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Lawrence Biemiller is a senior writer at The Chronicle who writes about facilities and architecture, and contributes to the Notes from Academe column.
Scott Carlson is a senior reporter at The Chronicle, covering architecture, sustainability, and energy. Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian leader in exile in Berlin, helped Hitler broadcast Nazi ideas in passionate, fluent Arabic. Between 1939 and 1945, shortwave radio transmitters near Berlin broadcast Nazi propaganda in many languages around the world, including Arabic throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and Persian programs in Iran. After Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, German embassies and consulates were closed throughout North Africa and the Middle East, hampering Nazi propaganda efforts. Only a fraction of the Nazi regime's broadcasts in Arabic survived the war in the German archives.
That task was made more difficult because of ideas about Aryan racial superiority and purity that were central to Nazi ideology. The Nazi Arabic-language broadcasts were the result of a collaboration between officials in the German foreign ministry and pro-Nazi Arab exiles who found refuge from the British in Berlin, most notably Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the most important Palestinian religious and political figure of the era, and Rashid Ali al-Kilani, leader of a pro-Axis coup in Iraq in 1941, which was quickly reversed by the British military.
Those early broadcasts tended to present the Third Reich as an ally of both Arab nationalists and Muslim fundamentalists. This appeal is indicative of the reactionary modernist character of Nazi propaganda, which combined modern technology with calls to reject modern liberal democratic values and institutions. Following the arrival of Husseini and Kilani in Berlin, the broadcasts more skillfully integrated the Nazi perspective on World War II with themes of Arab nationalism, as well as rhetoric that we would now call fundamentalist or radical Islamic. This broadcast, which combined secular political accusations with an appeal to the religious demands of Islam, was unusual only insofar as it explicitly voiced genocidal intentions that were merely implicit in other declarations about the venality and power of the Jews.
In the first months after the war, as the scope of the Jewish catastrophe in Europe was being revealed, Arab and Islamic radicals showed no sign of reconsidering their hostility to Zionism. Banna's hope that Husseini would "continue the struggle" indicates that Banna perceived the battle against Zionism as a continuation of Nazism's assault on the Jews. Many decades and events stand between World War II and contemporary expressions of radical Islam. Jeffrey Herf is a professor of modern European and German history at the University of Maryland at College Park and author of The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2006). The Chronicle welcomes constructive discussion, and our moderators highlight contributions that are thoughtful and relevant. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Jill Silos-Rooney raises an important problem that has become increasingly evident in higher education — parents.She notes that the recent helicopter parent syndrome, in which parents are deeply involved in the lives of their children, also emerges at the college level, limiting the ability of these young adults to function independently.
To find what types of bacteria live inside whales, researchers collect samples of "whale blow" with special paddles or a remote-controlled helicopter.
Science bloggers showered praise on Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse two years ago when a BBC television program showed her research team flying remote-control helicopters into the blowhole mists of whales to collect snot samples that could be examined for pathogens. Some of the honors were bestowed this year with a deep sense of irony and a keen appreciation for current events. BP, sponsor of this year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, shared the chemistry prize with three scientists who staged an experimental oil and gas spill off the coast of Norway in 2000 for proving that, in fact, oil and water do mix.
More than 100 feet long and prone to acrobatic leaps out of the water, the blue whale presents a special problem for any scientist hoping to collect samples of its blood and tissue. In 2003 she began working with Diane Gendron, an ecologist at the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico who had been studying blue, gray, and sperm whales in the Gulf of California for more than two decades. The solution they eventually hit upon was a "blow-catcher," a series of sterile petri dishes affixed to foam panels that would be extended from a boat via an aluminum pole over the whale's spout.
The idea did work, although it proved expensive to routinely bring in an experienced hobbyist to pilot the craft up to 60 meters away in the often unpredictable ocean gusts. Whale-watching tourists are known to give big tips to boat pilots who will take them closer to the whales for a better view, Ms.
As for the helicopter, it hasn't gone into the drink yet, despite the researchers' fears about its life span. The saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” ignores the many apples that roll far, far away from their trees. Consider the sobering (and that’s an understatement) example of Marcus Aurelius—the last of Rome’s “five good emperors”—and his son Commodus, whom he appointed co-emperor three years before he died, in 180. Composed near the end of his life, while he was stationed near the Danube trying to fend off various Germanic tribes, Marcus’s Meditations explains his lasting fame more than anything he did while emperor. I stumbled across Marcus’s Meditations several years ago, while browsing in a used-book store. Marcus was an exceptionally good man (if we forgive him that Roman habit of persecuting Christians). Although Marcus apparently realized as much, he wishfully thought that his son would change once he assumed the purple robe of the emperor. Whatever the cause, Commodus has been described by historians as selfish, self-absorbed, egotistical, paranoid, lecherous, lascivious, debauched, obscene, buffoonish, venal, scandalous, petty, vindictive, and, above all, cruel.
What role did Marcus Aurelius play in the creation of the viciously hedonist personality of his son?
Yet Commodus wasn’t so spoiled that he didn’t go to the front, at his father’s command, and fight alongside him. English-language transcripts of the Arabic broadcasts shed light on a particularly dark chapter in the globalization of pernicious ideas.
Between 1941 and 1943, as German forces were engaged in heavy fighting in North Africa, millions of leaflets were dropped from airplanes and distributed on the ground by propaganda units operating with Rommel's Afrika Korps. But in the fall of 1941, the American Embassy in Egypt began to produce verbatim English-language translations of Nazi broadcasts. Nazi diplomats had long been sensitive to the fact that such views made it difficult to garner Arab allies. Husseini's and Kilani's arrival in Berlin in 1941 provided the Axis with a rare asset: Arabs who could communicate Nazi ideas in colloquial, fluent, and passionate Arabic. The early Arabic-language broadcasts created the perception of affinity between Nazi ideology and the Koran.

Hitler, for instance, famously boasted that the war would result not in "the extermination of the Aryan race but rather the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe." In broadcasts to the Middle East, the Nazis repeated that claim, arguing that Britain and the United States were stooges of the Jews.
Two German historians, Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, recently uncovered evidence that German intelligence agents were reporting back to Berlin that if Rommel succeeded in reaching Cairo and Palestine, the Axis powers could count on support from some elements in the Egyptian officer corps as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. Research into this question has begun, but much more remains to be done by scholars who read Arabic and Persian. On June 1, 1946, the OSS office in Cairo sent a report to Washington about a statement made by Hassan Al-Banna to the Arab League on the occasion of Husseini's return to Egypt.
Sayyid Qutb, another extremely influential member of the Brotherhood, incorporated anti-Jewish ideas from Europe to forge a new jihadist ideology.
Yet the transcripts of Arabic-language propaganda broadcasts offer compelling evidence of a political and ideological meeting of minds between Nazism and radical Islam. His latest book is Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, published this month by Yale University Press. There is an increasingly problematic pattern, she points out, of parents who “indoctrinate their children with such a narrow set of beliefs that when they enroll in college courses, they lack the necessary critical-thinking skills” to process and deal with challenges to their fixed beliefs — either from professors or other students. Your comments are subject to our Terms of Service and the privacy policy and terms of service of your social network.
Acevedo-Whitehouse and two fellow scientists collected the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize in Engineering for their ingenious approach to wildlife-conservation research.
The two scientists, working with a graduate student, knew they would have a hard time collecting blood samples from the various whales to establish baseline data on the types of bacteria inhabiting them. Acevedo-Whitehouse then proposed using remote-control helicopters to capture the bacteria-laden spray.
Acevedo-Whitehouse, who is moving from London for a post at Mexico's Autonomous University of Queretaro starting in January. Most parents, aware that some offspring apples can roll too far away, try to raise their children with something more than a laissez-faire approach. Turning the question on its head: How much responsibility do parents bear for the adults their children become?  Do any of the competing theories about child-rearing acknowledge that there’s an element of the crapshoot involved?
The Meditations, which were almost certainly intended as private ruminations, combines aphorisms, ethics, and metaphysics in a cocoon of spirituality. I bought the book because I liked the title and because, as a serious Latin student in high school and a political-science major in college, I was—and am—fascinated by classical civilizations.
Some propose that by being away at the front when Commodus was young and malleable, Marcus absented himself at precisely the time when children’s characters are built.
Whatever his flaws, up until Marcus’s death—when Commodus first tasted the sweet absoluteness of an emperor’s power—Commodus appeared, at least, to understand the restraints of civic duty. Some may think that the way a Roman emperor raised a child has little relevance to ordinary people today.
They do not represent the position of the editors, nor does posting here imply any endorsement by The Chronicle.
The view—click on the image for a larger version—consists of 18 separate images stitched together by clever software, Mr. The founding charter of Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, recapitulates conspiracy theories about Jews that were popular in Europe in the 20th century. But in a region where fewer than 20 percent of adults were literate, radio was considered a much more effective medium of communication. Every week for the remainder of the war, the embassy sent a digest, "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic," to the secretary of state in Washington. Before the war, German officials went to great lengths to reassure Arabs that Nazi policies, like the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935, were aimed strictly at Jews, not non-Jewish Semites.
Previously, the Arabic broadcasts drew on the expertise of German Orientalists and the local knowledge of German diplomats who had served in the Middle East. Instead, the programs combined commentary on political events in the Middle East with a selective appropriation and interpretation of the Koran.
An Allied victory, the Nazis warned, would mean Jewish domination of the Arab world and the success of Zionism. Mallmann and Cüppers also show that an SS division was preparing to fly to Egypt to extend the Final Solution to the Middle East.
It is clear, as Meir Litvak and Esther Webman point out in their important new book, From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust (Columbia University Press), that the revulsion for fascism and Nazism that greatly influenced postwar politics in Europe was not nearly as prevalent in the Middle East.
Banna, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, celebrated Husseini as a "hero who challenged an empire and fought Zionism, with the help of Hitler and Germany. The toxic mixture of religious and secular themes forged in Nazi-era Berlin, and disseminated to the Middle East, continues to shape the extreme politics of that region. Sometimes, they respond aggressively to ideas contrary to their assumptions.Silos-Rooney is right.
If you do not want to comment with a social network, please consider writing a letter to the editor. Acevedo-Whitehouse, a veterinarian with the Zoological Society of London until this year, had long focused her research on sea lions, cuddly pinnipeds that are easily sedated and studied. So they decided to examine the cetaceans' respiratory products—or, put more bluntly, their snot. But when a BBC television crew hitched a ride on the research boat and broadcast footage of the helicopter's daring flights over the open ocean in late 2008, reporters started calling Ms.
On one memorable trip, she says, a Canadian documentary-film crew rode along to capture footage of the giant sea mammals.
Even relatively lax parents—not to mention Amy Chu-spawned tiger moms or college students’ “helicopter parents”—assume that they have significant control over the kind of adult their child becomes.
Moreover, I like dipping into the Meditations whenever I sense the approach of what Churchill called the “black dog” of depression. He loved playing gladiator and was known for extraordinary savagery—even by Roman standards—toward animals in the arena. Since September 11, 2001, scholars have debated the lineages, similarities, and differences between Nazi anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism of Islamic extremists.

Al Qaeda's war against "the Zionist-Crusader Alliance" and the anti-Zionist rants of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran also display a blend of anti-Semitic themes rooted in Nazi and fascist, as well as Islamist, traditions. Radio stations like Radio Berlin and the Voice of Free Arabism adapted Nazi propaganda to the circumstances of the Middle East.
In the parlance of contemporary intelligence operations, "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic" would be described as "open source" intelligence gathering, that is, an examination of what adversaries say in public. In addition, Arab leaders were given private assurances that the Third Reich opposed British and French colonialism, as well as Zionist aspirations in Palestine. The British and Australian defeat of Rommel at the Battle of El 'Alamein prevented that from happening. In a June 1945 report, the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, determined that "in the Near East the popular attitude toward the trial of war criminals is one of apathy. As such, Qutb wrote, Jews merited "the worst kind of punishment." Qutb claimed that Allah had sent Hitler to earth to "punish" the Jews for their evil deeds. All was well till "one of the whales exhaled, and everyone on the boat was ready to throw up." Maybe, she surmised, "some of the whales have a respiratory problem" that causes the blow to stink. Such human-whale interaction, she says, can transmit dangerous pathogens both ways between the two species.
Meditations has the capacity to soothe the anxieties accompanying the constant and rapid changes inherent in modern life, and more important, to put a brake on intense feelings about things over which we have no control. In Marcus Aurelius: A Life (2009), Frank McLynn says that despite Commodus’s having an honorable father and the very best tutors—including an instructor in ethics—he was, from an early age, lazy, self-indulgent, and mean. Others argue that having watched most of his children die in their infancy and early childhood (especially his other sons), Marcus spoiled Commodus. Our contemporary discussions about the need to “set high expectations,” “establish limits,” “provide confidence through love,” and “facilitate academic and career achievement” (those words are lifted randomly from people who write about raising children) are really mostly fluff. These radio broadcasts suggest that Nazi Arabic-language propaganda helped introduce radical anti-Semitism into the Middle East, where it found common ground with anti-Jewish currents in Islam. To be sure, each of these movements and ideologies have non-European, local, and regional causes and inspirations.
As far as I have been able to determine, "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic" comprise the most complete record of Nazi Germany's efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Arab and Islamic world. But Mussolini's imperial ambitions around the Mediterranean remained at odds with an open declaration of support by the Axis powers for Arab independence.
During the winter of 1940-41, several broadcasts described Muslims as "backward" because they had "not shown God the proper piety and do not fear him." A return to traditional Islam, the broadcasts suggested, would lead to victory over Islam's enemies. In broadcasts to the Middle East, listeners were called upon to participate in the massacre. As a result of the general Near Eastern feeling of hostility to the imperialism of certain of the Allied powers, there is a tendency to sympathize with rather than condemn those who have aided the Axis." The OSS concluded that there was no support in the region for bringing pro-Axis Arab leaders like Husseini and Kilani to trial. It is a commodity, just like a car or a pair of socks, that is produced to satisfy the wants and needs of the consumer.
By putting everything human into the perspective of the cosmos, Marcus gently chastises human beings for presuming that they have real control over things.
The slings and arrows of necessity, temptation, and character will come at children from sources over which we have no control. The main administration building, Park Hall, is at the top of the drive, and the Great Salt Lake is a ribbon of blue at the bottom of the picture. But the formulation of Nazi propaganda during World War II and its dissemination stand as a decisive episode in the development of radical Islamism. By the summer of 1942, however, when Hitler and Mussolini believed that they were on the verge of victory over the Allies in North Africa, the two leaders publicly called for an end to colonialism in the region.
There must be a divine purpose behind the preservation of the life of this man, namely the defeat of Zionism.
This paranoid analysis, in turn, influenced the authors of the charter of Hamas, which blends Islamist fundamentalism with the Nazi ideology of mid-20th century Europe. As a result, they think they can interact with faculty and administrators the same way they would a clerk at Macy’s or the local car salesman. But he possessed a knack for intimidating the senatorial class, placating the army, and satiating the mob. It’s both humbling and practical to remind ourselves that circumstance and chance weigh heavily against whatever homilies we try to enforce as parents, imperial or not.
And for the remainder of the war, Nazi radio broadcast an unrelenting flood of anti-British, anti-American, anti-Soviet, and especially anti-Jewish propaganda into the Middle East. The Hamas Charter holds Jews responsible for the French and the Russian Revolutions, World War I and World War II, as well as the founding of the United Nations—all of which were, Hamas argues, orchestrated for the purpose of furthering Jewish world domination. Grades can be bargained for, and the customer is always right — so whatever dogma parents happen to have in their heads should not be challenged in their kids’.
This creates a mind-set in which parents, and even students, think they are entitled to things like good grades or the right to influence the curriculum because they are paying for an education.This is a dangerous way of thinking about education. It is not a commodity, and it is not being purchased to satisfy the needs and wants of parents or students.
An education is a process designed to change people — by giving them skills and knowledge that will help them contribute to society as good parents, workers and citizens. Parents who send their kids to college are not paying for an education; they are paying tuition to support the facilities and faculty that provide an education.
The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”This strain of anti-intellectualism devalues the process of education as a way of generating adults who can rationally assess and respond to their social and political surroundings. It also devalues educators and the educational systems we have developed for the purpose of creating knowledgeable and thoughtful citizens who can function well in a democratic society.

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