History Impossible
Infinitesimal Impossibilities 03: The Warlord‘s Cook

Infinitesimal Impossibilities 03: The Warlord‘s Cook

September 28, 2021

The Infinitesimal Impossibilities subseries returns with the first part of a multi-part series in which Molly and Alex look at some of the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century...from the perspective of their personal chefs. 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). 

In this first installment, 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 Adamcik
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  • F. You
The Muslim Nazis V: Taking Hitler By The Hand

The Muslim Nazis V: Taking Hitler By The Hand

September 3, 2021
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 Borota
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Escaping Farhud: The Joseph Samuels Story

Escaping Farhud: The Joseph Samuels Story

July 22, 2021

Sometimes the best way to convey the weight of history is to read the words of just one person who lived it.

In this special episode of History Impossible, we'll be looking at the life of Joseph Samuels, whose incredible journey and profound resilience throughout his 90 plus years on this planet deserved examination. From the dusty streets of Baghdad, where he escaped the first and worst massacre of Iraqi Jewish history as a boy, to his dangerous flight to the new Jewish home of Israel, to his search for meaning in his life and his discovery of love and success that took him from Jerusalem to Montreal and finally to Los Angeles. And despite all the horror that haunted his childhood as he escaped the Farhud, he never once took life for granted and was always grateful for his good fortune.

As Samuels himself wrote in his memoir, "Make your life your own chain of miracles."

History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:

  • Benjamin Bernier
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  • Devin Hreha
  • Mike Kalnins
  • Benjamin Lee
  • Trevor Lindborg
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  • Mike Mayleben
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  • Kostas Moros
  • Ryan Mortenson
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The Muslim Nazis IV: Farhud

The Muslim Nazis IV: Farhud

May 31, 2021
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 Bernier
  • Elias Borota
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  • Gavin Edwards
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  • Nathan Grote
  • Peter Hauck
  • Devin Hreha
  • Mike Kalnins
  • Benjamin Lee
  • Jose Martinez
  • Mike Mayleben
  • Judy McCoid
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  • Jon André Sæther
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  • Sam
  • Emily Schmidt
  • Cameron Smith
  • Jared Cole Temple
  • Steve Uhler
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  • F. You

History 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%2BStorefront

Final note: If you want to skip the opening housekeeping, jump ahead to 11:30.

The Muslim Nazis III: Nineteen Twenty Nine

The Muslim Nazis III: Nineteen Twenty Nine

April 27, 2021
1929 was, in a lot of ways, the year the world began its final descent into hell. The stock market crash in the United States would lead to untold misery in much of the Western world and allow for the rise and spread of particularly noxious ideologies across the whole of Europe.
 
However, on the other side of the world, another "beginning of the end" was taking place, this time between the Jews and Arabs of Palestine, with the events that rocked this tiny nation setting the groundwork for suspicions, resentments, and hatreds for the decades to come.
 
In the third episode of the tale of the Muslim Nazis, we follow Hajj Amin al-Husseini into his diplomatic battle with the British Mandate of Palestine and his role (or lack thereof?) in this explosion of violence and destruction in his homeland. We see events slipping out of his control that he believed he possessed, all while he fights every battle everywhere in his mind. We see him struggle to maintain his status and play both sides of the conflict as best as he can in order to secure his place at the power broker table.
 
And above all, we see him make his full transformation into the phase of his life that was defined by his thirst for more power.
 
Music credit first goes to Alex Mason for his song "Beginning". Music credit also goes to Ernesto Schnack for his rendition of "The Light of the Seven"; check out his YouTube channel and subscribe (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz1PeIEiNkKRwWDKFA6RkzQ).
 
History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:
  • Benjamin Bernier
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The Muslim Nazis II: The Mufti

The Muslim Nazis II: The Mufti

April 7, 2021

"Palestine is my country and the country of my ancestors—I will sacrifice myself for the sake of its sons."

—Hajj Amin al-Husseini

In the second episode of History Impossible's first series, we'll be diving head first into the early life of our story's central character, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the future Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in Palestine.

We'll see how he developed his identity as a Palestinian nationalist from a very early age and the activities this passion led him to pursue. We'll look at what he did at the outbreak of the First World War and how his allegiances began to form. We'll look at his rapid ascent to power in the British Mandate following the war, and how he began to clash with these colonial masters. We'll even see the groundwork being laid by a man who would come to be known—fairly or otherwise—as a man behind whom riots and destruction tended to follow.

This is the early life story of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Petyr Baelish of Palestine.

History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:
  • Benjamin Bernier
  • Elias Borota
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  • Ron Cohen
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  • Kyle Dillon
  • Gavin Edwards
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  • Russell Johnson
  • Mike Kalnins
  • Benjamin Lee
  • Viktor Littmarck
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  • Mike Mayleben
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  • Monica
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  • Molly Pan
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  • Alison Salo
  • Sam
  • Emily Schmidt
  • Cameron Smith
  • George Smith
  • Jared Cole Temple
  • Steve Uhler
  • Ricky Worthey
  • F. You

(If you don't want the housekeeping/updates at the beginning, skip ahead to 8 minutes and enjoy!)

The Muslim Nazis I: Early Adventures with Imperial German Islamophilia

The Muslim Nazis I: Early Adventures with Imperial German Islamophilia

January 22, 2021
"The peoples of Islam will always be closer to us than, for example, France. ... Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poiters, then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world."
-Adolf Hitler
 
The first episode of History Impossible's first series introduces one of the most controversial aspects of Nazi Germany's strategy in the Second World War: its implementation of Muslims. Where one could simply write it off as mere opportunism--a claim that isn't without some truth--there was a much deeper connection between the two cultures fabricated by figures operating within them.
 
In this series premiere, the Islamic soldiers who would fight for Hitler's army and even begin to develop a reputation are introduced and then the early days of Imperial German-Islamic allyship is explored. There are visits to the tomb of Saladin by the Kaiser, frantic diplomatic trips full of mishaps undertaken by German Orientalists during the First World War, and the introduction of probably one of the most underappreciated figures in both the Second World War and in the history of Israel and Palestine. 
 
This is the history of the so-called "Muslim Nazis."
 
History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:
  • Benjamin Bernier
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  • Matthew Dakus
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  • Peter Hauck
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  • Mike Kalnins
  • Benjamin Lee 
  • Jose Martinez
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  • Molly Pan
  • Edmund Plamowski
  • Brian Pritzl
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An Impossible Announcement: History Impossible in 2021

An Impossible Announcement: History Impossible in 2021

January 18, 2021

This is a quick announcement I'd like to make regarding History Impossible's immediate future, which is mostly tied up in this inaugural long-term series--a season really--which needs a bit of explaining and reassuring (specifically to folks who prefer one-off stories). In addition, I couldn't resist making a quick comment about history being essentially made on January 6th, 2021 in Washington D.C., regardless of how you interpreted the events. 

2021's future, however uncertain for a lot of people and even for the United States, is looking bright for History Impossible, so I'll be with you all the way, hopefully entertaining and enlightening you as we move into the future with this crazy and no-doubt controversial story involving Islam, the Nazis, Israel and Palestine, and Yugoslavia.

Best wishes,

Alexander von Sternberg

Please note: the first episode of this series is live on Patreon as we speak. If you want early access to the newest episodes of this series moving forward, consider supporting the show on Patreon at the $10 level or above!

An Impossible Interview IV: Aaron Sibarium, The Washington Free Beacon

An Impossible Interview IV: Aaron Sibarium, The Washington Free Beacon

December 4, 2020

The Impossible Interviews series is back with a different, but still special conversation I had with the amazingly talented and insightful Aaron Sibarium. Aaron is an associate editor over at the Washington Free Beacon, as well as a writer for various publications including National Review, Quillette, and American Purpose, the last of which published one of Aaron's essays on October 26th, 2020, the exact same day as Pandemic: Rendering a Hue and Cry was released on History Impossible's feed. The name of Aaron's essay: "The Weimarization of the American Republic." And it was completely and totally brilliant.

Aaron and I had never spoken before I reached out on Twitter to arrange this interview. He had no idea who I was and until I started reading his work, I had no idea who he was. And yet we had largely come to the same conclusion regarding America's current moment in the historical context, completely independent of one another. It was too much to pass up talking to this guy so, as I just said, I reached out and the conversation we had is what follows here.

This is much more of a "current events" style episode, though it's all very firmly rooted in history, both recent and in the Weimar era. After getting into some of Aaron's background and the growing power of the successor ideology to left-liberalism (of which Aaron was at ground zero while attending Yale), we discuss how similar the current moment is to that of the Weimar period and more importantly, how it differs. And as an added bonus, we spent some time discussing another topic Aaron has covered, which is post-liberalism from a conservative perspective and how it's recently manifested itself, and frankly, just where the hell we go from here.

It's an incredibly fascinating conversation and I'm really thankful to Aaron for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with me, so please enjoy! I also encourage everyone to check out Aaron's work and follow him on Twitter @AaronSibarium.

History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:
  • Elias Borota
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  • Tyler Livingston 
  • Jose Martinez
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Infinitesimal Impossibilities 02: The Mad Madame of New Orleans

Infinitesimal Impossibilities 02: The Mad Madame of New Orleans

November 20, 2020
History Impossible is back sooner than some may have anticipated for another installment of the Infinitesimal Impossibilities series, this time recorded in the spirit (and in the last hours) of Halloween 2020.
 
This time, we cover a story that takes place in early 19th century New Orleans. It begins with a fire, or rather perhaps concludes with one. A large mansion whose hosts had been entertaining guests, catches fire from its upstairs kitchen. As people pour into the streets to watch the blaze, they see one of the slaves screaming from an upstairs window before she is engulfed in flames.
 
When the fire brigade arrives, they demand to enter the premises to put out the remaining flames and check for survivors. The owner of the home, a Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and her husband, Dr. LaLaurie, wave away such suggestions. The fire brigade nevertheless gets their wish and enters the home, searching for survivors. After breaking open a secret door, the horrors they encounter on the other side beggar belief.
 
Just as they discover the secret room, Dr. and Madame LaLaurie are spirited away in a carriage, never to be seen again.
 
Who was Madame LaLaurie? Who was her husband, the good doctor? What was found behind the secret door? To where did this couple from the cream of the New Orleans high society crop disappear? Why did people come to believe the rebuilt mansion and its grounds were haunted? How much of the stories spun about the Mad Madame, as she came to be known, are even true? How does Nicolas Cage fit into all this? This will all be answered and more in this next installment of Infinitesimal Impossibilities.
 
History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal:
  • Elias Borota
  • Matthew Dakus
  • Kyle Dillon
  • Gavin Edwards
  • Peter Hauck
  • Devin Hreha
  • Mike Kalnins
  • Benjamin Lee
  • Tyler Livingston 
  • Jose Martinez
  • Mike Mayleben
  • Judy McCoid
  • Kostas Moros
  • Molly Pan
  • Jake Petersen
  • John Pisano
  • Edmund Plamowski
  • Brian Pritzl
  • PJ Rader
  • Alison Salo
  • Sam
  • Emily Schmidt
  • Steve Uhler
  • Ricky Worthey
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