‘Ersatz Patriotism’ — Sensation, March, 1942

Its not an idle fig­ure of speech when the Nazi race is described as a hyp­no­tized peo­ple! With the Ger­man hordes being dec­i­mat­ed by the aveng­ing Russ­ian army, the fan­tas­tic truth has at last seeped beyond the walls of Hitlerism.

For the fan­tas­tic truth is that a coun­try once revered for its high lev­el of edu­ca­tion has resort­ed, in des­per­a­tion, to hyp­no­tism in order to keep its flesh and blood robots in line.

Thus begins a two-page pho­to arti­cle in Sen­sa­tion mag­a­zine, from the ear­ly war years, being pub­lished in March, 1942. As might be expect­ed from the lead, the whole arti­cle is about the ways Nazi Ger­many is hyp­no­tiz­ing its cit­i­zens into becom­ing not just “good lit­tle Ger­mans” but robot­ic slaves to the sin­is­ter demands of Nazism. The rather heavy-hand­ed gung-ho jin­go-ism and pro­pa­gan­da is quite evi­dent through­out the sev­er­al para­graphs that make up the text of the arti­cle. In fact, it seems pure­ly pro­pa­gan­da, at least based on the nine pho­tographs includ­ed with the article.

Out of the 9 pho­tographs, three are out­door shots of some unknown event while the oth­er six look more like pic­tures from the aver­age stage hyp­no­sis show.

One of the first lessons in the course for youth who would be a part of the “mas­ter race” is (1) to cause one’s self pain and to learn to stand it.

This pho­to­graph shows a young man, his fin­ger­tips in his mouth. It does­n’t appear that he is caus­ing him­self pain, instead it looks like he’s try­ing to eat something.

A Ger­man learns to “give him­self up” to the Nazi cause (2) by falling back­wards with­out think­ing of his safety.

This appears to  be the clas­sic “mag­net­ic falling back­wards” sug­gestibil­i­ty test or induc­tion, as the per­son behind the sub­ject is posi­tioned in the same way as the same test would be used today. It is inter­est­ing that the sub­jec­t’s arms are out­stretched. This is one of the out­door photographs.

Mass hyp­no­sis (4) is prac­ticed out­doors for mid­dle-aged recruits.

This is a pic­ture of sev­er­al men (old­er men, approx­i­mate­ly in their 40’s — 50’s) lay­ing on the ground as anoth­er stands over them, appar­ent­ly speak­ing to them.

One of the exer­cis­es (5) induces a trance that makes the sub­ject so stiff that he may be placed like a board, end to end on two chairs. All this, mind you, in the name of will power!

This is a pic­ture of the clas­sic catalep­sy test.

But love, has­tened by hyp­no­sis, has the Nazi green light (7) as two girls embrace each oth­er under hyp­not­ic com­mand. Hun­dreds of Ger­man women have recent­ly been ordered to mar­ry sol­diers they have nev­er before seen, and will nev­er see again after they leave.

A Nazi super­man in the mak­ing learns to obey orders (8) by sub­mit­ting to a prepara­to­ry trance which is expect­ed to stand him in good stead in the field of com­bat. Ini­tia­tive and thoughts of per­son­al safe­ty are weed­ed out as a Nazi youth, his mind direct­ed by the hyp­no­tist at the left (9) lifts a chair.

All of the out­door pho­tographs appear to be of the same event, as do the indoor pho­tographs, but there is noth­ing to sug­gest they are any way con­nect­ed. Also, all of these pic­tures have noth­ing what­so­ev­er not only to link them to the claims of the text, but not even any­thing to sug­gest that the peo­ple involved are even Ger­man: there are no uni­forms (even of the hyp­no­tists as would be expect­ed) and every­one appears to wear aver­age cloth­ing. More­over, just about every­one pic­tured has dark hair, hard­ly the image of the blonde Aryan fig­ures so nor­mal­ly asso­ci­at­ed with Ger­many and the Nazis.

Com­men­tary: Aside from rein­forc­ing the stereo­types regard­ing hyp­no­sis, the arti­cle is also rein­forc­ing the sense and demo­niza­tion of the “oth­er” that occurs dur­ing war. Note that at the time of pub­li­ca­tion, the US was only start­ing to get involved in World War II. yet already the pub­lic was being indoc­tri­nat­ed (and hyp­no­tized) into despis­ing (or per­haps pity­ing) the aver­age Ger­man and hat­ing the Nazis.

In Nazi ide­ol­o­gy, all this comes under the head­ing of will pow­er! But in Rus­sia, where these sub­jects have been tak­en cap­tive, and in the Unit­ed States, where a spade is called a spade, hyp­no­sis by any oth­er means is still the same.

Note that this is also after the Ger­man attack on Rus­sia, so Rus­sia is now an ally instead of the ene­my and ally of Ger­many as would have seen sev­er­al months previously.

His­to­ry: This arti­cle was a pleas­ant sur­prise, because it was­n’t the rea­son for acquir­ing it for the Col­lec­tion. This mag­a­zine also con­tains a very long arti­cle about Franz Pol­gar, one of the promi­nent and most wide­ly known hyp­no­tists of the ear­ly 20th Century.

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