World War II in Color is a blog that provides color photographs of World War II. There are a lot of images of Germans. Any discussion of a blog like this is going to lead in two directions simultaneously. First, we have to have a discussion about politics, and Nazis in general (is this a Nazi blog? Is the blogger a Nazi? etc.). Then we have to have another political discussion about intellectual property. Where did the blogger get these images? Are they “legal” in the U.S.A. where I am or anywhere else?
First, let’s address the Nazi question. I’m against Nazis. I’ve spent more time that I probably should have fighting Nazi ideas like those presented in the films of Lars von Trier. One thing that I regret is using “von” Trier’s (“von” is a nickname) “Dogma 95” as a inspiration for my own idea of a model building philosophy called Dogma 72 (hence the URL of this site–see above). I didn’t realize that I was taking my ideas from a Nazi or would have used another name.
Yes, I meant that. Von Trier is a Nazi in his view of the world–and what makes this truly disturbing is how many people agree with his view of the world. Given an opportunity, these crypto-nazis would run out in the streets and take over.
That’s farkin’ scary.
But they didn’t get to be Nazis by looking at old photographs. It’s their belief in a weird hybrid of idealism (the human being as an ideal to be managed as such) glued to a version of materialism (the human genome as government property) that makes them Nazis.
So whenever I read a description of Nazis that begins and ends with people in snazzy uniforms with neato armbands I know I’m reading something stupid. Nazism resides in the minds of the believers, who can twist anything around until it reflects their failure to believe in two things: an eternal human soul and the power of love. Once you jettison these things, you end up in Nazi-land very quickly, I don’t think author of this blog (Alif Rafik Khan) is a Nazi but he may be for all I know. His blog doesn’t say.
Now we can move on the intellectual property argument. If Mr. Khan is stealing all these photos, then I guess I’d be “wrong” in some cosmic sense to recommend his blog. But I just can’t feel it. I like the fact that these photos have been laboriously uploaded by Mr. Khan, and so I’ll just say that if somebody is miffed that they didn’t get paid, it’s not my problem. I may like to drive the speed limit on the freeway (yes–I’m that guy) but in this case I won’t play Internet Cop.
I’m happy to have access to color photos from the German side because I can calibrate my own internal monitor using these images. That’s right, I’m of the opinion that you can’t tell what color something was from a black and white image, but even bad color images will give, over time, an insight into the truth.
Look at enough color images and you see the “true” colors shining through, to coin a phrase.
Mr. Khan posts these images without asking for any money or other compensation, I like that. His blog hasn’t been updated lately so I’m hoping he didn’t get hauled in by the secret police for questioning.
If you’re interested in seeing some very provocative photos, check it out.
Note: There are other WWII in color blogs out there. This is one among many.