The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal


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Whatinhell is wrong with UC Santa Cruz?
bigbananaslug
bigbananaslug
In a recent column, Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam quotes from a book by three professors, including Mark Cioc, from UCSC. Here's some of the article:

No one in their right mind would research and publish a book stating, "The Nazis created nature preserves, championed sustainable forestry, curbed air pollution, and designed the autobahn highway network as a way of bringing Germans closer to nature." Or: "The Nazis did in fact impact the landscape in ways far out of proportion to the short twelve years they were in power."

But in fact, three professors -- Franz-Josef Bruggemeier of Freiburg University, Mark Cioc from the University of California/Santa Cruz, and the University of Maryland's Thomas Zeller -- have done just that.

It is undeniably true that Adolf and his crew were A-number-one landscape-impacters. London got plenty impacted by the Nazis' environmental outreach program, as did cities like Leningrad, Stalingrad, Dresden, and Berlin. According to this book, the Nazis had big plans for spreading their green ideology eastward into Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. "In the vast territories conquered in the east . . . they saw the opportunity to create a better, greener, future, combining racist and environmental thinking," the authors write. How sad that the eastern European Jews didn't go along with the program! What soreheads.

It's incredible that anyone would actually publish sentences like these: "The Nazis, however, were not interested in turning Germany into a tree farm"; "World War II was the opportunity that many modernist landscape architects had been waiting for"; or, "In the end, everyone . . . agreed that it was the wrong moment to embark on any projects with organic farming."


Mark Cioc is, to my embarrassment, not only a history professor at UCSC but also a member of my very own college, Stevenson. I kinda wonder what old Adlai would think of a professor who uses his position to act as a Nazi apologist?

I don't remember any environmental controls on the ovens at the concentration camps.

I don't remember any environmental controls on damage from the Wehrmacht.

I wonder why the University hasn't censured Cioc.

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It's incredible that anyone would actually publish sentences like these: "The Nazis, however, were not interested in turning Germany into a tree farm"; "World War II was the opportunity that many modernist landscape architects had been waiting for"; or, "In the end, everyone . . . agreed that it was the wrong moment to embark on any projects with organic farming."

Tree farm: That would be Churchill, after the war. One hopes the other two sentences were meant ironically/sarcastically. Perhaps one hopes in vain.

OTOH the whole darned thing may be a subtextual commentary on the Green/Brown alliance in German politics over the last twenty years.

The writers are not apologists for Nazis. They are historians. The Nazis were environmentalists: this is a matter of historical record. Would you have historians reinvent reality to keep our narratives simplistic and palatable? We have George W Bush for that.

Historians reinvent reality?

The Nazis were environmentalists in the same way that the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement are environmentalists, in the way that Earth First are environmentalists. In other words, not! We don't have to drag President Bush into this...it is extraneous and illogical. The Nazis were NOT environmentalists, except in the sense of propaganda. The writers may have degrees in history, but they are sure as hell not historians. Historians have perspective, and depth of vision. What these folks are, are propagandists, just like the Nazis were. I continue to be ashamed that one of them teaches at UCSC.

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