Watch Naz (1)
And keep in mind while you watch that this entire film was made before the war, before the annexation of Austria, before the invasion of Poland, before there was any policy of Lebensraum, and even before the exclusionary and discriminatory laws against Jews. At this stage of its descent into barbarism, it was just a political movement, without overtly warlike ambitions. Germany was being Nazified based on ideology alone. This allows us to have a close look at the composite parts of its praxis and belief structure, stripped of its later imperialism, genocidal policies, and eventual death.
Watch Naz (1)
Jerry, George and Elaine visit a new soup stand. Jerry explains that the owner, Yev Kassem, is known as the "Soup Nazi" due to his insistence on a strict manner of behavior while placing an order, but his soups are so outstandingly delicious that the stand is constantly busy. En route, Elaine notices a man on the sidewalk with an armoire for sale. She forgoes the soup in favor of buying it. However, her building superintendent informs her that furniture move-ins are not allowed on Sundays, so she asks Kramer to watch the armoire and promises to get soup from Kassem for him in return. While she is away, two men intimidate Kramer and steal the armoire.
The Soup Nazi was portrayed by Larry Thomas. Thomas, who did not realize that the character was based on a real person, received the inspiration for his portrayal from watching Lawrence of Arabia and studying Omar Sharif's accent.
There wasn't much to laugh about. In true Hollywood tradition I could have hit the bottle, or worse, but I sought solace in shopping. And it was on one summer afternoon as I was wandering along Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, that my eye was caught by a tray of what Americans call estate watches. Here they are known simply as second-hand, although I prefer 'previously used'.
I was drawn to a small, simple and beautiful Longines Art Deco wristwatch. I was in a buying mood. Could this watch cheer me up? Would it take my mind off having to return to Paramount Studios on Monday morning to spend the week with a group of American comedy writers who were driving me nuts? Who said Hollywood was glamorous?
The watch was $200. I tried it on. It suited me. I left the shop 20 minutes later with the watch on my wrist and a smile on my face. I couldn't stop staring at it although never once did I wonder whom it might have belonged to, or how it came to be in the shop window. What I did wonder was whether it would lift my spirits during what was becoming the loneliest time of my life.
I wore the watch for the rest of my time in Hollywood and long after I escaped and returned to Britain. Friends commented on it: 'They don't make watches like that any more.' Then in 1993, I treated myself to a modern chronograph and put the Longines in a bank deposit box, where it lay for nearly ten years.
In 2002 I started wearing the Longines again. I had forgotten how simple and beautiful it was. But I quickly realised it was losing between eight and ten minutes each day. I decided to take it to a City of London watch repairer.
I won't say I wasn't shocked. Being Jewish, all the more so. I couldn't tell anyone I was wearing a Nazi watch. I would never be forgiven. I asked the watch repairer: 'Who was 'JVR'? And what was the swastika all about? He wasn't prepared to hazard a guess but suggested that if I was really interested I should take the watch to one of the famous London auction houses. They had experts there. They would be able to tell me.
Being an impassioned reader of modern history, I knew a little about Von Ribbentrop: that he had been Hitler's friend and fixer, the German ambassador to Great Britain and Nazi Germany's Foreign Minister. He was the man who signed the Von Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, which effectively gave the green light to Germany to start the Second World War. And who knows, he was probably wearing my watch as he was signing the document.
But to return to the watch. It was explained to me that it was essential to leave no doubt that the back of the watch wasn't a forgery and tests would have to be conducted to establish that the gold on the back of the watch was made at the same time as the gold on the front. Gold specialists would examine the watch, as would Longines in Geneva. Furthermore, Longines might also be able to confirm when the watch was made and where it was sold.
Five months passed before I heard from the auction house. Much to my astonishment (and secret wish) it was confirmed that my watch was genuine. It did belong to Von Ribbentrop. It was bought, we know not by whom, in Berlin in 1930, and best of all, so I was informed, it could be exceedingly valuable.
I understood this to mean there would be an auction of telephone bids from anonymous and faceless men in double-breasted suits. While digesting this information I asked Sotheby's how they imagined the watch ended up in an estate watch shop in California. The suggestion was that it might well have been stolen from Von Ribbentrop by US guards while the old Nazi was awaiting execution in his Nuremberg death cell. It made sense to me.
What a Christmas present! I could be sitting on a fifty grand watch and there were better things to do with the money than wear it on my wrist. There was no denying I liked the watch, but I wasn't sure I liked it that much. Perhaps I should sell it and put the money to better use.
It didn't occur to me at that time that this watch would bring furtive Nazis out of the woodwork; men, or women, who would pay a fortune just to get a little closer to a regime that they wished had survived and flourished.
So why was his watch so very collectable? Well, it could have been because he was the first Nazi war criminal hanged at the Nuremberg War Trials. It should have been prisoner number one, Hermann Goering, but he took poison in his cell. Prisoner number two was Rudolf Hess, but he convinced the judges he was off his trolley and so escaped the noose and was given life imprisonment.
Prisoner number three was old Von Ribbentrop, who was found guilty of crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It doesn't get any worse than that. Von Ribbentrop died at the end of a rope. Perhaps this fact increased the watch's value?
Now it was time to make some difficult moral decisions. Should I put the watch into auction, even though it was dripping in Jewish blood? And being a Jew, my decision was made more difficult. I realised I needed to discuss my dilemma with somebody who might offer some spiritual guidance.
So I imparted the story to Maurice Gran, my co-writer on what became hit British television comedies for us, such as The New Statesman and Birds Of A Feather. His first reaction was: 'How can you possibly sell this watch?' 'Why not?' I asked.
'Because what would you do with the proceeds? It's Nazi money.' I could see Maurice had made a strong point. I also recognised that Maurice was becoming my conscience. I started scrambling around for reasons why I could sell the watch.
I couldn't believe what I was saying. Maurice had an astonished look on his face. He didn't have to say anything because I understood that I was making a fool of myself. I was trying to salve my own conscience just so that I could sell the damned watch.
I was left with my quandary for many months. It was Maurice who came up with the idea: 'Put the watch back in the safe. Don't sell it. We could write a play about your predicament and with a bit of luck the play will make us more than the value of the watch.'
There was no question that the story contained all the dramatic elements of a fine play. Its central conundrum should be: 'What does a Jew do when he suddenly discovers that he is wearing a Nazi watch, particularly if he desperately needs the money?'
While researching the lack of Panerai modders (as opposed to Rolex modders), I stumbled across an article by the improbably named Jose Pereztroika at perezcope.com. Modified Panerai 3646 with Solid Lugs opened my eyes to an important chapter in the history of Panerai and Rolex. It starts with a confrontation between Italian watchmaker Giuseppe Panerai and Nazi Lieutenant Commander Heinz Schomburg . . .
Schomburg came for the first time to Florence to collect a batch of underwater watches that had been ordered and paid for by Decima MAS. Giuseppe later received information that the whole lot had been distributed among the German unit. The Decima MAS had not received a single watch.
Swiss watch brands had to accept watch orders from the German armed forces in order to survive. Rolex strictly refused doing business with Nazi Germany. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder and chairman of Rolex [above], was of German descent, but British at heart.
Eugenio Wolk [second from right, rear], the commander of the Italian Gruppo Gamma combat swimmer unit in Valdagno . . . contacted Giuseppe and asked him to order 35 watches more for new Italians recruits, and hide them from the Germans.
Related, the Hodinkee thread ( -pam721-radiomir-3-days-acciaio-introducing) on the intro of the watch is great; Jack comes in and shuts the discussion down almost immediately when it strays onto the topic that this watch was made for Fascist militaries.
Officials in multiple states are taking aggressive steps to protect voters from efforts by militias or other armed groups seeking to congregate near polling places on Election Day, as simmering online activity indicates that some groups are trying to register as campaign poll watchers for Donald Trump's campaign.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a statement, also on Friday, that reiterated guidance for local law enforcement to help protect voters. Poll watchers \"may not harass or intimidate voters, engage in electioneering, cause disturbances at polling places or challenge voters based on their race or ethnicity or how they are expected to vote,\" the statement said.
The measures come as online accounts tied to neo-Nazi sympathizers and \"alt-right\" groups such as the Proud Boys have been generating posts that encourage supporters to join the campaign's Election Day operations, according to two new reports this week. That includes sending out links to poll-watching registration sites for the Trump campaign's so-called Army for Trump, an effort working to recruit thousands of supports to sign up as poll watchers for the campaign on Election Day. 041b061a72