Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 1st, 2013

Visualizing Occupation: Freedom of movement

Whereas West Bank settlers can travel freely between Israel and the West Bank, Palestinian movement is governed by the Israeli security establishment. This illustration is the fourth in a series of graphics on the effect of the occupation on the Palestinian civilian population. For more striking infographics click here.

Michal Vexler posted on May, 14, 2013

 >For the entire Visualizing Occupation series click here

Machsom Watch: Invisible prisoners

Michal Vexler is a designer and an activist. This work – a part of a series of infographics regarding the effect of the occupation on the Palestinian civilian population – is presented here with her permission.

Adolph Hitler didn’t commit suicide? Lived in Argentine till the age of 73?

Had two daughters and died in 1962?

Guy Walters PUBLISHED in the Daily Mail Online this Oct. 28,  2013

Though it was approaching midnight in Berlin, the streets were far from dark. On every street, fires raged out of control as the intense and savage Russian artillery bombardment crept closer to the centre of the Third Reich.

By that late hour on the night of April 27, 1945, there was not one person in Germany who thought that the Nazis could still win.

Deep in his bunker, even the man who had brought such destruction to his country and to the world knew that the war was over.

As Adolf Hitler gazed at a portrait of his hero, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and a brilliant military mind, he was certain there would be no eleventh-hour reversal of fortune.

According to Grey Wolf: The Escape Of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun (right) accompanied the Adolf Hitler when he escaped through a secret tunnel from his bunker in Berlin
According to Grey Wolf: The Escape Of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun (right) accompanied the Adolf Hitler when he escaped through a secret tunnel from his bunker in Berlin

The so-called ‘miracle weapons’ had never arrived, and his once mighty armies existed more in memory than in flesh and steel.

The Führer had 3 options.

1. He could allow himself to be captured by the Russians; but the humiliation was unthinkable.

2. He could kill himself, but who could possibly replace him?

3. A Fourth Reich would surely rise, and he would be needed to lead it. That left one option: escape.

Everything had been prepared to the last detail by the shady head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Müller, right down to the clothes worn by the body doubles that would pass for the corpses of Hitler and his intended bride, Eva Braun.

As his office clock struck midnight, Hitler turned to his orderly and nodded.

Twenty minutes later, three figures emerged from a secret tunnel connecting the bunker to the surface.

Had any German citizen spotted them, he or she would have been astonished to see the Führer scuttling away like the cowards he so despised. Accompanying him were Eva Braun and her brother-in-law, Hermann Fegelein.

Dodging fires and explosions, the small party made its way to the vast Hohenzollerndamm that ran through the centre of Berlin. Once a fashionable boulevard, it was now a makeshift runway, and on it sat a Junkers-52 transport aircraft, its engines being gunned by Captain Peter Baumgart, an experienced Luftwaffe pilot.

Hitler and his companions climbed aboard the aircraft, and before they could even sit down, Baumgart pushed the throttle forward. Within a minute, the plane soared into the air, heading north. The Führer refused to look out of the window, unwilling to face the hell he had left behind.

He was heading to a new life — and a new world. That life, as it would be for so many other Nazis, would be in Argentina.

There are some who regard Hitler's escape story as the absolute truth
There are some who regard Hitler’s escape story as the absolute truth

Hitler’s route there was tortuous, but necessarily so for the most wanted man in the world. After landing in Denmark, he flew to Spain, where General Franco supplied him with an aircraft to take him to the Canary Islands.

From there, the Führer took a submarine to the Argentine coast, where he disembarked near the small port of Necochea, some 300 miles south of Buenos Aires.

Hitler would never again set foot outside Argentina.

And though his dreams of a new Reich would never be fulfilled, he did at least find some form of domestic happiness by marrying Eva Braun, with whom he had two daughters.

Finally, after 17 years in hiding, one of the most evil men in history died on February 13, 1962, aged 73. It was to his bitter disappointment that his old foe, Winston Churchill, had outlived him.

To most of us, such a story sounds like utter fantasy. But there are some who regard it as the absolute truth.

The notion that Hitler escaped from his Berlin bunker has held conspiracy theorists in thrall since the war ended. It has now reared its improbable head once more.

This weekend, it emerged that the story of Hitler’s supposed escape to Argentina has become the subject of a bitter plagiarism row.

In their book, Grey Wolf: The Escape Of Adolf Hitler, British authors Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan argued that the Führer escaped exactly in the manner described above, and did indeed see out his days in South America.

However, an Argentine journalist, Abel Basti, who comes from the Patagonian town of Bariloche, where so many Nazis ‘retired’, claims that Williams and Dunstan appropriated his research, and he is seeking compensation.

Williams and Dunstan strenuously deny Basti’s accusation.

‘Basti did in no way invent the idea of Hitler being alive in Argentina,’ says Williams. ‘Books on the subject existed as far back as 1953 and 1987. I have never plagiarised anyone’s work.’

To outsiders, the row looks like three bald men fighting over a comb. The idea that Hitler could have escaped – and kept that escape hidden – seems farcical.

And yet many continue to believe it. Tens of thousands of Nazis escaped after the war, including the notorious Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele. Is it not possible that Hitler escaped with them?

As Gerrard Williams says, there have been many versions of the Hitler escape story, and they have been spun ever since May 1945.

In the years immediately after the war, there  was no hard proof that Hitler had, in fact, died.

One of the problems that investigators encountered was the lack of any physical evidence for his  death.

The existence of skull fragments, found by  the Russians near the Fuhrer’s bunker and believed to be his, was not known to  the West until 1968.

Then, in 2009, DNA testing of the bones revealed that in fact they belonged to a woman.

There have been many versions of the Hitler escape story from his bunker (pictured) in May 1945
There have been many versions of the Hitler escape story from his bunker (pictured) in May 1945

This has given the fantasists added  ammunition to claim that Hitler didn’t die in the bunker. In  the immediate aftermath of the war, British and U.S. intelligence services received countless reports suggesting the former Nazi leader had been spotted alive and at large.

In September 1945, it was claimed that Hitler and his private secretary, Martin Bormann, had boarded a luxury yacht in Hamburg  and had sailed to a secret island off the coast of  Schleswig-Holstein.

The next month, staff at the British Legation in Copenhagen informed the Foreign Office that a Danish woman had told them that  a friend had dreamed that Hitler was disguised as a monk and living in Spain.

In December, the Americans were ‘reliably  informed’ that Hitler had boarded a submarine off the island of Majorca, where  he had been living in a hotel with a group of nuclear scientists. Then there  were claims that he was living as a hermit in a cave in Italy, or working as a  shepherd in the Swiss Alps.

There were those who stated that he’d hidden  himself in Antarctica, or even further away still — the Moon!

All these reports, no matter how ridiculous, had to be taken seriously and investigated. One after the other, they were found to be groundless.

Some were undoubtedly the products of a  Soviet disinformation campaign.

For a long time, the Russians believed that the Allies were sheltering Hitler, and they put about these fake stories in an attempt to flush out what they thought to be the truth.

In July 1945, the Russian commander Marshall  Georgi Zhukov claimed that since Hitler’s body had still not been found, he  ‘could have flown away at the very last moment’. Even General Eisenhower, the  former Allied supreme commander, appeared to be taken in.

Today, the vast majority accept that Hitler shot himself in the bunker (pictured) in Berlin on April 30, 1945
Today, the vast majority accept that Hitler shot himself  in the bunker (pictured) in Berlin on April 30, 1945

In 1952, he said: ‘We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler’s death. Many people believe that  he escaped from Berlin.

Today, the vast majority accept that Hitler  shot himself in the bunker in Berlin on April 30, 1945.

After  the war, the historian and MI6 officer Hugh Trevor-Roper was commissioned to  investigate Hitler’s death. He spoke to many of those who were present in the bunker during those last fateful days.

They all said the same thing: Hitler had  killed himself, and his body and that of Eva Braun were cremated with  petrol.

If Hitler had hotfooted it to the Southern Hemisphere, then all these people would have had to have been lying – and to  have kept it secret until their dying days.

It is simply impossible to believe that so many people could keep such a grand scale deception so quiet.

But there are still some who cling to their conspiracy theories.

Williams and Dunstan maintain that the  ‘Hitler’ and ‘Braun’ who shot themselves in Berlin in 1945 were, in fact, lookalikes.

But would those who had known Hitler intimately for years and who were in the bunker that night really have been fooled by two doubles?

In truth, the supposed escape of Hitler should be seen as nothing more than a parlour game.

There’s not a serious historian who would  give the story any more credence than they would to Elvis Presley being alive and well and still hip-swinging in Tennessee.

Guy Walters is author of Hunting Evil: The  Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped And The Quest To Bring Them To  Justice.

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Did Disney ruined your outlook to the Real World?

As you’re a little girl, the most magical thing you’ll ever see on screen is a colourful Disney film and chances are that you’ll be fascinated by the big-eyed, rosy-cheeked Disney Princess who’ll become a role model of sorts.

Saba Khalid published in The Express Tribune on September 30, 2012

How Disney ruined me for the real world

Watch the same as a grownup and you’ll come to realise how messed up these princesses really are.

Bursting at the seams with gender-stereotyping, these films build up ridiculous expectations in girls — from themselves, from relationships with men and life in general.

And while I realise that the job of these films is to entertain, not prepare you for the world, the fantasies projected in them have deceived many a little girl and crushed many dreams. Someone should rewrite these innocuous tales to reveal exactly what’s out there. Here are just a few bad lessons that come out of Disney films.

1. No need to work, just find yourself a savior

The only reason Disney princesses breathe, eat, swim, sing, grow their hair, wear ridiculous clothing and shoes, is so that they will one day find themselves a good-looking prince. And once they do, all their problems in life are solved.

That means if you don’t find a prince, or if yours happens to be on the ugly or on the less charming side, you’ll still be struggling all your life.

2. Crying solves everything

So your stepsisters practically stripped you for wearing their rags and your stepmother deceived you and wouldn’t take you to the ball, DON’T bother to struggle, talkback, rage or run away. JUST CRY, CRY, CRY!

A fat lady will pop out of nowhere and take care of all your miseries. But the last time I bawled when I had nothing to wear for a shaadi, my mother told me to suck it up and act like a grownup!

3. Rodents make the best of friends

Inspired by Cinderella and her hardworking rat pals, I spent my own childhood trying to befriend the mouse in the house. And let me tell you, it has still not braided my hair, cooked for me, made me a brand new dress or wiped my tears. But it has ruined quite a few of my dresses.

4. In Disney world, no need for positive female figures: The mother is dead

What is up with the fact that almost all Disney princesses have no mothers? Cinderella’s mother — dead, the Little Mermaid’s mother — dead, Sleeping Beauty’s mother — gave away the kid to some crazy fairies! With all these motherless role models, as a child, I didn’t know what to make of my alive-and-kicking amma.

At the time, she seemed like an impediment in my own fairytale. But maybe if all these Disney princesses had mothers like mine, they’d knock some sense into their flighty heads and tell them to study  instead.

5. No real career aspirations

Considering the princesses’ retirement plan has been to serve the prince, what happens when the prince breaks up with you, dies, or goes to war? The princess would have nothing to fall back on.

Okay, that’s stretching it, because she could definitely make a great maid. Think about it — Snow White’s urge to cook and clean was so extreme that she broke into someone’s house and just decided to cook and clean for them probono.

6. Good always kicks evil’s butt and karma is your best friend

When you’re in the Disney world, everything fixes itself towards the end. The glass shoe fits, the girl comes out of her coma, the dragon is slain, the sea-witch dies — but none of that happens in the real world. I mean, if good triumphed over evil, would we be in this state?

7. Obsession with gora rung and never-fading youth

It’s always the FAIR princess — she’s called Snow WHITE, you know! There’s no sanwali princess, no Plain Jane heroine. Now maybe that’s why little girls want to powder themselves and put on some lipstick at age 5.

No one is born that rosy and gorgeous, Snow White, so where are you hiding your stash of Fair n Lovely?

8. Everything ugly and old is evil

This is how a princess thinks: if it’s something cute, dwarfish and furry — trust it. If it’s old and ugly, run like a mad dog. The Queen in Snow White is so obsessed with youth, she’ll do anything and everything to get it. The takeaway from this is when you’re young, milk it, because when you’re older, you’ll only turn desperate and crazy.

9. Uncomfortable = pretty

You know the real reason why Cinderella left that shoe at the palace — it hurt like crazy! And what is up with all the pink frilly nylon tutus these Disney princesses keep wearing? Has anyone worn those while sweeping floors and scrubbing the windows and not developed a mad rash?

10. Once the prince is in your pocket — ditch your family and friends

I’m sorry, but the Little Mermaid is a conniving minx. After she gets the prince and her dream Caribbean wedding, she ditches her entire family and friends. I’m kind of glad though. Imagine what would happen to Sebastian if he showed up at the wedding — he’d end up served as an entrée.

The good side of Disney

Now it would be unfair to say that all Disney heroines are bad role models — it’s only those spoilt princesses. Whenever Disney shows a regular gal who isn’t conventionally beautiful, she turns out to be pretty smart and intriguing.


This girl is truly one of the most bad-ass chicks I’ve seen. She shows that if you’re not taken seriously because you’re a woman, trick them into believing you’re a man! Genius … that’s something us working girls with our stiff suits and manly pants have been trying to do for ages.

Mulan is also a fighter and cares about her nation. And love isn’t something she sets herself out for — it just happens to her while she’s achieving her bigger goals.


She ended a war, she cared about the environment and her people, and she freaking jumped off a cliff — now that’s the girl I want to be!  

Note: How would you expect your kids to listen to you when:




November 2013

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