Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

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Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:19 am

Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past: King Ludwig II designed the castle as an isolated refuge. That's what made it the perfect depot for hiding Nazi stolen art. George Clooney's 'The Monuments Men' sheds light on Neuschwanstein's role in World War II.



This much we know: Walt Disney visited Nazi Germany in 1935…. it is a fact that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland closely resembles Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle, right down to the last spinning wheel.

-- The Naziest Place on Earth, by Dan Pine, The Jewish News

The Sleeping Beauty Castle sits in the centre of Disneyland and took inspiration from King Ludwig's castleCredit: Alamy

Built in 1869, it inspired Walt Disney to build his own version at Disneyland after travelling to the castle with his wife during a trip to Europe. Walt and his wife Lillian visited the castle when they were on a tour of Europe before Disneyland was built. They loved it so much that they used elements in the Sleeping Beauty castle which you’ll find nowadays at Disneyland....which is also the castle they fly over in 1968's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The castle also features in 1968's Chitty Chitty Bang BangCredit: Rex Features

-- The German castle that was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle – and you can visit it yourself, by Rosie Gizauskas, The Sun

Neuschwanstein castle, Photo: picture-alliance/Bildagentur Huber

Splashed across postcards, travel guides and even Walt Disney products, "the castle of the fairy-tale king" lures more than a million visitors each year. Its instigator, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, was declared insane and later drowned a mysterious death in 1886. Weeks later, Neuschwanstein opened its doors to the public and remains a top tourist attraction in Germany today.

But the fairy-tale fortress has its own Nazi past, illuminated most recently in George Clooney's World War II drama, "The Monuments Men." The film follows an Allied special forces unit tasked with protecting and tracking down Europe's stolen treasures during the Second World War.

Black and white engagement postcard of King Ludwig II, left, who broke off his engagement to Duchess Sophie and lived in solitude most his life Photo: photo alliance / dpa

Eccentric King Ludwig II didn't construct the whimsical Neuschwanstein for royal purposes: He designed it as a hideaway from the public. In a perverse twist of the king's intentions, this is precisely what the Nazis did here with art plundered from their victims: hide it from the public.

Hitler's orders

"Search lodges, libraries and archives of the occupied territories for material valuable to Germany," Hitler ordered the Rosenberg taskforce - his exclusive art-looting team - in a 1940 transcript after German troops stormed neighboring France. Hitler's dream was to build a "Führer's Museum" in Linz, Austria, with the plundered treasures.

Between 1940 and 1945, Nazi officials funneled stolen valuables to various locations throughout Germany including monasteries, salt mines and castles.

Neuschwanstein was isolated and close to Austria, where Hitler wanted to build his museum

"Neuschwanstein castle was chosen as headquarters of the 'Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg,' the German art-looting organization," said art historian Tanja Bernsau. Its location near the Austrian border, and far from Berlin or other likely Allied targets, made Neuschwanstein an ideal depot.

Although it was built to mirror a medieval structure, the architectural gem featured the latest technology of its time: central heating, flushing toilets and an electric bell system for summoning servants. The cornerstone stone was laid in 1868, but the castle remained unfinished, which meant ample space for storage.

Art espionage

Scene from 'The Monuments Men' Photo: 2013 Twentieth Century Fox. In the film, 'The Monuments Men,' Rose Valland is played by Cate Blanchett, right

Most of the looted property stored in Neuschwanstein stemmed from France, and it was the French connection that ultimately led the US army to the castle.

Before his death in 2006, Monuments Man and art historian S. Lane Faison, Jr. described the discovery in an interview for the Archives of American Art. The key, he said, was French curator Rose Valland.

"She pretended to be a [Nazi] collaborator," Faison said of Rose Valland, who worked at the Jeu de Paume Museum, one of the Nazis' central collection points before they shipped stolen wares to Germany. For four years, Valland secretly tracked where the art was being shipped.

The van Eyck 'The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,' pictured above, from 1432 was among the stolen pieces at Neuschwanstein Photo: picture alliance/akg-images

Storming the hideout

Rose Valland's reports led the Allies to the Bavarian castle. When US troops descended upon Neuschwanstein in 1945, a vast collection of index cards, lists and slides were discovered, detailing about 21,000 stolen items. Among them was the Gent altarpiece from the Van Eyck brothers, the private jewelry and furniture collection of the Rothschild family, and the gold and silver works of David-Weill.

A current exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute's Archives of American Art highlights some of these World War II art rescue missions. "Monuments Men: On the Front Line to Save Europe's Art, 1942–1946," features black-and-white photographs of soldiers handling crates at a snow-covered Neuschwanstein.

"They would have preferred to leave the artworks in the castle to organize the restitution to France from there," art historian Tanja Bernsau said. "But as most of the contents in Neuschwanstein were stored uncrated and were valuable gold and silver works, they decided to relocate them for security reasons."

Black-and-white photo of two American soldiers with a painting found in Neuschwanstein in 1945 Photo: Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Getty Images
US soldiers brought the treasures to safety in 'Central Art Collecting Points'

Rescue and restitution

Thus, the crates were relocated to US-directed Central Art Collecting Points, which were tasked with restitution, or tracking down the treasures' original owners.

"And that's where the huge task started," said Iris Lauterbach of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich. "The works of art had to be inventoried, photographed and restituted one by one. American and German art historians and secretaries worked together to restitute tens of thousands of pieces."

S. Lane Faison returned to Germany in 1951 to supervise the handover of US operations to the Germans and was struck by the enormity of the task.

"One of the saddest problems was that acres, I think you might say, of furniture just went on and on and on, piled up to the ceiling…and chairs, tables, household things, everything you could think of known to have come from Jewish sources," Faison said. "But what do you do? And if somebody lost six Louis XV chairs, which ones were they? And did we have them? There was no way - you can't identify such things."

Matt Damon, left, and George Clooney, right, in a scene from the movie, 'Monuments Men' Photo: 2013 Twentieth Century Fox
It may not be historically accurate, but 'The Monuments Men' brings awareness to the operation

Battle continues

Identification and art restitution work continues in Germany today. Recent discoveries of potentially stolen art continue to hit the headlines, and "The Monuments Men" film, recently premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, also sheds light on those responsible for preserving art in war. Nevertheless, Clooney's drama has its critics.

"I didn't like the film," Iris Lauterbach said. She appreciates the awareness the drama brings, but she questions whether a layperson can process the intricacies of the European war theater, the locations, the art involved. "The film pretends to be based on a true story, but it contains too many fictitious elements."

Black-and-white photo of a soldier pulling back a covering over a stolen Fragonard painting Photo: Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Getty Images
Neuschwanstein's role in Nazi Germany is not mentioned in tours of the castle

Those looking for the details in a tour of Neuschwanstein won't learn more either. Castle tours include King Ludwig II's lavish bedroom, an artificial dripstone cave...

The castle’s interior is whimsical; the artfully adorned walls roll out murals depicting biblical narratives, German legends and mythology mainly based upon operas created by Richard Wagner, the king’s beloved composer. In a sense, Neuschwanstein Castle plays as a tribute to Wagner’s theatrical stories and is the result of Ludwig’s obsession to breathe life to all of his works.
As soon as you enter “the cave”....
which leads to his elaborately decorated bedroom, you will certainly begin imagining how in the world this part of the castle was built with the limited resources and knowledge of technology during that period. A dripstone cave with waterfalls illuminated by color changing mood lights? Mind blown.

-- How Neuschwanstein Castle Became the Proof That Dreams are Only Dreams Until You Make It Real, by Sarah In Real Life

... and the modern-for-its-time kitchen. But there's no mention of the castle's role in Germany's dark chapter.

"We're not trying to hide that fact," said castle spokesperson Thomas Rainer. Management wants to confront the castle's role in Nazi history, he added. The director of the Bavarian Palace Museum department recently wrote an essay on the topic of art rescue sites during World War II.

"But we have more than a million visitors per year and very strict regular tours that last 30 minutes," Rainer said. "We focus on what we can during that time."
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:02 am

It's a Small World (Full Ride) Disneyland
by EvanTubeHD
October 20, 2012





The Totenkopf (death’s head) was one of the most readily recognized symbols of the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS), Adolf Hitler’s elite black guard and ideal Teutonic knighthood, along with other select Germanic political and armed forces of the Third Reich period. The distinctive insignia were worn as cap or collar devices on many unique paramilitary and military uniforms. But despite the strong association with Hitler’s State, death’s head insignia were in use many years prior to the Nazi Party coming into being.

Storm trooper units wore a death’s head design, such as one over crossed grenade and mace.

One of the first recorded accounts of the skull and cross bones in German military history was in the early half of the 17th century during the Thirty Years War when Bavarian troopers, known as the “Invincibles” wore black uniforms with white Totenkopfs on their helmets. During the reign of Fredrick the Great in the late 18th century, a Prussian Hussar (light cavalry) regiment was formed that wore similarly imposing black uniforms with Totenkopfs affixed to the front of their high caps. These insignias were meant to strike fear into their opponents, by demonstrating that the wearer’s duty outweighed his regard for personal safety (an affront to death), while at the same time signifying his loyalty to the monarchy at all costs “unto death.”

Traditional death’s head badges were worn by various units in The Great War.

When, Friedrich Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, was killed in 1815 during the Napoleonic wars, his grave was guarded for many years afterward by members of his Brunswick Cavalry Regiment who wore the death’s head as a sign of mourning for the fallen leader. Select German cavalry units continued to wear the death’s head insignia throughout the remainder of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The first type SS cap badge followed the design of the older traditional badges.

During WWI, Totenkopf insignia was used by a number of German units such as the Black Hussars, Black Brunswickers, and the 21st Battalion of the Chasseurs. In addition, men of the Sturmtruppen (assault troops or “storm troopers”) units of the German army wore various Totenkopf insignia to show their voracity in battle. These elite combat forces were highly trained in infiltration and the hand-to-hand combat needed to break the long and costly stalemates that characterized trench warfare. Meanwhile, in the air above the trenches, some German aviators painted death’s head insignias on the fuselages of their aircraft, demonstrating their prowess in battle as agents of death to the enemy above and below.

The final SS death’s head design was a realistic skull produced for headgear in plated metal or aluminum.

Following the Great War, the German nationalist veterans’ paramilitary group, Der Stahlhelm (Steel helmet), painted Totenkopf insignia on their helmets, equipment, and vehicles. The Totenkopf could be seen when these units organized, paraded, and fought in the streets during the chaotic unrest of the Weimer government.

RZM and manufacturer’s markings were often cast onto the reverse of SS Totenkopf cap badges.

In the early days of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP – Nazi Party), Adolf Hitler ordered that a small group of unquestioningly loyal party members become his personal guard unit for the many rallies and gatherings at which he spoke. In 1923, this group adopted the Totenkopf on their headgear as a sign of the emblem’s past royal parentage, and to show their loyalty to the leader. Through time, the small guard eventually evolved into the SS which wore the death’s head emblems as part of both their Allgemeine (general – black) and Waffen (armed – gray-green) uniforms and headgear.

Some panzer units wore traditional style death’s heads on their collar tabs.

The construction of the SS death’s head transformed over time. The earliest took the form of a rounded, traditional jawless skull over short crossed bones. This was worn from 1923 until 1934. The second, a more realistic human skull complete with a jaw and short femur tips protruding from the back, as in use from 1935 to 1945.

When produced in metal for cap or collar tab usage, the first type was often constructed of zinc or other alloys, while the second type came in plated metal or polished alloys. Each had prongs soldered or crimped to the reverse for mounting, while the later models often contained manufacturer codes and “Reichszeugmeisterei” (RZM – government control agency ) markings.

Officers could purchase privately manufactured death’s head items such as this SS cuff link.

In addition to the SS, certain German Army and Luftwaffe armored divisions also wore the Totenkopf emblems on their uniform collar tabs, as well as other varieties worn on caps by Brunswick units as a traditions badge.

An official jewelry item was the SS ring which featured a Totenkopf and runic symbols around the exterior.

All of these devices were dutifully worn by their bearers until the bloody hostilities of the European front came to an end. The new, free Germany eliminated the Totenkopf from is uniforms after Adolf Hitler and his brutal dictatorship were terminated by the allies.

-- Totenkpf: Nazi German's "Death Head," by Chris William


The red cross on a white background, was associated with the Knights Templar, and by 1188, the English and French troops of Phillip II of France and Henry II of England, proudly displayed it, as part of their tunic. It became a symbol, worn by many troops, announcing they be warriors fighting crusades in the Holy Land. -- Knights Templar: St. George's Cross, by Crusader History

Who was Lanz von Liebenfels, and how did he manage such an emotional impact on young Hitler?...His Order of the New Templars was an occult lodge that met at a ruined castle high on a cliff over the Danube -- the eerie Burg Werfenstein in Upper Austria, a few miles upriver from Hitler's childhood home -- among other sites. The members wore white, surplice-style robes emblazoned with the red cross of the Templars, a cross that von Liebenfels believed was formed of two, superimposed and counter-rotating, swastikas....According to von Liebenfels, however, the solution to the problem of the incipient physical and spiritual degeneration of the Aryan race was not hatha yoga or Transcendental Meditation but the creation of a new priesthood of the Holy Grail; a new Knights Templar of the German Blood (for that was, according to von Liebenfels, what the Grail represented). As for the inferior races? They were to be deported; or incinerated as a sacrifice to God; or simply used as slave labor. All of these proposals -- from Knights Templar to slave labor, from Holy Grail to crematoria -- were to be accepted, incorporated, and expanded upon by Adolf Hitler personally, and by the Third Reich as official policy. It was also von Liebenfels who proposed that the finest specimens of Aryan males should mate indiscriminately with the finest specimens of Aryan females in specially controlled and tightly monitored villages in order to create the super race. This would, of course, be a cause taken up by Himmler's Lebensborn organization to which every SS officer was expected to belong. Lanz von Liebenfels and his mentor Guido von List can be viewed as archetypal Social Darwinists and the Third Reich as Social Darwinism carried to its logical conclusion. Similar to the rationale behind the race eugenics programs in the United States (which also influenced American immigration policies, both of which the Nazis regarded with admiration and approval), it was an ideology of the survival of the fittest, and the enslavement and destruction of the weakest, from Jews to women, from the mentally and physically handicapped to the aged, from Slavs and Gypsies to Communists.

-- Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement With the Occult, by Peter Levenda

Form of Cross Pattée used on German military aircraft in 1915. -- Luftstreitkräfte, by Wikipedia

The Iron Cross is a former military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and Nazi Germany (1933–1945). It was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia on 17 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars (EK 1813). -- Iron Cross, by Wikipedia

Kortzfleisch reveals to Obi that he is a Vril, a race of Reptilians that arrived on Earth during the age of the dinosaurs. While studying the primates that emerged during prehistory, Kortzfleisch created humankind by injecting vrilia into an apple and feeding it to his monkeys Adam and Eve. The Vril have since gone underground to the center of the Earth once mankind had evolved. Kortzfleisch offers Obi a mission to travel to the subterranean city of Agartha and take the city's Vrilia to ensure the survival of her colony. -- Iron Sky, by Wikipedia


The Reichsadler ("Imperial Eagle") is the heraldic eagle, derived from the Roman eagle standard, used by the Holy Roman Emperors and in modern coats of arms of Germany, including those of the Second German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (Nazi Germany, 1933–1945). -- Reichsadler, by Wikipedia

W. E. Coleman has shown that her work comprises a sustained and frequent plagiarism of about one hundred contemporary texts, chiefly relating to ancient and exotic religions, demonology, Freemasonry and the case for spiritualism. Behind these diverse traditions, Madame Blavatsky discerned the unique source of their inspiration: the occult lore of ancient Egypt. Her fascination with Egypt as the fount of all wisdom arose from her enthusiastic reading of the English author Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton. His novel The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) had been conceived of as a narrative of the impact of the Isis cult in Rome during the first century AD. His later works, Zanoni (1842), A Strange Story (1862), and The Coming Race (1871), also dwelt on esoteric initiation and secret fraternities dedicated to occult knowledge in a way which exercised an extraordinary fascination on the romantic mind of the nineteenth century. -- The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Arisophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935, by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

-- James S. Corum, "The Old Eagle as Phoenix: The Luftstreitkrufte Creates an Operational Air War Doctrine, 1919-1920

[T]here was a tradition of anti-Jewish sentiment in the Islamic world that went back to the seventh century and accounts of the Prophet's dealings with the Qurayzah Jews in Medina. Even some tales added to 17th- and 18th-century manuscripts of The Arabian Nights contain foul anti-Semitic slanders. This sort of anti-Semitism persists in some Muslim circles....The Nazis, encouraged by Arab readiness to believe the worst of the Jews, considered presenting Hitler as the Mahdi before regretfully concluding that this was impossible as he did not belong to the Prophet's tribe, the Quraysh. Himmler was disappointed to find that the Qur'an did not predict Hitler's ultimate victory. -- Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, by Jeffrey Herf, Reviewed by Robert Irwin, The Independent

To return to the Nights, the stories that form part of the early core of the story collection are fairly free of anti-Semitism and there are no disparaging comments about Jewish physiognomy. For example, the Jewish doctor in the ‘Hunchback’ cycle of stories is presented as the equal of the Muslim storytellers he is with. Moreover the Nights contains several stories about pious Israelites. But some of the stories that were later added to the corpus of Nights have a nasty feel. For example, in ‘Three princes of China’, two of the princes are murdered by a Jewish community in Iraq and rolled inside mats, but when the third prince arrives, he tricks the leader of the Jews into killing his own son. In ‘Masrur and Zayn al-Mawasif’ Zayn al-Mawasif’s Jewish husband is cuckolded by Masrur and ends up being buried alive by a slave-girl. In ‘The fisherman and his son’ the fisherman gets the jinni at his command to throw a Jewish merchant into the fire. Villainous and drunken Jewish pirates feature in ‘The merchant’s daughter and the prince of al-Iraq’. -- The Dark Side of ‘The Arabian Nights’, by Robert Irwin


Famed Disney animator Art Babbitt, who worked closely with Disney, once claimed—as quoted in Peter Fotis Kapnistos’ book Hitler’s Doubles—that “in the immediate years before we entered the War [World War II] there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party…There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one I occasion I observed Walt Disney and Gunther Lessing [Disney’s lawyer] there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to these meetings all the time.” They were none other than the meetings of the German American Bund, or the American Nazi Party. Disney also personally hosted Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl when she came to promote her film Olympia in 1938, a month after the infamous assault on Jews known as Kristallnacht. Disney gave the propagandist a grand tour of his studio, and Riefenstahl even commented that it was “gratifying to learn how thoroughly proper Americans distance themselves from the smear campaigns of the Jews.” This is documented in the Steve Bach biography about the filmmaker titled Leni. -- Walt the Quasi-Nazi: The Fascist History of Disney is Still Influencing American Life, by Ryan Beitler

In 1938, on a US tour to promote the movie, Riefenstahl gushed to a reporter: “To me, Hitler is the greatest man who ever lived. He truly is without fault, so simple and at the same time possessed of masculine strength.” The timing was disastrous – a few days after her arrival in New York came Kristallnacht, when the Nazis destroyed 1,000 synagogues and imprisoned 30,000 Jews. The Hollywood invitations evaporated and she met only Walt Disney. -- A cinematic genius and Hitler favourite: the dark story of Leni Riefenstahl, by The Telegraph

In 1886 Hubbe-Schleiden stimulated a more serious awareness of occultism in Germany through the publication or a scholarly monthly periodical, Die Sphinx, which was concerned with a discussion of spiritualism, psychical research, and paranormal phenomena from a scientific point of view. Its principal contributors were eminent psychologists, philosophers and historians. Here Max Dessoir expounded hypnotism, while Eduard von Hartmann developed a philosophy of 'individualism', according to which the ego survived death as a discarnate entity, against a background of Kantian thought, Christian theology, and spiritualist speculations. Carl du Prel, the psychical researcher, and his colleague Lazar von Hellenbach, who had held seances with the famous American medium Henry Slade in Vienna, both contributed essays in a similar vein. Another important member of the Sphinx circle was Karl Kiesewetter, whose studies in the history of the post- Renaissance esoteric tradition brought knowledge of the scholar magicians, the early modern alchemists and contemporary occultism to a wider audience. While not itself theosophical, Hubbe-Schleiden's periodical was a powerful element in the German occult revival until it ceased publication in 1895....In December 1907 the Sphinx Reading Club...was founded by Franz Herndl, who wrote two occult novels and was an important member of the List Society. -- The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Arisophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935, by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

In the fall of 1911 Dietrich Eckart finished his "translation" of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt....Peer then journeys to Egypt with the idea of becoming Emperor of the World. Things go awry. He bumps into a gold-digging dancer named Anitra, who makes off with most of his money. Peer eventually winds up in a Cairo madhouse talking to a Sphinx. He prays to God, "Guardian of all madmen," but sinks into despair because "He's not listening. He's deaf as usual. That's charming! A God who won't help when you need Him." -- Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Milieu, by Joseph Howard Tyson

According to Heinar Schilling, the Germanic peoples of the Late Bronze Age had adopted a four-spoke wheel as symbolic of the sun "and this symbol has been developed into the modern swastika of our own society [i.e., Nazi Germany] which represents the sun." Under the sign of the swastika "the light bringers of the Nordic race overran the lands of the dark inferior races, and it was no coincidence that the most powerful expression of the Nordic world was found in the sign of the swastika". Very little had been preserved of the ancient rites, Professor Schilling continued, but it was a striking fact "that in many German Gaue today on Sonnenwendtage (solstice days) burning sun wheels are rolled from mountain tops down into the valleys below, and almost everywhere the Sonnenwendfeuer (solstice fires) burn on those days." He concluded by saying that "The Sun is the All-Highest to the Children of the Earth". -- Religious Aspects of Nazism, by Wikipedia

Perhaps the most central neopagan element in German volkisch movements was sun worship. [16] The worship of the sun was extolled as true ancient Teutonic religion, and while it was primarily a literary device and a powerful rhetorical metaphor for the experience of God, actual solar-worship rituals did take place among some volkisch groups during the annual summer solstice, especially between the very early 1900s and the 1930s. As a direct consequence of this Germanic neopaganism, in the 1930s the Nazi government banned the celebration of traditional Christian holidays and instead substituted others more appropriate for the "New Germany." The summer solstice was designated as one of these holidays. -- The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, by Richard Noll
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:19 am

Walt the Quasi-Nazi: The Fascist History of Disney is Still Influencing American Life
by Ryan Beitler
June 16, 2017



Photo courtesy of Getty

Since the inception of the Walt Disney Company, it’s not just the iconic images, stories, and characters that have left an indelible mark on the American psyche. The multimedia conglomerate has shaped American life in other ways, many of them derived and informed by the decidedly fascist, anti-Semitic, anti-labor union, conservative and religious perspective of Walt Disney himself.

The rumors that Walt Disney was a Nazi abound in the age of the internet, and though labeling him a National Socialist without physical proof is a bit of a stretch, there were certainly characteristics of Nazism in Disney’s politics, professional behavior, and views of social conservatism.

At best, Disney could be seen as a Nazi-sympathizer.

Political liberals tend to uphold Care and Fairness as core values, while political conservatives tend to focus on Sanctity, Loyalty, and Authority.

-- Do Conservatives or Liberals Hold More Biased Perceptions?, by Morgan Marietta Ph.D., Psychology Today

“I believed at that time that Mr. [Herbert] Sorrell [head of the Screen Cartoonists Guild] was a Communist because of all the things that I had heard and having seen his name appearing on a number of Commie front things” (Eliot 192) ...

“I looked into [David Hilberman, Strike Leader's] record and I found that, no. 1, that he had no religion and that no. 2, that he had spent considerable time at the Moscow Art Theater studying art direction, or something” (Eliot 193)...

"Well, I don’t believe [The Communist Party] is a political party. I believe it is an un-American thing. The thing that I resent the most is that they are able to get into these unions, take them over and represent to the world that a group of people that are in my plant, that I know are good, 100 percent Americans, are trapped by this group, and they are represented to the world as supporting all of those ideologies, and it is not so, and I felt that they really ought to be smoked out and shown up for what they are, so that all of the good, free causes in this country, all the liberalisms that really are American, can go out without the taint of Communism. That is my sincere feeling on it." (Eliot 193)

-- Walt Disney's testimony to HUAC, from "Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince," by Marc Eliot

Famed Disney animator Art Babbitt, who worked closely with Disney, once claimed—as quoted in Peter Fotis Kapnistos’ book Hitler’s Doubles—that “[ i]n the immediate years before we entered the War [World War II] there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party…There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one I occasion I observed Walt Disney and Gunther Lessing [Disney’s lawyer] there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to these meetings all the time.” They were none other than the meetings of the German American Bund, or the American Nazi Party.

Disney also personally hosted Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl when she came to promote her film Olympia in 1938, a month after the infamous assault on Jews known as Kristallnacht. Disney gave the propagandist a grand tour of his studio, and Riefenstahl even commented that it was “gratifying to learn how thoroughly proper Americans distance themselves from the smear campaigns of the Jews.” This is documented in the Steve Bach biography about the filmmaker titled Leni.

In 1938, on a US tour to promote the movie, Riefenstahl gushed to a reporter: “To me, Hitler is the greatest man who ever lived. He truly is without fault, so simple and at the same time possessed of masculine strength.” The timing was disastrous – a few days after her arrival in New York came Kristallnacht, when the Nazis destroyed 1,000 synagogues and imprisoned 30,000 Jews. The Hollywood invitations evaporated and she met only Walt Disney.

-- A cinematic genius and Hitler favourite: the dark story of Leni Riefenstahl, by The Telegraph

Though difficult to defend, the meeting with a prominent Nazi figure could be explained through their shared craft and business interests: both were filmmakers enlisted at different times with the task of crafting propaganda as media limbs of the American and German governments respectively. A possible explanation for this meeting is that Disney wanted to get his films back into Germany after Hitler banned all American movies because Hollywood was “controlled by the Jews.” However, Disney was even criticized back then for receiving Riefenstahl shortly after the brutal Night of Broken Glass, which is, in any way you look at it, inexcusable.

College and university presidents and administrators did not convene protest meetings against Nazi antisemitism on the campuses, nor did they urge their students and faculty members to attend the nationwide mass rallies held on March 27, 1933. With very few exceptions, they did not encourage them to attend subsequent protests, or to speak at them, at least until after the Kristallnacht in November 1938. To be sure, there were students and professors at some universities sufficiently concerned about the plight of Germany's Jews to organize protests or forums about it on campus, but these rarely attracted significant participation or press coverage….

From 1933, when he assumed the presidency of America's oldest and most prestigious university [Harvard], through 1937, Conant failed to speak out against Nazism on many occasions when it really mattered. He was publicly silent during the visit of the Nazi warship Karlsruhe to Boston in May 1934, some of whose crew Harvard entertained. He welcomed the high Nazi official Ernst (Putzi) Hanfstaengl to the June 1934 Harvard commencement. In March 1935, the Harvard administration permitted Nazi Germany's consul general in Boston to place a wreath bearing the swastika emblem in the university chapel. Conant sent a delegate from Harvard to the University of Heidelberg's 550th anniversary pageant in June 1936, and he extended warm greetings to the Georg-August University in Goettingen on its 200th anniversary in June 1937. In providing a friendly welcome to Nazi leader Hanfstaengl, President Conant and others prominently affiliated with Harvard communicated to the Hitler government that boycotts intended to destroy Jewish businesses, the dismissal of Jews from the professions, and savage beatings of Jews were not their concern. Conant's biographer, James Hershberg, trivialized Hanfstaengl's 1934 visit to Harvard by calling it "farcical"; it was, in fact, highly dangerous. [2]

President Conant remained publicly indifferent to the persecution of Jews in Europe and failed to speak out against it until after Kristallnacht, in November 1938….

After the horrifying Kristallnacht violence in November 1938, when the Nazis destroyed Germany's synagogues and most of its Jewish-owned shops and sent 30,000 Jews to concentration camps, [Columbia University president Nicholas Murray] Butler finally spoke out explicitly against German antisemitism. But his denunciation shortly after Kristallnacht of the "cruel and barbaric treatment of Catholics and Jews now going on in Germany" suggested that he still failed to grasp the uniqueness of the Jews' plight. Like other major university presidents, his response did not go beyond verbal condemnation. He did not join Jewish, labor, and student organizations that called on the United States to lift immigration quotas for Jewish refugees, or to sever diplomatic and commercial relations with Germany. Nor was Butler among the seventeen speakers who addressed the audience of 20,000 that packed New York City's Madison Square Garden after Kristallnacht in a mass protest against Nazi anti-Jewish outrages. [101]….

The Kristallnacht of November 9-10, 1938, appeared to put student exchanges with Germany in jeopardy. On that night, in a carefully planned series of pogroms across the Reich, "the Jewish community of Germany went up in flames." Rampaging Nazis destroyed all the nation's synagogues, assaulted thousands of Jews in the streets of every city and town, murdering nearly 100, and wrecked 7,000 Jewish businesses. The Nazis arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps more than 30,000 Jewish men. [99] …

American educators after Kristallnacht still wanted to maintain student exchanges with Munich and other universities in the Reich. In April 1939, President Neilson assured a German involved in administering the University of Munich junior year program that Smith College would "put no obstacles of any kind in the way of students who wish to go to Munich," and that it planned to send two or three the next year. [102]…

Despite the outpouring of protest after Kristallnacht, many associated with the Seven Sisters colleges remained unconcerned about Nazi persecution of Jews. Students returning from study in the Third Reich at the conclusion of the 1938-39 academic year continued to provide glowing accounts about it to their school newspapers. Blanche Hatfield, Mount Holyoke Class of 1940, for example, reported that she was thrilled when Adolf Hitler himself came into the restaurant where she was having lunch. Her German hosts "could not do enough" to make her stay in the Reich "profitable and enjoyable." [108] In September 1939, with war looming, a "dauntless group" of juniors assembled in New York City eager to sail to Europe for a year of study at the University of Munich; it was prevented from doing so only by the outbreak of hostilities. [109]

-- The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses, by Stephen H. Norwood

In contrast to his reception of Riefenstahl and his meetings with the American Nazis, Disney was tasked with making anti-German propaganda films when the war started. In Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi (1943), Disney animators describe the birth of an Aryan German before cataloging the indoctrination process of the Hitler Youth in a ten-minute quasi-documentary propaganda piece. Unlike the depiction of the wolf in Disney classic Three Little Pigs posing as an ostensibly Jewish swindler—another possible example of Disney anti-Semitism—

... Der Fuehrer’s Face (Donald Duck in Naziland, 1943) fails to describe the systemic anti-Semitism of Nazi propaganda beyond mentioning the concept of a master race.

The anti-German propaganda films Disney made for the American government don’t go far enough in criticizing the Nazis, but that isn’t the point. Disney the man didn’t need to be a full-fledged Nazi to lean to the far-right in the Age of Fascism. Not only was Walt Disney a committed social conservative and God-fearing American patriot, he was a staunch capitalist whose political philosophy paradoxically embodied many of the criticisms found in the fascist worker ideology satirized in Education for Death.

In The Magic Kingdom (1997) Steven Watts describes Walt Disney's efforts to apply the techniques of mass production to Hollywood moviemaking. He greatly admired Henry Ford and introduced an assembly line and a rigorous division of labor at the Disney Studio, which was soon depicted as a "fun factory." Instead of drawing entire scenes, artists were given narrowly defined tasks, meticulously sketching and inking Disney characters while supervisors watched them and timed how long it took them to complete each cel. During the 1930s the production system at the studio was organized to function like that of an automobile plant. "Hundreds of young people were being trained and fitted," Disney explained, "into a machine for the manufacture of entertainment."

The working conditions at Disney's factory, however, were not always fun. In 1941 hundreds of Disney animators went on strike, expressing support for the Screen Cartoonists Guild. The other major cartoon studios in Hollywood had already signed agreements with the union. Disney's father was an ardent socialist, and Disney's films had long expressed a populist celebration of the common man. But Walt's response to the strike betrayed a different political sensibility. He fired employees who were sympathetic to the union, allowed private guards to rough up workers on the picket line, tried to impose a phony company union, brought in an organized crime figure from Chicago to rig a settlement, and placed a full-page ad in Variety that accused leaders of the Screen Cartoonists Guild of being Communists. The strike finally ended when Disney acceded to the union's demands. The experience left him feeling embittered. Convinced that Communist agents had been responsible for his troubles, Disney subsequently appeared as a friendly witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee, served as a secret informer for the FBI, and strongly supported the Hollywood blacklist. During the height of labor tension at his studio, Disney had made a speech to a group of employees, arguing that the solution to their problems rested not with a labor union, but with a good day's work. "Don't forget this," Disney told them, "it's the law of the universe that the strong shall survive and the weak must fall by the way, and I don't give a damn what idealistic plan is cooked up, nothing can change that."

-- Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal [EXCERPT], by Eric Schlosser

The fact that Disney was enlisted to make these anti-German propaganda films is not surprising, and neither was his willingness to do so.

Disney was considered part of the cult that believed: “The Jews Are Taking Over Hollywood.” When the U.S. Army contacted Disney early in World War II and asked him to join the wartime propaganda effort, Disney accepted, but said he had been forced to by “that Jew” [Secretary of the Treasury Henry] Morgenthau who wanted Disney to use Mickey Mouse to deliver films that supported the war effort.

-- Not so supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, by Robert Liftig, EdD

However, it does not negate the allegations of anti-Semitism or of other fascist behavior. In fact, when Disney began working on the Disney World tourists flock to today in Florida, he was engaged in a utopian concept of fascism he called the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT).

The pet project EPCOT was not the theme park we know today, but an unfinished city of the future not unlike the fascist model of government employed by Nazi Germany. A place where slums wouldn’t be allowed to develop, it would include a prototype municipality, an airport, an industrial park. But the plan didn’t stop there. It went on and on. Disney’s vision was to cultivate a “community of the future designed to stimulate American corporations to come up with new ideas for urban living.”

It was to be a place where unions would be prohibited, democracy non-existent, and social security merely a laughable notion. The concept is now gaining tangible influence in privately gated communities guarded by their own security forces.

Walt Disney himself said about the project, “There will be no landowners and therefore no voting control. People will rent houses instead of buying them, and at modest rentals. There will be no retirees; everyone must be employed.”

This demand for loyal labor is disturbingly similar to the governments of Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany. Fascist states of the 1930s and 40s utilized this communal approach to nationalizing land, resources, and labor to benefit the nation-state as well as the despots who controlled them rather than the citizens. Or they would benefit certain citizens over others. These practices created anti-democratic police states and societies in which the people were expected to labor diligently and give back to the state institution. Instead of using National Socialism, Disney wanted to utilize his prominent and unregulated role in bloated American capitalism to gain more power over land and people.

Disney wouldn’t usurp power in a state, he would create his own private entity using the labor of the workers—writing his own laws and enforcing them with his proto-police security force, making EPCOT a microcosmic society in America with sovereignty unchallenged by the local or federal governments.

As Benito Mussolini himself once said: “Fascism should be more appropriately called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

Even today this legacy lives on. To make it all possible, the Disney Corporation lobbied for the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District in the 1960s, which gave the company broad authority over what we know as the area surrounding Disney World. Since then, the corporation has maintained near total control of the land and does with it what it sees fit. Namely, building new attractions and making superfluous amounts of cash.

The result of Disney lobbying was the city known as Lake Buena Vista, Florida with a population of around 40 citizens who are all employed by the Disney parks that serve 30,000,000 visitors a year. The employees live there, are un-unionized, face strict standards and requirements, are paid low wages, and face eviction if they were to leave their job.

Meanwhile, corporate sponsors are littered throughout the theme parks, which surely make Disney enough money to treat and compensate these customer-beaten and underpaid workers better. The attraction hosts, who bear the brunt of the emotional abuse from customers, get paid a modest $9.22 an hour. But paying lower level employees higher wages would obstruct the profits made by the Nation of Disney from its loyal legion of obsessive admirers.

And these tactics have been fruitful for Disney, with urban developments and commercial centers using the model as a blueprint that truly and unequivocally affects the lives of workers and consumers alike.

Like the fascist states of the 1930s, Disney dictates how their employees look—jewelry, long fingernails, and long hair for men are prohibited—and establishes the emotions that must be worn on their faces at all times. Emotional labor, as it has come to be known, has proliferated across American culture when we began demanding interminable smiles and cheer from service employees. If you’re wondering where this idea that creating a facade of happiness boosts profits, look no further than Disney. If going through unfair circumstances solely for the benefit of a corporate entity that has broad authority like a state and freedom like a corporation isn’t fascism, I don’t know what is.

The fascist tendencies in the questionable treatment of workers seeps out of the parks themselves. Both Disneyland and Disney World are infamous for their secrecy, making it difficult for the outsider to know how staff is treated outside of the reportedly strict rules and requirements. The former mayor was also the computer-operations supervisor in the corporate offices of the company, which suggests that the lines between public and private personnel in Lake Buena Vista are commonly blurred. Though the company denies any conflicts of interest, the evidence of possible corruption doesn’t lend itself very well to oversight of the company or their workforce that is not protected yet communally driven by an affinity for the company, a phenomenon similar to nationalism.

In addition to the problems with the parks’ employment, Disney portrays a pervasive willingness in its content, and therefore its parks, to promote the status-quo of elite dominance and subtle affinity for centralized power. It is found, among other things, in the promotion of monarchy. Some examples of class disparities are the princesses Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, the animal kingdom of The Lion King, and the pursuit of elitism in Cinderella just to name a few. In addition to elitism and monarchy, the first Jungle Book movie has been criticized as racist for stereotyping black and indigenous people while promoting racial segregation, and Pinocchio can be interpreted as a quest for racial purity. While many might say this is far-reaching, inequality in both class and race are more tangible consequences of the success of exploitative tendencies influenced by Walt Disney and are directly at odds with human rights and fair labor treatment.

Disney’s fiercely anti-organized worker stance is prevalent in the man’s unabashed hatred of unionized and collective labor. Some examples are his ties to Red Scare era film organizations and his association with Senator Joe McCarthy, who was infamous for his commie-witch-hunt in the 1950s. Disney was a member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals and was associated with the House Un-American Activities Committee. The former, though ironically stating that they were not just anti-communist but anti-fascist, was also known for being quietly anti-Semitic. Many anti-communists of the time conflated communists and Jews. In a recent speech critical of Walt Disney, which was corroborated by Disney’s grand-niece, Meryl Streep described the Motion Picture Alliance as an “anti-Semitic industry lobbying group.”

Not only did Walt Disney seek political insulation to circumvent labor regulations and competition that threatened the landscape dominated by his pseudo-security state, Disney said he did so in an attempt to create whole new worlds at his theme parks. To achieve the political and social isolation the parks enjoy today, the Disney Corporation began a vast campaign of lobbying to get around regulation and taxes while using multiple companies to galvanize thousands of acres of land for the production of Disney World. It was to be secluded by a physical moat and accessed by Walt’s pipe dream of an airport within the microcosm.

Though public money was not used to establish resources or build the tangible worlds created by Disney, it does not mean the company should have been able to get around the law. Better yet, they should not have had the ability to write the laws. Now that the Disney Corporation has become the second largest media conglomerate on the planet, their attempts to influence politics in their favor have not mitigated. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the conglomerate spent around $4 million on lobbying contributions to political action committees, political parties, and individual candidates in 2016, while 17 out of their 22 lobbyists from the year 2015-2016 previously held government jobs.

Walt Disney is heralded as a utopian, but his personal record and the influence on the Disney Corporation’s tactics paint a picture that is much grimmer than the sunshine, cuddly animals, and quirky characters that are as sewn into the American fabric as hamburgers and apple pie. Simply put, the reality that one person’s utopia is another’s dystopia is simply a part of the American story.

While the consumer culture of Disney emanates out of its fabricated worlds, the inequitable influence of both the company and the man’s fascist history drips into American culture and politics, indirectly affecting our lives while remaining above the law and influencing public policy for their benefit.

Ryan Beitler is a journalist, fiction writer, traveler, musician, and blogger. He has written for Paste Magazine, Addiction Now, OC Weekly, and his travel blog Our Little Blue Rock. He can be reached at
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:28 am

EPCOT (concept) [Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/19/19



The city's central commercial areas and Cosmopolitan Hotel. Concept art by Herbert Ryman.

The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) was an unfinished concept developed by Walt Disney. Its purpose was to be a "real city that would 'never cease to be a blueprint of the future,'"[1] designed to stimulate American ideas for urban living. The city was planned to be a company town. The "EPCOT idea" was part of Walt Disney's original plan for the property purchased near Orlando, Florida. After his death in 1966, the property became the Walt Disney World Resort in 1971 and a theme park based on the idea opened in 1982.[2] A portion of the original architectural model of the concept is on display on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom.


In the early 1960s, entertainment industry magnate Walt Disney, who by this time had many grandchildren, began to worry about the future of the world they would inhabit. He worried especially about modern cities, which he believed were hectic, disorganized, dirty, and crime-ridden, a far cry from his clean and controlled Disneyland Park in California. Realizing that what he and his Imagineers had learned in the development of Disneyland could be put to use in planning communities, and perhaps even cities, Disney began to immerse himself in books about city planning, such as Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities of To-morrow. Around the same time, Disney had given the East Coast a glimpse of his style of entertainment, with the four pavilions he developed for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. The success of these exhibitions convinced him that the time was right for an "East Coast Disneyland". (See Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln ; Carousel of Progress ; It's A Small World ) However, Disney did not want simply to build a second Disneyland. He wanted to create something entirely different: a community for people to live in.

Walt Disney determined that Florida was the best location for his new project. Through various dummy corporations, he purchased 27,800 acres (113 km2) of Florida swampland located between Orlando and Kissimmee. Commenting on this choice, he said, "Here in Florida we've enjoyed something we've never enjoyed at Disneyland: the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we could possibly imagine". Disney also petitioned the Florida State Legislature to give Walt Disney Productions municipal jurisdiction over the land they had acquired. This ensured that Walt Disney would have full control over every aspect of the development of the property, including building construction. The jurisdiction thus created eventually became known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

A recording on October 27, 1966, less than two months before Disney's death, was a 25-minute film about his plans for the Florida Project, then dubbed "Disney World".[3] In the film, Walt himself explains briefly how the Florida property will be utilized and how his EPCOT concept will work with the other aspects of Disney World. Disney made this film primarily to persuade and encourage American industry and various corporations to opt in and help Walt Disney Productions in the creation and running of EPCOT. Disney also encouraged the industrial companies to come up with their best ideas in technology, so that those ideas could be continuously demonstrated in the city. With the help of concept art and animation, Disney showed what the city would look like and how it would work. However, he reminded the viewing audience that the sketches and paintings are only a starting point in the conceptualization of EPCOT, stating: "Everything in this room will change time and time again as we move ahead. But the basic philosophy of what we're planning for Disney World is going to remain very much as it is right now". The film itself can be found on Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrow Land in its entirety.

The model

The Carousel of Progress was one of Walt Disney's attractions developed for the New York's World Fair in 1964-65. Guests stayed in their seats as an outer ring of six theaters moved around a fixed, circular section. While guests were entering into one theater and exiting from another, guests in the other four theaters were watching the tireless Audio-Animatronic actors in the four acts of the show depicting the evolution of the science and technology in our life through the eyes of the same family. When the Fair ended, Walt Disney had a perfect attraction to export to Disneyland. Walt Disney died in December 1966. He never saw the July 1967 re-opening of the attraction this time at Disneyland. In Disneyland, the show concluded with a fifth act, featuring the detailed model of what was known as Progress City. This city was the preview of Walt's vision for Epcot. Extremely detailed, the model features all of the major key elements of his project:

• the radial design
• the urban center and its towering hotel
• the green belt
• the industrial park
• the Monorails and PeopleMovers

The Carousel of Progress closed its doors in 1973 and was moved to Walt Disney World at the Magic Kingdom in 1975. The model of Progress City (Epcot) was not included in the Floridian version and a very reduced and less animated version of the model was put on display along the tracks of the PeopleMover where it remains to this day. The model on display is in fact only a small section of the original model (mostly the urban center and the greenbelt) and most of the detailed animations are now turned off, with only the internal lighting being maintained.

Master plan

Walt devised a way to make full use out of the Florida property, with EPCOT as its central attraction. All guests would enter and leave Disney World in the same general area. Arriving by car, or at the Disney World Airport, in the southern part of the property, guests would be shuttled by monorail to the Disney World Welcome Center. There, guests would be welcomed by Disney hosts and hostesses able to speak in the guests' own languages. After every aspect of their stay had been planned, guests would then reboard the monorail to EPCOT. Before arriving at EPCOT guests would have the opportunity to visit EPCOT's Industrial Park; the Park's offices and laboratories would be occupied by major American corporations who would use the facilities to develop new technology for use in the EPCOT city. Guests of Disney World would be allowed to go on tours of the facility to see how it all worked. Walt Disney hoped that this would stimulate people to return to their own communities and encourage technological growth where they live.

When Walt presented his ideas to the Board of Directors, they were skeptical. They wanted assurance that people would come to visit this "Disney World". What they wanted was a surefire hit: a Disneyland-style park. Walt initially objected, but eventually relented, and he used the park to his advantage. He put the theme park in the northmost corner of the Florida property. Disney wanted everyone to experience the rest of Disney World before getting to the theme park area as can be seen in the very first master plan drawn by Walt Disney himself.

The city

The EPCOT city, according to the concepts presented in the EPCOT film, was based on a radial plan, a design inspired by the garden city movement of urban planning. Based on a concept similar to the layout of Disneyland Park, the city radiates out like a wheel from a central core. The urban density of the area would dwindle as the city fanned out.


The city would be connected to the other points in Disney World with a main line of transportation—the monorail. Walt Disney introduced the monorail at Disneyland in 1959. The monorail would cut through the center of the city, connecting EPCOT with the northern and southern points on the Disney World property.

Internal transportation would be provided by a whole new Disney transportation concept: the WEDway PeopleMover. The system uses motors located between the tracks to propel the cars. PeopleMover cars would transport residents from the metropolitan center to the outer residential areas. The PeopleMover concept was first demonstrated at Disneyland's Tomorrowland in 1967. The PeopleMover was also installed at the Magic Kingdom as the WEDWay PeopleMover in 1975; since 2010, it has been known as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is also the only way to view the Progress City diorama, which is located inside the north show building in Tomorrowland (the show building housing Stitch's Alien Encounter Character Greeting! formerly known as Stitch's Great Escape!).

Because of these two modes of transportation, residents of EPCOT would not need cars. If a resident owned a car, it would be used "only for weekend pleasure trips."[citation needed] The streets for cars would be kept separate from the main pedestrian areas. The main roads for both cars and supply trucks would travel underneath the city core, eliminating the risk of pedestrian accidents. This was also based on the concept that Walt Disney devised for Disneyland. He did not want his guests to see behind-the-scenes activity, such as supply trucks delivering goods to the city. Like the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, all supplies are discreetly delivered via underground tunnels.

The two systems, monorail and PeopleMover, would come together at the EPCOT Transportation Lobby. The Transportation Lobby would be located at ground level, above the busy automobile/truck roads. From the Lobby, a passenger riding the monorail from the Magic Kingdom Park to their home would disembark the monorail and transfer to the appropriate PeopleMover station.

Beyond EPCOT, visitors would arrive at the Airport of Tomorrow, located across from the Main Entrance to EPCOT. The airport would have been connected to the park by a monorail station.

The planned airport would have had a general aviation area with an executive terminal, and another for regional passenger travel with a large terminal building.[4] Plans identified the airport in 1966 but was not present in the revised plans in the later 1970s.

City center

EPCOT's downtown and commercial areas would have been located in the central core of the city, away from the residential areas. The entire downtown would have been completely enclosed, unaffected by the outside elements. "The pedestrian will be king"[This quote needs a citation] in this area, free from the danger of cars and other vehicles.

At the center of the area would be a 30-story Cosmopolitan Hotel and Convention Center. This building was to have been the tallest building in EPCOT and could have been seen for miles, like the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland. The parking lot for hotel guests would have been located underneath the city core, right off of the vehicle throughway.

On the "roof" of the enclosed area would be the recreational area for hotel guests. The pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, shuffleboard, and other activities would have been located here. According to Imagineer Bob Gurr, Walt Disney pointed to one of the benches on the scale model of the area and declared, "This is where Lilly [his wife] and I will sit when this thing is finished, taking everything in".[citation needed]

Surrounding the hotel, inside the enclosure, would have been "shops and restaurants that reflect the culture and flavor of locations 'round the world".[citation needed] According to the concept art, these areas would be themed to each country, having the look and feel of each of the exotic locales. This concept eventually evolved into the World Showcase area of the Epcot theme park. The PeopleMover track would travel above these downtown shops and streets in a similar fashion as the system did in Disneyland. Preliminary plan indicated that the people who would have worked in these shops would have also lived in the city.

Green belt

Separating the city core from the low-density residential area would be an expanse of grass areas, known to the planners as the "green belt". This is where the city services would be located. Establishments such as parks with playgrounds, community centers, schools, stadiums, and churches would be located here.

Residential areas

On the rim of the city core would have been high-density apartment housing. This is where most of EPCOT's 20,000 citizens would have lived. Not much is discussed about the apartments themselves, although Walt Disney stated that no one in EPCOT would own their land. There would be no difference between an apartment and a home. All renting rates would be modest and competitive with the surrounding market. Also, the housing would be constructed in such a way to ensure ease of change, so that new ideas/products can be used. A person returning from a hard day's work could very well come home to a kitchen with brand-new appliances in it.

Beyond the Green Belt was the low-density, single-family house neighborhoods. These areas would have resembled the petals on a flower, with the houses located on the rim of each "petal". Inside the "petal" was a vast green area. The area would have had paths for electric carts, light recreation areas for adults and play areas for children. The PeopleMover station for each area would have also been located in the green area. The resident could simply walk to the station from their home and on to work. As stated before, residents would not really need a car to get around. Like the apartments, the houses would be built to be easily changed.

Living and employment

As stated above, no one living in EPCOT would own their own land or home, thereby having no municipal voting rights (bond issues, etc.). Walt Disney wanted to exercise this control only to be able to change technology in the homes easily.

According to the film, all adults living in EPCOT would be employed, thereby preventing the formation of slums and ghettos. There would be no retirees—everyone would have been required to have a job. Residents would have been employed at the Magic Kingdom theme park, the city central core shopping areas, the hotel/convention center, the airport, the Welcome Center, or the industrial park. As the film states, "everyone living in EPCOT will have the responsibility to maintain this living blueprint of the future".[citation needed]


Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966. His brother Roy stated that, even while he was dying from lung cancer, Walt was still planning his city in the hospital. Walt used the ceiling grid to lay out a scale plot plan in his imagination, each 24" x 24" tile representing one square mile. Florida Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr. signed Chapter 67-764[citation needed] into law on May 12, 1967, establishing the Reedy Creek Improvement District. However, Disney directors eventually decided that it was too risky to venture into city planning now that its biggest advocate was gone. But Roy persisted and took the reins on the project, stepping out of retirement to do it. However, Roy could not convince the board to build EPCOT. But, he did forge ahead with the Magic Kingdom project. The Walt Disney World Resort opened in October 1971 with only the Magic Kingdom and two hotels. Roy insisted it be called Walt Disney World as a tribute to the man who had dreamed it up.

Even though the city was never built, the Resort represents some of the forward-thinking planning that embodied Walt's idea of EPCOT. Because of the formation of the RCID, Disney could find innovative solutions to the problems of transportation, building construction, supplying electrical power, and waste disposal. Imagineers, including Disney Legends John Hench and Richard Irvine, devised ingenious means of waste disposal and sewer transport. The monorail, while mainly an attraction at Disneyland, was utilized as an actual transportation system, taking guests some thirteen miles around the Resort area. The Contemporary Resort opened with the Magic Kingdom as an architectural remnant of EPCOT's modernist aesthetic.

In the late 1970s, Disney CEO Card Walker wanted to revisit the EPCOT idea. But the board was still wary and all agreed that Walt's EPCOT would not work in its initial incarnation; they thought that no one would want to live under a microscope and be watched constantly.[5] The result of the compromise was the EPCOT Center theme park (now Epcot), which opened in 1982. While still emulating Walt Disney's ideas, it was not a city, but rather closer to that of a World's Fair. Epcot, somewhat true to Walt Disney's vision, revolves around technology and the future in the Future World area. The World Showcase is an embellished version of the downtown shopping area, albeit without the enclosure.

In the early 1990s, the Walt Disney Company built an actual community on the Florida property called Celebration. It is a planned community that employs some of the ideas that Walt Disney envisioned, but on a significantly smaller scale. Unlike EPCOT, which was based on modernism and futurism, there is no radial design for Celebration. Celebration is designed based on new urbanism, and resembles a small American town, but has all the modern conveniences, without the revolutionary transportation ideas contained in the plans for EPCOT.

Singapore is often cited as a real-life EPCOT country. William Gibson described Singapore as "Disneyland with the death penalty" in an article for Wired in 1993, due to its high degree of city planning and clean and orderly lifestyle, just as Walt Disney would have wanted his community to be.[6]


1. Gennawey, Sam (2011). Walt Disney and the Promise of Progress City. Theme Park Press. pp. xiii. ISBN 1941500269.
2. "Epcot - Disney - Orlando". 2012-06-27. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
3. "E.P.C.O.T Film - The Original E.P.C.O.T Project". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
4. ... andoSW.htm
5. "Should the city of Epcot have been built ?".
6. Gibson, William. "Disneyland with the Death Penalty". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-09-10.

Further reading

• Walt Disney and the Quest for Community - 2002. Text written by Steve Mannheim. Published by Routledge. ISBN 0754619745.
• EPCOT - 1966. Film. Script written by Martin A. Sklar. Available on the "Tomorrowland" volume of the Walt Disney Treasures DVD series.
• Walt Disney's EPCOT Center - 1982. Text written by Richard R. Beard. Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-0819-0
• Walt: The Man Behind the Myth - 2001. Film. Written by Katherine and Richard Greene.
• Since the World Began - 1996. Book written by Jeff Kurtti. Published by Hyperion.

External links

• Walt Disney's original EPCOT project
• Walt Disney Family Museum
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:33 am

Inside Walt Disney's Ambitious, Failed Plan to Build the City of Tomorrow: Before EPCOT there was Project X, Florida's first utopian metropolis.
by Matt Patches
May 20, 2015



Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow DISNEY/GEORGE RESTER AND HERBERT RYMAN

The future is forged by pouring a stiff drink, kicking back, and taking a second to question everything. We here at love a crazy-idea-that-just-might-work, so this week, we're paying tribute to the forward-thinkers of past and present with a series called Esquire Predicts. Because no one gets ahead without imagining what "ahead" looks like.

It all began with a vision of a wheel. Folks would call the circumference home, while a climate-controlled city center would house corporations from all over the world. Between the urban and suburban would lie the greenbelt, dotted with parks, golf courses, and anything else paradise had to offer. A web of electric monorails and car-sized movers would act as the spokes, zipping residents to and fro. No more grueling commute. No more noisy streets. No more of life's little frustrations.

Walt Disney called it the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow," and he wanted it yesterday. After opening Disneyland in July 1955 in Anaheim, California, the visionary conceived of a city that would bring his patented magic to life. Of course, that was easier said than done, the defining characteristic of most Disney projects. But logistics didn't faze him. He was a student of aesthetic, technology, and workflow. Whatever he couldn't crack himself, he threw to his elite Imagineers.

This wasn't Walt Disney's first folly. When Hollywood pundits told him that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs wouldn't work as the company's first feature-length animated film, he produced it anyway. And when he mounted Disneyland, critics said the same. So why not build the perfect city?

He nearly did. But when Disney peered into the future, he failed to see his own timeline. On October 26, 1966, Walt and Marty Sklar, principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, produced a film detailing their plans for "EPCOT." Two months later, Walt died of acute circulatory collapse due to lung cancer. In 1966, Walt Disney Productions had the land, the manpower, the designs and the dream to build the Community of Tomorrow. All that was missing was Walt, the last line of defense against reality.

Imagineering the Future

Concept for the Community of Tomorrow's city center by Herbert Ryman

Few of life's inconveniences were as irksome to Walt as the early morning trash pickup, cans clanging through the silent streets. That was no way to wake up. "Why can't there be a better way?" former colleagues recall him asking. The question followed him everywhere. In the mid-'30s, Disney also regularly took his daughters to a merry-go-round in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz, though he didn't much care for it. As the girls played, the animator would sit on the bench, eating peanuts and wondering why his neighborhood attraction—and all amusement parks, for that matter— couldn't be cleaner. They could, of course, if he willed it.

Walt was a smooth operating amalgam of creative willpower and savvy sales tactics. He was a regular Don Draper, right down to the carousel obsession. After Disneyland opened and filled investors' pockets with cash, suits were lining up on Walt's doorstep. They wanted him, which offered some promise. He wanted something, too: tools of the future.

"Walt Disney had one foot in the past, because he loved nostalgia, and one foot in the future, because he loved new technology," says Marty Sklar, who joined Disney's marketing and publicity team in the 1950s. During his early days at the company, Sklar watched as Walt devoured futurist literature, clocked long days with tech companies, and traveled the world searching for new-fangled solutions. (He solved the trash problem when he discovered a pneumatic waste collection system in Sweden.) But he was still country boy at heart. During a 1956 visit to his hometown of Marceline, Missouri, to celebrate a swimming pool named in his honor, Walt told the crowd that he felt sorry for lifelong city dwellers. "I'm glad my dad picked out a little town were he could have a farm," he said, "because those years that we spent here have been memorable years."

Walt's close colleagues can't pinpoint a moment when the Community of Tomorrow idea popped into his head. Things just seemed to snowball with evolving technology. At the top of the list was Disneyland's monorail. "He was fixated on transportation," Sklar says. "We spent so much time and energy on figuring out new ways to move people." During a trip to Germany with his wife, Disney wound up alongside a suspended "sandbag" monorail system. Bob Gurr, an Imagineer specializing in transportation, says Disney was so taken by it that he drove to the service yard, jumped out of his car, and approached the guys working on the trains. "He didn't speak German," Gurr says. "But he came back with a whole bunch of information and photographs of this really ugly-looking train. He said, 'Bobby, I want you to design a monorail.' It looked like a loaf of bread with a slot in the bottom sitting on a stick." After clearing his head with a little Saturday morning Buck Rodgers, the redesign came to Gurr. "I was at my coffee table, and in about ten minutes I sketched it up real quick," he says. "I came in on Monday and made a rendering of it."

Walt unveiled Disneyland's first monorail in 1959, as the idea for the Community of Tomorrow took hold. By then, conglomerates were going full court press for partnerships. General Electric had approached Disney to design an exhibit for New York's 1964 World's Fair, "Progressland," which would take visitors through the history of electricity, all the way through a near-future city run quietly on eco-friendly GE power. And Walt Disney Productions was slated to build four attractions for the World's Fair: "Progressland," the Ford Wonder Rotunda's "Primeval World," "It's a Small World" for the Pepsi-sponsored UNICEF pavilion, and "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" at the State of Illinois Pavilion.

"Progress City" slideshow with original "Carousel of Progress" narration

Disney's World's Fair work would double as a testing ground for the percolating EPCOT. Art illustrated by Imagineer Herbert Ryman for GE's "Carousel of Progress" informed his design work for EPCOT, and later became the basis for a "Progress City" 3D model that lived in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Even more influential were Gurr's designs for the Ford Magic Skyway, which introduced the public to Disney's WEDway PeopleMover. Inspired by the Minirail automated monorail at the 1964 Swiss National Exhibition, Gurr's version featured a rotating turntable entry system to ensure shuttles were always available, no hassle.

Sklar says Disney kept one book placed prominently on his desk during the World Fair days: Victor Gruen's The Heart of Our Cities: The Urban Crisis: Diagnosis and Cure. Published in 1964, it challenged sociological, historical, and psychological city planning theories with logic and artistry. Also, the ideal city was a wheel. "One of my mentors, [designer] John Hench, had a whole theory about that," Sklar says of Walt's fixation on circles. "Everything in Mickey is round and non-threatening, whereas you'd get into characters like Felix the Cat and he'd have all these sharp edges and they didn't last because of that. And John said, 'Well, you know, the things we think about are round, and we love women's breasts."

Like Disney, Gruen preached the distinction between utilitarian functions and home life, people coming and going with ease. The book breathed life into the lofty EPCOT notion, immediately recognizable in commissioned art from Ryman, Hench, Gurr, set designer Harper Goff, architect George Rester and the many others involved with looking ahead to "Tomorrow." Sklar calls Disney's approach to overseeing these early designs—and everything that went into his parks—as "specifically vague." "Disney knew what he wanted, but he demanded input from his team." Should the central city be under a dome? Yes. Should there be a skyscraper at the center? Yes, it would be hard to resist a "wienie," Disney's term for a pillaring object that screams "come this way." How about an underground roadway for cars? Yes. And they couldn't forget the monorail. While Ryman painted one of his City of Tomorrow watercolors, Gurr remembers Disney coming behind him to make the request. "Hey Herby, we're gonna have a monorail, so … stick a monorail on there."

Walt had to make the Imagineers believe in the Community of Tomorrow. Gurr recalls Disney Productions' "boiler room," a giant meeting place with 16-foot ceilings where the core team set up graphics and soaked up the ambition. "The meetings were really, really upbeat," Gurr says. 'But we hadn't yet come to the part of, 'Okay smarty, let's start this thing and now let's see how we're gonna figure it out.'"

New City, Old Business

Concept for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow by Herbert Ryman

Soon after the World's Fair, Walt and the Imagineers visited Westinghouse Electric headquarters to discuss the Community of Tomorrow. They'd eventually hit all the majors—IBM, DuPont, General Electric, the Sarnoff—but first up was Westinghouse. The day kicked off with Disney's EPCOT pitch, then Westinghouse followed with their own product preview. Then there was lunch, and then cocktails. Then more EPCOT talk. "By the next morning," Gurr says, "everybody was still saying, 'Well, what the hell is this place? I don't understand it!'"

Disney's EPCOT plans elicited blank stares and blind support. If Disney was in, so were the bigwigs. Construction talks even predate the World's Fair. One preliminary land study review, drawn up by Disney's resident economist Harrison "Buzz Price" and his company, Economics Research Associates, in 1959, reveals a partnership between RCA, Disney, and John D. MacArthur to build the Community of Tomorrow in Palm Beach, Florida. The early incarnation would have stretched across 11,956 acres and demanded a new theme park's income just to sustain itself. RCA ultimately bailed, with Disney's resources going toward the World's Fair. In 1965, EPCOT was simply called "Project X," a code name as retro-futuristic as they come.

While Disney hoped to surprise the general public with concept art and model designs, he first needed real estate for the sprawling complex. Disneyland's size disappointed its creator—you can only pour so much magic into 160 acres—and he wasn't about to skimp on this vision. Finessed plans pictured the city stretching across 1,100 acres, with an adjacent theme park and airport of the future covering 26,300. Locations in St. Louis, the Canadian side of Niagra Falls, Washington D.C., New Jersey, and even New York's abandoned World Fair site were considered. But only one place had the malleable land and blue skies that embodied Walt Disney's perfectionism: Florida.

The EPCOT land acquisition was the Mouse House's Chinatown. To covertly obtain low-cost property in Osceola county's Reed Creek Basin, Disney formed several real estate companies that strategically purchased plots under government and reporters' radars. Factions like "Reedy Creek Ranch Co.," "Latin-American Development," "Ayefour Corporation," "Tomahawk Properties," and the "Compass East Corporation" swooped in to buy property, baffling locals. Someone wanted their swampland? Sold. But when word got out that the buyer was Walt, zeroes were added to price tags. "On one parcel, the guy jacked the price out of sight," Gurr recalls. "We simply designed the park around his property and he lost his access. He finally sold decades later." In June of 1965, Disney snagged the desired 27,433 acres—twice the size of Manhattan, as he'd remind throughout planning—for $5.1 million.

"The Florida Project," "The Future Project," "Waltopia" were some of the names Community of Tomorrow adopted as it trudged toward fruition. "Progressland" was the only misnomer—between terraforming the Reed Creek swamp lands to ecological surveys, and translating the Imagineers' majestic art into a livable habitat, EPOCT needed a plan. Of course, that didn't stop Walt, the P.T. Barnum of amusement parks, from selling the thing. He'd have to, if EPCOT was to fulfill his vision.

Standing between Walt and the future was the Florida legislature. The particulars are a cloud of tax bracketing, legal quagmires, and zoning issues (see Steve Mannheim's dense Walt Disney and the Quest for Community for more), but, clearly, launching a city in the middle of an established state was going to be hard. Beyond that, Community of Tomorrow was an "experimental" metropolis tricked out with cutting edge toys.

As Sklar puts it, Walt wanted the "freedom to be able to do what he wanted to do." ("Freedom" being "the authority to generate power through nuclear fission," a right the team would actually receive). So he appealed to the Florida Legislature the way he knew how, with an educational special. Disney and Sklar wrote the "Florida Film" (above), which offered a vague glimpse of just how darn wonderful EPCOT would be. Sklar still has the seven pages of notes he took from the first meeting on October 10, 1966: "EPCOT WILL BE A SHOWCASE TO THE WORLD OF AMERICAN FREE ENTERPRISE." The pair even wrote and shot two versions—one for Florida Legislature and a second for the general public. On February 2, 1967, the finished product screened for legislators. Walt never saw it.

What Happened to the World of Tomorrow?

Concept for Epcot Center by Herbert Ryman

Gurr recalls one particularly devastating headline published in the wake of Walt's death: "Epcot Died Ten Minutes After Walt's Body Cooled." While not entirely accurate, questions remained. Up until then, the Imagineers' had focused on the big picture. But how would families in EPCOT function? And who would live there? The loose idea was to invite employees of General Electric of Westinghouse to inhabit EPCOT's Homes of the Future for a six-month sabbatical. But where would the kids go to school?

Bigger problems weren't clarified either. What would Florida weather, around-the-clock public transportation, and high-powered trash disposal mean for daily life under a 50-foot dome? There were too many concerns. "It made great sense to Walt, but he didn't live long enough to get into the nitty gritty details of getting an idea to work," Sklar says. "There's a gigantic difference between the spark of a brilliant idea and the daily operation of an idea."

Nonetheless, Imagineers rallied to keep EPCOT alive. Sklar, Gurr, and their colleagues started the "Wednesday Morning Club" think tank, while Roy Disney, on the brink of retirement (he was five years older than Walt), led a hardheaded charge. If Project X wasn't going to become the Community of Tomorrow, it wouldn't become the Big Talk of Yesterday, either. Over the course of a decade, EPCOT, a residential oasis, evolved into Walt Disney World and Epcot Center, a theme park founded on futurism.

After opening in 1982, the Imagineers continued to nurture Disney Studios' ties to progress by hosting the Epcot Forums, where great minds like Ray Bradbury, atmospheric physicist Carl Hodges, and Girard O'Neal, inventor of the particle storage ring, met to discuss the future of science. The original park had a center where any teacher could bring educational materials on Epcot-friendly subjects back to their classrooms. Sklar even worked with industrial companies to create a kind of snail mail Google, in which patrons could send questions and get responses within two weeks. "We were really looking for people who were doing far out things and things we thought the public should know about," he says.

But it wasn't the Community of Tomorrow, nothing could be. "I think he was quite naïve from the standpoint of naïve about the negative parts of life," Gurr says of Walt. The engineer believes that if Walt had lived, if EPCOT had launched smoothly, the practical and pragmatics would have crushed him. "He always saw the good parts of life as being so interesting…. and how could you make it even better?"

Walt treasured aesthetics. If a film looked vivid, a park felt clean, and a ride whisked you to the 23rd century, that pile of work back home wouldn't seem so bad when you returned. Life had a little more joy to it.

No one can live in Disney's Community of Tomorrow, but they can enjoy its aesthetic and feel Walt's passion explode off the page. The art still leaves an impression, burrowing into our dreams. Which is where it counts, after all.
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:41 am

Germania (city)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/19/19



A model of Adolf Hitler's plan for Berlin formulated under the direction of Albert Speer, looking north toward the Volkshalle at the top of the frame.

Germania (pronounced [ɡɛʁˈmaːni̯a]) was the projected renewal of the German capital Berlin during the Nazi period, part of Adolf Hitler's vision for the future of Nazi Germany after the planned victory in World War II. Albert Speer, the "first architect of the Third Reich", produced many of the plans for the rebuilt city in his capacity as overseer of the project, only a small portion of which was realized between the years 1938 and 1943 when construction took place.

Some of the projects were completed, such as the creation of a great East–West city axis, which included broadening Charlottenburger Chaussee (today Straße des 17. Juni) and placing the Berlin victory column in the centre, far away from the Reichstag, where it originally stood. Others, however, such as the creation of the Grosse Halle (Great Hall), had to be shelved owing to the beginning of war. A great number of the old buildings in many of the planned construction areas were, however, demolished before the war, and eventually defeat stopped the plans.


It was Adolf Hitler who conceived of rebuilding Berlin to be the capital of the new world he would be instrumental in creating, and who provided the new name for it, 'Germania'.[1] According to records of Hitler's "table talk" of 8 June 1942, Hitler's purpose in the renaming was in order to give a Greater Germanic world empire of the New Order a clear central point:

Just as the Bavarians and the Prussians had to be impressed by Bismarck of the German idea, so too must the Germanic peoples of Continental Europe be programmatically steered towards the Germanic concept. He [Hitler] even considers it good that by renaming the Reich capital Berlin into 'Germania', we'll have given considerable driving force to this task. The name Germania for the Reich capital would be very appropriate, for in spite of how far removed those belonging to the Germanic racial core will be, this capital will instill a sense of unity.[2]

Hitler described his vision for the city several months earlier:

As world capital Berlin will only be comparable with Ancient Egypt, Babylon, and Rome! What is London, what is Paris compared to that![3]

The official plan for rebuilding Berlin, which Albert Speer was put in charge of, was called the "Comprehensive Construction Plan for the Reich Capital" (German: Gesamtbauplan für die Reichshauptstadt).

The Schwerbelastungskörper was built in order to determine whether the unconsolidated Berlin ground could support the weight of the planned triumphal arch.


Doubts persisted at the time as to whether the marshy Berlin ground could have taken the load of the proposed projects, leading to the construction of an exploration building (Schwerbelastungskörper, literal translation: heavy load-bearing body), which still exists near[4] the site where the Arch of Triumph would have been built. It is basically an extremely heavy block of concrete used by the architects to test how much weight the ground was able to carry. Instruments monitored how far the block sank into the ground. The Schwerbelastungskörper sank 18 cm (7 1⁄8 in) in the three years it was to be used for testing, compared to a maximum allowable settlement of 6 cm (2 3⁄8 in). Using the evidence gathered by these gargantuan devices, it is unlikely the soil could have supported such structures without further preparation.[5] The plan was to cover the Schwerbelastungskörper by building a bridge over it. The arc would have been near by, but problems with the axis running through infrastructure would have made it difficult to establish any convenient location.[4]


The razing of old buildings to make way for the reconstruction of Berlin began in 1938 in various places around the city, including the Alsen district, where the Great Hall would stand, and the Tiergarten district, where Speer planned to build the House for German Foreign Transport, and where the Kaiser-Wilhem-Strasse would intersect with the great East-West Axis which was to be built. The East-West Axis was completed in time for Hitler's 50th birthday celebration a year later, in 1939, when Speer ceremoniously presented it to Hitler with the words "My Führer. I should like to report the completion of the east-west axis. May the work speak for itself."[1]


Speer designed a new Chancellery, which included a vast hall designed to be twice as long as the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. Hitler wanted him to build a third, even larger Chancellery, although it was never begun. The second Chancellery was destroyed by the Soviet army in 1945.

Swedish Bohus granite was imported to be used as building material in Germania.[6]

Construction halted

At the time of the beginning of World War II, with the German invasion of Poland in 1939, construction was suspended, but started again after the clear German victory. When France was defeated in 1940, and Hitler visited Paris for a short period with Speer and a few chosen others, the Führer's desire to "give Berlin a new face" was revitalized, and the work was redoubled at his command. At Speer's instigation, Hitler signed a decree which read:

In the shortest possible time Berlin must be redeveloped and acquire the form that is its due through the greatness of our victory as the capital of a powerful new empire. In the completion of what is now the country's most important architectural task I see the most significant contribution to our final victory. I expect that it will be completed by the year 1950. [emphasis in the original][1]

However, after serious setbacks in the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which Hitler had initially seen as another blitzkrieg ("lightning war"), construction on "Germania" was halted for good in March 1943.[1]

A model of Germania

Never constructed

Avenue of Splendours

Almost none of the other buildings planned for Berlin were ever built. Berlin was to be reorganised along a central 5-kilometre-long (3 mi) boulevard known as the Prachtallee ("Avenue/Boulevard of Splendour(s)"). This would run south from a crossroads with the East-West Axis close to the Brandenburg Gate, following the course of the old Siegesallee through the Tiergarten before continuing down to an area just west of Tempelhof Airport. This new North-South Axis would have served as a parade ground, and have been closed off to traffic. Vehicles would have instead been diverted into an underground highway running directly underneath the parade route; sections of this highway's tunnel structure were built, and still exist today. No work was ever begun above ground although Speer did relocate the Siegesallee to another part of the Tiergarten in 1938 in preparation for the avenue's construction.

The plan also called for the building of two new large railway stations as the planned North-South Axis would have severed the tracks leading to the old Anhalter and Potsdamer stations, forcing their closure. These new stations would be built on the city's main Hundekopf (dog's head) geography S-Bahn ring with the Nordbahnhof in Wedding and the larger Südbahnhof in Tempelhof-Schöneberg at the southern end of the avenue. The Anhalter Bahnhof, no longer used as a railway station, would have been turned into a swimming pool – in post-World War II Moscow, this actually happened in 1958, at the building site of Joseph Stalin's never-completed Palace of the Soviets.

Großer Platz

At the northern end of the avenue on the site of the Königsplatz (now the Platz der Republik) there was to be a large open forum known as Großer Platz with an area of around 350,000 square metres (3,800,000 sq ft). This square was to be surrounded by the grandest buildings of all, with the Führer's palace on the west side on the site of the former Kroll Opera House, the 1894 Reichstag Building on the east side and the third Reich Chancellery and high command of the German Army on the south side (on either side of the square's entrance from the Avenue of Splendours). On the north side of the plaza, straddling the River Spree, Speer planned to build the centrepiece of the new Berlin, an enormous domed building, the Volkshalle (people's hall), designed by Hitler himself. It would still remain the largest enclosed space in the world had it been built. Although war came before work could begin, all the necessary land was acquired, and the engineering plans were worked out. The building would have been over 200 metres (660 ft) high and 250 metres (820 ft) in diameter, sixteen times larger than the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Triumphal Arch

Towards the southern end of the avenue would be a triumphal arch based on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but again, much larger; it would be almost one hundred metres (330 ft) high, and the Arc de Triomphe (at the time the largest triumphal arch in existence) would have been able to fit inside its opening, evidently with the intention of replacing the rather long history associated with this Arch and in particular the unique ceremonies, with reference to the history of France, connected with it.[7] As a result of the occupation of Berlin by Soviet troops in 1945, a memorial was constructed with two thousand of the Soviet dead buried there in line with this proposed 'Triumphal Arch'. It had been intended that inside this generously proportioned structure the names of the 1,800,000 German dead of the First World War should be carved, that which presumably was known to amongst others the Soviet leaders.[8]

See also

• Fascist architecture
• Führer city - other cities in Germany and Austria which were to be extensively rebuilt
• Global city
• Nazi architecture
• Nordstern (city)
• Palace of the Soviets
• Speer und Er
• Stalinist architecture
• Der Untergang
• Volkshalle - the Great Hall



1. Friedrich, Thomas (2012) Hitler's Berlin: Abused City. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. pp.370-72. ISBN 978-0-300-16670-5
2. Hillgruber, Andraes and Picker, Henry (1968) Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1942, p.182. Munich
3. Jochman, Werner (1980) Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1944, p.318. Munich
4. "Information place heavy load-bearing body". Informationsort Schwerbelastungkörper. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
5. "Hitler's Underground Lair". Cities Of The Underworld. Season 1. Episode 103. May 5, 2007. History Channel. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
6. Schouenborg, Björn; Eliasson, Thomas (2015). The Swedish Bohus granite - a stone with a fascinating history. EGU General Assembly. Vienna, Austria. Bibcode:2015EGUGA..1714883S.
7. "Défilé du 14 juillet, des origines à nos jours" [The July 14th Parade, from its origins to nowadays] (in French). Archived from the original on June 23, 2016.
8. Housden, Martyn (2000). Hitler: study of a revolutionary?. Taylor & Francis. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-415-16359-0.


• Speer, Albert (1970). Inside the Third Reich. Translated by Richard Winston; Clara Winston. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Further reading

• Moorhouse, Roger (2010). Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-1945. Bodley Head. ISBN 9780224080712.

External links

• 3D Virtual recreation
• Reuters report
• Erratik Institut Berlin, discussion of recurring elements of simulated architecture and simulacra in both the actual planning and media representation of Germania
• Hitler's Berlin. Project Germania
• Hitler's Supercity Documentary
• Welthauptstadt Germania
• Roger Moorhouse (March 2012) "Germania: Hitler's Dream Capital" History Today
• Visions of Alt-Berlin in "Man in the High Castle", Ezra Haber-Glenn, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. About the recreation of an alternate Berlin in The Man in the High Castle TV series.
• How The Man in the High Castle Brought Hitler's Future Germany to Life, Katharine Trendacosta, Gizmodo.
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:14 am

Disneyland, Inc.
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/19/19



Disneyland, Inc.
Former type
Industry Amusement
Fate acquired by Walt Disney World Company
Successor Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products
Founded 1951
Founder Walt Disney
Defunct 1982
Products Disneyland
Services Amusement park
American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres, Inc. (34.48%)
Walt Disney Productions, Inc. (34.48%)
Walt Disney (16.55%)
Western Publishing (13.8%)
Disneyland, Inc. (DLI) was a corporation formed to finance, build and run Disneyland park in Anaheim, California.


Start up

Disneyland, Inc. was incorporated in the State of California in 1951 by Walt Disney. A companion company owned only by Walt Disney originally called Walt Disney, Incorporated then WED Enterprises (WED) was set up in 1952 supposedly only for television production, but was used to design Disneylandia and its attractions. As the board of directors of Walt Disney Productions (WDP) was questionable in its support for the project.[1] In March 1953, WDP board of directors agreed to Walt Disney's personal services contract and WED's contracts for designing and building Disneyland park attractions for cost plus overhead with three board directors resigning.[CDL 1]

The Stanford Research Institute was hired in April 1953 to determine the best park location and an amusement parks and public attractions analysis for US$32,000[CDL 2] while WED started designing Disneylandia with Bill Martin signing on to do so.[CDL 3] By July, Disney directed the institute to look at 100+ acre Southern California location.[CDL 4] Also that month, one of the Disney brothers had an initial meeting with American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres's Leonard H. Goldenson about Disneyland financing for Disney Production film inventory.[CDL 5]

Leonard H. Goldenson (December 7, 1905 – December 27, 1999) was a president of the U.S. television and radio network ABC....Goldenson was born to a Jewish family[2][3] in Pennsylvania in 1905. He grew up in the town of Scottdale, Pennsylvania and graduated from Scottdale High School. He was educated at Harvard, and entered the entertainment industry in 1933 as an attorney for Paramount Pictures after graduating from Harvard Law School. Goldenson was hired to help reorganize United Paramount Theatres, Paramount's theater chain, which at the time was nearing bankruptcy. So skillful was his work at this assignment that Paramount's chief executive officer, Barney Balaban, hired Goldenson as deputy to the manager of the Paramount Theaters chain.

Goldenson orchestrated the merger of United Paramount Theatres with ABC in 1953 (after Paramount was ordered to spin it off in the wake of United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., a 1948 decree of the U.S. Supreme Court). ABC was originally formed in 1943 in the wake of an earlier Supreme Court decree effectively ordering the spinoff of the largely secondary-status Blue Network from its then-parent, NBC; its buyer, industrialist Edward J. Noble, tried to build ABC into a competitive Broadcasting company, but by 1951 was rumored to be on the verge of selling the nearly bankrupt operation to CBS, whose management apparently wanted ABC's critically important owned-and-operated television stations.[4][5]

Goldenson rescued ABC by convincing his board of directors to buy the company from Noble for $25 million. becoming the founding president of the merged company which was named American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres. The modern ABC dates its history from the effective date of the Goldenson transaction, and not the Blue Network spinoff.

-- Leonard Goldenson, by Wikipedia

Roy met in August 1953 with the Stanford Research Institute over the Disneylandia location survey's 10 possible location settling on an area along the Santa Ana Freeway in Anaheim. Soon, a 160-acre grove of orange trees, the Ball Road subdivision, was purchased for US$879 thousand.[CDL 6] An additional 270 acres were purchased for the site by a real estate agent, [CDL 7] followed by a separate purchase of 244 more acres.[CDL 8]

The first park diagram plan was completed by Marvin Davis on August 8, 1953 with Walt adding the triangular space bounding the park for the railroad.[CDL 9] On September 25, Davis finished his second version design with the hub layout. On the following day Walt and Herb Ryman started a 42-hour period in which they drew a 43x70 inch detailed aerial view.[CDL 10] During the year, Key Disney staff members toured major American amusement parks to find out what does not work.[CDL 11]

With the WED concept designs and prospectus for Disneyland, Roy Disney in September 1953 met with TV networks CBS and NBC in a deal for Disney-produced TV show and Disneyland investment. Both showed interest in the TV shows but not for the Disneyland investment. Roy then approached American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres's Goldenson, who had pursued Disney for programming before, who agreed to the Disneyland, Inc. investment as the risk to make ABC a major network. Just a week after Disney set a record for receiving 4 Oscars on March 29, 1954, the ABC-Paramount board approved the Disney deal. Despite some WDP board resistance, WDP board approve the agreement which was signed on April 2.[1]

American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres (AB-PT) agreed to invest $500,000 in Disneyland, Inc. taking a 34.49 percent and guaranteeing $4.5 million in bank loan plus a weekly TV programming for ABC from Walt Disney Productions.[1][CDL 12] Joining AB-PT as Disneyland investors were Walt Disney Productions, Western Publishing and Walt Disney. The other shares were 34.48% by Walt Disney Productions (US$500,000 investment), 13.8% by Western Printing and Lithography Co (US$200,000 investment), 16.55% by Walt Disney (US$250,000 investment).[CDL 13] Walt Disney Productions had the option to repurchase the Walt Disney, WED and Western Publishing shares (31%) by May 1, 1959 for $562,500.[2] WED held ownership of the Disneyland Railroad.[3]

Walt Disney (center) showing Orange County officials plans for Disneyland's layout, December 1954. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.

Disneylandia was announced that in April 1954 by Walt to be opened in July 1955.[CDL 14] While some time in 1954, Walt at the urging of ABC TV, the park's name was changed from Disneylandia to Disneyland.[CDL 15]

With a need for a hotel nearby and no funding available for Disney to build it, Walt Disney approached Hilton and Sheraton Hotels about building such a hotel. Both turned down Disney as they had no idea where Anaheim was. Disney began approach prospective investors for the Disneyland Hotel in 1954 which included Jack Wrather who agreed.[4] Wrather-Alvarez Hotels, Inc. was expected to have the hotel opened in November 1955.[5]

AB-PT's subsidiary, UPT Concessions, Inc. was enlisted to operate Tomorrowland's Space Bar (original name Stratosnak) and various other concession stands in Disneyland.[6][7] On March 29, 1955, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway was one of many companies that sponsored attractions in the park with its 5-year sponsorship of all Disneyland trains and stations at the park's opening agreed.[CDL 16]

Rear Admiral Joseph W. Fowler was hired in April 1954 as senior vice president for engineering and construction to oversee building Disneyland.[8][CDL 17] Work began on the site in July with the removal of the first orange tree.[CDL 18] A 1955 strike by the Orange County plumbers and asphalt workers puts the Disneyland building schedule in jeopardy.[CDL 19]


On July 17, 1955 at 2 PM, the Disneyland park with Five themed "lands" containing eighteen attractions opened. 15 thousand guests were invited to the opening event, but it is believed that 28 to 33 thousand came to the park. The total construction cost came to $17 million.[CDL 20]

By 1955, WDP had advanced DLI $2.4 million.[2] WDI also took out its AB-PT guaranteed bank loan for $4.4 million in installment payments with the final payment in April 1962. The loan is secured by Disneyland real and certain personal properties, leasehold and the TV programming contract revenue which if Disneyland defaults AB-PT may purchase the loan.[9] On June 29, 1957, Disney Production exercised its options to purchase all but AB-PT's common stock outstanding. This allowed WDP to consolidate DLI into its 1957 annual accounting statements adding four months worth of net profits, $511K.[10]

By 1958, Walt Disney Productions reported a profit of $2.9 million, primarily attributable to its by then 65% interest in Disneyland, Inc. Additionally, Walt Disney Productions stock (which moved the year prior to the New York Stock Exchange) had grown to around $60 per share thanks to the growing realization by the financial markets of the profitability of the park.

On June 14, 1959, the WED owned Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System is installed in Tomorrowland.[CDL 21][11]

In June 1960, Walt Disney Productions completed the purchase of AB-PT's share of the company for nearly $7.5 million and its TV contract, and the theme park became a fully owned part of Walt Disney Productions.[CDL 22] April 25, 1961 Walt Disney Productions and Disneyland, Inc. was able to pay off all existing loans.

Finally, in 1982, the Disney family sold the naming rights and rail-based attractions, owned then by Retlaw Enterprise (formerly WED), to the Disney film studio for 818,461 shares of Disney stock then worth $42.6 million to the Disney family.[3] Then, Disneyland Inc. was acquired by Walt Disney World Company in 1990s.

ABC deal programs

The investment contract for Disneyland with American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres included programming for ABC TV, which paid $5 million per year during 7-year contract and is the largest TV package deal in history.[CDL 23]

• Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom, radio program for ABC Radio[9]
• Disneyland anthology television series launched on 7:30 to 8:30 Wednesday October 27, 1954 with the episode, The Disneyland Story. The Jungle Cruise attraction is featured with a model is used on a bare earth rout. Disneyland itself would be featured in additional episodes:
o A Progress Report (February 9, 1955)
o Further Report on Disneyland (March 13, 1955)[CDL 24]
o A Further Report on Disneyland / A Tribute to Mickey Mouse (July 13, 1995)
o Disneyland the Park / Pecos Bill (April 3, 1957)
• Dateline: Disneyland (July 17, 1955) opening day special
• Disneyland '59 (June 15, 1959) live 90-minute TV special featuring an enlarged Autopia plus new attractions: Submarine Voyage, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Monorail and Motor Boat Cruise.[CDL 25]


1. Aberdeen, J. A. (2000). "Disneyland". Hollywood Renegades. Cobblestone Entertainment. ISBN 1-890110-24-8. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
2. "Disneyland Tabs $2.29 Per Capita; See Small Net First Yr". Billboard. January 28, 1956. p. 69. Retrieved May 6,2015.
3. Peltz, James F. (October 2, 1990). "The Wonderful World of Disney's Other Firm : Entertainment: Walt Disney created a separate company for his family. Retlaw Enterprises Inc. is now worth hundreds of millions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
4. Kimler, Forest (September 11, 1978). "Jack Built More Than a House". Orange County Register. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
5. "Disneyland Hotel will Open Shortly". Independent Press Telegram (Souvenir Edition). July 15, 1955. p. 14. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
6. "Disneyland Space Bar..." Independent Press Telegram (Souvenir Edition). July 15, 1955. p. 4. Retrieved August 28,2015.
7. "The Story of Disneyland" (PDF). Disneyland, Inc. p. 16. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
8. Saxon, Wolfgang (December 14, 1993). "Joseph Fowler, 99, Builder of Warships And Disney's Parks". New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
9. "Annual Report 1955" (PDF). University of Penn. American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres, Inc. pp. 21, 27. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
10. "Disneyland Draws 4,200,000; Parent Firm Buys More Stock". Billboard. January 13, 1958. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
11. "Disneyland: A Chronology". Los Angeles Times. May 9, 1991. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
• Retrieved from Polsson, Ken. "Chronology of Disneyland Theme Park". Chronology of the Walt Disney Company. Ken Polsson. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
1. Thomas, Bob (1998). Building a Company - Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire. p. 254.
 Gabler, Neal (2006). Walt Disney - The Triumph of the American Imagination. p. 493.
 Building a Company - Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, by Bob Thomas, 1998. Page 186.
 The Disney Studio Story, by Richard Holliss and Brian Sibley, 1988.
 Walt Disney - An American Original, by Bob Thomas, 1994. Page 249.
 Building a Dream - The Art of Disney Architecture, by Beth Dunlop, 1996. Page 28.
3. Building a Company - Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, by Bob Thomas, 1998. Page 181.
4. Disney - The First 100 Years, updated edition, by Dave Smith and Steven Clark, 2002. Page 74.
 Walt Disney - The Triumph of the American Imagination, by Neal Gabler, 2006. Page 500.
5. Walt Disney - Hollywood's Dark Prince, by Marc Eliot, 1993. Page 216.
 Walt Disney - An American Original, by Bob Thomas, 1994. Page 249.
6. Disney - The First 100 Years, updated edition, by Dave Smith and Steven Clark, 2002. Page 74.
7. Building a Company - Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, by Bob Thomas, 1998. Page 187.
8. Disney Discourse - Producing the Magic Kingdom, by Eric Smoodin, 1994. Page 61.
9. Walt Disney's Railroad Story, by Michael Broggie, 1997. Pages 200.
10. Walt Disney Imagineering - A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real, by The Imagineers, 1996. Page 15.
11. Disneyland - The First 35 Years, by Walt Disney Company, 1989.
12. Thomas, Bob (1998). Building a Company - Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire. pp. 183, 185.
13. Thomas, Bob (1994). Walt Disney - An American Original. p. 222.
14. Walt Disney, by Jim Fanning, 1994. Page 100.
15. Walt Disney - Hollywood's Dark Prince, by Marc Eliot, 1993. Page 223.
16. Walt Disney's Railroad Story, by Michael Broggie, 1997. Page 273.
17. Disney - The First 100 Years, updated edition, by Dave Smith and Steven Clark, 2002. Page 75.
18. Disney's World, by Leonard Mosley, 1985. Page 233.
19. Walt Disney - Hollywood's Dark Prince, by Marc Eliot, 1993. Page 227.
20. Walt Disney, by Jim Fanning, 1994. Page 102.
 Disneyland: Inside Story, by Randy Bright, 1987.
 Thomas, Bob. Walt Disney - An American Original. Page 281. (1994).
 Screen World 1992, Volume 43, by John Willis, 1993. Page 84.
 Building a Company - Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, by Bob Thomas, 1998. Page 254.
 The Disneyland Encyclopedia, by Chris Strodder, 2008. Page 290.
22. Thomas, Bob (1994). Walt Disney - An American Original. p. 286.
23. Walt Disney - Pop Culture Legends, by Jim Fanning, 1994. Page 100.
24. The Disney Films, by Leonard Maltin, 1995. Page 357.
25. Disney A to Z - The Official Encyclopedia, by Dave Smith, 1996. Pages 22, 117, 135, 138, 200.
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:43 am

Joseph Fowler, 99, Builder of Warships And Disney's Parks
by Wolfgang Saxon
New York Times
Dec. 14, 1993



Rear Adm. Joseph W. Fowler, a master builder of warships and Disney theme parks, died on Dec. 3 at his home in Orlando, Fla. He was 99 and also had a home in Brooksville, Me.

Admiral Fowler was the oldest living graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the oldest living retiree of the Walt Disney Company.

At Disney, he was senior vice president for engineering and construction until 1972 and a consultant until 1976. He had been hired in 1954 on his reputation as Can-Do Joe and was a main figure in the development of both Disneyland and Disney World.

Born in Lewiston, Me., he graduated from Annapolis in 1917, second in his class, and served in World War I as a navigator on submarine-patrol duty.

In 1921 he received a master's degree in naval architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He built gunboats in the late 1920's while posted in Shanghai, and, while assigned to the Navy Department in Washington, he oversaw design changes for warships, including the carriers Saratoga and Lexington. He supervised submarine construction and repair at the Portsmouth Naval Yard in Kittery, Me., and while in command of the San Francisco Naval Shipyard oversaw the assembly-line launchings of the Kaiser fleet of cargo ships.

He retired from the Navy in 1948 to become a private consultant. The Defense Department recalled him in 1951 during the Korean War to cut red tape in overlapping supply systems by setting up a single-catalogue buying system for all the armed services.

In 1952 President Harry S. Truman appointed him civilian director of the Federal Supply Management Agency with a mandate to root out waste in the military.

Congressional praise for his role was followed by Disney's invitation in 1954 to direct construction of Disneyland, the world's first theme park, in Anaheim, Calif. He built the park in one year on schedule.

He then traveled incognito in Florida to scout for a site for a second theme park, Disney World. Ground was broken outside Orlando in 1967. The admiral was in charge of engineering and construction, and the park opened on schedule in 1971.

Admiral Fowler's wife of 66 years, Marguerite Turner Dowler, died in 1984. He is survived by a son, Dr. William Fowler of Cambridge, Mass.; a sister, Jennie Mae Howe, a resident of Maine; four granddaughters, and five great-grandchildren.

A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 13, 1993, Section B, Page 8 of the National edition with the headline: Joseph Fowler, 99, Builder of Warships And Disney's Parks.
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:04 am

Rear Admiral Joseph W. Fowler
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/19/19



Joe Fowler
Born July 9, 1894
Lewiston, Maine, U.S.
Died December 6, 1993 (aged 99)
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1917–1948
Rank Rear Admiral
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

Joe Fowler (July 9, 1894 – December 6, 1993) was a rear admiral of the United States Navy, who after his retirement had an important role in overseeing the construction of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Joe Fowler attended the United States Naval Academy and later earned a master's degree from M.I.T in Naval Architecture. He retired from the Navy in 1948 though he was recalled briefly during the Korean War. In 1952 he was appointed by President Truman to reduce wasteful military spending. [1]

Disney career


In 1954 Walt Disney was looking for a naval expert to help with the building of the paddle steamer Mark Twain, for the then under-construction Disneyland. He found the retired admiral supervising the construction of tract homes in the San Francisco region. Fowler was hired as construction boss for the whole Disneyland project. After Disneyland was completed, Fowler stayed on as General Manager of the park for its first 10 years, and assisted with the construction of Walt Disney World. He retired from The Walt Disney Company in 1978 though he continued on as a consultant.[2]

The dock for the two large ships in Disneyland's Rivers of America, located across from The Haunted Mansion is named Fowler's Harbor. In 1999, one of the ferries that crosses the Seven Seas Lagoon taking guests from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom was renamed Admiral Joe Fowler in his honor; it was originally known as the Magic Kingdom I.[2]


1. 365 Days of Magic blog Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
2. "Disney Legends - Joe Fowler". D23. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
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Re: Neuschwanstein: A fairy tale darling's dark Nazi past

Postby admin » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:17 am

Part 1 of 2

SRI International [Stanford Research Institute]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/19/19



SRI International
Entrance to SRI International headquarters in Menlo Park
Formerly: Stanford Research Institute (1946–1970)
Type: 501(c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute
Industry: Research and development
Founded: Menlo Park, California (1946; 73 years ago)
Founder: Trustees of Stanford University
Headquarters: 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, California, United States
Area served: Worldwide
Key people: William A. Jeffrey (President & CEO); Manish Kothari (President, SRI Ventures)
Services: Scientific research
Revenue: US$540 million (in 2014)[1]
Number of employees: 2100 (as of February 2015)[1]

SRI International (SRI) is an American nonprofit scientific research institute and organization headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The trustees of Stanford University established SRI in 1946 as a center of innovation to support economic development in the region.

The organization was founded as the Stanford Research Institute. SRI formally separated from Stanford University in 1970 and became known as SRI International in 1977. SRI performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations. It also licenses its technologies,[2] forms strategic partnerships, sells products,[3] and creates spin-off companies.[4]

SRI's annual revenue in 2014 was approximately $540 million. SRI's headquarters are located near the Stanford University campus. William A. Jeffrey has served as SRI's president and CEO since September 2014.

SRI employs about 2,100 people.[1] Sarnoff Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of SRI since 1988, was fully integrated into SRI in January 2011.[5]

SRI's focus areas include biomedical sciences, chemistry and materials, computing, Earth and space systems, economic development, education and learning, energy and environmental technology, security and national defense, as well as sensing and devices.[6] SRI has received more than 4,000 patents and patent applications worldwide.[7]



In the 1920s, Stanford University professor Robert E. Swain proposed creating a research institute in the Western United States. Herbert Hoover, then a trustee of Stanford University, was also an early proponent of an institute, but became less involved with the project after he was elected president of the United States. The development of the institute was delayed by the Great Depression in the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s,[8] with three separate attempts leading to its formation in 1946.

In August 1945, Maurice Nelles, Morlan A. Visel, and Ernest L. Black of Lockheed made the first attempt to create the institute with the formation of the "Pacific Research Foundation" in Los Angeles.[9] A second attempt was made by Henry T. Heald, then president of the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1945, Heald wrote a report recommending a research institute on the West Coast and a close association with Stanford University with an initial grant of $500,000 (equivalent to $5,638,000 in 2018).[10][11] A third attempt was made by Fred Terman, Stanford University's dean of engineering. Terman's proposal followed Heald's, but focused on faculty and student research more than contract research.[10]

The Roots of Bay Area High Technology: Communications

The Silicon Valley electronics industry has its roots in radio hobbyists at the turn of the twentieth century (Sturgeon, 2000; Lecuyer, 2006; Rao and Scaruffi, 2011). In 1908, Cyril Elwell, a radio enthusiast and graduate from Stanford University, acquired the U.S. patent rights for the arc transmitter, which had been invented in Denmark. The arc transmitter produced clearer signals at greater distance than existing radio technologies, just ten years after Marconi’s first transmission in England. Elwell’s company, the Federal Telegraph Company (FTC), partly funded by Stanford University, had stolen a march on other radio producers in the United States and was in a position to provide the U.S. Navy with their key ship-to-ship and ship-to-land communication system during World War I (Sturgeon, 2000; Lecuyer, 2006).

Four years after inventing the vacuum tube in Chicago in 1906, kicking off the “age of electronics,” Lee de Forest moved to San Francisco, where he would further develop his technology. His invention overcame many of the problems of range and quality of arc transmitters. During the 1930s, Eitel-McCullough and Litton Industries emerged as the major producers of power tubes and, later, microwave tubes. These electrical components had become the basis of radar systems, in addition to their use in radio communications (Lecuyer, 2006). Frederick Terman – a central actor in the nurturing of Silicon Valley, about whom we say more shortly – was close friends with Charles Litton, Sr. and developed a program at Stanford University in vacuum tube engineering. Terman hired Litton to teach courses about vacuum tube making, while Litton supported the program by donating $1,100 to Stanford’s electrical engineering department. Terman also financed two of his students – David Packard and William Hewlett – to start up their own firm.

During his time at Stanford, as a professor and then as the dean of engineering, Terman pioneered three major institutional changes in academia. First, he encouraged Stanford to create the Stanford Research Institute (today renamed SRI International), whose purpose was “to pursue science for practical purposes [which] might not be fully compatible internally with the traditional roles of the university” (Saxenian, 1884:23). However, the first attempt to create the institute occurred in August 1945 in Los Angeles, when Maurice Nelles, Morlan A. Visel, and Ernest L. Black of Lockheed proposed creating it under the name Pacific Research Foundation. A second attempt was made by Henry T. Heald, then president of the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1945, Heald wrote a report recommending the establishment of a research institute on the West Coast in close association with Stanford University, with an initial grant of $500,000 (15 million today), but the idea was not implemented. The third and successful attempt was made by Terman at Stanford, creating the SRI.

-- The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles, by Michael Storper, Thomas Kemeny, Naji Makarem, Taner Osman

The trustees of Stanford University voted to create the organization in 1946. It was structured so that its goals were aligned with the charter of the university—to advance scientific knowledge and to benefit the public at large, not just the students of Stanford University.[10] The trustees were named as the corporation's general members, and elected SRI's directors (later known as presidents); if the organization were dissolved, its assets would return to Stanford University.[12]

Research chemist William F. Talbot became the first director of the institute.[12] Stanford University president Donald Tresidder instructed Talbot to avoid work that would conflict with the interests of the university, particularly federal contracts that might attract political pressure.[12] The drive to find work and the lack of support from Stanford faculty caused the new research institute to violate this directive six months later through the pursuit of a contract with the Office of Naval Research.[13] This and other issues, including frustration with Tresidder's micromanagement of the new organization, caused Talbot to repeatedly offer his resignation, which Tresidder eventually accepted.[14] Talbot was replaced by Jesse Hobson, who had previously led the Armour Research Foundation, but the pursuit of contract work remained.[15]

Implementing the Reforms

Shortly after returning from his visit to Harvard, Tresidder began to implement the reforms that he and others had been discussing over the past few years. Between 1944 and 1946 he attempted to elaborate an administrative structure, to create institutes and other organizations to attract industrial patronage, and to reorient particular university departments to serve better the interests of regional industry, particularly the aeronautics, electronics, and oil companies. While his ideas were already well formulated, Tresidder could not have succeeded in making these changes without the assistance of a few faculty members who, for various reasons, were also highly desirous of change. They supported the premise underlying Tresidder’s proposed reforms: that the tradition of departmental autonomy and disciplinary distinctions should be undermined.

Tresidder’s first act was to create a new administrative post, that of vice president for academic affairs, in early 1944. Prior to this, there had been no administrative position intermediate between the deans and the university’s president. Tresidder chose for the new position Alvin Eurich, an assistant professor of education who had attended the pre-war meeting in Yosemite and, during the war, had been in charge of administering the navy’s testing program. The choice momentarily disappointed Lewis Terman, who wrote dismissively to his son, “I think his [Eurich’s] I.Q. is about 120 or 125 … However, he seems to function a little above his I.Q. level.”20 But Eurich and Tresidder shared Terman’s interest in improving the efficiency of the university. They were soon promulgating rules intended both to rationalize university operations and to govern faculty members’ use of their time. Faculty members were required to notify the administration and fill out a form if they planned to be absent from the campus; department chairpersons were required to use preprinted forms, rather than letters, to communicate with the administration.21

Eurich and Tresidder also began considering ways to reorganize research within the university and to develop industrial patronage. While acting as an advisor to the navy during the war, Eurich had met the president of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Henry T. Heald. The institute’s professors conducted a large amount of research that was sponsored by industry through the institute-affiliated Armour Research Foundation. At Eurich’s encouragement, Tresidder visited Heald and came away impressed. Armour, he learned, had $1.6 million in industry-financed projects in 1944 and a total of $2.5 million worth of research projects, all financed outside the Illinois Institute’s budget. Stanford, in contrast, had a research fund of $835 in 1944; the total expenditure for research in the 1943-44 academic year, including research sponsored by the government and industry, was a mere $333,558. To Tresidder, creating a research institute similar to Armour offered a way to meet several of his administration’s goals – expanding research opportunities, resolving Stanford’s financial problems, and providing service to industry. An institute would “pay for itself many times over,” Tresidder believed, “because it’s easier to sell to industry, and is more efficient” than a university.22

A similar plan for creating an industrial research institute had been proposed in the late 1930s at Stanford by chemistry chair Robert Swain, and Tresidder soon involved Swain and Philip Leighton, another chemist, as well as wealthy alumni and regional businessmen, in the planning of the institute. Particularly influential was Atholl McBean, a wealthy industrialist and member of the board of Standard Oil of California. He promised to raise funds to create the institute provided that Tresidder appoint his friend William Talbot, the technical director of the Sun Chemical Corporation, as the institute’s director. McBean also wanted Stanford’s board of trustees to provide a low-interest loan of $1 million to get the institute started. The creation of the Stanford Research Institute was approved in February 1946 by Stanford’s board of trustees. Tresidder envisioned the new institution as a division of the university that would devote itself to industrial research and turn over to Stanford a portion of its profits as well as provide research opportunities for Stanford faculty members.23

At the same time that Tresidder began exploring ways to organize industry-sponsored research, he also began to encourage some departments in the university to develop contacts with industry, asking the heads of departments to produce specific plans for soliciting industrial support. The initial results disappointed Tresidder. As he complained to trustee Paul Edwards in the spring of 1944, a large number of faculty members were not interested in industrial patronage; those that were had produced plans that were “so hazy as to be almost valueless.”24

Tresidder was particularly concerned about the plans of Stanford’s aeronautical engineers. The airplane manufacturing industry had expanded tremendously during the war as a result of federal investment and military demand, and as William Durand, a Stanford engineer who had worked for the NACA during the war, had pointed out, most travel would be done by air after the war. Tresidder initially suggested that Stanford’s aeronautical engineers should develop further their connections with the NACA, proposing that the department seek use of the NACA’s Ames Laboratory, located in the nearby town of Sunnyvale. But Durand strongly opposed the suggestion, pointing out that the Ames Laboratory did research for the military and private industry and insisting that the research and facilities of the aeronautical engineers should remain “under the immediate and sole control of the Department” at Stanford.25

The aeronautical engineers wanted unrestricted funds to expand their department’s research facilities and support research of their own choosing. They thus proposed soliciting five major aircraft companies for donations of $100,000 each. The department planned to use the money to modernize its wind tunnel and provide fellowships for students; in turn, the aircraft companies would gain a pool of well-trained engineers as potential employees. To Elliott Reid, the author of the proposal, drawing on industrial support in this way was preferable to doing commercial testing for fees, as the engineers had been doing since 1940. Even so, the proposal, which promised the aircraft companies first use of the department’s facilities, signified to him that the engineers were being “sold into bondage.”26

To Tresidder, who agreed that the department should turn to industry for financial support, the engineers’ proposal was “immature and inadequate.” It represented the same mistaken idea that had been embodied in Hoover’s National Research Fund in the 1920s – that industrial firms would provide money for research on the faith that research was the basis of industrial advancement, rather than with the guarantee that they would receive something for their money. Only by promising to undertake research of specific interest to aircraft companies and presenting them with estimated costs and clear objectives could the engineers hope to attract financial support from the industry, Tresidder insisted. Although the engineers stressed to Tresidder that they preferred to work on general questions related to airplane structures rather than on problems specified by industrial patrons, they agreed to modify their proposal to include a list of proposed projects with the specified costs attached.27

Tresidder, Davis, Terman, and others had also determined that Stanford should enhance its contacts with the oil industry and develop strengths in all fields related to the industry’s interests. With this in mind, Tresidder turned his attention in late 1944 to Stanford’s geology department. Headed by Eliot Blackwelder, the department had downplayed the practical applications of geological research and training that the oil industry considered purely “academic and impractical.”28 In the fall of 1944 Blackwelder had indicated an interest in retiring; to Tresidder, this was an opportunity to reorient the department’s interests.

Tresidder made it immediately clear to Blackwelder that he hoped the department would choose a professor of petroleum geology as its next chairperson. Blackwelder, who had studied and published widely on the origin and evolution of landforms in the United States and China, assured the president that he had no opposition to appointing a petroleum geologist. He did point out, however, that if the department appointed a petroleum geologist, a field previously unrepresented, Blackwelder’s own field of geomorphology would be neglected. Such a decision was an important one – it would influence the complexion of the department for many years. For the sake of department morale, the decision should be made only after discussions with all of the department’s members, Blackwelder stressed to Tresidder. And since so many of them were away on war assignments, Blackwelder urged Tresidder to postpone selection of a new chairperson until after the war.29 Blackwelder was interested in maintaining a departmental tradition of consulting the faculty about decisions affecting the fate of the department. But Tresidder, like Davis, was eager to make changes at Stanford while many of the university’s faculty members were away. As Davis had shrewdly noted, at the end of the war there would be a “tendency to revert to the old status”; if the university were to be transformed, the war was “the ideal time” to act.30

Moreover, Tresidder already knew whom he wanted as head of the department – Arville Levorsen. Levorsen was not an academic geologist and had never taught before; he was the chief geologist for the Tidewater Oil Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and an independent oil operator who was known for his work in the science of finding oil. His name had been suggested to Tresidder by one of Stanford’s geologists, Aaron C. Waters, who was working for the U.S. Geological Survey during the war. Extremely ambitious, Waters hoped that after the war he and Levorsen could build a strong program in petroleum geology at Stanford. Levorsen would attract money from the oil industry; Waters hoped to interest the State Department in funding a program to teach petroleum geology to South American students. Waters warned Tresidder that because of Levorsen’s interests and his lack of teaching experience, the geology department might be “undersold” on having him as department chairperson. But he encouraged Tresidder not to be dissuaded by opposition. Members of the oil industry had “been sniping at [Stanford’s] department and criticizing it” for years because the department was “truly deficient in the one field of most interest to these men, namely petroleum geology,” Waters complained. Hiring Levorsen would correct this deficiency. Moreover, there would be a direct “payoff”; Levorsen was well known to the oil industry and Stanford could expect industrial patronage.31

To make certain that this would indeed be the result, Tresidder contacted Stanford alumni in the oil industry. According to Harold Hoots of Richfield Oil, they were “highly enthusiastic” about Levorsen. Hoots, a friend of Levorsen, arranged a meeting between Levorsen and representatives of the oil industry in California to assure him that they wanted him to take the job at Stanford. Levorsen accepted Tresidder’s offer. To ensure further the development of good relations between the department and the oil industry, Tresidder advised Levorsen to outline a program for Stanford’s geology department and send it to members of the oil industry for comments. “If you folks think best, it might be well to revise [the program] or change it,” Levorsen wrote accommodatingly to California oilman L.L. Aubert.32 Upon hearing of Levorsen’s appointment, Waters, who was more interested in his own career than in the procedural details of the proposed appointment, was elated. Before Tresidder became president, “I would have labeled this program ‘castles in the air,’” he wrote, but the new administration was proving admirably decisive.33

Frederick Terms was also pleased by the appointment of Levorsen. It was, in his view, “a real start toward solving one of our major problems.” Terms had just accepted Tresidder’s offer of the deanship of Stanford’s school of engineering, succeeding Samuel Morris, who had resigned from the position in late 1944 to assume the directorship of the Los Angeles Municipal Water and Power Company. Ambitious and full of plans, Terman now had an opportunity both to advance his career at Stanford and to implement the reforms that he, Davis, and Tresidder had discussed.34

Terman’s appointment was not received with unanimous enthusiasm by Stanford’s engineers, who met to discuss the appointment and then offered Tresidder their reservations. Terman, they warned, was difficult to get along with and was “impatient of others’ opinions, and set in his own,” according to the acting chairperson of the civil engineering department, who reported the group’s opinion. More important, many of the faculty members believed that Terman was too narrow in his interests to be an effective dean. His expertise was in a subfield of electrical engineering; a dean, they argued, needed to be familiar with several engineering fields if he were to guide the school and play an important role in appointments and promotions.35 But it was, in part, this narrowness that made Terman an appealing candidate for the deanship. Tresidder knew well that Terman was interested in building a strong program at Stanford in communications and radio engineering that would have close ties to the electronics industry, and Tresidder wanted him as dean precisely for this reason. The members of the engineering school, however, worried that Terman was interested only in developing a particular facet of engineering and was dismissive of other engineering traditions. Some feared that the school’s tradition of breadth of coverage would be lost with Terman as dean.

Their concern was apt. Terman was soon making clear to the acting chair of the electrical engineering department, Hugh Skilling, the particular focus his administration of the engineering school would have. Terman was planning to hire the former director of research for Caterpillar Tractor to fill a new position with responsibility for developing and managing the engineering school’s contacts with industry. The job would involve developing industrial patronage as well as “steering our younger people … into fields which are going to have a big rather than a small future,” he explained.36 The interests of industry were, of course, playing a large role in determining what fields would have a “big” rather than a “small” future.

Fields that were “big,” in Terman’s mind, were those that were of interest to expanding industries and that were perceived as having contributed significantly to the development of war technologies. Electronics was one such field; it would be “big” after the war primarily because the electronics industry would rapidly exploit for commercial purposes the technologies that had been developed during the war. One field with a “small” future, Terman had already made clear, was illumination. This was an area of “rather limited opportunities,” Terman had indicated in early 1941 to President Wilbur, recommending that two professors in his department be let go. Firing them would be “disagreeable, messy, and not entirely in accord with usual traditions of academic tenure,” Terman admitted, but he rationalized that the university could get “more for its money” with other professors.37 Wilbur did not take Terman’s advice, but some in the school of engineering may well have feared that with Terman as dean, similar attempts would be made to give preference to some engineering work and to deemphasize or even eliminate other kinds.

By early 1945, then, Tresidder had placed new people at the head of two divisions within the university in the belief that they would draw engineering and geology firmly toward cooperation with industrial concerns interested in sponsoring academic research. He also hoped that the university’s aeronautical engineers would develop strong ties to the aeronautics industry. In addition, Tresidder wanted to effect changes in Stanford’s physics department. Terman and Davis had convinced him that research related to microwaves was a field that, like its allied field, electronics, was sure to have a “big” future after the war. The physicists involved in work on the klystron had succeeded in attracting substantial industrial patronage in the late 1930s; Tresidder was eager to renew the department’s ties to industry after the war.

So were some, but not all, of Stanford’s physicists. The suggestion that Stanford creative a microwave laboratory and solicit support from industrial patrons stirred considerable controversy among the physicists and between some physicists and the Tresidder administration. The physicists debated not only whether industry was an appropriate patron but also how patronage and new institutional forms might affect the role of the academic scientist and alter academic traditions. These concerns were not singular to the physics department but were very much related to the broader transformation being wrought at Stanford and other universities at the end of World War II. In the disputes over the microwave laboratory, it is possible to see clearly what was being lost and what others hoped to gain by establishing new institutions, eroding the tradition of departmental autonomy, and developing new forms of patronage.

-- Creating the Cold War University: The Transformation of Stanford, by Rebecca S. Lowen

Early history

SRI participant Paul Magill discussing the smog on Black Friday in Los Angeles at the first National Air Pollution Symposium in 1949

SRI's first research project investigated whether the guayule plant could be used as a source of natural rubber.[16] During World War II, rubber was imported into the U.S. and was subject to shortages and strict rationing.[16] From 1942 to 1946, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported a project to create a domestic source of natural rubber. Once the war ended, the United States Congress cut funding for the program; in response, the Office of Naval Research created a grant for the project to continue at SRI, and the USDA staff on the project worked through SRI until Congress reauthorized funding in 1947.[16]

SRI's first economic study was for the United States Air Force. In 1947, the Air Force wanted to determine the expansion potential of the U.S. aircraft industry; SRI found that it would take too long to escalate production in an emergency.[17] In 1948, SRI began research and consultation with Chevron Corporation to develop an artificial substitute for tallow and coconut oil in soap production; SRI's investigation confirmed the potential of dodecylbenzene as a suitable replacement. Later, Procter & Gamble used the substance as the basis for Tide laundry detergent.[18]

The institute performed much of the early research on air pollution and the formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere.[19] SRI sponsored the First National Air Pollution Symposium in Pasadena, California, in November 1949.[19] Experts gave presentations on pollution research, exchanged ideas and techniques, and stimulated interest in the field. The event was attended by 400 scientists, business executives, and civic leaders from the U.S.[19] SRI co-sponsored subsequent events on the subject.[20]

The ERMA system, which uses magnetic ink character recognition to process checks, was one of SRI's earliest developments.

In April 1953, Walt and Roy Disney hired SRI (and in particular, Harrison Price) to consult on their proposal for establishing an amusement park in Burbank, California.[21] SRI provided information on location, attendance patterns, and economic feasibility. SRI selected a larger site in Anaheim, prepared reports about operation, and provided on-site administrative support for Disneyland and acted in an advisory role as the park expanded.[21][22][23] In 1955, SRI was commissioned to select a site and provide design suggestions for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[24]

In 1952, the Technicolor Corporation contracted with SRI to develop a near-instantaneous, electro-optical alternative to the manual process of timing during film copying.[25] In 1959, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the Scientific and Engineering Award jointly to SRI and Technicolor for their work on the design and development of the Technicolor electronic printing timer which greatly benefited the motion picture industry.[26] In 1954, Southern Pacific asked SRI to investigate ways of reducing damage during rail freight shipments by mitigating shock to railroad box cars. This investigation led to William K. MacCurdy's development of the Hydra-Cushion technology, which remains standard today.[27][28]

In the 1950s, SRI worked under the direction of the Bank of America to develop ERMA (Electronic Recording Machine, Accounting) and magnetic ink character recognition (MICR). The ERMA project was led by computer scientist Jerre Noe, who was at the time SRI's assistant director of engineering.[29] As of 2011, MICR remains the industry standard in automated check processing.[30][31][32]

Rapid expansion

The first prototype of a computer mouse, as designed by Bill English

Douglas Engelbart, the founder of SRI's Augmentation Research Center (ARC), was the primary force behind the design and development of the multi-user oN-Line System (or NLS), featuring original versions of modern computer-human interface elements including bit-mapped displays, collaboration software, hypertext, and precursors to the graphical user interface such as the computer mouse.[33] As a pioneer of human-computer interaction, Engelbart is arguably SRI's most notable alumnus. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2000.[34]

Bill English, then chief engineer at ARC, built the first prototype of a computer mouse from Engelbart's design in 1964.[35][36] SRI also developed inkjet printing (1961) and optical disc recording (1963).[37] Liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology was developed at RCA Laboratories in the 1960s, which later became Sarnoff Corporation in 1988, a wholly owned subsidiary of SRI. Sarnoff was fully integrated into SRI in 2011.[38]

In the early 1960s, Hewitt Crane and his colleagues developed the world's first all-magnetic digital computer,[39] based upon extensions to magnetic core memories. The technology was licensed to AMP Inc., who then used it to build specialized computers for controlling tracks in the New York City Subway and on railroad switching yards.[40]

In 1966, SRI's Artificial Intelligence Center began working on "Shakey the robot", the first mobile robot to reason about its actions.[41] Equipped with a television camera, a triangulating rangefinder, and bump sensors, Shakey used software for perception, world-modeling, and acting. The project ended in 1972.[42] SRI's Artificial Intelligence Center marked its 45th anniversary in 2011.

The Packet Radio Van, developed by Don Cone, was the site of the first three-way internetworked transmission.

On October 29, 1969, the first connection on a wide area network to use packet switching, ARPANET, was established between nodes at Leonard Kleinrock's laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Douglas Engelbart's laboratory at SRI using Interface Message Processors at both sites.[43][44] The following year, Engelbart's laboratory installed the first TENEX system outside of BBN where it was developed. In addition to SRI and UCLA, University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were part of the original four network nodes. By December 5, 1969, the entire four-node network was connected. In the 1970s, SRI developed packet-switched radio (a precursor to wireless networking),[45] over-the-horizon radar,[46][47] Deafnet,[48][49] vacuum microelectronics, and software-implemented fault tolerance.

This first true Internet transmission occurred on November 22, 1977, when SRI originated the first connection between three disparate networks. Data flowed seamlessly through the mobile Packet Radio Van between SRI in Menlo Park, California and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles via London, England, across three types of networks: packet radio, satellite, and the ARPANET.[50] In 2007, the Computer History Museum presented a 30th anniversary celebration of this demonstration, which included several participants from the 1977 event.[51] SRI would go on to run the Network Information Center under the leadership of Jake Feinler.[52]

Split and diversification

The Vietnam War (1955–1975) was an important issue on college campuses across the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. As a belated response to Vietnam War protesters who believed that funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) made the university part of the military–industrial complex,[53] the Stanford Research Institute split from Stanford University in 1970. The organization subsequently changed its name from the Stanford Research Institute to SRI International in 1977.[1][54][55]

Aerial image of SRI's Menlo Park campus

In 1972, physicists Harold E. Puthoff and Russell Targ undertook a series of investigations of psychic phenomena sponsored by the CIA, for which they coined the term remote viewing.[56][57][58] Among other activities, the project encompassed the work of consulting "consciousness researchers" including artist/writer Ingo Swann, military intelligence officer Joseph McMoneagle, and psychic/illusionist Uri Geller.[59] This ESP work continued with funding from the US intelligence community until Puthoff and Targ left SRI in the mid-1980s.[60][61] For more information, see Parapsychology research at SRI.

Social scientist and consumer futurist Arnold Mitchell created the Values, Attitudes and Lifestyles (VALS) psychographic methodology in the late 1970s to explain changing U.S. values and lifestyles.[62] VALS was formally inaugurated as an SRI product in 1978 and was called "one of the ten top market research breakthroughs of the 1980s" by Advertising Age magazine.[63]

Throughout the 1980s, SRI developed Zylon,[64] stealth technologies, improvements to ultrasound imaging,[26] two-dimensional laser fluorescence imaging,[65] and many-sorted logic. In computing and software, SRI developed a multimedia electronic mail system, a theory of non-interference in computer security, a multilevel secure (MLS) relational database system called Seaview,[65] LaTeX,[66] Open Agent Architecture (OAA), a network intrusion detection system, the Maude system, a declarative software language, and PacketHop, a peer-to-peer wireless technology to create scalable ad hoc networks.[67] SRI's research in network intrusion detection led to the patent infringement case SRI International, Inc. v. Internet Security Systems, Inc.[68] The AI center's robotics research led to Shakey's successor, Flakey the robot, which focused on fuzzy logic.[69][70]

In 1986, became the 8th registered ".com" domain.[71] The Artificial Intelligence Center developed the Procedural Reasoning System (PRS) in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s. PRS launched the field of BDI-based intelligent agents.[72] In the 1990s, SRI developed a letter sorting system for the United States Postal Service and several education and economic studies.[73]

Military-related technologies developed by SRI in the 1990s and 2000s include ground- and foliage-penetrating radar, the INCON and REDDE command and control system for the U.S. military,[74] and IGRS (integrated GPS radio system)—an advanced military personnel and vehicle tracking system. To train armored combat units during battle exercises, SRI developed the Deployable Force-on-Force Instrumented Range System (DFIRST), which uses GPS satellites, high-speed wireless communications, and digital terrain map displays.[75]

SRI created the Centibots in 2003, one of the first and largest teams of coordinated, autonomous mobile robots that explore, map, and survey unknown environments.[76][77][78][79] It also created BotHunter, a free utility for Unix, which detects botnet activity within a network.[80][81]
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