History Impossible

Alexander von Sternberg

History: Impossible is exactly what it sounds like: impossible history. People, events, ideologies, STORIES--all that sound impossible. But all true. read less

Pandemic: A Plague Coda
22-03-2023
Pandemic: A Plague Coda
While there is plenty to say about how a pandemic affects us while we’re in the middle of it, there is just as much, if not more, to say about how a pandemic affects us when it ends.As of May of 2023, over three years have passed since the outbreak of COVID-19 and, according to the President of the United States Joe Biden, the emergency has ended. And yet, many people around the world, but in America in particular, continue to grapple with the realities of the pandemic that wreaked havoc on our way of life and struggle with finding ways to move on. Whether that means refusing to admit that the emergency is indeed over and overindulging in the safety measures made normal during those past three years, or overindulging in the reactions against the sociopolitical and institutional realities made manifest, or simply living their lives, the coda to our disorder is anything but clean.As made clear in the first pandemic episode covered on History Impossible, the effects of a global apocalypse have a way of heightening and letting loose what historian Norman F. Cantor called the “ideological anxieties” of their time and place. As is hopefully made clear in this sequel to that episode, the same can be said for how those apocalypses end. The so-called Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was by no means unique in how it helped create incentives some of the most significant changes of its time and place. In fact, almost 600 years earlier, another, far more devastating event had a very similar, and even more wide-reaching effect, especially when it was over: the Black Death. While it was certainly true that the plague was indeed a global pandemic, with the populations of the Arab and Chinese worlds being as deeply and profoundly affected by the disease as that of the European world, this is the story of how such a monumental disruption changed Europe—and thus modern history—forever, in some of the most fundamental ways imaginable.We must thus ask: what if such after-effects and changes weren’t limited to one pandemic almost seven centuries ago, but perhaps any pandemic, given the correct historical circumstances existing? With those circumstances, what if a death toll in the tens if not hundreds of millions isn’t even required to make such changes manifest? These are the questions we’ll be exploring in this episode about what happens after the end of the world as we know it.Infinite love and appreciation to Molly Pan for providing her immense musical talents to this episode. Make sure to stick around to the end to hear them.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon, Substack, and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive:David AdamcikAlireza AtarianBenjaminElias BorotaJohannes BreitsameterCharles CCJCliffydeuceCRdaddygorgonRichard DaveyPaul DeCosterNathan DiehlBob DowningRob DuvalGavin Edwardseli123kyFeegoaPierre GhazarianKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallBenjamin HamiltonPeter HauckCarey HurstJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBryn KaufmanBenjamin LeeMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezDouglas MartocciaMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJeff ParrentJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEdward RayJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloJake ScaliaEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithThomas SqueoBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierreAthal KrishnaSundarrajanPhilipp SurkovShane TaylorJared Cole TempleChrisTXRobert VSSteve UhlerJonny WilkieRicky WortheyF. YouGregory Zink
The Fictions of History
14-02-2023
The Fictions of History
Hello everyone. This is an audio version of the essay I wrote for the History Impossible Substack (as well as here!) called "The Fiction(s) of History." In this special episode, I take a dive into the dueling narratives of historical progress (what my friend CJ Killmer of the Dangerous History Podcast calls the teleological approach to history; yes, he's much smarter than me) and historical cycles of the Strauss-Howe and Turchin-Nefedov variety. It's not all philosophy, despite the subject matter, and it does indeed touch upon some historical topics that I do intend to cover in more detail one day, as well as some that have been covered in other, superior work, like Darryl Cooper's MartyrMade.The question of progress or cycles isn't left hanging open either, though by no means am I telling anyone to think a certain way; this is more an exploration of my own interpretations of how history, in essence, "works." It's my hope that this helps illustrate my approach and perspective when tackling subjects--especially controversial ones--on History Impossible. It may also serve as a launching pad for future explorations into more conceptual areas that fit neatly into the History Impossible niche. Overall, though, I hope to add a little insight into this space I occupy.Thank you again to all who support and appreciate the show.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon, Substack, and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive. David AdamcikAlireza Atarian Benjamin Elias BorotaJohannes Breitsameter Charles C CJ Cliffydeuce CR daddygorgon Richard Davey Paul DeCoster Nathan Diehl Bob Downing Rob Duval Gavin Edwards eli123ky Feegoa Kevin GonyNathan Grote Al Hall Benjamin Hamilton Peter HauckCarey Hurst Joseph Hurst Thomas Justesen Mike Kalnins Bryn Kaufman Benjamin Lee Trevor Lindborg Maddy Mounty of Madness Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Ryan Mortenson Ben Mullen Skip Pacheco Molly Pan Jeff Parrent Jean Peters Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Gleb Radutsky Aleksandr Rakitin Edward Ray Jon Andre Saether Alison Salo Jake Scalia Emily SchmidtJulian Schmidt Cameron Smith Thomas Squeo Brian Steggeman Pier-Luc St-Pierre Athal Krishna Sundarrajan Philipp Surkov Jared Cole Temple ChrisTX Robert VS Steve Uhler Jonny Wilkie Ricky Worthey F. You Gregory Zink
The Blonde Conspiracy feat. Greg Zink (An Impossible Interview VII)
24-01-2023
The Blonde Conspiracy feat. Greg Zink (An Impossible Interview VII)
In this newest History Impossible conversation, I’m speaking with Greg Zink, the host of the Smoke Filled Rooms podcast, a new and up-and-coming show that gives us a deep dive into political true crime. I’ve been following Greg since he started his show in early 2022, beginning with a series on the Nuremberg Trials, and when he tackled a topic I had been considering doing myself ever since I threatened all of you with a return to Hollywood’s scandalous history—namely, the death (and life) of Marilyn Monroe—I invited him onto History Impossible to discuss both it and the recent divisive Andrew Dominik (director of the sublime The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) pseudo-biopic of Marilyn Monroe, 2022’s Blonde.In addition to discussing that film, we also examined how it took pretty decisive aim against Hollywood as it currently exists by highlighting the scum-baggery of Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s (needless to say, controversial opinions—mostly my own—are voiced). We also examine how the film both succeeds and fails as a depiction of Marilyn Monroe’s complexity as a human being, and how, in showing the problematic relationship Monroe had with JFK, essentially manages to toe the line of actual slander/libel (though it doesn’t stop us from raking the Kennedy family over the coals later on). Following that discussion we delve into the mysterious circumstances surrounding Monroe’s death that Greg so expertly explored in his own five-part series.Needless to say, it’s a fun, controversial, and ultimately tragic ride (given the subject matter). But it was also a very enlightening and interesting conversation for me, given Greg’s attention to detail in such a notorious potential case. You may never look at Hollywood the same way again.…History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon, Substack, and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive. David AdamcikAlireza Atarian Benjamin Elias Borota Charles C CJ Cliffydeuce CR daddygorgon Richard Davey Paul DeCoster Nathan Diehl Bob Downing Rob Duval Gavin Edwards eli123ky Feegoa Kevin GonyNathan Grote Al Hall Benjamin Hamilton Peter Hauck Joseph Hurst Thomas Justesen Mike Kalnins Bryn Kaufman Benjamin Lee Trevor Lindborg Maddy Mounty of Madness Jose Martinez Mike Mayleben Judy McCoid Monica Kostas Moros Ryan Mortenson Ben Mullen Skip Pacheco Molly Pan Jeff Parrent Jean Peters Brian Pritzl PJ Rader Gleb Radutsky Aleksandr Rakitin Edward Ray Jon Andre Saether Alison Salo Jake Scalia Emily SchmidtJulian Schmidt Cameron Smith Thomas Squeo Brian Steggeman Pier-Luc St-Pierre Athal Krishna Sundarrajan Philipp Surkov Jared Cole Temple ChrisTX Robert VS Steve Uhler Jonny Wilkie Ricky Worthey F. You Gregory Zink
Stakeholder Nazism (An Impossible Polemic)
02-01-2023
Stakeholder Nazism (An Impossible Polemic)
Happy 2023, everybody. I hope everyone's 2022 was a good one. It's hard to believe we're really getting into this new decade often portrayed as "the future" in old-school sci-fi/cyberpunk stories, isn't it?Anyway, I wanted to close out 2022/open up 2023 with something a little different; as you know I'm essentially turning my written Substack posts into audio versions for the supporters of History Impossible so you can all get some good exclusive content and this one is no exception. However, this essay I wrote about stakeholder capitalism and the economics of National Socialist Germany struck a different chord for me; uncharacteristically, it became more of a pure polemic that used history as a bedrock, rather than history that contains some elements of polemics. In the end, it turned into something more akin to (though by no means on the qualitative level of) Dan Carlin's beloved political show, Common Sense (something so many of us wish he would bring back but understand all too well why he probably won't).Since this essay ultimately contained what could best be called a "call to action" toward the end, I wanted to put it out there for everyone to hear, especially since this is a new year and all. Everyone who supports the show still gets the ad-free version and my undying thanks for your generosity. All I ask of everyone else is that you spread the word about History Impossible and help keep this show going.Many thanks and I sincerely hope you all have a blessed 2023....History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive.David AdamcikAlireza AtarianBenjaminElias BorotaCharles CCJCliffydeuceCRdaddygorgonRichard DaveyNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallBenjamin HamiltonPeter HauckJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBryn KaufmanBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJeff ParrentJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEdward RayJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloJake ScaliaEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithThomas SqueoBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierrePhilipp SurkovJared Cole TempleChrisTXSteve UhlerJonny WilkieRicky WortheyF. You
The Birth of the Lexicon, Part II: The American Lunatic (Infinitesimal Impossibilities 04)
19-12-2022
The Birth of the Lexicon, Part II: The American Lunatic (Infinitesimal Impossibilities 04)
In this second part of our story about the birth of the Oxford English Dictionary, we cover the second half--perhaps the second hemisphere, to use a brain pun--of the main minds behind the creation of the multi-volume book. This is the story of William Chester Minor, an American polymath of sorts similar to James Murray, though of far greater education and class status.Minor's time growing up in Ceylon (what is now Sri Lanka) is discussed, as is his military education and time serving in the U.S. Civil War, where it is quite possible that his mind finally became broken. We then discuss his move to London, and the ghastly crime he committed that landed him in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. His correspondence with the dictionary editors, and his developing friendship with James Murray is discussed, as well as his nightly battles with his own demons that never left him.But most of all, his massive contribution to the birth of the English lexicon is celebrated. It ultimately begs the question: if not for this mad American surgeon, would we still be languishing today, trying to develop a proper English dictionary?…History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive.David AdamcikAlireza AtarianBenjaminElias BorotaCharles CCJCliffydeuceCRdaddygorgonRichard DaveyNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallBenjamin HamiltonPeter HauckJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBryn KaufmanBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJeff ParrentJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEdward RayJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloJake ScaliaEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithThomas SqueoBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierrePhilipp SurkovJared Cole TempleChrisTXSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
The Birth of the Lexicon, Part I: The Scottish Polymath (Infinitesimal Impossibilities 04)
12-12-2022
The Birth of the Lexicon, Part I: The Scottish Polymath (Infinitesimal Impossibilities 04)
If ever there was a story whose subject was small but whose effect was immense--i.e., the central theme of Infinitesimal Impossibilities--this would be that story.We don't often think about where words come from, and when we do it's usually pretty selective. This is for good reason: the English language has an almost unquantifiable number of words. And yet, back in the 19th century, the first serious endeavors were made to quantify these multitudes of words. The United States came first with the famous Webster's Dictionary (now Merriam-Webster), but the far more comprehensive and complete English dictionary--the Oxford English--would leave a much greater mark. The task ahead was as daunting as anything, with reality quickly settling in that this accomplishment wouldn't require normal men to complete. Thankfully, the two men at the center of this story were anything but normal. The first part of this tale covers one of them--a Scotsman by the name of James Murray--who was quite possibly the most brilliant man on the entire British Isles at the time and who hadn't set foot in school since he was 14 years old. While he certainly was passionate about cataloguing the language, little did he realize where this love of language was going to take him and who he would encounter along the way.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive.David AdamcikAlireza AtarianBenjaminElias BorotaCharles CCJCliffydeuceCRdaddygorgonRichard DaveyNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallBenjamin HamiltonPeter HauckJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBryn KaufmanBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJeff ParrentJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEdward RayJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloJake ScaliaEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithThomas SqueoBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierrePhilipp SurkovJared Cole TempleChrisTXSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany
25-10-2022
Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany
NOTE: Please stick through the intro. There's an important announcement.WARNING: This episode contains the use of offensive racial epithets and disturbing depictions of bigotry that some listeners may find upsetting.What was like to be a child and grow up during the rise of the Nazis? Many have given us memorable answers to that question. There are even those who are still alive and remember it, however vaguely, though we are quickly losing them to the passage of time. But a more pressing and unusual question must be asked, especially in the context of this story: what was it like to be a child and grow up during the rise of the Nazis…while also being black?In this episode of History Impossible, we're going to explore this question by looking at the epic life story of a one Hans-Jurgen Massaquoi, the son of African nobility and German peasantry. We'll see how his existence was allowed for by the incredible story of Liberia itself, as well as its relationship with the early Weimar Republic. We'll look at how his existence was received both before and after the rise of the Nazis. We'll see how their education reforms and adoption of American-style eugenics impacted him. We'll cover the famous pre-war events that would help shape Hans into the man he would become, namely the famous Joe Louis v. Max Schmeling boxing match and the 1936 Olympics in which Jesse Owens took home the gold. We'll examine how he survived the war years and what it was like to live under such conditions as a German civilian.But most of all, we will be shown what it means to not only survive, but to thrive, despite all odds being stacked against you as you grow up in a world that is objectively and abjectly hostile to your very existence.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal. Please consider donating today to help keep me free and this show alive.David AdamcikAlireza AtarianBenjaminElias BorotaCharles CCJCRdaddygorgonRichard DaveyNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallBenjamin HamiltonPeter HauckGreg HunterJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBryn KaufmanBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJeff ParrentJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEdward RayJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloJake ScaliaEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierreJared Cole TempleChrisTXSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
Assassinations and Historical Discontents (ft. Kristaps Andrejsons of the Eastern Border)
13-09-2022
Assassinations and Historical Discontents (ft. Kristaps Andrejsons of the Eastern Border)
In this special episode of History Impossible--and The Eastern Border--I was lucky enough to sit down with the host OF The Eastern Border, Kristaps Andrejsons, in what I am calling my fastest guest turnaround I've done with the show so far. It was meant to be, however, given the whirlwind of news that continues to come from his area of expertise, that is, the Eastern Border, namely involving the Russo-Ukrainian War, and above all, how all that relates to the history of that region. Because, as is always the case with me and most other people who study history, it was hard not to feel like we have been here before, in psychology and spirit, just with newer, deadlier and wilder technology. Because you see, comrades and friends: the assassination (or attempt thereof) of major political figures appears to be on the rise again. This is most definitely the case in Russia, where we've seen the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin get caught in a car bomb and eight (yes, EIGHT) oil-baron oligarchs die of mysterious circumstances. But, as Kristaps and I discussed, it seems to be part of a much broader, still developing story, with the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe in Japan and the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh in the United States. In other words, much of this reeks of the time period stretching from the 1880s (especially in Russia) all the way to 1914.Thanks to these hard-to-miss, hard-to-deny parallels, Kristaps helped take me down a wild rabbit hole of philosophical discussion and speculation on how the future must be shaped while still respecting the importance of the past and ultimately we came to some very interesting conclusions, both a little frightening and pragmatic. The world is a dark place right now, and looking at its past does very little to dissuade us of this notion, but this is what he and I do. He's been working harder than most people I know (if not all people I know) and was immensely tired when we spoke, but he powered through and I can't thank him enough for his time and conversation. Consider supporting him and his fantastic show over at www.patreon.com/theeasternborder.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaCharles CMatthew DakusRichard DaveyNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallPeter HauckJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBryn KaufmanBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEdward RayJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierreJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
The Fuhrer’s Court Jew Part II: The Fall of Icarus
02-08-2022
The Fuhrer’s Court Jew Part II: The Fall of Icarus
You can only fly so close to the sun for so long before the wax starts melting.This was a lesson that Erik Jan Hanussen, the most successful and famous clairvoyant in Europe (and quite possibly the world), would have to learn the hard way, as he positioned himself closer and closer with his friends in the nascent National Socialist Party of Germany. They would very quickly--through everything from IOUs to decadent parties, to private consultations--connected like symbiotic lifeforms, one feeding off the other and vice versa. Soon, though, that symbiosis would be challenged, perhaps inevitably thanks to Hanussen's deepest secret slowly being drawn into the light by both Hanussen and the Nazis' communist rivals.In this second part of the story of Erik Jan Hanussen, we'll be looking at that symbiosis, the depravity that entailed, and its dissolution as the Nazis gained ever more power. Hanussen's predictions--both of Hitler's inevitable victory and the burning of the Reichstag--will be examined, as will his attempts to insert himself into one of the most notorious serial killer investigations of the 20th century, as Will his fabled meetings with Hitler himself. But most of all, we will examine the moment that his wings finally caught fire and he came crashing to earth.If the last episode covered the good years and showed us just how much power Hanussen possessed, this part of our story is the reality check that is always necessary when you're dealing with the Third Reich. The good times are always over.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaCharles CMatthew DakusRichard DaveyNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallPeter HauckJoseph HurstThomas JustesenMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMaddyMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinAria SaeidiJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierreJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
The Fuhrer’s Court Jew Part I: In League With the Devil
19-07-2022
The Fuhrer’s Court Jew Part I: In League With the Devil
It's been well-documented, especially on History Impossible, that many of the Nazis in the upper echelons of power had a certain fascination with the occult, the otherworldly, and the non-Western. One thing, though, that has perhaps stirred the imaginations of our fair share of trashy pulp novels more than any other eccentricity possessed by the elite of the Third Reich was simple: magic. This wasn't embodied by anyone better than the famous clairvoyant Erik Jan Hanussen, who became known not just for his iconic performances of supposed mind-reading and fortune telling, but for his close associations with the budding National Socialist Party and its leaders in late Weimar Germany. But what these friends of his didn't realize was that their favorite clairvoyant harbored a secret, one that would ultimately test both their tolerance for him and for the kinds of esotericism he practiced (while of course never fully letting go their love of the occult). In this episode, we'll explore the history of mentalism and its popularity throughout the late 19th and early 20th century and Erik Jan Hanussen's storied early life and explosion of success, as well as looking at what would become his most famous prediction in the early days of Nazi Germany.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Daniele BolelliElias BorotaCharles CMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin Edwardseli123kyKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallPeter HauckThomas JustesenMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEugene RossoAria SaeidiJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierreJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
Ukraine and the Latvian Podfather (An Impossible Interview VI): Kristaps Andrejsons of The Eastern Border
15-06-2022
Ukraine and the Latvian Podfather (An Impossible Interview VI): Kristaps Andrejsons of The Eastern Border
Note: Supporters of History Impossible over on Patreon currently have access to the uncut version of this interview, complete with more banter and fun discussion regarding how weird America is. Head over to www.patreon.com/historyimpossible and consider becoming a patron today so you can hear the uncut versions of conversations had on this show plus much more!In this edition of the Impossible Interviews series, we're joined by the one and only Kristaps Andrejsons of the famous Eastern Border Podcast to talk about both his time as not just a history podcaster on the Eastern Border of Europe, but as the podcaster in general of the Baltic states (hence the nickname the "Podfather of Latvia") and how he got there (and what it's cost), as well as all things Ukraine.During the first half of 2022, Kristaps has been covering the Russo-Ukrainian War both from home in Latvia and on the front lines themselves, having spent several weeks traveling all over eastern Europe to reach Odessa and then finally Kyiv where he was given a first-hand glimpse into the chaos that has been unleashed there. Much of this has been covered in his daily dispatches on the Eastern Border podcast feed, as well as in a number of articles for various outlets, including Foreign Policy Magazine.(Check out Kristaps' writing here: https://foreignpolicy.com/author/kristaps-andrejsons/)He's also had in-depth and thought provoking conversations with the likes of MartyrMade's Darryl Cooper and Hardcore History's Dan Carlin. In the case of our conversation, we went in a few different directions. We spend some time dissecting a lot of the arguments surrounding the ongoing conflict, we discuss Vladimir Putin in relative detail, and we take some time to discuss a shared interest of ours--the infamous philosopher who's been called "Putin's Brain" (and even called a modern Rasputin) Aleksandr Dugin and his Traditionalism-fueled multi-polar philosophy. Hopefully, this episode will be as informative for all of you as it was for me (and even fun, despite some depressing revelations about how this war is likely going to shake out). So with that I say, in Kristaps' words, dasvidaniya tovarich! And remember: happiness is mandatory.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaCharles CMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsKevin GonyNathan GroteAl HallPeter HauckMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJean PetersBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEugene RossoAria SaeidiJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanPier-Luc St-PierreJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
Hitler‘s Bastards
25-04-2022
Hitler‘s Bastards
CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains some graphic depictions of war and civilian casualties."Treason" is a funny word: it carries with it such a strong stigma that it can sometimes feel like a true curse when deployed. This is likely because of the consequences facing anyone charged with such a crime (i.e., one of the only crimes apart from murder that can be met with a death sentence, at least in the United States). And yet, despite it being so serious, we still occasionally hear it said regarding people whose crimes, all things considered, sometimes only amount to not supporting a war effort.In this episode of History Impossible, we're going to look at some people who were--rightly or wrongly--accused, sometimes convicted, and even sentenced to death for treason during the Second World War. Their individual convictions and beliefs ranged wildly and yet often converged, and yet none of them ever fired a shot at their own countrymen, despite putting on the uniforms of their countrymen's sworn enemies. Some of these men hated Jews, some hated communists, some hated war, and most just wanted to get out of their abysmal prison conditions and cavort with pretty German girls while avoiding combat. Little did they know the plans the Nazis who approved of their organization and where they were going to be sent or what firestorm they eventually would live through.This is the story of the Englishmen who some might call Hitler's Bastards.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaCharles CMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenPete McAloneyJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenSkip PachecoMolly PanJean PetersEdmund PlamowskiBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEugene RossoAria SaeidiJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
Ideological Realignments: Past, Present, and Future (feat. CJ Killmer)
05-03-2022
Ideological Realignments: Past, Present, and Future (feat. CJ Killmer)
In the midst of world events feeling significantly more historical than usual, we're joined by the host of the Dangerous History Podcast CJ Killmer--in our fifth overall collaboration!--to have a long, free-wheeling discussion of the notion of "realignment", a subject studied far and wide by political scientists of every stripe.The question of whether or not this is a tradition baked into American political DNA is addressed, as is the role of populism and populist backlashes, both in history and in the present and how they manifested in elections. We also chart the rise of Progressivism as the dominant ideological framework from its early beginnings in the 1890s resulting from the populism of the 1870s-1880s, and look at how it maintained its control up until the early 21st century when its foundation was shaken by an impolitic (if entertaining) con man.And from there, while diagnosing the present (yes there are more politics than usual), we look to the future and potentially make asses of ourselves by throwing out predictions and express our reservations (primarily with Progressivism managing to absorb the populist energy in some way, or with a rapid resurgence of theocratic social conservatism from the populist right).It's a wild ride, almost as wild as American politics always seems to be.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsFrankKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenPete McAloneyJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenMolly PanJean PetersEdmund PlamowskiBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEugene RossoJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanShane TaylorJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
An Impossible Interview V: Goran Adamson
26-01-2022
An Impossible Interview V: Goran Adamson
Impossible Interviews returns with an excellent guest, Göran Adamson, professor of sociology and writer of numerous books including Populist Parties and the Failure of Political Elites, The Trojan Horse: A Leftist Critique of Multiculturalism, and, most importantly in the context of this interview and History Impossible more broadly, Masochistic Nationalism: Multicultural Self-Hatred and the Infatuation with the Exotic.Listeners of the previous episode of History Impossible--the Hitler Avatar and His Masochistic Priestess--will no doubt recognize the title, the name, and concept in question here, and as much as I wanted to pretend I have a firm grasp on the concept of masochistic nationalism, I figured having the man himself on the show to pick his brain on his concept of masochistic nationalism was necessary, both for all of you fine ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends. Masochistic nationalism as a concept is broadly discussed as well as its implications in the present, and I even managed to throw in a couple observations that I'd like to think managed to intrigue Göran. If you're further intrigued by the subjects in question, make sure to click the hyperlinks above to check out Göran's important work.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsFrankKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgMounty of MadnessJose MartinezMike MaylebenPete McAloneyJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenMolly PanJean PetersEdmund PlamowskiBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyAleksandr RakitinEugene RossoJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanShane TaylorJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. You
The Hitler Avatar and His Masochistic Priestess
30-12-2021
The Hitler Avatar and His Masochistic Priestess
Everyone knows who the Nazis were and what the Nazis did. Many also know what they, at least Hitler, generally believed. But far fewer actually understand what animated the truest of the true believers who saw Hitler as their prophet and savior. Far fewer still understand that much of this philosophical animating force didn't even concern Germany or the Germanic people as they saw them.So disgusted were they--at the occasional exasperation and even mockery of the Fuhrer himself--at the trajectory of European history in general and German history in particular that they searched far and wide for exotic, foreign justifications for the National Socialist mission. Evidence of this can be seen with some of these Nazi elites--folks like Alfred Rosenberg, the "Nazi philosopher" and of course Heinrich Himmler--but no better can this evidence of masochistic pride be seen in the figure cut by a one Savitri Devi.This episode of History Impossible is, to put it bluntly, trying something a little bit different and even a bit out of your humble host's comfort zone. What began as a simple story about a true radical figure that we might call "the first neo-Nazi" has become something...different. Drawing upon a lot of the elements covered in Werewolves of the Fourth Reich and the Muslim Nazis series, this special episode of sorts seeks to really try and answer the question: what even was Nazism, from a philosophical perspective? Many of the conclusions are my own and by no means are they endorsed by any of the figures and writers I quote from, but I found them compelling--if still very oblique--conclusions and figured if I didn't put them out there here, where else would I? This is all done through the lens of looking at the story of Maximiani Portas, a Greek-French woman who left Europe in her 20s to search for the source of the mythic Aryan people in India. There, animated by her hatred of the Jews in particular and the Judeo-Christian West in general, she converted to Hinduism, took up the name Savitri Devi, and began her crusade for the man she considered her avatar, a "Man Against Time", Adolf Hitler. While she became more well-known in the decades following the war, the philosophy of history to which she subscribed didn't come out of nowhere and didn't have its own connections to Nazi thought.Through Devi, her work, and her twisted view of existence, it's possible that we can finally catch a better glimpse at some of the seemingly impossible forces that animated the greatest villains of the 20th century.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:David AdamcikElias BorotaBoscoJohannes BreitsameterWill CaldwellMatthew DakusDennis de LangeNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaRussell JohnsonMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgJose MartinezMike MaylebenPete McAloneyJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenMolly PanJean PetersEdmund PlamowskiPJ RaderGleb RadutskyJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanShane TaylorJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerF. You
Infinitesimal Impossibilities 03: The Warlord‘s Cook
28-09-2021
Infinitesimal Impossibilities 03: The Warlord‘s Cook
The Infinitesimal Impossibilities subseries returns with a story in which Molly and Alex look at one of the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century...from the perspective of his personal chef. It's all drawn from the work of Polish journalist Witold Szablowski in his incredible 2020 book, How to Feed a Dictator (which it should be noted, Alex misdated during this first episode as being 2016). Uganda's infamous Idi Amin is discussed through the eyes of his personal chef, Otonde Odera, who not only managed to survive the murderous regime's rise and fall, but managed to be both Idi Amin and Amin's predecessor Milton Obote's favorite cook and, ostensibly, member of the help. Molly explores Otonde Odera's roller coaster of a life story and the dictator's methodology of ensuring loyalty is examined throughout this tale, a tale that ultimately leaves us on a melancholy note. Is it better to be feared, loved, or both? What is more terrifying: the dictator mad man who flies into a rage at the slightest provocation or the cold, calculating psychopath? What do you do when you're trapped in circumstances that are still arguably better than the alternatives? What does it feel like to be on the receiving end of a madman's wrath? These questions are examined and, despite their heavy nature, we managed to keep it all relatively light.And yes, the question of Idi Amin's supposed cannibalism is addressed.History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:David AdamcikElias BorotaMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenMolly PanJean PetersEdmund PlamowskiPJ RaderGleb RadutskyJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerF. You
The Muslim Nazis V: Taking Hitler By The Hand
03-09-2021
The Muslim Nazis V: Taking Hitler By The Hand
As Hajj Amin al-Husseini hurdles toward his destination with which we started this entire series, the scope of our tale expands drastically with the arrival of the Nazis themselves. Though this isn't to say they weren't always there, lurking in the background of Palestinian Littlefinger's schemes and dealings. In fact, it would be inaccurate to say that he hadn't been well aware and in open communication with them. Always playing the angles. In this mid-season finale of our story, we'll be looking at al-Husseini's early dealings with the Nazis throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, as well as his harrowing flight from the Middle East into the arms of his newest patrons. An examination of the Nazi higher-ups--namely with a proper introduction to the infamous Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler--and their attitudes toward Islam is also in order, with a deeper look into the frighteningly simplistic-yet-convoluted vision they had of the world. And then we'll look at al-Husseini's arrival in Europe, his political wheeling and dealing that never really stopped and manage to secure him a seemingly cushy place within the upper echelons of the Third Reich. And of course, finally, we will be back where we ended our first episode of this series: looking at the famed meeting in which al-Husseini finally got to meet the man who he had come to see as a kindred spirit, if only in opposition to their many hatreds: the Fuhrer himself, Adolf Hitler.  History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Elias BorotaMatthew DakusNathan DiehlGavin EdwardsKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaMike KalninsBenjamin LeeTrevor LindborgJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenMolly PanJean PetersEdmund PlamowskiBrian PritzlPJ RaderGleb RadutskyEugene RossoJon Andre SaetherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtJulian SchmidtCameron SmithBrian SteggemanJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerBlake WescottRicky WortheyF. You
The Muslim Nazis IV: Farhud
31-05-2021
The Muslim Nazis IV: Farhud
What do you get when all of your best laid plans seem to be falling apart around you with nothing but the suffering of your people to show for it?  Bitterness. As the 1920s turned into the 1930s, Hajj Amin al-Husseini's power started to look increasingly fragile and precarious, largely thanks to the effects of the violence that rocked Palestine in the summer of 1929 that only served to raise the temperature across the nation. The nationalist movement would continue to splinter and many different factions would take much more strident, even recognizably jihadist measures against the British Mandate which only served to incentivize the colonizers to redouble their suppression efforts, culminating in the second great Arab Revolt of the 20th century, from 1936-1939. In this episode of the Muslim Nazis we see the power Hajj Amin al-Husseini accumulated during the 1920s start to slip through his fingers until he is yet again on the run from the British. This part of our story takes us from Palestine to Syria to Iraq. It is Iraq where al-Husseini manages to get himself deeply involved in the coup that brought the British down to bear on Iraq's new government, a government supported by another imperial power beginning to make its moves in Europe. And what ultimately follows such a dramatic confrontation is so devastating that the only word that can sufficiently describe it is in Arabized Kurdish. That word is farhud, translated as “violent dispossession”, though it could also reasonably be simplified into one word: disaster. History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:Benjamin BernierElias BorotaMiklos BuksaMatthew DakusKyle DillonGavin EdwardsKevin GonyNathan GrotePeter HauckDevin HrehaMike KalninsBenjamin LeeJose MartinezMike MaylebenJudy McCoidMonicaKostas MorosRyan MortensonBen MullenMolly PanJake PetersenEdmund PlamowskiPJ RaderGleb RadutskyJon André SætherAlison SaloSamEmily SchmidtCameron SmithJared Cole TempleSteve UhlerRicky WortheyF. YouHistory Impossible has also launched a storefront where you get History Impossible goodies, including shirts, mugs, and stickers. More designs will be uploaded in the coming months, but get your History Impossible gear over at TeePublic now; just click the link and you'll be taken there.https://www.teepublic.com/stores/the-history-impossible-storefront?utm_campaign=23070&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=The%2BHistory%2BImpossible%2BStorefrontFinal note: If you want to skip the opening housekeeping, jump ahead to 11:30.