Blogs > Cliopatria > Thursday Notes

Feb 8, 2007 8:40 am

Thursday Notes

The AHA's Perspectives for February is online. It includes the text of the resolution against the war in Iraq that was adopted by the AHA's business meeting on 6 January and on which the whole membership will be asked to vote. There's also a letter to the editor in support of the resolution. It is signed by almost 50 AHA members, including Thomas Bender, John Coatsworth, Robert Darnton, Charles B. Dew, Eric Foner, Maurice Isserman, Alice Kessler-Harris, Roy Rosenzweig, Joan Scott, Jon Wiener, and Lawrence Wittner.

Nara Schoenberg,"Outing Jane Addams: Was the Founder of Hull House a Lesbian? And does it matter?" Chicago Tribune, 6 February, reports on a new exhibit at Chicago's Hull House Museum. Both the article and Tim Lacy's post about the exhibit at History and Education are well worth reading.

Cliopatria's History Blogroll continues to grow steadily. Some recent additions are on the conservative side of things. Conservative, but diversely so: Conservative History is a British group blog; Daniel Larison's Eunomia is an excellent blog by a paleo-conservative University of Chicago student of Byzantine history; A Gentle Fuss is done by Nick Milne, a smart and pious distributist, if I'm not mistaken, at the University of Western Ontario; Thomas Fleming blogs at Hard Right! and The Old Republic is done by my reactionary old friend, the University of South Carolina's Clyde Wilson, who edited the John C. Calhoun Papers. The further left you are on the spectrum of things, I suppose, the harder the distinctions on the right are to see, but they are quite real.

I've got a minor crisis of conscience right now, however. Jon Dresner points out to me that Jacques Pluss recently reappeared at History News Network. You remember him: the medievalist with a Chicago Ph.D. who became -- ah -- a Nazi and got fired from Fairleigh Dickinson University. The fellow now signs himself"SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Jacques PLUSS (honoris causa)". My problem is that Pluss has two blogs: Jacques Pluss' Real National Socialism and Pluss'"Stille Hilfe Amerika". Do they belong among"Ideas and Beliefs" on the History Blogroll, where there's been no ideological filter, or has Professor Pluss just put himself beyond the pale? Your advice is welcome.

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Say What - 9/13/2007

What the h*ll? When I first read that Jacques left FDU I was shocked. Then, when this other "stuff" (I'm not a Nazi, actually I am a Nazi, just not an American one) took place I just had to scratch my head and say WTF!!!
Some background: I was an Adjunct at WPC (then WPU) in the History Department. I taught for 7 years there as an adjunct (because that was the only position one could have with a M.A. in History!). I knew Jacques well. As a matter of fact, he wrote a reference letter for me. Never, and I mean this in private as well, would I have believed that he would be such a proponent of National Socialism. I was about 26 when I started and find it hard to believe that he could have be a Vietnam combat veteran. I adopted his suggestions by making primary sources a large part of my Western Civilization classes. Wow! I am still blown away!! Has anyone considered that all these posts might not be the true Dr. Pluss???

Dwight Moody - 3/9/2007

Thank you for the recommendation. While I did browse the Guido Knapp book to which you refer when it appeared some years ago, I didn’t read it thoroughly, but I will return to it and will carefully consider the section to which you refer.

I really don’t know whether to take you seriously. I think it very likely that you will soon once more cite the influence Derrida and Foucault as well as the British Romantic poets and the work of Ernst Kantorowicz, to explain why you now pretend to be a paleo-Nazi, as you once pretended to be a neo-Nazi.

Nevertheless as a citizen of the Federal Republic (despite my anglicized name), I can tell you this. While we have many forms of dissidence in Germany, there will never be a revival of Nazism. Although it is not popular to say it, Germany was the first and the greatest victim nation of the horrible 12 years of that Gewaltregierung. Eight million Germans were killed; three times that number were maimed; our cities were in ruins; our civilization and culture has not yet regained the respect it enjoyed for three hundred years before the domination of that gang of perverts and murderers. Perhaps it never will. Germany is now a relatively prosperous multi-ethnic nation committed to democratic government, and so it will remain.

Jacques Anthony Pluss - 3/9/2007

Yes, Mr. Moody, you are correct about the status of "Stille Hilfe" in Germany. So, too, are you correct about the use of SS rank in Germany and the overt publication of National Socialist ideals (including a position on a much needed racial cleansing which you connect to "genocide." That word is not in our dictionary.) My branch of the organization, based in the United States, enjoys more freedoms. Still, care must be taken. Hence the use of code names and other precautions which, obviously, I cannot list. For a good coverage of the rise of the Fourth Reich in Europe, by the way, take a look at the last sections of the volume by Guido Knopp: "The SS. A Warning from History," esp. pages 284-343.
SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Jacques PLUSS, for Stille Hilfe Amerika.

Dwight Moody - 3/9/2007

The best commentary on Pluss’ mental health is provided by himself. Further explanation would be superfluous. On his True National Socialist blogspot, for example, Pluss provides this commentary on African Americans:

"The True National Socialist view of the Negro is that each one of them should be liquidated, that is, killed immediately or after performing forced labor without shelter or food. The elderly, women and children should probably be wiped out first, since their labor potential is less than that of a healthy male. Special Action Squads should be formed, made up of Aryans, and charged with the rapid liquidation of the Negro blight amongst us.
SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Jacques PLUSS, U.S. Administrator, "Stille Hilfe Amerika."

One should add to this only that Stille Hilfe has been since the end of World War II a shadowy organization devoted to Holocaust revisionis and providing aid to Nazi war criminals before and after their incarceration. Lately, its chief mover has Gudrun Burwitz, the elderly daughter of Heinrich Himmler, who runs an old-age home on the edge of Munich. The organization has been under the constant surveillance of the German government and is careful to stay within the law. Needless to say, it does not endorse genocide or use SS titles such as Oberstumbannfuhrer since the SS is legally defined as a criminal organization in Germany.

Jonathan Dresner - 3/9/2007

I didn't "connect" them, I merely challenged the illogic of your statement. If attention to rhetorical sense constitutes "in a box" thinking, I'm all for it. (As the other Marx might have said, inside a box, who has room to think?)

Similarly, the platitude "what does not destroy me only serves to make me stronger" is an absurdity in historical, biological and psychological terms: if it represents any portion of your creed, than all I can say is that it ain't what it used to be.

You know nothing about what or how I think, except that I think very little of your pitiful attempts at self-justification. I hang out here all the time; it's no trouble to post a comment or two. Anytime you decide to join us, I'll be more than happy to point out your logical and historical problems.

Jacques Anthony Pluss - 3/9/2007

I can only assume that your brief comment connecting National Socialism with mental disturbance indicates your own fear of "the other." I am sorry that you clearly lack the moral freedom to think "outside of a box." I only bother with your comment to remind you, and the reading audience generally, that "what does not destroy me only serves to make me stronger." Those words are a National Socialist's creed. You, Mr. Dresner, are by nature clearly incapable of living up to them. If you were capable, you would be doing more about me than posting meaningless comments on some blog. Or you would be ignoring me altogether, but I've gotten under your skin, have I not? I doubt I'll bother with you again, any time soon.
SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Jacques PLUSS.

Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2007

I'm not mentally disturbed, I'm a well-educated Nazi.

Those are not mutually exclusive propositions.

Jacques Anthony Pluss - 3/8/2007

Thank you for your comments. Did it ever occur to you that "Stille Hilfe" uses code names for the sake of security from "internet snoopers?"
SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Jacques PLUSS
p.s. the accusations that I'm mentally disturbed are getting rather tiresome. I'm not mentally disturbed, I'm a well-educated Nazi.

Dwight Moody - 3/5/2007

If you want further evidence of Pluss's mental state, you will note that his endorsement as American chairman of Stille Hilfe is endorsed by SS Brigadenfuhrer Walter Schellenberg. The problem with this is that Schellenberg, second in command of the Gestapo, died in Turin in 1952.

Ralph E. Luker - 3/4/2007

Glad to have your opinion.

Dwight Moody - 3/4/2007

What I find curious is that you are concerned with Pluss's academic credentials and whether his views are "foolish" or "not terribly interesting" when you are directing readers of a history discussion group to the ravings of a lunatic. If you feel that this is a pejorative characterization, please read the quotation below from the first Pluss blog you cite:

"In response to queries regarding my precise view of the Jewish Question in the twenty-first century, I have but little to relate: liquidate them wherever you find them. If they hide, search them out and execute them. They are, by nature, dangerous sub-humans who have developed clever ways to cheat, lie and steal from others. Remember that no Jew has ever done an honest day's work in his or her life. Hence, they represent the ultimate parasite."

Ralph E. Luker - 3/4/2007

Yes. The post indicated that I was wondering whether his credentials as a historian, which are reasonably strong, outweigh the extremity of his views in terms of whether they ought have a place on the History Blogroll. I invited other people, like yourself, to express an opinion. His blogs are not listed on the Blogroll -- which is by implication a conclusion that he has put himself beyond the pale. The History Blogroll includes many blogs with which I disagree, find very foolish, or just not terribly interesting. I wanted other people to have some voice in what might be excluded and on what grounds. You've had some voice. The result should be satisfying to you.

Dwight Moody - 3/4/2007

I'm not sure what you are asking. I found links to Pluss' web sites in an article, "Thursday Notes," in Cliopatria: a Group Blog under your name

Ralph E. Luker - 3/4/2007

Did you find his blogs on Cliopatria's History Blogroll?

Dwight Moody - 3/4/2007

How much evidence do academics need to draw a simple conclusion? Here you have a very sick, pathetic little attention seeker who calls himself an SS Obersturmbannfuhrer and advocates liquidation of African Americans and Jews, and you ask whether or not he is beyond the pale.

Ralph E. Luker - 2/8/2007

I think Alan is correct, Jeff. I might have added that, in the business meeting, Stanford's James Sheehan and others opposed the resolution on the grounds that the AHA should not expend its "moral capital" on issues not central to our professional work; and Tim Burke and others sought to amend the resolution by deleting the second of the two resolved clauses on the grounds that it seemed to suggest a concensus that probably doesn't exist and might tend to drive people out of the AHA. That has already happened, of course, but this is likely to re-enforce that trend.

Alan Allport - 2/8/2007

Is it possible the AHA is risking its non-profit status with the anti-war resolution?

I doubt it; the resolution is so vaguely worded that to call it a coherent political statement is to give it credit it doesn't deserve.

Jeff Vanke - 2/8/2007

Is it possible the AHA is risking its non-profit status with the anti-war resolution? And/or its federal charter as an umbrella scholarly organization?

Oscar Chamberlain - 2/8/2007

I think Jon's right. If he was actually trying to stimulate reasoned debate, that would be one thing.

But someone who is idenitfying himself as "Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Jacques PLUSS (honoris causa)" is just acting out some really strange academic Nazi fantasy. He has a right to his fantasies; you have a right not to enable them.

Jonathan Dresner - 2/8/2007

I looked -- god help me -- at Pluss' blogs. One of them has a single post (which repeats a lot of his HNN comment) with six comments -- all by him.

The other has a single post from last November, again with a single comment posted by him (though it appears to be a quotation from a superior officer [though that's a highly relative phrase] in his organization).

In other words, neither really qualifies as a blog: it's just a couple of cheap web pages.

If he really starts blogging, we'll talk.