Before the semester is over…

What was your favorite piece we read this semester? Why?

Or, what is something you didn’t expect to learn in this class, but did?

Or! What was the most shocking thing we talked about, read, or found this semester?

Psychic Hemingway Anyone??

Can we also talk about how weird it was that Hemingway wrote in the 1929 version of A Farewell about the Japanese wanting to take control of Hawaii and then literally twelve years later Pearl Harbor happened? Am I missing something? Is this just some huge coincidence?

The ‘Stache

Ever since someone posted about Hitler being involved in The Great War on the blog, I’ve been intrigued. I never knew (as much sense as it makes that he was) that he was involved much less that his experiences shaped some of the ways he could approach World War II.

In that earlier post on the blog, it was said that Hitler had been the victim of gas attacks and vowed not to use gas warfare in WW2 because of its devastating effects (ironic). Well, I was doing some further research on it and apparently the infamous mustache Hitler dons also resulted from gas warfare.

Apparently Hitler had sported the typical German style before the war of a long and thin facial hair above his upper lip and upon joining the war, was constructed to clip it into the infamous toothbrush shape in order to able to better fit into a gas mask.

Adolf Hitler, Hitler was ordered to trim his moustache

Historians came to the conclusion about this upon the publication of Alexander Moritz Frey’s biography who, according to an article done by The Telegraph, “came to know [Hitler] when both were lowly privates in a Bavarian infantry division.”


Later in the same article Frey is quoted further describing Hitler’s appearance saying,

“At that time he looked tall because he was so thin. A full moustache, which had to be trimmed later because of the new gas masks, covered the ugly slit of his mouth.”

It’s odd how far-reaching some of the effects of this war are. I went from not even knowing Hitler had been a part of the war to now seeing how such identifying stylistic choices were shaped by it.

An Odd Appreciation of Death

In both All Quiet on the Western Front and Not So Quiet, we see such an odd appreciation for the escape from war death brings. In All Quiet, Paul and Kat see the dying recruit and consider shooting him to putting him out of his misery. In Not So Quiet, Helen sees in chapter two that one of the men she was transporting in her ambulance has died and says “He died as the stretcher-bearers lifted him out. I was glad…Out of hell at last” (Smith 40).

This disturbing appreciation of death is really jarring to me. Did anyone else have any similar reactions?

Hitler was a WWI soldier?

I never knew that the Germans weren’t the first to make chemical gas for fighting.  I was also really surprised that Hitler never used chemical gas on the battlefield, though I doubt he did so purely for humane reasons as he was, y’know, Hitler, so in my mind he most definitely had other motivations to not use gas attacks.  On the topic of Hitler as a WWI soldier, I got interested and decided to look up some more about that. Here

Apparently, he was a very lucky soldier, in his first battle in the Bavarian Regiment, of the 3,000 men that were in the army, 2,500 survived and he happened to escape without a freaking scratch.  Him being uninjured became a Thing, it was often that he would move a tiny bit then a shell would come down and kill everyone where he just was. Though, he did get wounded in his leg once which actually gave him a break from the Front and when he went back he got caught in a chlorine gas attack.  He also painted whenever the fighting ceased (though he was apparently not good enough for art school, but that’s a whole other story.)

I found this cool video about Hitler almost dying on the battlefield here but I can’t quite confirm or deny it.  From what I could find it seem’s to be that Hitler says it happened but some people think he made it up to show that this great war hero for the British saved him.  I like to think it’s true because of the craziness of it.

I can’t confirm or deny this next thing, but I remember hearing that he cut his mustache like how we know it, so that it would fit into his gas mask during WWI but I couldn’t find sources.

If you know more on any of this I’d love to know.