Thursday, 22 April 2010

Hitler, his bodyguard, and Irish folk music.

Most of you will know that yours truly comes in for a certain amount of criticism from some quarters for not being Irish enough. You know the spiel - not showing a great enough appreciation for “Irish culture”, blood sacrifices, and all the rest of it. 

Well, apologies.  You see, despite being very much Irish – I regret to say I had no choice in the matter – a lot of that malarkey seems to have passed me by, and the very sight of a jigging dancer or the faintest drone of an uileann piper is enough to set me  retching.  My detractors tell me that this is caused by self-loathing.  I'd say it's just loathing.

Mind you, I’m sure there are Scots who feel the same when they see a bunch of half-wits strutting around Edinburgh in their kilts on rugby days, and I’m sure there are others who would flee for the top of Ben Nevis at the slightest hint of a bagpipe skirl. And when is the last time you saw an English person morris dancing? In seriousness, I mean?

You see, I don’t think that the Irish ability for embarrassment is sufficiently developed as yet… maybe that’s why we keep on making eejits of ourselves over and over again for the amusment of the world?

I’ve always thought the old trad thing to be very po-faced and joyless, anyway.  I once looked at some clips from an RTE archive programme showing some “session” in progress in the 50s (or maybe it was the 80s?) and you’d swear they could have cracked nuts with their arses, they seemed so uptight.

Of course, nobody did po-faced, joyless and uptight as well as Adolf Hitler and his band of Nazi chums – great folklore enthusiasts, incidentally.  You can’t imagine many smiles being cracked at the Nuremburg rallies, can you? Heads, maybe, smiles no.

But apparently the Führer had a great appreciation of Irish music, and if the following piece from the Daily Telegraph has any (unlikely) basis in fact, he was so begeistert by a bit of diddly-dyddely that he sacrificed one of his Leibstandarte bodyguards for a visiting Irish musician to rest his pipe-playing posterior on.

See below (big thanks to Paul for sending this one in).

Adolf Hitler would not have debased a Nazi stormtrooper for the sake of Irish folk music

By Guy Walters, Daily Telegraph, April 19th, 2010

Not a week goes by without some exciting new revelation about Adolf Hitler. Most of these “findings” are complete JH (junk history), and this latest example takes the whole pack of biscuits. According to an exhibition chronicling 120 years of Irish folk music in and around Dublin, Adolf Hitler supposedly ordered an SS man to act as a seat for a visiting Irish piper called Sean Dempsey. According to the story, “Hitler… ordered a hapless storm trooper to get down on his hands and knees so Mr Dempsey could sit and perform astride the man”. Dempsey then played a “haunting air” that quite moved the Führer, who presented the musician with a gold fountain pen.

I don’t believe a word of it. The idea that Hitler would have debased one of his elite guard to act as a seat strikes me as being extremely unlikely. There are lots of things about Hitler that are bizarre and outlandish, but when it comes to stories such as these, bring your salt cellar.


 Anyway, true or not,  that is a vision that will stay with me forever.

I'm just glad I didn't have to listen too.

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Viking said...

There were English people morris dancing on Grafton Street just a few years back :)
1999/2000 maybe?

Anonymous said...

Well what do you know - An honest politician!!!

But are the unwashed masses mature enough to listen? ;)

The Gombeen Man said...

From that article:

"Mr Clegg today also faced potentially damaging questions over donations paid directly into his personal bank account.

Gifts of up to £250 a month were made by three leading business figures, although Mr Clegg has denied any wrongdoing and insisted they were properly registered."

Very honest, aright. There's a career for him here if it doesn't work out in the UK.

Paul McCoch said...

It shouldn't be forgotten that in the 1930's The Daily Mail was a pro-Fascist rag which ran headlines such as "Hurrah for the Blackshirts" in support of Oswald Mosleys 'British Union of Fascists'. Today it is supporting the Tories, and neglects to mention that David Camerons Conservative MEP's have been forging links with Eastern European proto-fascist parties.

Ponyboy said...

Oh that's a beautiful shot of Der Fuhrer GM. Such poise, such elegance - such a weird looking gut!!!!. I came across a box full of photos like this back in the Ireland of the late Seventies when the Master Race were buying up picturesque sites by the Shannon to build their Irish mini schlosses on. Anyway - I was doing some arbeit for one of them and "discovered" a box full of Hitler Youth pics and also a selection of "Rally" shots. Sorry I didn't hang on to them cos sometimes you actually need to see this kind of thing in picture form to reinforce for yourself just how crazy these people were.

Ella said...

The only thing to be begeistert about here are those lederhosen!

The Daily Mail is still a right wing rag, nothing new there.

Bernd said...

Hey ... don't mock the Lederhosen! At least the Nazis later saw satorial sense and had none other than Hugo Boss design the SS uniform.

And, yes, that actually is true ... the backwoods clothing manufacturer from Swabia made a mint out of clothing supplied to the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Der Fuhrer looks like a big girls blouse. GM I hope theres not some foolish people out there thinking Hitler would have been some sort of friend to Ireland. If he invaded and he would have eventually, he would have gone through the country like a dose of liver salts. There would have been nothing left. He would have made the Black and Tans look like puppy dogs.

The myth that he might have been, could have been, friendly to good old Ireland is frankly misleading. Although there was some vague admiration among some quarters of German society in the 1930s and 40s for Ireland most people never even heard of the country. There was far more admiration for British elitest ideals than the Irish.


The Gombeen Man said...

Yes Paul, Ella. It's an awful rag altogether. Kittensoft is much better.

Ponyboy, it wasn't the Skorzeny's house you were doing up by any chance? Seriously though, I'm pretty much morbidly absorbed by that period of history, and think there's warning in it for all of us. The dangers of nationalism, myth, racism and a pre-existing institutionalised prejudice leading to what it did. We can only learn.

Bernd, I always did think the Nazis had the snappiest uniforms. And they had Ferdinand Porsche designing some of their tanks as well, which were very stylish. BMW knocked together the FW190s and Daimler-Benz put the blocks into the Bf109s... then there was the 262. So they'd the best gear and the best machinery as well... just a pity about the ideology.

Hugo's influence is obviously missing in Adi's snap above though, as you rightfully note. And what about those socks? They remind me of the pair I had for my Communion. What was he thinking?

That's right D, big girl's blouse isn't in it. All he needs is a pair of Goering's red patent leather boots to finish it off.

Shamefully, during WW2 there was a sizeable portion of misguided fools in Ireland (isn't there always) who were sympathetic to Hitler because he was "agin the British" - never mind the Nuremburg laws and the little matter of trying to wipe out a whole people. Sadly, that seems to be the mentality in Ireland...

More on it here:

Anonymous said...

"Gifts of up to £250 a month were made by three leading business figures, although Mr Clegg has denied any wrongdoing and insisted they were properly registered."

£250 a month?? F**king amateur!

Anonymous said...

GDAY MR GM what a snappy pair of leder hosen on the hansome fuhrer now imagine herr kiely of de shieshole limerick kitted out in this master racy attire i have warned about this before leder hosen drives people crazy could be the end of our great little nation BH

Anonymous said...

GM yeah strange little country.


Anonymous said...

FUHRER BIFFO and his marys fuhrerettes would look soooh great in hot pink leder hosen green for herr biffo perhaps a snappy tash would

impress the germans in a few months from now when irl has to get out the begging bowl once again BH

Ella said...

@BH, haa haa! Classic commentary from yourself, breaking my shite laughing here!

Paul McCoch said...

Ah this still has me giggling, what with a few murfs down me and all, its my birtdee today the 24th so share the laffs... sorry theres no free cider :o(

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, Ella. Mr BH has been supplying classic comments on the blog from the early days. Brilliant.

It's a very strange place indeed, Dakota. But stranger still is that so few people here seem to see it.

Happy birthday, and all that Paul - thanks for the link. Hope the head's OK!

Anonymous said...

GM thats the worrying part.


Ponyboy said...

GM said ..."And they had Ferdinand Porsche designing some of their tanks as well, which were very stylish. BMW knocked together the FW190s and Daimler-Benz put the blocks into the Bf109s... then there was the 262. So they'd the best gear and the best machinery as well..."

As Michael Caine was wont to say - "Not a lot of people know this" and he'd be spot on with respect to the most famous piece of German engineering that issued forth from that toxic regime. This of course was the VolksWaschmaschine, one of the most advanced and efficient washing machines ever produced even by today's standards. Its brilliance lay in its use of air instead of water as the cleansing agent in the "wash" cycle. Large volumes of pressurised air introduced into a high velocity rotating drum dislocated the dirt molecules from those of the fabrics being "washed". Bench test results put the VolksWaschmaschine strasses ahead of other European and American models. There was a drawback however, which might go some way to explain why the VolksWaschmaschine (badged more simply as VW on the front panel of the machine) never became the household name that its more inferior rivals such as Bendix, Westinghouse and Hoover did. This problem was uncovered by Ferdinand Porsche, who as it happened, was presented with the very first production model of the washing machine by none other than the Big Girl's Blouse himself. The Problem, well, it vibrated or to quote Ferdinand "It wibrated like fuck". In fact it vibrated so much that he had to keep following it around the laundry room trying to coax it back to its home under the worktop. His Final Solution to the problem was simple and a stroke of genius. He put wheels on it and added a steering wheel. Oh and he left the badge where it was.

The Gombeen Man said...

Great stuff, PB. Laughing here.

Ella said...

@PB, LOL here!

Rugger said...

What about this lad ? ;-)

Anonymous said...


Billy Hitler was a scouser...........