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A perverse coalition … Garamantes … „prellen“ is also ‘to cheat.’ 23rd of July, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 10:56

If one reads up on the famines that happened in the Soviet Union in large part because of the imposition of collective farming and the seizure of seed grain from the peasants by the Bolsheviks, one learns that the regime, after initially refusing it, accepted humanitarian aid from Western philanthropers and the general public while exporting grain. They hated the West enough that they were willing to have more of their own citizens die in order to hurt, uselessly, the already–rich capitalists in the pocketbook.

This makes it clear just how weird the Second World War was—as Goebbels said constantly as it ended, the »perversen Koalition zwischen Plutokratie und Bolschewismus« was not something that could be expected to hold. But it did, for long enough. The Nazis were evidently a threat everyone  took seriously.

Fascinating, under-researched civilisation of antiquity of the day: the Garamantes, a Berber-speaking group left behind a huge network of caves and buildings in the desert of southern Libya—‘Thanks to their aggressive mentality and the slaves and water it produced, the Garamantes lived in planned towns and feasted on locally grown grapes, figs, sorghum, pulses, barley, and wheat, as well as on imported luxuries such as wine and olive oil. “The combination of their slave-acquisition activities and their mastery of foggara irrigation technology enabled the Garamantes to enjoy a standard of living far superior to that of any other ancient Saharan society.”’ And the sites are mostly un-excavated; it’s cool to see that there are still big things to be discovered for archaeology today.

Word of the day: „die Prellung, —en“ is German for “bruise.”

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