4The German Lusitania Medal Scores One for Allies, Bad Taste
The Lusitania was a super classy luxury ship that was (SPOILER ALERT) a lot like the Titanic in that it was big, fancy, built in the United Kingdom, and launched back when ladies still wore whale bones to pinch their insides into coke bottle shapes.
Also like the Titanic, the Lusitania got sunk by an iceberg. Except that this iceberg was shaped like a torpedo and was shot from a German U-Boat. This caused U.S. sentiment to turn against the Germans and join the Allies during World War I.
This kicked off a crucial propaganda battle, since according to Germany, the sinking of the Lusitania was fair game because it wasn't just loaded with rich civilian passengers, but was also filled to the brim with war weapons (it turns out they were partially right, but no one would prove it until 2008). And to commemorate the thoroughly justified murder of over 1200 civilians, a German sculptor named Karl Goetz crafted a medal for the German government.
Having businessmen barter with a hellspawn skeleton should really rally support for... someone.
The medal depicted the ship sinking underneath the weight of a mass of armaments, and the backside featured nothing less than a boatload of capitalists laughing it up and purchasing their tickets to hell from Skeletor Ticketmaster. Above this totally not horrific imagery is the phrase "Business Above All." Everyone who sees one of these babies will know what really happened!
So What Went Wrong?
You would have thought that with all the detail he crammed into five centimeters of metal, Goetz would at least have made sure he got everything right. It's not like this medal was commemorating anything important, or that its mass production would completely destroy Germany chances of sympathy with neutral nations.
Oh wait, no. It totally did that. With just one little number.
The Lusitania was sunk on the 7th of May, 1915, but Goetz used May 5 after a newspaper printed the wrong date of the sinking. This was a big deal. The only justification Germany had with their attack was that it was a purely defensive tactic made on the spur of the moment to prevent arms being illegally transported to Britain. The date change seemed to suggest that the whole event was premeditated.
The British seized on this mistake and started recreating these medals like fevered rabbits, thereby avoiding publicity about their own little illegal naval blockade issue. The reproduced medal got shipped to the U.S., and then the Americans started reproducing the medal as well. And then the U.S. joined the war against Germany. That's when Karl Goetz looked really stupid.
3Actress is Just Too Likable to be Anti-Nazi
Back when the pinnacle of entertainment was to go to the movies to be told how to think and act, the Third Reich created the first Odd Couple drama series. Except instead of hijinks and humor, there were just good Nazis and bad Nazis.
We are of the opinion that the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi, or in some situations, an undead Nazi.
The series was called Leise und Miese, "Liza and Lousy," proving that what Germans lack in situational comedy, they more than make up for in snappy writing.
So Leise und Meise were all about teaching audiences how to be good and patriotic citizens. As you may have guessed, "Lousy" was supposed to embody the terrible things that were discouraged by the government, such as listening to enemy radio stations and stockpiling food.
The last act actually seems quite sensible for a wartime situation, but then the only experience we've had with saving goods up in wartime is stealing ammo from other players in Call of Duty.
So What Went Wrong?
Their casting director picked the wrong bad girl. They hired Brigitte Mira, an actress who was just starting out but who managed to turn her "bad" character into a sympathetic woman. Whether this was through incredible acting skills or by just being smoking hot is unconfirmed, but since her career managed to span eight decades, we're guessing mainly the former. Seeing audiences warm to Brigitte got up the producer's nose and the series was soon canceled.
Americans would take the opposite view and give the worst characters their own show.
What makes this all the more remarkable was not that she lived to the grand old age of 95, it was the fact that she survived Germany at all. See, Brigitte Mira's Father was Jewish, making her one of the ballsiest half-Jewish, pro-Nazi actresses in history.