Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Nonsensical Nazi News: X-rays of Hitler’s Skull For Sale

by Kathryn Hadley

Here are two extraordinary news stories related to Nazi Germany…

On Monday, Daniel Finkelstein from The Times posted on his Comment Central blog a short piece about his recent discovery of the sale of two x-rays of Hitler’s skull on eBay! The sale is open for seven days and the starting price is $1,600! Whether or not the x-rays are truly of Hitler’s skull is in my mind dubious and it appears very difficult to ascertain their provenance. The seller nevertheless, described the x-rays as:
‘Two rare 5"x7" x-ray impressions of Adolf Hitler's head and skull.
They were probably made by the U.S. Army shortly after the war, as other copies
exist in the U.S. National Archives.
The originals were taken after the assassination attempt on Hitler in July 1944.
Both are dated "19.9.44". They were given to my father by a colleague when my
father was a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and stationed at Walter Reed
Hospital in Washington, D.C. around 1946/1947.
I've compared them to others
presented in reputable historical works, and they match exactly.’

Here is a second headline: Nazi Cows Roam Devonshire Countryside!

A herd of 13 bulls, cows and calves, which descend from the Heck cattle species recreated by Nazi scientists, has recently been imported into Britain. The herd has been imported from a nature reserve near Amsterdam by the British conservationist Derek Gow.
The Heck cattle breed was recreated by Nazi scientists in an attempt to reintroduce the aurochs, the extinct ox which was the ancestor of today’s domestic cow and pictures of which are painted in ochre and charcoal on the walls of the prehistoric Lascaux caves in southern France. The Devonshire herd is descended from a few cattle which survived the Second World War.
The aurochs are believed to have become extinct in Britain during the Iron Age. Although the species survived in various parts of Europe into the Middle Ages, the last aurochs died in Poland almost 400 years ago.
Herman Goering initiated Nazi efforts to recreate a primeval Aryan wilderness in Germany’s conquered territories in Eastern Europe and the task to reintroduce the most primitive breeds of cattle was undertaken by the two zoologist brothers, Lutz and Heinz Heck. The brothers notably crossbred French and Spanish fighting bulls and Highland cattle with breeds from Corsica and Hungary. There has been significant debate surrounding the success of their breeding programmes notably because the Heck cattle are smaller than the aurochs. Nevertheless, few dispute the fact that the Heck cattle resemble the aurochs at least superficially.
Derek Gow described the Heck herd which now roams the Devonshire countryside:
‘They look like the cave paintings of Lascaux and Altamira. It makes you think of the light of a tallow lamp and these huge bulls on these cave paintings leaping out at you from darkened walls.’

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