigate his crimes. They're just trying to understand specifically how did the Holocaust occur and how did the Nazi party do the crimes that it did, right? Yeah. Was Hitler sitting there being like, and you go killed it and you go, or was it more that like, well, he puts these people in power and he builds this system where all of these guys are kind of competing to be the worst Nazi to rise in this party and it's that sort of thing, right? So it's not right. No, I don't think most of them are not trying to mitigate his crimes. They're more just trying to be specific about. And I'm not taking, by the way, a side here as to who is right because I'm still calling them Hitler lovers. Yeah. I'm still doing it. So the Hitler lovers, you love Hitler. You want to kiss him. Yeah. Some of these guys are Jewish, so we probably shouldn't. You will. It's too late. Although you tried. It's complicated because some of them are Holocaust deniers. It's messy. Hitler, when you really get deep into Hitler's studies, it gets kind of messy. And part of one of the reasons why there's a debate, right? If you look at a guy like Putin, nobody's going to argue that Putin is not a strong dictator in that he exercises direct personal control over what his regime does, right? We know right now that he's like giving field orders to his commanders in Ukraine directly which is like that strong dictator stuff, right? And that is certainly something Hitler did from a military standpoint. No one really argues that he wasn't a strong dictator as regards his control of the military machine. Right. Yeah. The war is something for sure. In terms of the architecture of genocide, how do we categorize him? And part of the reason why there's this debate is that Hitler knew that he was committing a genocide and was pretty careful about not having shit written down, right? Like he's the stringer bell of this where he's like, don't fucking take notes on this. What do you do? Yeah. Mother fucking taken notes on a criminal conspiracy. Although there are a lot of notes on his criminal conspiracy. He's just kind of coy about stuff. So there's not I just want to say shout out to you for bringing a stringer bell reference to this. Oh, I was looking for it. We're now covering the wire. Paw yourself. The wire is the new show. So if you like stringer bell references and you're behind the bastards, sorry, I had to plug. I have a baby coming, I need to plug. So Hitler, yeah, again, quite careful about there's not like a piece of paper where Hitler says, hey guys, I want you to start doing death camp shit, right? Hey guys, turn Auschwitz into a factory for murder, right? Yeah. We don't have like Hitler's signing that piece of paper. Right. Obviously, again, spoilers, he knew about all of it. He was very involved in all of it. But he's not like sitting down and being like, and everybody makes sure to note that I Hitler told you to do this. Yeah. Pretty serious crime he's committing. Yes. And it's the fucked up thing is it's like the foundation of I think a lot of Holocaust denialism is the fact that they were so secretive about the entire project. So you know, to this day, there are people who are falling for Hitler's fucking bullshit. Yeah. And there is a whole strain of people who are not quite Holocaust deniers who will say, yeah, the Holocaust happened and it was bad. They'll also say stuff like it wasn't as bad as the bombing of German cities or wasn't as bad as the Russians. It was all nonsense. But then they'll be like, but Hitler didn't direct it, right? Like we have no evidence. This was just things like this. These are like things that there's weird Nazis out there, right? It's a it's a anyway. So the actual phrase, weak dictator comes from a historian named Hans Momsen, who argued alongside other historians that the fear was actually a weaker leader in a lot of ways than previous German rulers, right? In terms of the way he exercised power, he has less direct power than a guy like the Kaiser did, right? Right. Right. He's not Kaiser von William. I tell you that. Yeah. And what he's saying is that he's not again, Momsen as far as I know is not trying to deny the Holocaust. What he's saying is that the way the Nazi state was constructed is all of these guys who are basically gangsters come in. They destroy a lot of the existing German bureaucracy and they replace it with a nest of like a this web basically of conflicting criminal gangs that are all fighting each other and sometimes killing each other. And that makes it hard for Hitler to direct aspects of state personally in a way other autocrats are able to do. This was not done to the military, which is part of why Hitler was able to do like exercise so much direct control of the military. Yeah. There's a lot of the old structure of the imperial military was still in place. Right. Now this line of reasoning is again, it's not what Momsen is saying is not inherently unreasonable. That said, it's also probably worth noting that it is unsettlingly similar to justifications that German citizens at the time like during the Third Reich made for how bad Nazi officials were because Hitler by 38 is very popular. But the Nazis are bad at governing and a bunch of shit keeps going wrong that they were supposed to have fixed. So there's this attitude among citizens in the right that like Hitler's great, he doesn't know about how fucked up some of these guys are, right? He's too trusting. He's too gentle natured. Oh, Hitler, he would never expect people to do crimes. That's the thing about Hitler is that he was always a very tolerant guy. Yeah. He's just very nice, very sweet, a nonconfrontational. I think you know. That's a big thing about Hitler. Yeah. The man who fought antifascists with a whip in bar fights. Yeah, sorry. I'm a bit of an introvert, so I don't like confrontation. I don't like direct conflict. Yeah. I just kind of want everyone to be cool and friends. It's, yeah, again, and this is so part of what's gnarly, this is an important debate to have if you're trying to understand what happened during the Third Reich because it's not, there's nothing wrong with saying, well, because of the structure of the Nazi party and how like criminal and incompetent a lot of these guys were, Hitler was not able to exercise the kind of direct control in domestic policies that some people expected. And as a result, a lot of the early things, a lot of things that were done by the Nazi state were things that were just sort of like done by guys that he trusted to do stuff. And so he wasn't direct, which is not saying he's not ultimately responsible because like, if I were to hire someone on the cool zone media and I were to say like, you have a $50,000 budget for that can only be spent on bullets, but I'm not going to tell you what to do with them. And then the question goes and commits crimes. I'm responsible to some extent, right? Like, yeah, 100%. I mean, it'd be weird if you were just like, hey, come join my podcast and company and I'll give you $50,000 bullets. Yeah, no microphones. Here's a list of people I dislike, right? I wouldn't be saying go kill these people, but it wouldn't be my fault, right? Yes. Now that's up to you, I think, in that case. Again, one of the conflicts here is that a number of people who are proponents of the week dictator hypothesis are fucking fascists, including a guy named David Irving. Irving was at one point a semi respected scholar of German history. Kurt Vonnegut quotes him in a slaughterhouse five, because one of the things Irving did is he would write about how bad the Allied bombing campaigns were. And he seems to have exaggerated the death counts substantially, but they weren't pretty bad. So there was a time in which a guy like Vonnegut, definitely not an Nazi, would be like, oh, yeah, I was at Dresden. I know it was bad. I, this guy is saying the numbers are even worse than I knew. That seems credible to me. And so Irving is at one point semi respected and then kind of turns into it. Like now he is a hardcore Holocaust and I are right. And I guess he probably was at the time, but it wasn't immediately obvious. So you do run into people like Vonnegut who like cited Irving 50 something years, 60 years ago or whatever before he was a Nazi. And then it kind of comes out and it's kind of tarnished. Vonnegut a little bit, even though it really shouldn't have, it was not unreasonable for a guy who's sitting in Dresden during the fire bombing to be honest. Well, that was pretty bad. The problem is, you know, Kurt Vonnegut didn't have retweets, don't equal endorsements on the story. Exactly. That would have solved the fucking problem. What have solved them people like, no, no, no, no, no, he's cool. He's just, he's not involved with the whole Holocaust and I think, but he does think that Dresden was pretty, a pretty bad bombing. That's all. Now, as is, whenever you've got like a case where someone like me who's not a historian is saying, here's these camps in this like massive historical debate. The reality is nearly always that actual credible experts kind of like wind up more in the middle than anything else. That said, it's probably fair to say that the intentionalist interpretation of things is more respected among serious academics. Like, like, Klaus Hildebrand will sum up that argument by saying that national socialism was basically Hitlerism, right? Right. And there's a lot to back up, the fact that there was nothing to this ideology and there is nothing to this government beyond this kind of central focus on Hitlerism. Right. Just straight demagoguery. And the fact that all resistance pretty much collapses when Hitler shoots himself is not uncompelling evidence. Right. Right. Like, you can make a strong case here. Yes, very kill the night king energy and everyone else dissolves. But that said, it's also worth noting that like, you know, we're not done with Nazism today. And like a lot of, a lot of fascists today are based, have based their own ideologies, heavily on national socialist principles. Millions of assholes all over the world are drawn to aspects of the political philosophy that animated the Nazis, even if they're not waving an actual swastika themselves. Yeah. Yeah. And you can see that as evidence that like, well, maybe the functionalists have a point, right? Yeah. You know, it was not just Hitlerism. There was something more to it. Now the story of the man that we're going to discuss today kind of lies at the heart of this debate because Hitler is a factor. And you can say in the same way that when I hire that guy and give him thousands and thousands of bullets, I'm responsible for what he does with them. Hitler is responsible to some extent for every murder that this guy is going to commit. But his direct fingerprints aren't really on any of it, right? Hitler never says, hey, Oscar, I want you to go do some real fucked up shit. Yeah. But also, I need to put in work, Oscar. Hitler absolutely said, send that guy Oscar out to do the worst things anyone's ever done, right? Yeah. He's a real go getter. He's got that entrepreneurial spirit. And this is all, there's a second debate that's kind of broader than the Hitler debate, which is, are the physical culprits of the Holocaust? The killing executioners, like did the Germans just raise up a generation of real assholes who are willing to do horrible things or were they ordinary Germans? And it just turns out that normal people are pretty malleable when it comes to war crimes. And again, the actual truth here is always going to be from credible people. Well, it's kind of both. And it kind of depends on which group of them you're talking about, the period of it, right? Anyway, that's all just interesting context, I think, for sort of the philosophical debates that are going on behind all of the war crimes we're about to talk about. Yeah, I don't just want to be like, yeah. It sounds like a 20 minute preface where it's like, we do not say that Hitler wasn't responsible for what we're just saying. There were some people who went above and beyond the call of evil duty. Yeah, exactly. And also just like when you're trying to understand how genocide's occur, it's important to understand that it's like structurally a number of overlapping factors usually come together, right? Anyway, just wanted to talk about that. You can read a lot more about this. We'll have sources, wherever we put sources, I'm sure at some point. But there's a bunch of books about people write entire books arguing over this. I am not, again, trying not to come down on either side because basically with the exception of that Holocaust in Iyer, most of the people involved in the debate on both sides, no more about this than I do. So Oscar Duralwanger was born on September 26th, 1895 in Wersberg, Swabia, Swabia, which is a ridiculous name for a place in Southern Germany. He spent his journey mad because they all came from really just ridiculous sounding places. Yeah, they come from fucking Swabia and then they hear there's a city called Krakow, which is a dope name for city. Yeah, they're like, well, we got to fucking take that. Yeah, all of you. Krakow, Warsaw, what a cool name. We're over here with fucking dude guard. Goddamn it. Warsaw is the coolest name for city. It's a dope name for a city. And I got to be honest, Moscow, pretty cool fucking name for a city. Like Stalin grad, don't like Stalin, pretty dope name. Yeah, and what are you guys guys? Oh, this is unique. Broken flag and dupe and dupe. Oh, yeah, it's back to Scott and come on. Just for a minute, I was like vomiting. Towns filled with vomit names. That's why they did it. That's why they're bad. The secret to Hitler's madness is he grew up in a fucking shitty little town with a stupid name. I'm so glad Matt's here for this episode. Well, you know, I just, I like to keep it silly when talking Holocausty. Yeah, you got to keep it light, right? Yeah, fucking brownow, I'm in was the name of his fucking birthplace. What a stupid. Anyway, Matt, you know what's not stupid? What? The products and services that support this podcast. No. You can't put a price on better vision, but if you could, how about $4.50? Order up. I'm serious. For the price of a latte a day, you could get LASIC at the LASIC Vision Institute. The LASIC Vision Institute has performed over 1.3 million LASIC procedures and we always have great deals to make LASIC affordable for everyone. LASIC only takes minutes with most patients returning to normal activities the next day. So if you want to see better, a latte better, schedule your free consultation at the LASIC Vision Institute. 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So he moves to Stutegart in 1925 and then to the city of Eslingen in 1905 when he's 10. You would probably say they're solidly middle class. Dural Wenger would later write that his parents were, quote, neither poor nor wealthy and describe his father as calm, intelligent and frugal. He describes their familial relations as peaceful. Now when you're talking about a guy who does all the horrible things that he does and this guy is like, like the number, just I don't want to say this like flippantly, but like the number of people that he personally raped could fill like a large town like like really bad guy. Wow. You expect something horrific in his childhood. I think most people do because of probably because of unreason and it's one of those things we don't have much to tell, right? His youth occurs in the middle of like, you know, he's born in a period where there's not a tremendous amount of record keeping where it is not abnormal to hit kids, but he doesn't talk about there being any abuse in his childhood. I think there might be a belief among people that like, well, there probably was and he just didn't see it as normal, but it's also entirely possible. This guy just had a pretty good childhood. Yeah. It's interesting. Yeah. You really never know. I do feel like, you know, nowadays we are always trying to understand the cycles of violence, especially sexual violence and, you know, how that can kind of like be hereditary like generation after generation, you know, one person gets sexually abused as a child and then as an adult they become a perpetrator. But I'm perfectly willing to believe that some people are just shit. Are born monsters and, you know, hey, it's a thing. I'm not sure that's what we'll talk about this guy's backstory because it's interesting. But I did want to look into like, well, how common is child abuse in like Germany and at the class level that he grew up in because I wanted to see like, is there maybe something more there? And it kind of his youth actually occurs in the midst of this massive debate across the nation of Germany as to whether or not you should hit kids. Right? Like this is an actual serious debate and it's obviously a good one to have, right? If a norm was hitting kids for a while and this is not a German thing, right? The norm has always been hitting kids in most cultures, right? Most cultures by by number of people smack the shit out of kids every now and again, right? So again, not good, but Germany is actually having a debate and we are still having this debate. So they're ahead of us about like, should you do this at all? Now, will Helmine Germany, which is, you know, Germany, the only Germany that exists prior to the Vimar Republic, because it's not an old country, had long embraced a concept that had existed in the region for a while called Jesus, Zuckdegum's Brecht, which means to rear by hitting and it was generally interpreted as referring to the use of physical compulsion to ensure proper behavior and maintain order, right? Now, this is both like, this is how you raise little kids and also like, you're in the military. This is how you train soldiers, right? You're on a work floor in factory, like, yeah, guy fucks up, you hit him, right? Like this is that that was a pretty common thing. But in the late 1800s and early 1900s and it's important to note, Germany is like the medical superpower of the world in this period, up like when World War One hits, Germany has probably the best doctors and the best medical hospitals on the planet. Germany is where you fucking go if you want like a fancy ass medical education. They're the best at it. And this includes like psychiatry, right? Obviously, like Freud and shit, like they are on the cutting edge of this very early, like the kind of what will become developmental and child psychology and stuff. And in the late 1800s and early 1900s, there's all these debates and these like journal argues arguing about these cases that journalists will write about of child abuse in schools, of like teachers beating the shed out of students and whether or not this is a good idea. There's an article in the journal for Central European History by SACE Elder that summarizes a 1903 case from Bavaria. Quote, a young male tutor, Andreas Dippold had beaten his young charges so badly that one succumbed to his mistreatment. So this teacher in 1903, and this is when Oscar is eight, beats a student to death. And it goes very viral. It enrages the entire country and it seized upon part of why it pisses people off is there's an activist named Elizabeth von Ertsen. And whenever there's a Vaughan in a German name, it means she's a member of the nobility, right? So that's part of why she's able to be an activist. She's independently wealthy. And Elizabeth von Ertsen found the society for the protection of children from mistreatment and exploitation. Which is again, 1903, and basically goes to war over this. And I'm going to quote again from that same paper. The case demonstrated von Ertsen wrote that while torture had been abolished for adults, it was still widely practiced on children. One of the chief causes of child abuse, according to von Ertsen, was the claim to so called Zuck to Gung Sprecht, the right to use corporal punishment. Because of the defenselessness of children, it has become customary to exercise on them, the right to use corporal punishment, even where it does not exist, she wrote. A host of people, including tutors, governors and babysitters, claim the right. But how far the right to corporal punishment is transferable is entirely an open question. Curiously, von Ertsen asserted that there was both an objectively existing right to use corporal punishment and that there was no consensus on where that right lay. So again, she's not saying you should never slap a kid or never spank a kid. She's saying we're doing it too much and there needs to be debate about who's allowed to do this, right? Which is again, pretty advanced for his time. But also she is still saying like, well, yes, sometimes you're going to hit kids. Of course, everybody is occasionally a little smacked across the way. But it's a smack of a kid. Which again, to be clear on the podcast stance, always bad. And don't do it. But this is a good thing, right? Within the context of like every adult should be able to beat the shit out of kids whenever they want a woman being like, hey, that's fucked up. We need to have a serious societal conversation about who and when it's okay to like smack a kid. That's a positive move. It's a step in the right direction. We're not having that discussion in the US, I don't think. I think a people are just like, yeah, beat a kid who gives a shit, right? They're kids. Put him in the factory. I'm fine. Which I just said earlier, but I am fine. No, don't beat your kids. Yeah. And say S. Elder writes quote, many popular and some scholarly depictions of German child rearing in the Wilhelmine period assume that methods were particularly harsh and brutal. Yet there is ample reason to doubt the stereotype of the harsh brutal parent more ready to strike a child than embrace it. School discipline in other national contexts raises doubts about the extent to which German practices were exceptionally violent. Moreover, investigations of parenting advice literature have suggested that while there were concerns about the inadequacy of soft mothers to adequately raise strong manly sons, the mother of the controlled child associated with the authoritarian personality and the rise of Nazism and merged in the advice literature only during World War One. Advice literature remained rather heterogeneous in its prescriptions for the training, correction and care of children. As Carolyn K notes, prominent reformers such as Alan Kay, Adele Schreiber and Friedrich Wilhelm Forster argued strenuously against corporal punishment as detrimental to the development of the self restrained, self determined individual. This diversity of views and especially the influence of the pedagogical reform movement suggests that normative ideas about the purpose of corporal punishment, the interests it served and the source of the legal right to use it were highly contested in Wilhelmine society and German legal cultures. So again, really common to want to look for evidence of brutality in the upbringing of a brutal person and especially to kind of blame the horrors of the Nazis on the way kids were raised. But this guy, it's entirely possible that his parents never hit him because that was a lot of German families and a lot of German families lined up on the note, this is not okay. So the vigorous debate and a substantial number of people are like, it's bad to hit kids. I'm just like amazed that baby books have been around for that long. Yeah, well, yeah. I thought that was a, because like I'm mid reading like three baby books right now and I'm like, how can what just anyone who has a baby can write a baby book, what are we doing here? One is just like, if they cry, let them cry. And I'm like, this is, I don't see you get a book deal. Yeah, my suspicion is that like baby books back then start at like the 90 day point. So it's like, okay, so this one didn't die. Right? Chatter is one through three. It is old enough to count. Now it's time to start thinking about investing resources at it. So you have an alive child, huh? You have a living child. Congratulations. What to expect when you're expecting a baby to live? Yeah, the most popular childbearing book in Wilhelm, my Germany. So this one didn't die. Oh, sticking and screaming, huh? Nice. So, yeah, again, I just wanted to note that kind of, because we don't know much about his childhood, it's worth noting he does not report any abuse and he's born into a society that's probably the most progressive place, at least in the Western world in terms of like the argument that you shouldn't hit kids. Right. So yeah, anyway, if we are looking for hints from his youth that might have some sort of predictive bearing on his future behavior, right? That might like, precise some of the crime's ecomits. We do better to cast our eyes up then towards the town of Worsens, oh, geez, Worsesnia. Again, this is a Polish town. It's part of Poland today. Worsesnia, it's WRZESNIA. It's part of Poland today, but at this time, it's part of Germany, right? Because Germans, the Prussians in particular occupy a big chunk of what is today Poland in this period. They don't lose it to World War I. The occupiers, like most occupiers, did not like the idea of a people they had conquered, speaking a language that wasn't theirs, right? So the Germans are like, well, we got all these kids and I don't think it's a great idea for them to learn Polish because we don't really want Polish people in Germany, right? Right. We want to get rid of that, you know? So one day in 1902, Johann Schultzin, who's a teacher, a, an oppression teacher in Worsesnia, decides to take action. And I'm going to quote from a write up in the first news, a Polish news website. The peoples were crammed into a classroom on the first floor where they were going to have a final chance to repeat a religious song in German by heart. Those who did so were at least home. The rest were held back to receive the flogging of their lives. Each child was individually frog marched to a chamber on the ground floor set aside for administering the punishment. The children were giving four to eight stinging strokes from a birch cane. The boys were flogged on their back sides. The girls on their open palms. This was not just an ordinary case of disciplining children through corporal punishment, which was common at the time. Each furious strike was intended to communicate the message, this is pressure. We are in charge. You polls will do as we say. One girl passed out from the pain. Others were not able to hold their books in their swollen hands. So that's pretty bad. Yeah, I guess it was a necessity to have organizations being like stop being your kids because there was literally flogging rooms in the basement of schools. You for sure needed people who were like being like, we have to stop flogging the children. Perhaps you know what? Wild idea, guys. What if we tried to be a no flogging society? I don't know that anyone needs to be flocks. Yes, a no flog zone. We might be able to get by okay without flogging. Yeah, I think we could do right. Probably. So this leads to the adults around them. The adults in town and stuff like their parents are like, what in the fucking Christ are you doing to our kids? This is nuts. And again, all of these people probably slap their kids, spank their kids, right? That's normal at the time. This is like a step beyond that. You know, so they engage in a strike that eventually and it's supported by the adults, but the strike spreads through and is to some extent organized by children and eventually comes to involve more than 50,000 Polish children who like in a... The kids strike. Yeah, the kids go on strike and like so they will all at the same day is refused to answer questions from their teachers like I think they still go to school but they just won't do anything there. Wow. And you know, there's protests, there's what you might call a riot where a bunch of the adults start throwing stones at Prussian teachers because again, the teachers are the occupiers here. Sure. These are not like people are sympathetic inherently to teachers for good reasons. These teachers are Prussians who are like running schools in a military fashion and occupy territory, right? So again, throwing rocks at them, probably fine. Like I'm just going to say it probably fine. I think in general throwing rocks at all occupiers is what you should do. I'm usually on the side of the people throwing rocks at the occupiers, right? Absolutely. Now, German police showed up and they put a bunch of striking children on trial which is when the story blew up into an international issue. And then this is this... There's like massive articles in the New York Times and like a like major international newspapers cover this because again, this is a lot of fucking kids. And child strike is a pretty good story, right? That's a great headline. I'm going to get it on strike. Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, 20 people are eventually convicted and one parent is sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The German's even sentence of a photographer to 40 days in prison for distributing photos of people connected to the case. Well... And again, this is a massive story. There's no way that Oscar Durowanger, who's, you know, a kid at the time, would have missed hearing about this, right? This is like a big deal all throughout Imperial Germany. And in fact, based on kind of his age, it's a good chance this is one of the first news stories he hears about as like a kid, like one of his earliest memories might be hearing about this. But I mean, but it feels like he is reading this story. His family, yes. And just lining up with the being against the strike. Well, it's because I'm sure, and again, he's an Imperial Germany. He's not reading the New York Times coverage. He's reading like those, those ungrateful poems are attacking teachers. Yeah. They threw rocks at teachers trying to teach them to read German, right? Like that's more or less how it would have come down to him. So he makes his way through school, obtaining the German equivalent of like a high school degree. It's called a baccalaureate in the source I found. But I think this is just like a high school degree. None of it, none of like schooling in this period maps exactly to our modern ideas, right? Sure. Yeah, they didn't have Common Core Math or enough. They didn't have Common Core Math. Those are math that we've flown. Yeah. They had beatings, yeah. Christian Ingram, who is the author of a book about Duralanger and his unit, makes a point to note that his education quote, did not include the humanities, right? So this guy is not being, and this is not actually not super common for German. Again, Germany is one of the centers of learning for the world. Center of art, center of culture. This is like the fact that he, his specific education is kind of entirely focused on like industry and business and getting him ready to like run a factory. Right. So, that's what he does include humanities is kind of noteworthy. After graduating, he endures further education with the goal of entering the private sector. Again, he's basically training up to be like a mid level functionary helping industrial Germany be industrial. Right. He's trying to be, you know, sprockets and shit. Yeah. Yeah. So before he can finish any of this, before he can get his college degree, he, like all German men, has to do a year of service for the Kaiser in the military, right? This is like, there's a universal draft. It's kind of like what Ukraine was starting a version of this before the war, right? Where like everybody goes and they do a little bit of time, right? And this is so that when the big war comes that everyone knows is going to come, we have a bunch of guys we can call up and we don't need to train them, right? Right. Maybe we do a refresher for a week, but they know how to hold a gun. They know what a march. They know what to do. All the things soldiers have to do. Yeah. So a lot of young men waited for the draft, right? Because it's, it's the kind of thing where like eventually your number comes up. So a lot of guys tried to get in as much of their, you know, early adulthood as they could before they had to do it. Oscar volunteers. He joins on his own. He spins a year marching and training for again, everyone assumes the next war is inevitable, right? Germany had come to existence during a war that started in 1870 with France that had lasted less than a year. And it was pretty bloody. A lot of people died. It's not like a, not like a nice war. Yeah. But this is like where we get Germany. Everyone knows like, well, we got unfinished beef with France, right? They're going to start some shit at some point, right? You know, Germany and France, or Prussian France, Austrian, France, they're going to go out for a history, right? They're not friendly, you know? Yeah. You're looking at these two guys who every 50 years get into a giant fight and are like, yeah, I bet they're going to have another one at some point. Yeah. It's right around now. Yeah. Because it's been about 50 years. They got a revolution. They got Napoleon. They got another Napoleon. They got a king again. Yeah. No, they don't have a king because that last word didn't go great. So he was probably, it's probably best to assume that like Oscar was eager for that war to start. A lot of German men were. Right. And his assumption was that it was going to be, you get called up along with everybody else. Germany's, you know, field army marches out first and then the reserves come in, quick behind them. You campaign for a couple of months, maybe a year, and there's like a couple of big set pace battles, right? That's what they're thinking. Not like we're going to be stuck in trenches for years, but like, well, three or four real decisive giant fights. It'll be ugly, but then it'll be done. And one way or the other will have to try and guys were on either side of exhaustion. One guy will get stabbed. That was war back then, you know? Well, it was a little gnarlier than that with the Germans. But it was not expected to be that bad, right? No, yeah. They didn't know how bad it is. Not like one was like, hey, this is as fun as I remember. So these machine guns, real serious. Yeah, boy, these muskets kill a lot of people. So Daryl Wenger is nearing the end of his year of service when the Archduke of Austria Hungary gets got and World War One starts. Christian Ingram writes quote, Oscar Daryl Wenger's war began on August 2nd in a machine gun company of the 123rd Regiment of Grinadeers who were heading to France from Oom by way of Belgium in the confusion of general mobilization troops that had already had their basic training were considered as part of the Reich's standing army. Thus they were the spearhead of the Schleefen plan and Daryl Wenger was thrust into the battle at a time when losses were their most nightmareish. So in the whole history of human beings fighting wars, this is like up or 5% of the worst things any soldiers in all of time experience, right? Like fucking World War One early days shit. Yeah, units get like literally battalions thousands of men getting wiped out almost to the man. Um, just absolute fucking nightmare shit. And I think some additional detail is necessary here to really drive home the kind of experience Oscar has. Because we're trying to figure out like what makes him such a piece of shit. Maybe he was from the beginning. Some people just come out that way or whatever. But he is at this point comfortable middle class kid, good family, peaceful family as far as he says goes to college on a pretty good life path. And then this happens. And in order to kind of contextualize his experience, I'm going to read a first hand account from a British soldier, a young officer named Harold McMillan who later becomes prime minister. And who there's a good chance he's feet away from Oscar at points, right? There's no way to know. But it's easier, it's a little easier to find British first hand accounts than German ones of this period. So that's what we're, we're reading. But I think this is more or less accurate to the kind of stuff that Oscar would have been seeing at this point. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the modern battlefield is the desolation and emptiness of it all. Nothing is to be seen of war or soldiers, only the split and shattered trees and the burst of an occasional shell reveal anything of the truth. One can look for miles and see no human being, but in those miles of country lurk like moles or rats it seems, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of men, planning against each other perpetually some new device of death. Never showing themselves, they launch at each other bullet bomb, aerial torpedo and shell, and somewhere too are the little cylinders of gas, waiting only for the moment to spit forth their nauseous and destroying fumes. And yet the landscape shows nothing of this, nothing but a few shattered trees and three or four thin lines of earth and sandbags. These and the ruins of towns and villages are the only signs of war anywhere. The glamour of red coats, the martial tunes of fight and drum, the aids to camp scurrying hither and vither on splendid chargers, lances glittering and swords flashing, how different the old wars must have been. The thrill of battle comes now only once or twice in a year. We need not so much the gallantry of our fathers, we need and in our army at any rate, I think you will find it, that indomitable and patient determination. This is, most of this war is sitting, waiting to get killed randomly and then a couple of times a year, you and all of your friends get mowed down by machine guns. Right. That's what Durowangers War is. Most of it is getting trenchfoot and being like, I'm going to die from this. And, you know, fucking watching, watching like unimaginable horror because this is also at a time, there's not cool movies about crazy sci fi horror shit. You know, this is like, this is unimaginable to most of these people. Yeah, this is like, you know, there's a, we could talk, Tolkien was pretty adamant that his books weren't about anything that had actually happened, but like, Tolkien fights in a battle where thousands of men drown in the mud get sucked down by their boots and they are suffocated while their friends watch. And then he like writes a chapter in his book about a marsh filled with corpses that you can see, right? Right. Like, that's the kind of, and Durowanger, he's right there. He's in the middle of this. His job is, he's a machine gunner. So he is number one, he might have killed hundreds of people. Right. Like, potentially thousands, some of these guys literally individual dudes shoot thousands of people to death over the course of the war. There's no way to know how many people he killed. And at some point he would have, if he'd ever was counting, would have stopped, right? And probably also basically everyone he starts the war knowing dies, right? That those early, 1914 soldiers, not a high survival rate. No, no, they were imagining a war that, you know, from back in the day where there was like a drummer kid. Yeah. And he is as a machine gunner, number one, he's valuable. Number two, he is exposed and isolated. And number three, he is constantly targeted by artillery and snipers. So this is like, this is really bad, bad war, bad war experience. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of trauma there. Yeah. I could say a little PTSD problem. Yeah. A little bit, maybe a little bit of PTSD. Just a tiny, just a little bit. Is it true? Yeah. And his first three months of combat, he's wounded badly enough in his foot that he's sent away from most of a year to heal, right? Like whatever the injury is, it's fucking gnarly. He comes back the next year and in September of 1915, he gets wounded in the arm by a bayonet. So whatever happens, he is fighting hand to hand with people and gets stabbed nearly to death. Geez. And again, that's the, everyone who fought and it agrees the very worst combat in World War I was hand to hand trench combat. Yeah. Just a fucking nightmare. So he gets wounded badly enough. This is a very rare wound, Christian in ground notes that only about 1% of injured German soldiers have a similar injury. And that's because nearly 100% of men who get seriously wounded by a bayonet or a sword in close combat die because everything is shit and mud around you. It's getting jammed into your wound. You're probably going to bleed out like you have better shot at a like per injury basis with like a gunshot wound that fucking stabbed in hand to hand combat. And do they even have, they don't have anti biotic spec then, right? No. And they're kind of starting to figure them out in this period, but no, these guys are not getting anti biotics administered. So he, it is bad enough, he can never move his arm right again. And he gets raided by the military as 40% disabled. He's severely heard enough that he probably could have ended his service there if he had pressed the matter. But he wanted to fight. And so in night he stays in the military in September of 1916, he gets promoted to be an NCO and he's moved to be a machine gun trainer, right? So he could have stuck at this job training people and like not getting indirect combat. But he repeatedly demanded to be sent back to the front. And in April of 1917, he's back in combat despite the fact that his arm and wrist are permanently injured. He serves well. He's particularly good now that he's commanding small groups of soldiers and combined arms using a mix of mortars, what you call pocket artillery, so short range artillery, machine guns and maneuvering infantry and like, these are a couple hundred people engagements, right? He's very good at that. And this is the Germans in this period are inventing what we now know is just like standard combat tactics for small units, right? All of that's being figured out by the Germans. Everyone else is a few years behind. And so he is one of the first guys to be commanding troops in gun fights in what we would consider today to be a pretty modern way, right? Yeah. So that's interesting to me. You know what else is interesting to me, Matt Leib? What? The products and services that support this podcast, which are also on the cutting edge of small unit infantry combat tactics. Boy, if you want to learn how to kill a man, eat a Nathan's hot dog. That's right. Nathan's hot dogs. Not only do they make good hot dogs, they'll teach you how to stab somebody. And they're good at it. They've done it. They feel nothing. Nathan's hot dogs I've killed before. That's their slogan, right? That's their slogan. That's right. Have a hot dog. You can't put a price on better vision, but if you could, how about $4.50? I'm serious. For the price of a lot to A Day, you could get LASIC at the LASIC Vision Institute. 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So, Dura Wanger, as an enlisted man, gets promoted to lieutenant, which is not common in most wars, right? Enlisted in officers are very different and they're different. Normally to be an officer, you go to school, you get a degree. In the German military, you're generally someone who comes from a high social status. Right. You got a Vaughn and your name, maybe. It's pretty rare for a guy who just starts as a private to become a lieutenant through combat. The reason this happens is that everybody's dead. This is a thing that happened a lot more back in the day. My grandpa was there for the very, he was in World War II as well, but when the Korean war started, he was in Korea and he was a sergeant. By the time the war ended, he was a major, which does not happen often. It's just like, because everybody's dying, right? That's why this happens. He becomes, he's sent over to the Eastern Front where he becomes a company commander. This probably saves his life because things go really well for Germany and the East, actually. They win a war against Russia and then a war against, I think it's Romania. They beat both of them while they're kind of at this stalemate in the Western Front. We don't know a ton of his specific experiences on the Aust Front, but Christian Ingram writes, quote, In the war a library for the ethnic fear of the enemy during the Great War, it was the Eastern Front. Over and over, soldiers let her spoke of the dirtiness, the inferiority, the primitive nature of the population, and this observation reinforced a social Darwinism and an essentialist view of the Eastern Populations. Dural Wenger stayed in Russia until November 1918 as a company leader in Lieutenant. So he's probably number one comes into this pretty racist because most Germans are towards by being the occupier here, right? And when the war ends and Germany does not win, there's all these rebellions, right? All these left wing rebellions across the Reich and also like, it's kind of a disaster and no one had really expected particularly in the East. So you've got all these skeleton units in the East that like, by the way, your country's governments dissolved and you cross the war, go turn yourself into whatever people are nearby, right? Right. Like, and a lot of Germans soldiers are like, well, no. Yeah, yeah, I'm not going to do that. And also I thought we were winning. You know, these guys are all, you know, the great stab in the back theory type thing. Well, yeah, because from there, we fucking beat these guys. Yeah, we're going to be Russia. Russia. Russia's hard to beat. The French couldn't do it. Yeah, they got fucking Bolsheviks there. Yeah, because of us. Fuck off. Yeah. So, Dural Wenger is one of the guys who's like, no, I'm not going to turn myself into the fucking Romanian government, right? Like, I'm not going to do that. So he like grabs a bunch of and he makes it clear like, because again, everything's kind of chaotic. Everything's falling apart. He's basically just like yells to all of the Germans in the earshot like, hey, I'm a company commander and I'm going to get everybody out of here. Like if you want to get the fuck out of here and don't want to wind up in a prison camp, follow me. Um, so he gets like a shitload of people together and he leads them successfully home to Germany. One of the men he saved later wrote quote, it is rare for an officer to be honored as our comrade. Dural Wenger was this after his successful return, a return that the soldiers owed to him alone. He kept 600 men from being interned. So many were before and after us. So among other things, Dural Wenger will always be a guy that like his dudes fucking love him. And part of it is because like he will throw down for them. He's not, he's not one of these guys who's like standing in the back waiting to see how things happen. He gets injured repeatedly because he's, he, you, you have to say, you're not going to have to say this about the man. Not afraid of getting shot. Yeah. Yeah, he's into it. In fact, he's into it. In fact, it might be a kick. Yeah, it is. It's part of it. It is unsettling, actually. Yeah. So by the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Germany is forbidden from fielding an army larger than a hundred thousand men. Given the disastrous poverty that hits the country post to feet, these slots are pretty coveted by the militarized veterans, right? It's a, it's a cushy gig. Adolf Hitler is one of the few lucky vets who gets a job post war and Dural Wenger is another. But while Hitler is used by the Reichswehr, that's the new German military. They have him infiltrating right wing groups, which is badly. Yeah. Yeah, that doesn't work out so much. What have really maybe the worst single mistake anyone ever made was being like, hey, Hitler, see what those guys are up to? You got to do an episode on that guy. The guy was like, you know, you have good spy and devilish. You know, I'll be good. Yeah. The Hitler guy. Don't keep an eye on these national socialists for us. Yeah. Yeah. And whatever you do, don't join them or start leading them. Yeah. Don't join them. Don't join them at all. Don't make it happen. And on my face, it doesn't happen. Boy. Yeah. Imagine that guy in like 1945, it's like every building around him is leveled by allied bombers. Shit, that didn't go well. Oh, fuck. Oh, boy. I don't want to tell anybody what I did. Yeah. I have some regrets. Yeah. Yeah. I made a couple of mistakes in the past. Yeah. I mean, one big one. Yeah. Um, so Dura Wenger also stays on. It's not hard to see why. Right. He's got like one of the best records anybody has from one more one in terms of like a combat soldier. And so they put him to the task of violently suppressing left wing uprisings. He fights alongside and often in units of the Freikor and the Freikor are kind of like they're a little like the Oathcapers and three percenters in that they are groups of veterans that have been demilitarized who are taking up arms to defend the country, quote unquote, against socialists, right? Right. One of the things that, too, there's a couple of things that make them very different from those groups that we have in the United States, even though both tried to overthrow the government. One is that the Freikor all made up of guys who have actually done nightmare things. Right. They're not, they're not like dudes who like did four years in Korea and then like lie about their deployment history forever. Right. They're like guys who, guys who's like friends teeth got embedded in their skin after their heads were blown apart. Right. And guys who would, you know, bi tactical sunglasses on TV. These men are dead inside and killing makes them feel nothing. The other thing is that these guys are being integrated by the military, right? Because the military is like 100,000 men is not enough to do anything. So we have these hundreds of thousands of veterans who like if we throw them a little bit of cash, if we look the other way when they acquire guns, we can bring them in and we can use them when we need them to like maintain order and suppress things, right? So and this is very illegal under like the terms of the treaty they've signed, but also pretty, again, nothing gets done for a number of reasons, including the fact that like a lot of people are like, well, what are we going to do? Fight them again. So yeah, he's with these guys, he's with these Freikor units, but he's kind of, he's in the Reichswehr and basically his job because he's commanding a unit. They, whenever there, because there's all these communist insurrectionary strikes, right? And he's in, he's particularly the areas he's in is Wartonburg and whenever the communists will like take over part of a town or like do a big strike, he and his guys will like drive through town on an armored train and fire machine guns at them. So that's, that's his gig. Now to be in terror, well, it's a nice job if you get it. Nice job if you can get it. Oh, god. Now to be fair, number one, a lot of these communists also veterans. Now decent number of them are guys who didn't fight because they were like making bullets and stuff, right? Because factory workers were very easy to turn into communists. It turns out, but a lot of them are veterans and they're not always unarmed. In March of 1921, 300 communists with guns take over the city of Sangerhausen as part of a broader German uprising. It's this attempt at like a mass, like general strike, comma revolution. Max Holes who commands, he's the guy in charge of the communists. Has his max holes. Yeah, H O E L Z. Cool, man. It is cool. Max Holes. I'm going to put max holes in you. Exactly. How many guys fucking dude, Max Holes must have done this. This guy got shot of thousands times. Why do you insist on giving people maximum holes? So it's for my name. Max Holes. Has his men, it sounds pretty cool. They're robbing all of the rich people in town to fund this white or up rising. They destroy the telegraph service, which I think is probably to like limit the government's ability to communicate. And then they kidnap all of the wealthiest people in town with an eye towards ransoming them to fund the revolution. But then Dürerlanger drives through town. Again, he's got an armored train. His men are generally better trained and definitely better equipped. And they beat the... They force the communists out of town. They actually kind of get the worst of the actual combat. 13 people die. Seven of whom are Dürerlanger's men. Three of whom are insurgents and three of whom are civilians. Dürerlanger uses explosives to level significant parts of the city, which is a big part of why Holes and his guys bounce. Because they're like, so this guy's just like blowing up all of town. We're not really ready for this. This is a strategy I had not considered. Yes. I consider many Holes not really big. Well, I'm not ready for this. So Dürerlanger's response, obviously he wins, which the government's happy with, but also he has blown up a significant portion of the town, which does not endear him to the town's people. Who are like, well, these guys were robbing rich folks, but they didn't blow up downtown. So I don't know if I'm like really on board with either of you. One seems worse significantly. The Vymar government later decides that some of his actions have been extreme, right? He keeps getting like slaps on the wrist and even gets jailed a couple of times, but he's also, he's really good at putting down insurrections, right? Like, he's great at it. So they're not going to like actually punish him. Damn, that sucks. It's just like ever since those, those children's, you know, had a strike, he's like, I will make it my life's work to destroy any kind of solidarity between people. He's really just always been defending those teachers who got hit with rocks. Yeah, exactly. And forgot to give us homework. That's like his whole thing. He's that kid military is often on in the military, right? Like he's, I think always drawing a salary, but he's like trying to do other stuff and he just like will regularly to be like, Hey, we need you to go shoot people from a train again and off he'll go to go shoot people from a train. And it kind of in between suppressing these uprisings because there's a bunch in this 1918 to like 1921, like a lot of fucking shits going down in Germany. Pretty wild history. He gets arrested twice in sentence to prison for two short sentences, both times for illegally concealing weapons. Now we don't have great detail on this, but it probably because of the way it's written, it's probably not that he was carrying a gun concealed illegally, but that he was helping paramilitary Freikor unit steal and conceal machine guns and other like, like, like, we're really like hiding like burying weapons, right? Yeah, this is going to say his job is, is I guess the train is not inconspicuous. Yeah. They were like, you're allowed to have the gun train. Look, the gun train is fine. It's these other guns we have a cool and awesome, but you can't be hiding guns. And the reality is like with our government, right? You've got these right wing shithead militiamen and there are cops and there are soldiers who are on their side and there are politicians who like them. There's also a lot of people in the government and the judicial system who are like, no, you can't do that. Here's a slap on the wrist, you know, did our job for liberal society? I'm sure that's the last will here of Oscar Derralwanger after he spends two minutes in prison for stealing machine guns from the military. Dusting off his hands, my work here. The solving the problem forever. So the end of his military career for a little while is the 1923 Munich beer hall. Putsch, Hitler attempts to take over the government. Doesn't go very well. And Oscar is not part of the Nazi party at this point, but he's in a bunch of different right wing organizations that are close to them. So when Hitler does this, he attempts to send in the Stuttgart police's armored vehicles to support Hitler's attempt to take power. This does not, he doesn't have the power to do this, right? Like he's not in charge of them. So this doesn't work out. And he kind of like, he gets shit canned for this, which is fair, right? I would fire somebody for this. Yeah. Yeah. Or at least have HR kind of like do a, I don't know, suspend him for a while. You should do something, right? You should do, there should be some sort of process when you attempt to get on that gun train for a whole week, Oscar. So by the time he's kind of out of the military, he is unemployed. It is 1923. He is 29 years old. He has several chronic injuries that trouble him and he's looking for a gig. Now while this period, everything we've talked about with him suppressing all these left wing uprisings is going on. Oscars also go into college, right? He's basically doing his GI Bill equivalent shit. He had enrolled at a technical university soon after the war. And student culture in Germany during this period, super right wing, right? Universities are filled with veterans who had like, we're returning from the front. A lot of colleges were basically just recruitment grounds for Freikor. At the same time, student organizations had been taken by a trend towards the Volkish movement. So a lot of like student organizations at different colleges are explicitly Volkish. And this is the Volkish. It's a German ethno nationalist movement that eventually kind of leads to the Nazi movement. But it's this like, you know, there's a German people. It is a specific subset of us. And we're better than everyone, right? Like, we could get into it in more detail, but it's not really necessary. And I'm going to quote from the SS Dürerl Wanger brigade by Christian Ingram. He distinguished himself very early by his Volkish convictions and expressed them with unusual violence. The university threatened him with disciplinary proceedings for a vowed anti Semitic agitation. This fact merely reflects Dürerl Wanger's political involvement. Since 1919, he had been a member of the Deutsche Volk Schutzund Trust Bund, one of the most virulent organizations in terms of both anti Semitic hatred and revolutionary nationalist feeling. It counted in... Yeah, he's a trust fund baby. He's a trust fund baby. And again, we don't know if he was like super anti Semitic his whole life if there was a thing because some guys pick it up during the war, right? Like because easy way for... You know, we don't really have that kind of context. Could have been something he got at home. Could have come later, but he's real hardcore racist by this point. I'm going to continue that quote about the the trust fund. It counted in its ranks future leaders of Nazi repression, such as Reinhard Hyderick and Reinhard Hohen. Hey, there's our buddy, Dürerl. Shut up. He's got a friend of the pod Reinhard Hyderick. The pod Reinhard Hyderick. Oh man. I love getting all the boys back together. Yeah, the gang is really coming together here. Yeah, this is like the Avengers, but they're in all. Yeah. Hate Jews. Yep. It's the Avengers if the Hulk looked like the Hulk, but like more like... Well actually Edward Norton played the Hulk too. So yeah, there's a way to work this out. You figured out for yourselves. The incredible vote. There we go. Yeah. Dürerl Wanger belonged to a nebula of parties and associations linked by the feeling that Germany was an imminent danger of disappearing diminished as it was by territorial losses, the rulings of the Treaty of Versailles, and internal and external enemies who, despite the peace treaty, had not disarmed. So Dürerl Wanger's scholastic career was not interrupted either by his arrests or by his disciplinary proceedings for racism, because he gets in trouble with the school for being racist. He eventually moves to Frankfurt where he finishes his education and winds up with a PhD in political science. He is a doctor. He is a doctor Oscar Dürerl Wanger. He's Doctor of H&J's straight up. A startling number of the worst Nazis were doctors and lawyers of some sort. Oh. I mean, in the movie Conspiracy, where like one of I think it's a deal of global, global botchnik, but one of like the Nazis planning the fucking Holocaust because they're having an argument over like legal matters. It's like raise your hand if you're a lawyer and all of the guys at the table race their act because yeah, they're all fucking. Yeah. Some of them are literally doctors of law, actually. So yeah, he gets his PhD and he becomes an accountant. And for the next several years, he has a successful, if boring career in business. Now his over political involvement in right wing stuff fades after the push because for a while like the Hitler movement's illegal, you know, there is a minute of a crackdown. And if Hitler's movement had died out, he might have just wound up as like a low key racist businessman. Like that's possible. But the Nazis don't go away. The band against their activism fades and eventually ends and in the late 1920s, Dürerl Wanger gets back into it being involved with the essay, right? He can't do much in the streets because from 1928 to 1931, he's made the executive director of a textile factory owned by a Jewish family. But he embezzles a shitload of money from this Jewish factory and he gives it to the essay so they can buy weapons. Damn. Yeah. That's fucking bad. That is, they could be true. That is, they could be true. Yeah. That's great. So he's funneling shit to the essay until 1932 when he can like rejoin publicly because it's safe. So I do love the, I part of me is just like it would be dope to be that Jewish family who owns the fucking textile meal and watching this little anti Semitic pieces shit not be able to say anything. Just I mean, they just hate us. You hate us. It would have been cool if like that's how things had ended. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The rest of the history of bad, but you know, for a second there, it's time. Yeah. There's some fun moments probably. So Daryl Winger's loyalty and the enthusiastic support of guys he'd led into battle who had become Nazis meant that once he's publicly in the essay again, he gets promoted very quickly by 1933. He's been given a cushy job as director of the heel brawn employment agency. The economy was once again in the shitter, right? Things aren't going great for the German economy and the fact that they can hand out jobs is critical to the new Nazi regime. It's part of how they're like consolidating power. So the fact that a mosqueer is running an employment agency for the Nazis means that he's in a really trusted and important position, right? He's doling out money essentially to people who are supporting the regime and he's able to because he can hand out cushy gigs, probably is making a good amount of money via bribes you have to assume. Yeah. So his position is solid enough that he's able to fight off embezzlement allegations from his former employer, which are definitely true. He gets arrested. So he's arrested twice because he gets drunk and does drugs and crashes his car into people. But all that goes away. Yeah, he is a hardcore drug addict, probably cocaine. People usually aren't specific when they talk about it, but that would be my guess, although maybe a few things. But I like it because it's why powder. Zivitis of drugs. So you'll have a fight powder. He's doing great. He's handing out jobs. He's crashing his car while wasted. Life is going well for Dr. Oscar Dirlwanger. But then on July 22nd, 1934, tragedy strikes, Matt, because he gets caught having sex with a 14 year old girl. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. I thought you meant tragedy strikes for him. Yeah. It is a tragedy. I mean, he would consider it one or two, but like, yeah, no, I was not referring to him. So he had met her while she shows she's a volunteer for the Red Cross that he meets in his official duties. He will argue when he goes to court that she just lied about her age. She claims she was violently raped and the medical examination suggests violent rape. So I can tell you who's a count I trust and it's not the Nazi. Yes. Now this is a problem for his Nazi employers, right? They don't, they're not like cool with this, right? Again, these guys are Nazis, but most of them have been normal people, most of their lives. They're like, this guy who you're like involved with rapes a child. They're like, well, no, we don't want you to be in our organization for a while. Yeah. People might think we're bad guys. They might not like Zinatsu. Yeah. We aren't people to like us first. God. So he gets stripped of his doctoral title. He loses his PhD. He gets removed from the essay and he's sent to prison for two years. He also gets punished for embezzling the money that he'd sent to the essay. So they just kind of throw the book at him. I think this, yeah, they just tacked on some extra like, yeah, yeah, get him all. It might be that this girl was also the daughter of a Nazi who like had some pull, right? And so that's probably, that's part of like again, if he had done this to someone who was, you know, marginalized by the Nazi state, probably would have been a punishment, but he does pick totally. He picks like an Aryan girl. Yeah. So that's a big part of why he gets in trouble, but he does get in trouble. I would say two years is not enough time, but it's not nothing. So he gets out of prison in 1936 and he sets to work immediately begging his former bosses for forgiveness. He's like, I want my, please reinstate my doctorate. I've done all this stuff for the movement. He sends so many letters directly to Hitler begging for clemency that he gets arrested again and sent to a concentration camp. Like, you gotta stop bugging Hitler. You know, it'll cool you off. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Some time and fucking duck out. It's not a goddamn letter, dude. Yeah, he gets sent to, I think it's duck out for like, it might have been Saxon House and for sending Hitler too many fucking letters. Which is, I have to say, there aren't a lot of silly reasons to get sent to a concentration camp, but that is one. That is the silly reason. Silly is crazy. There's like guys who are dying of typhoid. That's ridiculous. That's why you're here. What the fuck, man? What do you win for? I really want my doctorate back. You see, I have this certificate. It meant a lot to me. Sorry, I couldn't hear you. My teeth fell out. What? Yeah. So, yeah, he's spent some time in a camp. When he gets out, he is now 39 years old. And he is, he kind of doesn't have a whole lot of options, right? He can either, he can force his way back into civilian life and find a job that'll take a convicted child molester and kind of just scrape by on the margins. Or he can get ahead again the only way he'd ever known how. By being done exactly. By being the most violent fascist son of a bitch, he could be. It just happens that 1936 is a pretty good year to be that guy. So, that is the first year of the Spanish Civil War, which is maybe the best time in history to be a German combat veteran with zero morals. Yeah. Yeah. So, Dura Wanger, he's lost most of his connections because of the whole molesting a child thing. But he still has one friend, a guy named Gottlob Berger, that he had, these, they've been war buddies, right? Berger had risen to a pretty respectable rank within the new SS, which is again, the SS is pretty new organization at this point. And Berger is fairly well placed in it. So Berger puts in a good word for his old friend to have Oscar serve with Germany's military expedition in Spain, the Condor Legion, right? And I'm going to quote next from a write up in the fifth field here. Here he helped train Spanish crews in tank warfare after arriving in Spain in April of 1937. His commander, Obersch Ritter von Toma of the German army, rated his performance in Spain as outstanding. For his superior service there, Dura Wanger received the Spanish campaign medal, the Spanish military service cross and the Spanish cross and silver. Oscar Dura Wanger returned to Germany from Spain in May of 1939 and commenting on his past Dura Wanger sit at this point, even though I did wrong, I never committed a crime. Wow. Wow. I got it. You got to love someone who's willing to be accountable at that. Yeah. It's amazing. Like, what a, what a way to what a way to refer to molesting a child. All right. Show me where in Zivimor Republic Constitution, it says that I can't molest a child. So tell me where? This is basically the deal is that you help us brutally suppress the left in this civil war and we will pretend you didn't molest that child, right? Like that is literally the deal that the Nazis make. And this is like signed off. I believe him. There's one of the people who signs off on it. Pretty high level. This is signed off because what he's done is bad. And he probably, this is something we don't have a lot of context on, but probably he also did piss off people who are influential by doing this. So when Dura Wanger returns home, his government is in the final stages of planning its invasion of Poland. Now this is going to be a different sort of conflict than the one that the Reich had faced. A mass war with German troops facing the brunt of enemy engagement, not Spanish soldiers who were like just dudes. The fear of every general in this kind of a war is rural saboteurs or insurgents. Now the German army has a long and nasty history fighting such men. A lot of the war crimes they commit in World War One are dealing with these saboteurs. So they've got experience fighting these guys, but also a lot of their experiences that like it's really hard to capture these guys. And the things that make normal soldiers good at being normal soldiers tend to make them bad at fighting insurgencies, right? Not entirely transferable sets of skills. So in order to train people to do that, the Nazi high brass, and this is decisions being made at the Hitler level, are like, what if we were to make a unit entirely out of criminals? Specifically, poachers, right? Guys whose job is to go into the woods, survive off the land, hunt and kill things, and not get caught, right? And that's not a bad line of thinking, right? Like if you're like, who's going to be good at hunting down insurgents? Well, poachers probably would be pretty good at that job. I get the logic there. Yeah. And the idea is we're going to like take men that we have in prison for these poaching crimes, and we're going to turn them into commandos. Now during his time in Spain, Derollanger has redeemed himself in the eyes of the Nazis. His convictions get an old, and he gets his doctorate back. They give him back his PhD. So, yes, I got to my certificate. Yes! We put this up in my office. I'm going to frame it again. So as these Nazi leaders turn to the task of like finding a guy who's going to run this criminal unit, naturally they're like, well, this guy actually, number one, he's fought insurgents for us in Germany. We know he's good at it. He's good at normal soldier stuff. And like them, he's a terrible criminal. So, yeah. Yeah. He's perfect. Yeah, he's molested a child. He's got a severe alcohol and drug problem, but like we're sending him to Poland where it's fine for him to do all that, right? We don't care who he molests in Poland or how fucked up he is while he does it. Get him over there. Right. So that is how Oscar Derollanger becomes the commandant of what will become known to history as the Derollanger brigade. And that's a story we're going to get into in part due. Oh, am I excited about it? Because this guy's, I just, I feel that with all the crimes that you've talked in, there have been a lot of guys who have been committed to a significant number. Yes. Already. And now I'm like, oh, now we're going to let this fucking Tasmanian devil loose. This is, he's going to get bad and depressive. Yeah. He's already pretty bad dude and he's about to get sent to Poland, right? Yeah. I want you to. The gun train was in the preface. Yeah. Yeah. I got a train his before he was really that bad. Honestly, I was the wind up was guy had gun train. Yeah. And a misgun train in a second. Before we do that, I feel like the only proper way to end is Matt, I want you to go to Google and I want you to type in the name Oscar Derollanger. I want you to see what this motherfucker looks like. So a, a, a, O S K, AR, D I R L E W A N G E R. Oh my God. Oh my God. Come on. You could with make up cast this guy as an orc in a fucking Lord of the Rings shell. Like he looked or a goblin probably he looks like a monster. Fucking just man. I mean like look, we don't like to attack people who have done actual bad things for their appearance. But this guy looks like a monster. Like you see this motherfucker in the street and you're like, well, this is a bad person. You could draw this guy just from like just gas and you are correct on what this guy looks like. It is like right. Mingly evil looking. Absolutely dead eyes. Yeah. Right. Mingly evil looking is the perfect description. What a, what a monster. Of course he looks exactly like this. It's just, he's got just perfectly skeletal. He has a totally skull face, right? Like yeah, yeah, just a skull and a receding hairline and just like one of the shitty German mustaches where they're like, we're going to make them natural. But he didn't fully commit to it. So there's a little bit sticking out. It kind of is a petostash, right? Like he's got that going on a little bit. He's got the, it's originally it's the Dirlinger. That's the stash. I'm not proud of attacking a man for his appearance, but take a look at this guy and tell me we shouldn't be right. Like just get a look at this motherfucker. Just look at him. I feel like I understand the, you know, the impulse to be like, don't fat shame. It's not about fat. But this guy, this guy looks like the life he's led and the life he's led is running a gun train in between committing rape. Yes. Yes, exactly. Yeah. Anyway. Fuck yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Jevne, you think you want to plug for us, Matt Leibh? Absolutely. So I have a new podcast called Pod yourself the wire before we did a soprano's podcast called Pod yourself a gun. Now we're doing the wire and it's a great show. And I would love for yall to listen to it. And you know, if you're like, no, I don't want to listen. Just go to the Apple podcast store and give us five stars in review anyways. And then press play and then mute. You don't even have to listen. But if you could just do that, five stars in review, get that for us because I got a fucking baby. I got a baby now dog. Well, yeah, in a couple of weeks, Matt Leibh has a baby in a couple of weeks. So yeah. So draw, send us all of your art of Matt Leibh's baby as Tony soprano. And if you want to, you know, you can make our baby look like Jimmy McNulty. Oh, yeah. Do a man. Oh, yeah, especially pose it with like a couple of empty bottles like baby size liquor bottles. Yeah. Little Irish baby. Wait, did Jimmy McNulty? Yeah. Yeah. Have it, you know, taking a shit and going, she, she, you know, that'll be fun. A little clay Davis. Yeah. Do it as clay Davis. Get a little Omar baby costume with like a double maro shot gun. And yeah, fucking hell, yeah. You come in my diapers. You best not pay for something like Ziggy's Fibotka somehow. I don't know. Do it all. Do all the seasons. Even two, which nobody likes. Except for me. But it is a great season. I like season two. I like it too. The dots. A bunch of poles give it to me. That's one of the strengths of the show. But now we're viewing into your territory. I'm, I'm, I'm staggered into like the German army is about to do in Poland. Staggering. Staggering into the wire. Yeah. All right. Oh, it's over. Bye. Bye. Bye. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone media. For more from Cool Zone media, visit our web. website coolzonemedia.com or check us out on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. 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