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Archive through April 17, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru April 2002 » Absinthe in World War II Germany » Archive through April 17, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 11:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So the mystery continues.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 9:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I stand corrected.
Tabreaux
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 9:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

FWIW, the V2 was fueled by EtOH and LOx. The Me163 was fueled by H2O2 and Hydrazine.

In either case, the mixture was ignited using the Czech burning sugar ritual (a Nazi war secret).
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 9:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wormwood, I believe what the Nazis used in the V-2 was hydrazine, not ethanol.

Not something you would like in a drink...
Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 8:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sadly, it goes on ...

"Hill's Absinth was resurrected in the early 90's by the lobbying of an old fan from Besidce ve Slavonicich ..."

ONE old fan is to blame for this -- this -- re-animation.

"Later the rock band, The Sugar Cubes, discovered it and brought it home to Iceland where the word somehow spread to England."

I know some Sugar Cubes that deserve to be in flames.

"The hilarious Czech theatre group, Sklep (The Basement) spread Hill's Absinth to Prague ..."

... like some sort of plague. Czech comedy is just too sadistic.
Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 7:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The story continues ...

"After the war ended, Absinth was still produced and sold along with many other familiar Hill's specialties until the communist regime shut the business down."

The best thing the Communists ever did.
Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 7:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Hill's Absinth website, of all places, offers up a piece of the puzzle. It says:

"Hill's Absinth became popular during Word War II. Rationing was put into effect by the Nazi Regime but was based on the volume of liquid, rather than the strength of alcohol. People soon realized that they could buy Hill's Absinth and water it down."

There you have it: the least romantic, artistic absinthe story you'll ever hear.
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 5:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

For some reason, that sounds more likely.
Wormwood
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I once read a comment made by Dr. Von Braun after a test of the V-2 rocket. Some thing like "what a sad waste of 200,000 martinis. The Nazis used ethanol and liquid oxygen to power their rockets.

Maybe they banned spirits during the war for the same reason the Americans stopped making automobiles and rationed gasoline. They needed ethanol for their war effort.
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"And because it can be used as hard currency by the people you are attempting to oppress to get, y'know, guns and bullets and things."

Pretty heavy currency to lug around. Breakable too. I'd go for cigarettes instead. Did the Germans outlaw those?
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Because if it's illegal, you can confiscate it.

And do what you will with it.

And because it can be used as hard currency by the people you are attempting to oppress to get, y'know, guns and bullets and things.
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 8:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The French are just too easy a target. It's like shooting amputated frogs in a bordeaux barrel.

But seriously ... what was the point of banning spirit aperitifs? Would the Resistance have made Molotov cockails (pardonnez-moi: "coctels a la De Gaulle") out of them? Added drops of wormwood oil to bottles of Ricard in the officers' clubs? Had Heidelberg generals slicing each other's ears off with dress swords and convulsing in the streets?
Petermarc
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 8:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

you've obviously never seen a repressed froggy hyped up on joy juice...
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 8:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Actually J., ALL spirit aperitifs were banned during the German occupation of France."

Which begs the question:

WHY were all spirit aperitifs banned? What were the Germans worried about?
Pablo
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 12:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I was trekking in the Austrian alps about 8 years ago, an old man heard me speaking German with my american accent, and started screaming at me. Apparently he still had issues with the whole WW2 thing. (I was afraid to tell him that BOTH of my grandfaters were in WW2, on opposite sides). Wound up getting drunk with the mayor of that village on his homemade wine. Wonderful Family. Climbed a local peak with his son 2 days later.

Ok, so this has nothing to do with anything. Sue me.

(Pablo goin' off on a tangent)
Tortainglese
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Once at a Vienesse Ball I danced with a very elegant old gentleman. We danced to the famous waltz from the opera The Merry Widow. This man told me he saw Lehar conduct (Lehar is also the composer) and Hitler was in the audience. I was struck by how dancing with him connected me to history, both musically and socially. I'll never forget him. Any decade, any century, is really just a few degrees of separation away from us.
Chrysippvs
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 10:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

yep..but absinthe was named in particular as far I remember the documents, along with a host of other spirits...

- J
Tabreaux
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 10:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Actually J., ALL spirit aperitifs were banned during the German occupation of France.
Chrysippvs
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 8:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Absinthe had to be re-banned dring nazi occupation....tells me that the green was still flowing in france aleast...

- J
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 6:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Easy test, Chev.

Hug them. Pat their back. If you feel a P-08 Parabellum be very, very nice to them. And make sure you are not Jewish....
Chevalier
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 6:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are some rather Prussian, stiff-backed, very senior citizens from Germany living very quietly in the remote south of Chile. Whenever I see one, I wonder ... though I'd prefer not to know.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Chev, this would be in the early '40s or late '30s. Whether she drank actual absinthe or some pastis, impossible to tell.

Kallisti, I will try to find out more about her absinthe experience.

And, BTW, I have no simpathy for the Nazis or anything, but to think that this lady danced for Hitler... I'm in love already. She's history.
Admin
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 5:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've also mentioned before that it was being drunk in the New Orleans brothels up until at least the mid 40's.

I'd like to know more about this post-ban black market absinthe trade.
Chevalier
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 5:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's hard to imagine Berlin in the 1920s without something like absinthe -- to go along with all the cocaine. Considering its debauched reputation, that city in that era would be more appropriate than Paris.

Or maybe they just drank anis-based liqueur, fiddled around with the paraphernalia, and convinced themselves that it was absinthe.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 4:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Punta del Este, Uruguay, may not be Casablanca, but we have some interesting characters.

I met this 84 years old lady, Petra de Montigny, German, rumors have it that she danced for Der Fuehrer. I've seen a picture of her in her twenties and she was quite stunning.

We were talking gardening and at some point I mentioned wormwood, or rather the French name, absinthe.

She said something like: Oh yes, I drank it. I expressed that that was impossible, absinthe being banned in 1915.

But she insisted, and described the perforated spoon, the sugar, the works.

So apparently absinthe was available in pre-war/wartime Germany.

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