TIFF 2018: Where Hands Touch, by David Bax

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1 Response

  1. FictionIsntReal says:

    The “whataboutism” Soviet era joke with the punchline “And you are lynching Negroes” (which Vaclav Havel wrote about) was common enough that it now has its own wikipedia article. WW2 German propaganda also made use of that, with Harald Damsleth’s “Liberators” depicting a monstrous representation of the US wearing a Klan hood (helpfully notated with “Ku Klux”), and with a noose hanging off a black arm. Lutz wouldn’t be expected to know this, but lynching had sharply declined before “Strange Fruit” was first written. It surged during the transition away from Reconstruction (over 1200 during the 1890s) as the new Jim Crow order established itself, but during the 40s (less than 100 during the decade) was solidly in place enough that there was less demand for more terrorizing. The numbers I saw from the Tuskegee institute didn’t separate men & women, but in 1923 The Anti-Lynching Crusaders (a womens’ group) claimed that since 1889 there had been a total of 83 lynched women (17 of them white). The compulsory sterilizations of “Rheinland bastards” I’ve read about were for males, but under the reasonable assumption that it would have been applied to females as well, Lena would have good reason to regard the US (even then) as safer.

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