It’s Super Bowl Sunday folks. I’ll be pulling for my New England Patriots tonight, whether I watch the game or not, and changing the channel during Lady Gaga’s halftime sermon. Personally I think it’s as important that the Patriots win tonight as it was that they won the 2002 Super Bowl. I’ve always felt that the symbolism of a team called the Patriots winning the championship of the quintessential American sport following the 9/11 attacks was a very powerful moment. Now it’s important to show that despite the establishment’s attempts to punish the team and Tom Brady for some nonsense, and despite the left collectively hating Tom and Bill Belichick for being Trump supporters, the best are the best and nothing will stop them. Hoping I don’t eat my words tomorrow but you folks know by now, I worry about tomorrow when it arrives.
Anyway, back on topic. As the media continues to spin off into oblivion spewing fake news and fake facts in a desperate bid to damage President Trump, it seemed to me to be a perfect time to introduce a woman who made history by doing the same for people who were every bit as despicable as these rioters and domestic terrorists: Leni Riefenstahl. Leni was a German celebrity in the 1930s, a dancer, actress, and film director who went to see the Fuhrer speak in 1932 and was captivated by his message, claiming that she was so enraptured that she saw a vision of…something that sounds like an acid trip to me, like a cataclysm. She went on to produce and direct several propaganda films for the Nazis and developed a friendship with Adolf Hitler during his ascension and reign over Germany. Her most notable work was “Triumph of the Will,” documenting a massive Nazi rally in 1934, but that was neither her first nor her only Nazi propaganda film.
Riefenstahl’s apologists and Riefenstahl herself claim that she didn’t want to make propaganda films for the Nazis and simply wanted to direct an opera. I call baloney. You don’t become pals with the Great Leader and then fuss about not wanting to do the jobs he gives you. In her own words Riefenstahl was clearly captivated by Hitler and the Nazis, and even if she wasn’t as full-throated a supporter as she appears from her propaganda films, then what does it say about her that she was willing to support the party just so they would let her direct a movie? Remember folks, this is the same Germany and the same Nazi message that would shortly go on to steamroll Europe and murder children like Anne Frank. She would claim in 1993 to be “disgusted” that “Triumph of the Will” was used as a propaganda tool–well then what in the name of all that is holy did she expect it to be used as? It was a flippin’ Nazi rally lady! She worked with Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels, and during a 1937 trip to the United States to promote her film once again propagandizing the German Olympic team she gave an interview in which she praised Adolf Hitler effusively. She witnessed the executions of civilians personally and still went on to film German victory celebrations and communicate with her good buddy Adolf with lavish praise as he rolled over Poland and France.
When the war ended, the officers who arrested Riefenstahl didn’t buy her story about “not being political,” calling it “the usual song and dance.” Obviously anyone with half a brain would try to distance themselves from the Reich after the war was over, other than irredeemable fanatics of course. She was tried as a Nazi but never convicted of being anything more than a fellow traveler, and I can tell you the two reasons why: because she was at least moderately intelligent, and because woman. The world is still squeamish about condemning prominent, moderately attractive women in civilian clothes and was even moreso back then, and I am certain that Riefenstahl skated because of her gender and her influence in the artistic community. They couldn’t let her continue to work but the West dared not hold her accountable in the face of the nascent feminist movement.
So congratulations Leni, you got your name in the history books and you got to direct that opera. I hope by the time you passed away in 2003 you were finally able to swim out of the ocean of blood you helped create. But nobody’s buying the feigned ignorance.
Tune in next week when we’ll have a less disgusting example.