Holocaust and Aviation
Aviation in Nazi Germany as Major Cause for the Holocaust
Poetic and Healing Research
Part I – Chapter 2
Importance of human flight
Author: Avinoam Amizan
Aviation in human cultures
Impact of transport on human existence is immense. Development and success of any country in peace and war is directly dependent on the means of transport at its disposal. Throughout history the unity and strength of each country changed upon its success in developing the means and routes of transportation.
In early civilizations large rivers shaped empires. Nile and Yangtse, for example, were routes of transportations along which common people, merchants and armies moved and established themselves. They created rivers cultures which were present in any aspect of life.
In this pattern, thousands of years later, the Romans control of overland transport using engineering skills to build roads, led to the flourishing of the Roman Empire.
In the same All Inclusive pattern the British Empire had emerged thanks to British shipyards, which created for military and commercial fleet the finest vessels in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Development of transport by rail in these centuries brought about the expansion of the United States from coast to coast. Railroads were a major component in the Industrial Revolution, spread of urbanization around the world, and the development of international trade.
Today all civilized countries are investing their means developing innovative transportation systems and routes and keeping them. Government investment, subsidies, supervision of the ownership and use, make transportation very identified with nationalism.
Today it is very difficult to imagine how revolutionary was the invention of the airplane. Cradle of human life is the sea and all activity by it is natural. For thousands of years the marine transportation flourished along the coasts and rivers and shaped the ancient world.
Overland transport innovations like the wheel, which was invented more than five thousand years ago, created social, political and military revolutions whose influence exist to this day.
Aviation transportation revolution is only about two hundred years old and it lacks any cultural background. The invention of the airplane and its accelerated development was a big surprise to mankind. In Early 20th century most people still thought that heavier then air flying machines would be impossible in their lives.
All psychological thoughts were about flight’s religious sources, mythology and folklore. The thoughts of human flying were originated from selected texts that describe supernatural vision of gods and demigods, or animals. These texts are most important because of their impact on the human mind, ever attracted to them as a primary spiritual source.
Judaism described God's image as an eagle hovering over the chicks. Angels are always winged and the high ceilings of the Christian cathedrals are decorated with their figures. In Greek mythology the legend of Icarus and Daedalus is very famous, and as well known is the winged horse Pegasus. In Far East cultures dragons are flying. One of the heroes of the Koran is the angel Gabriel, appearing before Muhammad wherever he wants.
This exotic picture emerges in the mind when talking about flying in the classic context.
Compared to aviation, the stories about life on land and sea are documented very well in ancient civilizations. Kings recordered their military voyages and poets combined land and sea transportation stories in all ancient tales. The Iliad and the Odyssey, for example, which tell the story of the Trojan War and Odysseus's maritime journey, is a showcase of the competition beween sea and land civilizations, each with their advantages and disadvantaes.
The huge gap between land and sea cultural heritages to that of air cultural heritage widened along the ages, as land and sea transportation developed rapidly, while air transportation remained a dream.
Desire to soar in the skies and fly like birds captivated always the human imagination. But this desire to rise above aerthly environment and conquer the ocean of air increased manyfolds in the modern era, as technology and free mind changed the human world rapidely. What was a regular calm feature of many cultures in the ancient and medeival world became a technological obsession and race of many minds and countries by the beginning of the 20th century.
Aviation in modern history
Impact of aviation on modern history is huge. One proof for it is the direct chronological connection between developments in aviation and important historical events in modern times. Airplane is a means of transportation that allows physical movement of people and goods from place to place, overcoming physical obstacles. This means a complete change of the balance of power between nations. Therefore the 20th century was characterized by the worst wars in human history. Aviation is not the only factor that brought the historic changes. But the dream of flight is a symbol of human spirit freedom and so it is at the center of interest of human endeavor. Aviation is naturally associated with this central symbol of the soul. It has therefore the ability to serve as a touchstone, litmus paper, a clear explenation for many phenomena and events, allowing daring short and clear historical commentary.
The first sign of the unstable political climate that innovations in aviation created can be found at the end of the 18th century, in the French Revolution which took place in 1789, just few years after the invention of the balloon in 1783, the first successful aerial transport in history. First impression of the giant silk balloon, which took off from Paris by hot air by the Montgolfier brothers was most intense. Anyone could now rise up and fly to watch the world down as he wishes. Sublime and supreme were no longer a thing of the aristocracy. The result was that the people revolt against a corrupt monarchy. But in the absence of proper cultural background social chaos took place, in the form of the bloody French Revolution. Napoleon, ambitious artillery officer who was the first to use balloons for army observation purposes, tried to stablize the nation but instead went to wars and his defeats against other monarchies created prolong political reaction which lasted the entire 19th century.
World War I broke out in 1914, 11 years after the first airplane flight, which was invented by the Wright brothers in 1903. Before the rapid development of military aircraft industry during the war came many flying event such as the first crossing of the English Channel and demonstration of airpalne qualities to the public and for military purposes throughout Europe. Together with the airplane, airships at that time became threatening weapons and completed the picture of the dawn of aerial age.
People under emperors sought, in the spirit of 'Spring of Nations' of the mid 19th century, liberty and equality. European empires wanted to keep the old order, but failed and went to war under stupid politcal pressure.
During World War I airplanes gradually became an important weapon which increasingly attracted much attention. The air war was colorful and dynamic, compared to the battle on the ground, with frozen trenches lines after enormous bloodletting of the parties. Each new aircraft model which entered combat changed slightly the balance of power and created expectation for miracles among the masses. Myth of the 'Air Ace' was created, although flight in those days was very dangerous and many inexperienced pilots died after only few hours of flight.
Air raids on civilian population during the war defined the Total War. Zeppelin attacks on London during World War I marked the beginning of this new era. For the first time in history capitals of large countries were exposed to massive enemy attacks. Natural boundaries become valueless.
It created the modern Total State, where all citizens are mobilized for the war effort. States had to restructure their society. Each citizen was recruited for the war machine. Women were significant workforce and replaced enlisted men in many jobs in factories and public services.
World War I had totally changed the world. Fermentation of various nationalities led eventually to the collapse of empires. German, Habsburg, Russian and Ottoman empires collapsed at its end and modern states replaced them.
Formation of Total States, established on the ruins of empires, occurred out of the collapse of old order that lasted thousands of years. For this reason and because of the mechanical nature of the era, many citizens pushed for total new beliefs which had nationalistic aspects. Citizens wanted to escape from belonging to the mob and wanted to enjoy the fruits of the aerial age. They tried to redefine their identity out of superficial ideas in the social vacumm. Political integration between the personal psychological need of flight and the requirements of the state was self-evident. It resulted in movements of extreme nationalism and Fascism that flourished in every state in Europe and in Italy and Germany in particular. This is how the dictatorships in the new aerial age were so prominent.
Golden Age of Aviation was the period in the history of aviation between 1919 and the beginning of World War II in1939, in which civil aviation, fueled by many daring and dramatic record-breaking feats, became popularized. It was made possible in part by inexpensive surplus military aircraft made available after World War I, and the craze was fueled by lucrative prize-money offered in competitive air racing and for "firsts" such as trans-atlantic and round-the-world flights. This period coincided with the prime development of airshows which had existed before World War I and air races of that earlier era. Their maturation in the Golden Age of Aviation produced a number of the most skilled pilots who would be instrumental in the success of military air forces during World War II on all sides of the conflict. The adoption of aluminium aircraft construction which started in Germany during World War I, became internationalized during this time. In the 1930s development of the jet engine began in Germany and in England.
Most famous from this period is Charles Lindbergh story of first crossing of the Atlantic, but there are many more examples. Here are two of them:
First flight around the world - First flight around the world, in 1924, has been described in the media as an opportunity for great social and scientific progress. Flight lasted six months. In total pilots landed in 29 countries. Hundreds of thousands of people were waiting for the airplanes at the high points of the path. This flight aroused more interest than the Lindbergh flight, three years later.
Italian airship ’Norge’ journey to the North Pole - This airship took off from Rome on April 1926. Large and enthusiastic crowd accompanied the opening section of Norge journey above Europe. Norge was a ship filled with hydrogen and length of 107 meters. She crossed Europe and cruised comfortably at 80 km per hour with 21 expedition members onboard. On 11 May 1926 the ship passed over the North Pole, and then turned south, over the frozen ocean not known at the time and after flying more than 4830 miles in 71 hours it landed in Alaska. It was the first time of flying across the world from the Mediterranean to the Pacific Ocean via the North Pole. This drew great satisfaction to the Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, who ordered for a second similar expedition few years later with the airship ‘Italy’, a flight which ended tragically, as many other daring flights in that era.
Germany in the Golden Age of Aviation led the world in aviation development. There was enormous attention in the German media for aviation. Nazis came to power in Germany with the desire to cancel the Treaty of Versailles, in which one of the main clauses prevented Germany's ability to develop its air force and aviation industry, on which it was so proud. Mobilization of Nazi Germany society was mainly through accelerated development of aviation, which created millions of job, was the backbone of rearment and focus of international politic.
Hitler started World War II based on Nazi air superiority, which dictated its development until the end. The Nazis were convinced, until the last moment, that they will tip the scales using miraculous air weapons, such as ballistic missile and jet airplanes.
In all regional wars after World War II air superiority was a key factor. Air Superiority played a major role in world politics as a whole.
Vietnam War of the 1960th, for example, went on and on because the Americans tried to win it through the use of combat helicopters.
Yom Kippur War in 1973 began after the Egyptians believed that accumulated enough air defense against the Israeli airforce.
1960th and 1970th were characterized by the space race which United States won, after it launched the first man to the moon. About 10 years later it started the space shuttle missions and widened the the gap between its rival the Soviet Union, which eventually collapsed.
United States became the only superpower in the world also thanks to its advantages in military aircraft and cruise missles. It won with them regional wars in Afganistan and Iraq.
Using ‘Shuttle Diplomacy’, characterised by frequent trips of its secretaries of states, United States remained No. 1 super power, enforcing World Peace with a fleet of aircraft carriers.
In recent years, with the downturn of the U.S.A space program, the ongoing global peace is crumbling, especially as a result of rising fundamentalist terrorism. Islamic terrorists attack on U.S.A using passengers airplanes on 9/11/2001 and continous occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as a result, are a clear expression of a new global order that is developing. There are complex reasons for the slowness in aerospace technology and industry development in U.S.A. One of the reasons is, apparently, the failure to understand the full social meaning of aviation for society in the global era.
Aviation and Globalism
Aviation, more than anything else, emphasized the relationship between national aspirations and technological advancement. Because It promised military advantage along with controlling the forces of nature, aviation became obvious criterion, best and most effective sign of success, personal, social and national. Aviation systems are heavly dependent on other services, chaining the whole defense and civil system. Financial cost of air weapons is enormous.
Aviation is equally inextricably involved with personal existential dimension. There is relationship between the development of aviation and human development. This is due to the importance of the experience of flying in the reality of creative imagination. ‘Flight of ideas’ is not a worn phrase. Flight is the engine of our thoughts and aviation is a tangible expression of it, much like the flight of birds in the past. Aviation images were very popular during the first half of the 20th century because they expressed ability and opportunity. World of Aviation was perceived as being rich in resources, so everyone could find his own world in it. The airplane expressed desire to control the physical world and thinkers of the Golden of Aviation treated it as a superb political machine. Working class can breathe a sigh of relief, said Bertolt Brecht because aviation heralded a better future for him. Russia made the airplane almost religious icon. It represented G-d and the salvation of man. Aviation was designed to release the Russian nation from the shackles of the past, when most Russians were slaves and serfs of the emperor and nobility. Underdeveloped society expected a quick transition to the level of most advanced and powerful nation in the world.
Nowadays the dramatic impact of airplanes as technological innovation largely faded, but in the second half of the 20th century airplanes, and even more the missile, had decisive effect on the international political system. It is very difficult to estimate the economic return resulting from investments in the development of aviation. Means of modern aviation usually end their lives after several years as junk and give way to a new generation. Preliminary decisions may turn out to be mistaken, and changing them costs a fortune. Every decision in this area is a strategic military, economic and political decision that affects deeply the nerves of any state.
Here are two examples:
‘Lavi’ fighter project of Israel was canceled in advanced stage, because it was considered too expensive. Critics argued that Israel will turn into 'airplane that has a state’. The economic decision weakened the political status of Israel as an independent state. Corruption scandal uncovered at the time led to increased prices of fighter planes from U.S.A. Savings achieved eventually by cancelling the project were minimal. Cancellation of the Lavi was thought by enemies of Israel as expression of mind weakness, some time later a wave of suicide terrorism started.
Sweden faced similar dilemma. Despite financial burdens, it decided to develop its own fighter plane. Following this decision Sweden is considered nowdaysmore independent politically and economically. All technologically related industries, such as electronics and automobiles, continued keeping competitive advantage.
High costs of developing modern means of aviation, along with the ability to move with airplanes high above physical obstacles, contributed much to utopian vision of united world. Aviation did so probably a lot more than any other idea or technological innovation in history. First pilots expressed utopian ideas and intentions, but failed to prevent two world wars in 20th century.
Space flight caused too a shift in public perception of the world. Earth from space looks as magical oasis, green and blue, small and fragile against black space that surrounds it. Astronauts' impressions gradually filtered into international public consciousness, particularly after constructing the International Space Station.
Today, economy of the world is greatly global. Economic benefits win national aspirations. But globalization does not guarantee economic rationality. It may create a sense of economic diziness, similar to that prior the Great Depression of the 1930th. Chronological proximity of the Great Depression with Golden Age of Aviation is indicative of the relations between them. Spiritual vision is the dream of every individual, and aviation is vital for securing the skies.
Greatest ordeal of a any state is whether it is capable of holding aviation strategy, using the appropriate resources, including personnel, media etc., by understanding the nature and vulnerability of itself. Successes and failures of air forces throughout history were resulted not on acount of date but due to circumstances. Not technology, but foresight and understanding of aviation management equation correctly, recognition of the importance of supporting factors, played a major role. This created great opportunity for personal interpretation.
Swinging 1920th were age of euphoria, a result of eliminating physical limits thanks to airplane and radio. Economic behaviour became greedy. Financial pyramid schemes were popular and so were baseless acquisitions of real estates. The law of prohibition in U.S.A was ignored and the number of bars had more than doubled over the period. Sports stars salaries became imaginary. But the real sport was buying and selling of stocks. Stock market surge in the 1920th was psychological. Public followed it eagerly. It was popular as popular sports. Speculations were amazing. It was unbelievable. Everybody engaged in speculation and speculation only. People hovered in the air, losing ground underfoot. No one cared. Market created a fake, made fake prosperity, finding its expert commentators. High-tech stocks took an important part in the stock market soaring. They prompted speculators to raise the stocks to extreme level.
It is possible to link between the financial crisis of 2008 to the existence of the International Space Station, expansion of cheap air travel and rapid development of personal aviation. They all create a sense of global utopia, but do not guarantee robust economy and society.
Aviation does not guarantee real rational behavior as normal trade does. Regular trade is an equation where two sides benefits equaly and it is a Win-Win game. Aviation as a trade give unique advantages to its operators.
Nobody is interested in a global vision in which he does not have full equality. Globalization is controlled by giant corporations, based in developed countries. These corporations control the civil life in their countries. Developed countries span technological and economic umbrella over developing countries.
Any individual in modern society suffers from stresses: personal, professional, economic, political and more. When pressures are local, the individual finds easy ways to relax. When pressures arise from a remote source, the result is often alienation, helplessness and exhaustion. Today, communication satellites network circle planet earth. The most common broadcasting channels are small local stations.
Economy has not yet found the mechanism for fair competition in globalization. Competition is sacred value of human society. It highlights the best over the worst. After World War I few stagnated European empires disintegrated into dozens of small vivid nation states.
There are unique problems in aviation itself.
Pilot training is a dangerous activity. During World War I most pilot casaulities were a result of accidents. To be suspended between heaven and earth is not trivial. Particularly dangerous is landing, which is the transition from transparet and divine sky to the tough ground. What appear initially as a calm activity is actually totally engaging, with multi challenges, of many options and many risks. Pilots are required to adjust to a new 3D orientation perception which vary greatly from that of normal human movement.
Passenger airline passengers often experience a sense of loss in flight. Rapid distance leapings stress, fear of heights, along with jet lags resulting from disruptions in the biological clock, cause significant increase of weakness and depression. Depression and fatigue are common nowdays more than any time.
There is no better cure for depression than coming home to a supportive environment. There is an African proverb: 'It takes a village to raise a child’. This wise proverb describes the strong forces pushing people towards Localism.
There is therefore uncertainty and rotation between global and local visions. This cycle which individuals are passing influence also countries with great powers. Each country debate on the subject.
Good examples of the conflict between Globalism and Localism are:
Continuing debate about Colonialism in the 19th century.
Political divide between left and right in modern countries. Weimar Republic failed because its leaders failed to express German Localism compared to the Nazis who emphasized and highlighted it by violating the Treaty of Versailles and investing of large part of the national budget in aviation.
Wars in Iraq and other developed countries. Major players in the international arena fails to impose order in developed countries, because there is a persistent minority who still prefer local interests, which are usually that of familial and ethnic groups.
The result of this conflict is that we live in partial Globalism. The international system is a conflict between few partners competing for hegemony in world markets.
This competition is best reflected in the aerospace industry:
Space industry of the Soviet Union didn’t allocate enough resources to develop the Soviet space shuttle when it was slightly behind the American space program. The result of stopping the project was a huge deterioration in international prestige of the Soviet Union, which led ultimately to its collapse. Russia which emerged out of the collapse was in deep economic recession and found international markets almost blocked to the many products of its aerospace industry. Russians are now working hard to return to international markets.
Americans collaborate in building the international space station 'Freedom' with many other countries and especially Russia. This step is essentially economic, but has far-reaching political implications. It maintains world peace, but at the same time open a doorway for Russia's return to the status of the Soviet Union togehther with the Cold War.
Europe is currently a political and economic union. European Union invests in many aerospace programs, knowing that this is the key to continued stability development. Airbus company, which manufactures advanced passenger airplanes all over Europe, is one of the flagships of the Union. EU has serious economic and social problems, particularly in light of the technological gap between the North South richeststates, but also because of not having a brilliant showcase space program of its own.
China's economy depends on the export of its goods worldwide. Yet the Chinese are developing independent space industry targeted for man made missions, in purpose of creating a much needed sense of identity, authenticity, originality and national prestige, prestige that each successful space mission brings.
India sends probes to Moon and Mars, in order to create the image of technologically advanced superpower. Competition with China is a major consideration in investing many resources on the subject.
Japan was defeated in the technology intensive competition on world markets against cheap China. Economic strategy chosen by Japan is printing money to the markets in order to rescue its economy from ongoing recession. This policy mimics the economic rescue measures of the United States. Japan's space policy favors too more international cooperation, through the International Space Station partnership where it has a separate unit.
Clumsiness of the cristalization of Globalism nowdays shows that it can become huge conflict, in light of the individual's dependence on his family, community and ethnic group in which he grew up and was developed. Globalism failed again and again throughout history because it had always a central control mechanism, liberal but authoritative.
Many empires rose and declined while representing the world’s best of their time.
Huns defeated the Romans, Mongols defeated the Chinese, Indians defeated the British. The fate of the Jewish people in the diaspora is proof of that. They always paid the highest price for the faith in united world. German Jews are the best example.
Aviation development highlighted excessivly, in a demagogic style, any social gap. For many radical groups aviation was a symbolic primary weapon, legitimate in their eyes, vital and destructive.
It was used for radical change by unsatisfied political movements, such as Nazism or Islamic terrorism. Its high profile made any aviation operation succesful eventually, even if it failed. Governments' attention for it only fueled the conflicts.
Spiritual flying experience is the secret dream of every individual. It involves natural and organic connection with many life aspects and systems. During maturation of the Aviation Age, when airplanes became the primary means of war and flight became, in parallel, mass experience, there was dramatic shift in the expectations of many people. They experienced frustration, loss of control, lack of social balance, euphoria and crash out of hopes. Disapointment was much stronger than the hope at the beginning of the era.
1960s are perhaps the best example of the gap that the global aviation program for personal flying experience. Although this period mankind has reached its peak in flight, through launching man to the moon, the earth has developed the drug culture, and youth were mostly recreational drugs, they are looking for in this way the personal flying experience. Could perhaps be concluded that in Western countries has reached maturity airport development, with the understanding that there is no link between the psychological flying experience fascinating experience of flying in airplanes, drive buses became dull, but rather will think that the youth felt frustrated as a result the airport experience in space, with all the advantage economic and technological that gave it, has become a thing of the narrow elite only.
Use by terrorists attack passenger planes September 2001 and more decisive response of the United States, indicates that the airport remains , the local and the level and global alike, in the forefront of the human soul , and that the relationship between flight experience flying experience and will stay there forever.
Description of intense conflict between globalization Llokelizm brings famous science fiction writer HG Wells. In 1907, Wells published a book : " The air war . The book describes the destruction of the world as a result of the air war between the superpowers. As the war begins a personal war mongering by the German airship captain. The result is the rapid spread of war throughout the world , a global destruction of civilian population centers , after which the economy back to a primordial , as well as non ending of the war , which continues somewhere after the hero returns to his native village was destroyed .
Book two of the more famous Wells is ' shape of things to come ' from 1936. The book describes the collapse of the international political system after World War I , ending a devastating global air war . After the world is broken, turns left somewhere on the number of pilots, planes transport connection innovators from place to place. Transportation monopoly encourages them to establish the ' dictatorship of the airport. This global association of airlines, the director wisely the world as a whole. The organization's first conference held in the city of Basra. The book became a movie in 1938. UK viewers see on screen surges London bomber aircraft. The public reaction was that this is science fiction to his name, there is no chance that it will materialize.
Wells described the book world becomes free, the atomic holocaust, and in The Island of Dr. Moreau, the abominations of the genetic modification on the basis of race theory. He won the honor of kings after World War II , as most visions realized.
Wells was a believer in global government, composed of the educated elite. Yet full realization of the vision seems difficult today, because persistent struggle going on globalization in several regions around the world, particularly the Arab and Muslim world where the extended family institution is dominant.
Historical experience shows that during the thousands of years of human culture remained similar to human adolescence experience every generation strives to re- invent the world. Humanity has evolved through leaps of thought, derived largely as a result of the experience of enlightenment of individuals. Enlightenment is momentary flash of inspiration and insight in which pops up a solution exists. Enlightenment may develop in many cases experience spiritual vision, which disengage once the shackles of gravity and hover over reality. So the airport, which is the real expression of spiritual vision, appropriate to its activities enlightenment finds the approval and develop. In the absence of appropriate cultural heritage transportation revolution revolutionary aviation flight polarity between the axis and the axis of the global economy may continue for the foreseeable future, as an aircraft that various Istcllo also the greater number of people they like the experience of personal spiritual vision. So that the question of vision underpins consciousness wishes of mankind.
Aviation and the 1960th
‘Sixties’ in popular culture is a term used to describe counterculture and social norms revolution in clothing, music, drugs, art, customs, emancipation of women and others, which characterized the decade from 1963 to 1974 or so, and has significant influence to these days. Conservatives condemned the decade as suffering from excess of extravagance, responsibility and social order decay, becaause of social taboos relaxation that occurred during the period.
Sixties have become synonymous in politics around the world with new, radical events and trends and political subversion. In Africa it was major period of radical political change and approximately 32 countries received their independence from colonial rule. Equal rights demands in the developed world, especially demonstrations of blacks in U.S. under leadership of Martin Luther King, changed the political map. Great wave of liberal feminism began, together with tolerance to sexual orientations. Most important, drugs of all kinds were commonly use and although were not legal, entire subversive ideology of mind expansion was developed around them.
More than any decade, 1960th will be remembered because of the permissive youth culture, developed mainly in Western developed world in North America and Europe as Hippie Subculture. It evolved together with the expansion of mass media but rejected it. Subculture activists, pacifist and anti-capitalist, rejected the values of their parents' generation and spoke out against old sexual and social taboos, with marijuana and birth control pill at their hand. Rock bands and Pop art were pioneers of this culture. London was known as celebration capital excelled in Hippie culture of manners, style, music and art, all young and original.
Some commentators see this period as end of classic cycle of ending of a rigid culture, unable to contain requirements for greater individual freedom of the younger generation, who freed themselves from social constraints of the previous age through extreme behaviour. However, this alone does not explain the mass nature of the phenomenon.
In the International relationship arena world peace has deteriorated considerably during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, which almost resulted in nuclear holocaust in 1962 and 1973. Establishment of Berlin Wall and Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia demonstrated the ongoing diplomatic rift between the two superpowers. Cold War was manifested in conventional military wars, especially in Vietnam and the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was manifasted especially in technological arms race. Most of this arms race was of ballistic missiles with atomic warheads.
As part of military balance of terror the super powers were armed with thousands of missiles with nuclear warhead. This race lasted about thirty years, from the 1950th to the 1980th. It stopped after U.S.A and U.S.S.R signed agreements of partial dismantling of these weapons which a small percentage of them could destroy the whole world.
The arms race of the Cold War created hostility and cultural and social disconnect between the capitalist and communist blocks. The nuclear confrontation created a strange time for the individual too on both sides. World was controlled by a small number of politicians and generals, so none of ordinary citizens, everywhere, knew what will bring next day. Sense of logic was missing in world politics. Insanity of the arms race created suspition among the youth in every corner on the planet. It created the post-modern, underlying despair and skepticism towards the establishment, with a need for relying only on self and search for alternative culture haven.
Arm race had a by product of civil race to space with a relatively small budget and using military technology. It began by sending the first satellite and first man into space by U.S.S.R and reached its climax in landing of the first man on the moon by U.S.A. In sharp contrast to the early Hippies culture, 1960th technological achivements were outstanding.
Missiles reached very important place in the media after World War II. The front place in the headlines was analogous to that of the airplanes before the war. Missiles had become the largest flame in the global campfire. Television was nicknamed Global Electronic Campfire, referring to the few available channels where all news and entertainments programs were broadcasted.
Subject of nuclear missiles is seemingly incomprehensible by ordinary citizens. In fact it is nothing but a modern form of the intense and irrational fire which is the basis of civilization, as Freud described. These are the instincts that are operating and simmering beneath civilization. Ballistic missiles are perceived in human consciousness as most dangerous weapon on one hand, but as exhilarating means of transportation to conquer space on the other. Ballistic missiles, as result of the terror balance they created with global armament, are paralyzing the spine with fear reflex. Paradoxically, through the powerful vertical flight to uncharted boundaries, they also free us from this fear.
In the 1950th fear of atomic missiles atack was in top of global agenda. In 1960th conquest of space, managed by the same rocket scientists, became gradually the most important issue.
In 1959, first cosmonauts and astronauts were chosen. Golden Age of the race to conquer space started. Short time intervals occured between launching missiles of the parties, each of which represented a significant technological improvement over its predecessor. Each launch was more impressive. It was a race similar any race, vivid, fascinating, prestigous and with lots of funs. The Space Race was with stressed schedules, so countless rockets and satellites of both sides crashed. Biggest failures were that of the Soviets.
On 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin was launched into space and became first human who view whole planet earth. First American astronaut, Alan Shepard, was launched a month after Gagarin flight.
Experience of Gagarin and all cosmonauts and astronauts after him is holistic experience of united world, a result of a floating weightless in space, along with viewing beautiful planet earth, knowing that they are at the top of an advanced technology enterprise and eyes of the world are watching them. This holistic world view penetrates gradually to the international political arena.
Extasy gripped the Soviets after the landing and was used by their political leaders for expanding internal and international influence. Sending the first man into space created a global resonance. It was a tremendous blow to American prestige that forced president Kennedy to announce launch of a man to the moon within ten years. Kennedy turned to former Nazi rocket scientist Von Braun to formulate a plan that would put U.S.A back in first place. Von Braun wrote in reply that he believes it is possible to land on the moon before the Soviets. Kennedy made historic speech to the American people to devote themselves to achieving this goal by the end of the 1960th.
Second half of the 1960th were climax of the race to conquer space with the American program to land a man on the moon on top. American Apollo program began to take shape, while Gemini program progressed rapidly at the same time and pairs of astronauts were launched almost every two months in competition with the Soviets.
Koriolov, head of the Soviet space program, also received approval to fly to the moon, with rocket N-1, but with a limited budget. At the same time he designed the spacecraft to carry cosmonauts there. In 1969 N-1first launch failed in a huge explosion on the launch pad, thus ended the space race between the United States with secret decition of Soviet leaders to stop investing in it. It was fatal mistake of the Soviet leadership which preferred to invest instead in military missiles. Soviets opened the space race and led at first by a big margin. Not only had they launched the first satellite, first animal and the first man, but also the first satellite to the Moon. They made the first spacewalk and created the first and very succesful space station. All of this may have led to complacency sense down the road, which U.S. utilized to catch up.
Even today the achievements of the U.S.A do not overshadow those of the Soviets. Soviet experience in space was well expressed during the construction of the International Space Station. They recognized before the Americans the importance of the near space and operated large space station for decades. Their lessons were important for the construction of the ISS, of which the first component was launched in 1998 and it is in ongoing construction in 2013.
Half a billion people worldwide watched TV braodcasting launching Apollo -9. On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. It was a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind. It took all of humanity to a new reality, seemingly magical.
Von Braun initiated another five successful manned flights to the Moon. The fact that the Nazi rocket scientists ran the space program of U.S.A added confusion for the younger generation, who could not tolerate it, togehther with the continuing arms race, regional conflicts and dictating media dominance.
1960th were the best example of the gap that existed between government aviation programs and personal spiritual flying experience. Although in this period mankind had reached the peak in mechanical flight, on Earth drug culture was developed with many young people engaged in it, looking in this way for their the personal flying experience. It could perhaps be concluded that Western countries civilization has reached maturity with the understanding that there is not allegedely a link between the spiritual flying experience and the fascinating flight of airplanes and spaceships. Large passenger airpalne become common in the 1960th and flight in them became dull as bus traveling. But the extensive drug culture of mind expansion shows rather that the youth felt frustrated as a result of the control of small elite on all aviation and space technology, togehter with all economic, technological and cultural advantages it gave.
Since all significant aviation and space operations were in exclusive control, political, social and economic elite concluded that they can create a direct continuation of this situation through a strategy to create a stable society. It was called The Strategy of Desire. Psychologcal advertisment was main tool for distributing this strategy which was originally created by Freud’s nephew in the 1930th and adopted by totalitarian and democratic regimes as well. It is psychological conditioning where the material new product is not intended to provide a direct need, but also indirect psychological need. It create material surrounding to strengthen the self with consumer products that have the ability to uncover hidden desires and give people a sense of common identity with those around them. Most powerful people in the world were those who could read or even generate public opinion, in order to to satisfy the masses by providing profitable products, through advertisments in the then few existing mass media channels.
But psychologists have discovered how difficult it is to understand and influence the internal structure of personality. They chased a ghost idea by which the human mind can be manipulated and influenced from outside by external factors. They found that humans are much more complex creatures. Application of childish psychoanalysis received sharp criticism for not answering fundamental problems and needs, such as the neglect of youth and creating problems of surplus products.
Emptiness created by artificial abundance resulted in emotional frustration. Humans have a wide range of emotional expressions that need a living space and should not be forced with normative consumereism. Source of evil is not internal conflict but society itself. This debate spilled over into violence in the 1960th. Resistance to mass consumer culture brought waves of protest, influenced by thinkers who opposed the theory of Freud as interpreted by the establishment. Student protest movements have been established, they tried to confront directly with the ruling establishment which shaped their lives not according to their will.
May 1968 events in France, birth place of modern aviation and the French Revolution, were a volatile period of civil unrest punctuated by massive general strikes and the occupation of factories and universities across France. It was largest general strike ever attempted in France and first ever nation-wide wildcat general strike. In the height of its fervor, the unrest virtually brought the entire advanced capitalist economy of France to a dramatic halt. The events had a resounding impact on French society that would be felt for decades to come.
Events began with a series of student occupation protests, followed by strikes involving 11,000,000 workers, more than 22% of the total population of France at the time, for two continuous weeks and its impact was such that it almost caused the collapse of French President Charles de Gaulle's government. The movement was characterized by its spontaneous and de-centralized wildcat disposition. This created contrast and sometimes even conflict between itself and the establishment trade unions and workers parties.
Student occupations and wildcat general strikes initiated across France were met with forceful confrontation by university administrators and police. Tall de Gaulle administration's attempts to quell those strikes by police action only inflamed the situation further, leading to street battles with the police in the Latin Quarter, followed by the spread of general strikes and occupations throughout France. Protests reached such a point that government leaders feared civil war or revolution. Tall de Gaulle went to a French military base in Germany and after returning dissolved the National Assembly and called for new parliamentary elections for 23 June 1968. Violence evaporated almost as quickly as it arose. Workers went back to their jobs, and when elections were finally held in June, the Gaullist party emerged even stronger than before.
Uprising failed. As a result, young people began gradually thinking that if it is impossible to eliminate the mind police by eliminating corporations and the state, there should be a way to enter the mind and get rid in it of the control mechanism they implanted in it. This in purpse to create a new self and consequently a new society, by reaching full human potential through internal search. One of the dominent techniques designed to release the mind and teach the human being to be himself was the seminars of Werner Erhard. According to Erhard, the idea that every individual has a core of self is another way to limit personal freedom. In reality there is no fixed self. The purpose of his seminars was to expose the layers of personality up to the last and most internal ones, to find out that the nucleus is essentially meaningless. As humans shed all their personality layers to the last one, they found that what remains is an empty space.
Empty space is a great place to stand and an outstanding starting point to start from. Only from empty space it is possible to create originality and design a life that is invented honestly. Be what you want to be. Without linking to it directly, Erhard's teachings have a direct connection to the conquest of space. One can compare the astronaut in white space suit, a tiny figure floating in outer space against the dark void, to the insights of personality’s internal empty space.
There are many similarities between 1960th to the 1930th. Fascism and Nazism were carried out by young people in a radical turn to the nationalist right, as a result of what they thought was irresponsible and decaying social order.
Futurism was dominant artistic and social movement that flaurished in Italy at the first half of the 20th century and is significant to these days. It was largely Italian, but there were parallel movements also in Russia, England and many other countries. Futurism turned to the feelings of modern man with his experiencing of new means of mass production, electricity grid, radio, television, cinema, phones network, modern home appliances, advanced cars and highways, airplanes and fast food. These changes influenced all aspects of life and in this way altered the modes of expression of the poet and painter. Futurism expressed an intense loathing for all that is old, especially political and artistic tradition. Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence. They liked the car, airplane and the industrial city. All of these represented for them triumph of human technology over nature. Futurists artists were in most art fieldst, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theater, film, fashion, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy. Airplane became major player in the Futurist drama. Aerial paintings were at top of Futurist art achievements and typical of the final stage of Futurism development in the late 1930th and early 1940th.
There were many links between Nazism and Futurism. Love of the future and youth, love of modernization and technology, violence, nationalism, war and more. Hitler and other leaders of the Nazi movement started their ideological career in the spiritual associations 'Tula' and 'Vril'. These were just two of many cults for spiritual development, inspired by famous spiritualist figures from the 19th century. Tula was the cult where Hitler practiced his mental skills in his early stages. Berlin’s Vril and Munich’s Thule were interested in society and politics as well as with personal development and science. Members held concentration exercises, yoga and meditation. Head of the cults was professor Karl Haushofer, a retired general from World War I and a student of Japanese samorais, Tibetan shamans and famous Russian mystic Gurdjieff who was popular in the 1960th as well. Haushofer eventually became central pillar in the Nazi movement as professor of Geopolitics who conceived the notion of Living Space, was mentor of Mein Kampf and designer of Nazi’s international strategy and extreme form of eugenics policy.
In early 20th century use of intoxicant drugs, nowdays forbidden by law was legal and common. There is a theory that one source of Hitler's mental distortion and that of many of his followers originates from drugs use, including hallucinogens. Hitler recognized the immense popularity of intoxicants in his time and his Nazi party offered colorful substitute for drug addiction which became another addiction for childish minds. Hitler was addicted to drugs, including amphetamines from his personal physician. They were originally used to calm tensions but they had huge impact on his fateful decisions. He acted under influence of euphoric feeling. During the war use of stimulants was common among front line fighters of German army with prescriptions from military doctors.
Feminism, sexual tolerance and equal rights were a major differance between 1930th and the 1960th. Futurist and Nazis believed that women's place is at home.
However, debate regarding Nazism and Holocaust in particular were deleted in 1960th from public agenda of the establisment and that of the Hippies too. Rocket scientists did not like recalling their dark past and Hippies did not like the similarity between their youth subculture to that of the 1930th. Holocaust became a Black Hole in the public mind in the same fashion of the black holes of deep space.
In 1960th long wild hair was very commom among the young. Long hair, flapping in the wind, is the best expression of the air element in human body. The musical ‘Hair’ is one of most important cultural symbols of the 1960th. 'Hair' depicts the short life of a rebellious young man, who is sent to Vietnam as a soldier and dies in the war.
As in the musical, the era of 1960th ended with defeat, in Vietnam and Yom Kippur wars, of the United States and its westeren allies.
Cold War continued after these wars, but the parties understood that the arms race is too dangerous and acted for arms reduction. Although defeated in the Domino game of international relationship, achievements of the Americans in the race to space, particularly manned missions to the moon and space shuttle launches, kept their political, social and technological superiority that is continued up to the 2010th. Cold war walls collapsed.
Origins of the world energy crisis, which affects even the economies of 2010th, are in Yom Kipur war of 1973. In retrospective the energy crisis can be described as a plan from the outer space above to take care of planet earth ecology, in times when global heating is a great danger to it. High prices of oil force developing substitute technologies of clean energy.
1960th ended with a crisis that strengthened the alternative cultures of the period in western democracies. Alternative culture became progressively central, through engaging topics such as the environment, sustainability, self improvement, spirituality, religion, Holocaust, individual rights, cultural pluralism and more. These are nowdays the core of Western culture.
Ex Hippies from California developed the personal computer as a new form of self expression. Most international media and communication today is via the Internet which gradually replace the traditional newspaper, television and phone. Internet, with its infinite channels, symbolizes the potenial for personal aviation and spiritual flight experiences for every human being.
Aviation historian Richard Hallion
Richard Hallion is eminent historian of aviation and one of the founders and curaters of Air and Space Museum in Washington, which has the largest number of visitors in the world. Hallion wrote many books, among them "Taking Flight" which deals with the development of aviation from dawn to present. Hallion is among the few historians who think that the invention of the airplane is particularly important and determines that the airplane completely changed the face of reality. But Hallion does not attribute to the development of aviation the same importance granted to it in "Holocaust and Aviation", as the most influential factor in shaping modern history. The reason for this, among other things, is that he does not use the concepts of Aerial Awarness and Aerial Conciousness.
Central role in the overall approach of researcing the airplane phenomenon is the use of the terms Aerial Awarness and Aerial Conciousness.
The term Aerial Awarness was created by researchers to explain the initial enthusiasm of the American people for the flying machine. In addition historians began to use the term to describe the nation's interest, of groups or individuals, in any aviation related subject. The term originally referred to the flight enthusiasm of flying machines, but its use also refers to all the traditions and symbols that make up the approach to the subject and the diversified practices of it.
The term Aerial Conciousness means wise use of aerial propoganda to create a complete world view. In other words, this is a unique culture based on the concepts of aviation.
Hallion consequently does not use the term Aerial Dictatorship. In the first half of the twentieth century four dictatorships were established based on Aerial Conciousness: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Soviet Union and Imperial Japan. In these countries the airplane was more than just a flying machine. While statesmen from Western powers saw the airplane only as key technology component and a measure of progress, dictatorships of aviation attributed to it also symbolism as the precursor to national pride.
Another important aviation historian, Peter Fritzsche, author of "Germany - a Nation of Pilots”, which parts of it are the basis of few chapters in “Holocaust and Aviation”, discusses the development of German Aerial Conciousness before the rise of the Nazis. He too sees aviation as very important phenomenon, but secondary to the complex social factors that have shaped the history of the 20th century. It may be that the book was a bold intellectual experience for him and he abandoned it as advancing in academic career.
Peter Fritzsche is missing the use of the term Flying Psychology, developed by the philosopher Gaston Bashelard. Aerial phenomenon provides general guidelines which are basic important psychological principles. Experiences of taking of, rising, height, lift, floating, hovering, depth, landing, sinking, fall and so on are the experiences that sum up the human mind above anything else. Nothing explains them but they explain everything. More simply, if a person wants to live and feel them and above all to compare them, he realizes that they have an initial quality and they are more natural than all the others.
Richard Hellion deals in the first part of his book with the dawn of flight dream in humanity, as a process of spiritual purification and scientific investigation. He describes flying legends in ancient cultures, the impact of birds on the Greek and Roman civilizations, the consciousness of the spiritual flight in early Christianity and Islam, and the insistence of individuals in the Middle Ages on aviation experiences with meager means. Then he moves to the beginning of the modern ages, with the invention of gunpowder that also led to the development of military use of rockets, and he ends with the description of the scientific conflicts in early industrial revolution era regarding the proper way by which one can bring a person into the sky.
The second part of Hellion's book is devoted to the invention of the balloon and airship. An important chapter deals with the 'Magnificent Year' of 1783 when the balloon was invented. First floated, in the same year and same city - Paris, balloons which soared by hot air or using hydrogen, in competition greatly resembling race into space of nowadays. Each of the inventions had advantages and disadvantages and they both together forever changed the face of society. Hellion describes the effect of the inventions of the balloon on Paris fashion, but he is not connecting the balloon to the French Revolution which began in 1789 and started one of the most important processes in human history which heralded the era of the modern democratic state. The Flying Psychology of Gaston Bashelard explains well how single technological invention was able to influence in such significant way French society and the whole world.
Hellion finishes his book, which deals primarily with the development of the aircraft at the beginning of the twentieth century with a major part devoted to the Wright Brothers, with an epilogue about the events of 11 September 2001, when a number of airliners that terrorists had kidnapped crashed on major buildings in the United States. The damage and the relative ease with which terrorists were able to act led to worsening security regulations, and a simultaneous decrease in the number of passengers in airplanes. Spectacular airplanes in the sky suddenly became scaring.
September 11, 2001 events are a direct continuation of the Nazi worldview. A similar concern was the head of the public agenda even before World War II. Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the early 1930th said that the man in the street has to realize that there is no place where the strategic bomber is not able to get and it is better if the airplane had not been invented, but it is now mandatory to incorporate it in religious values.
Hellion states that like all technological inventions, whether the aircraft is good or bad depends on who use it and briefly reviews other periods in the 20th century when the airplane was described as precursor of human solidarity on the one hand, but was used as a weapon in destructive wars. He focuses on Nazi Germany and quotes the last lines from the diary of Joseph Goebbels, written in Hitler's bunker in Berlin shortly before their suicides, in which he wrote that the issue of helplessness against air superiority of Allied bombers which constantly bombarded German soil was repeated on and on in his last conversations with Hitler.
Hellion, like the rest of aviation historians, hardly applies in his book to the contribution of Nazi Germany to the development of modern aviation. Aviation achievements were the mainstay of the regime but they contradicted all his evil deeds. In addition, Hellion may wish to emphasize the contribution of his homeland to the development of aviation and space technologies. The process worked out by the Nazi political leadership, which combined the construction of the world's most sophisticated airplanes with the establishing the mechanism for genocides of innocent folks, is described in detail in “Holocaust and Aviation” only. It was a process of trial and error of integrated ideology and technology, where the sense of Nazi racial superiority intensified together with their aerial superiority and their need of jenocides intensified as their air superiority declined.
The moral aspect which occurs as by itself let “Holocaust and Aviation” be a poetic and healing research for the soul, contrary to Holocaust studies of the academic establishment, which focuses on conventional explanations and therefore it is still a 'black hole' for them. Aviation is the cornerstone of Israel's security and this gap created social crisis that results in deep social fracture. Holocaust rememberance is incomplete.
The author of these lines grew up as a teenager in the 1960th and experienced the Yom Kippur War. It formed the stimulus for a mental turnaround that led to writing “Holocaust and Aviation” on the foundation of his parents' memories, who were holocaust survivors, memories which he recorded and edited. This multi-year process was done while watching the awakening of public interest in the Holocaust as the clear gap between everyday life of post-modern era to questions of history and future became obvious.
The Many international crises occurred after significant breakthrough in aviation development in the 20th century raise the question of what will be, in the foreseeable future, major developments in aviation. There are four different directions of development, each of which bestows on the other:
a. Space is gaining maximum public attention and the people of planet earth will gradually reach more meaningful and distant places through powerful missiles and large spaceships, mostly unmanned.
B. Automatic unmanned airplanes with elaborate guidance technology will replace mankind in the celestial wilderness. The drones rapidly replace manned military aircraft and the process has huge influence on civil aviation.
C. Personal aviation, in which each person will own an aircraft, will grow immensly in scope. Recreational aviation is very popular nowdays, after it become affordable and available to all. But the big push will be to bring important means of advanced propulsion and guidance to solve the range, navigation and landing problems in 3D reality.
D. Economic aviation using the floating principle, which takes advantage of the air cushion created between the airplane's wings and the ground when flying only a few feet above it, will replace traditional shipping routes and will bring development to remote sea shores.
Holocaust and Aviation is personal and independent research
English version is summary of the full book which is available in Hebrew online.
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